Saturday, August 15, 2009

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You Part II

Back again. Sorry for the delay in posts, but I have been too busy hazing the first-years. You know, telling them that all the test questions are from the assigned readings (500+ pages a week) or telling them the library and study halls are for second-year students only. Got to get them freaking out. In all seriousness though, the only hazing going on is the selling of those books WE were foolish enough to buy but never use to this year's incoming class. "Come on, I have reduced the prices on these babies 20%, but disregard the lack of creases in the spine, you NEED this book to survive." This year's incoming class is far worse than mine. I am glad I didn't defer my acceptance a year because this class would have tickled my area postrema more than my class. People were studying BEFORE classes began. Seriously. But to make this short, I have a couple more nuggets for you.

3) Do not have relations with med school classmates. Friendship is fine, but in a world where Paul Revere rides a horse called Texting, you can start one class pure as snow, and by the first break you are on the verge of prostitution. And gentleman, do not be "that guy" who goes after all the first-year females. Just because your own class knows what a tool you are doesn't mean you can fool the first-years for more than a week. Trust me, keep your sexuality outside your medical school. And off craigslist for that matter.

4) Do not go to class. I learned this the hard way. Think about it. Why sit in class hearing something for the first time when you can go over the info twice as fast, picking out concepts you don't understand and have the time to go over those concepts? Plus, when you can then go listen to the lectures at twice the speed, what's there to lose? Seriously, you don't know how much time is wasted with jokes, pauses, and side-stories. I don't pay teachers to tell me where her 4 year old thinks his liver is. The key to med school from the start is time management. Your time is so valuable because of the deluge of information, that to spend too much time on one idea or concept is academic suicide.

5) You have a right to express discontent. Don't let the administration keep you down. Damn the man! No, seriously, don't be afraid to tell someone how upset you are by certain things. You have a right to having power points posted online in the right format, recordings to be done, teachers to be clear about what to expect, etc. You are paying a pretty penny for the education and yes, I believe the school should cater to everyone as best as possible. This is a little different for a state school where uncle sam helps out a bit, but either way, you are paying money for a service, if it isn't what you want, speak up.

6) Some Many of your fellow classmates are socially awkward. I don't mean like middle school dance awkward, you know, guys in one corner and girls in the other. I mean like don't-know-when-to-keep-their-thoughts-to-themselves awkward. For instance they don't have the internal gauge to tell them that what they are thinking in their head isn't something they should tell other people. What sounds like common sense, or constructive criticism to them comes out like smugness or elitist to others. It also seems a lot like they will say something just to one up you. Whether they mean it to be like that, it doesn't matter because they will not be able to know any different. If they start sentences with "I would", drop any sharp objects because you will want to harm them. They are about to tell you how they would do it better than you, but hide it behind critique. Remember, you didn't ask for their feedback. I think that is where it crosses the line. You didn't ask them, yet they will open their mouth anyways. I once had someone "critique" my patient interview by saying "you were blocking the door, I know for me, I don't like when people block my exit." For one, there were two doors to the room so technically I wasn't blocking the exit, Dragnet and besides, not everyone is suffering from PTSD and thinks his doctor is armed and dangerous. Regardless of his lack of observation, he felt it was necessary to open his mouth.

BONUS: Do not call first years "fresh meat". This isn't Dazed and Confused buddy so put down the paddle. There will be no initiation. Ever.


  1. "This year's incoming class is far worse than mine...People were studying BEFORE classes began."

    I'm pretty sure it gets worse every year. This year a first year asked me if I was happy with my board scores as soon as we met (before classes started). I was tempted to prescribe a vacation and maybe an emergent stick removal.

  2. P.S. Hilarious post with great advice.