Thursday, November 08, 2007

Doomed to be a Proctologist?

Over a month ago, I was chatting with one of the deans. My grades are mediocre at best, and I have no motivation to study all day just to get get A's. I told her that I was happy to be learning and passing, and I probably wouldn’t achieve a rank in the top half of the class. With all of the stories about doing your best and making high grades, her response surprised me. As an ER doctor, she told me that some things more important than grades. She placed students into three categories: those with (1) good grades and good people skills; (2) good grades and poor people skills; (3) poor grades and good people skills. Ultimately, residency programs love to have a #1, but they are rare. She expressed to me that personality counts for a lot. You have to be able to handle all kinds of things in the ER that can't be learned. At UMC, they believe that everything an ER resident needs to know can be taught during residecny training, but the people skills needed to be an effecetive EM physician can't be taught. Ultimately, it may be more important to accept a person with good people skills (#3) over a person with good grades (#2). Of course, she asked if I knew what they called the person who graduates last from medical school. (Proctologist. No, no - DOCTOR.) I have heard this a million times, but it made me realize that the lowest ranked person in the class is still an exceptional person with lots to offer.

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