Thursday, 9 June 2011

Bastards and Gunners

The Fuddled Medic is going to join a profession that include a whole lot of bastards. In one of the first lectures the FM attended the lecturer stated doctors have a higher than average amount of
· Racists
· Sexist
· Homophobes

As a profession we have a higher amount of bullies to. And this is something that is not just experienced by medical students but by junior doctors as well. Most students work on confidence, after a few weeks of things going well students start to believe that they might have what it takes to be a doctor. All it takes is for one bit of humiliation in front of eight other medical students for this to go, with poor student going backwards.

Buts what’s worse that this?

Gunners, the term given to overly (usually downright rude) competitive medical students. These are far worse in the FM’s mind. An arrogant consultant can be easily ignored, or thought off as old fashioned and ignorant. A Gunner will find it easier to sow doubts in minds. Are you doing enough work? Why can they answer questions that you can’t?

Unfortunately MTAS has made it much worse. In the good old days it was a case of pass or fail. Now it pays to be in the top 25 or 50% of year. This is wrong, either you are competent or you are not.


  1. LZephaniah9/6/11 6:38 pm

    Yeah, I really can't agree with that. Firstly, there is no way that someone being keen is worse than racism, sexism or homophobia. I can agree that medical students who are competitive to the point of spreading disinformation should be criticised, and rudeness is also unfortunate, but working hard and knowing the answers is no crime even if it happens to leave others feeling relatively stupid!
    As for MTAS, yes everyone should be competent but some specialities are competitive and graduates must be judged on something. How else would you do it? Personally I think not enough space on MTAS was given to clinical ability considering the vast majority of points were won or lost based on white space questions that tested the ability to bullshit (or be coached into giving the "right" answers) and nothing else.

  2. I dont think this post implies being keen is being worse then the three bullet points - but I could have made it clearer.

    My question of "whats worse than this?" is to address whats worse than being bullied by an arrogant doctor? - being bullied by another medical student.

    I supposed I could have made the point clearer, humiliation can very easily border on bullying. And there are plenty of medical students who will push other people down to get to the top. There is being keen and deliberately obnoxious and undermining fellow students.

    The first few lines of this post is to illustrate that doctors are not the non-judgemental angels we like to think ourselves as being.

  3. You're dead right re homophobia, rascisim and sexism. It's a conservative profession and reflects the social views of 20-30 years ago. I live in hope that we will catch up with the rest of society. It's the reason I wsa drummed out of my last partnership and now work single handedly. :-(
    As for gunners, well there's always been plenty of them about. One lives in hope that they eventually outgun themselves. Everyone has to be a gunner to a certain extent in the first place just to get through to completing a basic medical education IIRC.

  4. Will we ever? I like your point that we are 20-30 years behind everyone else, I wonder what outdate views I will hold in thirty years time

  5. Even when you reach consultant you are still not safe from bullying.

  6. I dunno if I'd agree with the "pays to be in the top 25-50%" bit. There's 40 marks for being in the top 25% and 32 marks for being in the bottom 25% - doing well on the questions will give you way more marks than that.

    Disclaimer: I was in the top 25% when I applied.

  7. LZephaniah10/6/11 8:38 pm

    Fair enough Fuddled Medic, I clearly misinterpreted what you were saying. The best students, of course, would be keen but also eager to help others learn. Bullying is never right. Mind you, there are certain mistakes I will never make again because they led to me being humiliated in some extent. A fine line perhaps!

  8. I seeyour point with regards to points and percentiles, but that makes it irrelevant then if there is so little in it. Just let us worry about either passing or failing, nether mind if we beat the other guy!