Med School Hell – Generational Differences and Medical Training

This post is raw and holds nothing back. If you’re uncomfortable with vulgar language, please turn back.

September 25, 2008
By: Hoover


As I was looking through my comments tonight, I saw a very insightful comment left by someone who goes by the name of “Deaner.” He or she was responding to my post entitled Medical Students v 2.0. That post is very old, so I wanted to repost it here so that it will get some views. He or she makes some very good points, and it’s an incredibly well-written comment. Here it is, thanks Deaner:

I was recently describing the generational difference to a group of friends. Generation X and Y. Its not that we are “entitled, lazy, arrogant or non-caring.” It isn’t even that we leave in the midst of patient care and never would we refuse to be involved in an opportunity for education– as the physician above implied. This is a misinterpretation by an older generation that comes from their lack of regard to our goals, our mission and our acute understanding of our surroundings.

Looking at the physicians that make up today’s medical field, we are able to deduce the effect that traditional medical education has on its participants. We the older generation of physicians who are bitter, overworked, validation (read: money)-hungry doctors many of whom practice medicine without respect to the patient and without love for their work. We (generation X and Y) on the other hand, are committed to our own sanity, health and future. We want to be good doctors. Period. So when we see inefficiency and ineffectiveness in medical education, which leads to suffering and sacrificing of health, we want to fix it. We recognize that it takes not just one, but two elements to allows us care of patients in our fullest capacity:

  1. Rigorous and extensive education.
  2. Our own mental and physical health and continued enthusiasm towards patient care and medicine.

So we put our heads together to change what could be better. Cut out anything that is either impinging on one of the stated elements without fulfilling the other. Why? So we have more free time to play? No. Because we think we are too good for traditional methods? No. Because we think we’ve somehow earned it? No. Because we don’t care about medicine? Absolutely not. We want to fix it because we want to be good doctors. We want to learn every second that we are not working to stay healthy (sleeping, eating, feeling.) We know that we must stay positive (not resent the hospital or our patients) in order to open our minds to allow the maximal amount of education to enable us to be both wise and compassionate doctors.

We refuse to have our potential to be great and healthy physicians stripped from us by our experience with medical education.

I am not bothered by older doctors saying “blah, blah, we worked so much harder than you…” Instead, I pity them. I pity them for justifying their misery but ridiculing our commitment to change.

Are you convinced to leave medicine? If so, you may feel like you are alone. You may feel clueless about what to do next. However, quitting medicine could turn out better than you have ever thought possible. And here is why you should get out …

This article is part of Hoover’s Med School Hell series. Med School Hell reveals the crazy truth about the crappiness of the US medical education and healthcare system … while making you laugh so hard, you’ll crap in your pants.

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