Remember where you started

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Category : Medical Rants

Have you noticed that too many physicians develop the "big head"?  These physicians start to believe that they are as good as the flattery they receive.

Our position in society is very seductive.  We receive almost instant respect.  And too often we believe that we are special.

But many physicians escape this trap.  I can only speculate why some physicians resist temptation.

I think they remember from where they came.  They remember who they were as kids.  They remember how hard they worked to achieve academic success.  They remember being medical students and striving to learn medicine so that they could help patients.

Even "big head" physicians usually work to help patients, but they become jerks other than when with their patients.

Physicians are not unique.  The same thing happens to many other successful people.  But this blog is about medicine.

So I hope medical students and residents are reading this rant.  You have already met the "big head" physicians.  You probably have told yourself that you will not turn out like them.

So work hard to keep yourself grounded.  Remember your roots.  Keep your friends from before medical school, and hopefully they will treat you like the same goofball you were prior to medical school.  Remember your inner goofball.

Remember how lucky we are to become physicians.  Remember that we are regular people who are doing a very special job, but that does not give us the right to become jerks.

Comments (4)

Great post.  It caused me to reflect.  I have a slightly different take based on my own personal experiences since training, which I may blog about soon.

"…. but they become jerks other than when with their patients."  No, no they don't.  Big Head docs revel in big words, obfuscation, and patient intimidation.  They are rude, arrogant, patronizing and aggravating.  Sometimes they are also incompetent.  When patients ask their Big Head about their suboptimal surgical results, they are met with few answers and more rudeness.  Medical students!  Don't become a Big Head!

I am afraid that I have to agree with Allison.  I have personally experienced that kind of behaviour from several doctors.  The other adjective that I would add is condescension…

Not an adjective, but a noun.  Sorry!

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