Friday, February 22, 2008

Power Whore

There’s something about power that makes people crazy. The other day I had to take a senior OSCE that was supposed to help us get ready for Step 2 CS. However, many of the participants that day had already taken and passed the exam, therefore making this just another useless exercise. To add to this day was the fact that Wife was trying to get seen for an illness and I wanted to be there, but couldn’t.

The day started out on a bad note – those in charge were running around, barking orders, and trying to look organized while they were, in fact, the opposite. Threats of 5 points off the total grade were tossed at us because some students didn’t bring more than a stethoscope. The 10 students in attendance tried to remain in good spirits, regardless of the absurd nature of the requirement, but soon realized that we were dealing with power whores and this would not be fun.

The man in charge of the standardized patients was by far the worst. He actually believes he is a doctor – though I’ve never seen any proof beyond his proclivity to wear long white coats while he yells rules at students. He proceeded to yell at us about everything, claim that we weren’t being “professional” (once again, I completely hate it when anyone uses that as an excuse to blame students for being human), and told us that no one could talk. At all.

“No one should be talking. This is a serious exam and if you fail because you can’t keep quiet and remain professional, well…that’s on you.”

“Excuse me! I’m talking. Table all conversations!”

Various re-utterances were heard of the above for almost 2 hours while we were oriented. Yes, it took them 2 hours to get us through the orientation. We had 10 cases to get through at 25 minutes a piece. Everyone of us knew that it was going to be a long day. Preparation for Step 2 CS? Hardly.

And that’s where I get a little miffed. People in these kinds of positions have lauded their authority over us for the last 3.5 years. We’re close to being done. We’ve passed every examination that’s been required and we’re over the threats. What? You’re going to fail us because we wouldn’t sit in fear while you assaulted us with rules and regulations – all of which we’ve already heard numerous times?

Power corrupts. In this case it made people who have low self worth try to use it to swell their image. I see this quite a bit, but that day it was just a little too much to deal with.

6 comments:

M said...

I was thinking about this over the weekend when I was being interrogated by someone my age at a job interview.

I find that people who are truly confident don't need to scream and whinge to assert their authority.

Hope you don't come across too many of these blokes.

Old MD Girl said...

Unfortunately, this type of personality seems endemic in medicine. On the other hand, when I worked in consulting and at a large industrial supply company, it was endemic there too. I think M hit it on the head when he states that this attitude results from a confidence problem. When you're constantly afraid that you're going to lose your job (or get yelled at) because of XYZ, then you're more likely to be authoritarian about XYZ to those beneath you. It's the ripple effect.

And all it takes is one asshole to create this kind of culture.

Liana said...

Hmm, I really thought this was about a "Powder whore" (there's a telemark ski video called that).

I'm sure yelling at students is also considered professional.

Anonymous said...

I went through this when I was in medical school. Give a test administrator a little bit of authority over a group of medical students and they go nuts with it. More often than not these people have nowhere near the student's education level and they really take liberties with their "authority."
But rest assured, as soon as you get your degree you will no longer be subjected to this nonsense. It's all part of the game. Don't let them get to you. To quote my father, "don't let the bastards get you down." He told me this often when I was in medical school and struggled with similar situations. It got me through some rough spells.

Dale said...

in my opinion- docs are underpaid and should be treated with more respect and given more power!

college is no party because of all the premed requirements-
then you take the MCAT-
then if you are lucky and do unbelievably well- you get into medical school
then you are tortured in med school- taking difficult classes, competing against the brightest and best from all over the country--
then you take step 1..then step 2.. then you start applying for residency-- and there is no gaurantee in what type of spot you get (which means you might not become the type of doctor you had been working all these years to become)
then you take step 3

then lets just say you do... radiology
you enter a 5 year residency program
and have to pass an insanely absurd physics test, then a written test- then you have to fly down to kentucky and take an oral exam at the end of your 5th year.

meanwhile as a resident you are treated with less respect and disrespected constantly by nurses, techs, etc..

so brother, any perceived arrogance-- probably is justified.. i have major respect for the docs-- and what they do

amen to you all
especially you radiologists--you guys are the ones that make all the calls in the background and you get no recognition--- except when you miss something-- then you are the one to blame...

much props to any of you crazy mofos who go into this field-- especially with the democrats destroying healthcare- you docs after all your hard work have no chance of any significant financial reimbursement for your life sacrifice.

but thanks--

Isidore said...

It can't work in actual fact, that's what I think.
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