Backstabbing and Board Scores
According to the Wilson Phillips song (or Ecclesiastes, depending on your cultural background) there is "A time to love, a time to hate." This was definitely a time to hate. One of my good friends at Vandy had been humiliated and it infuriated me. The details aren’t important (if you are at Vandy, I’m sure you have already heard), but what was most surprising about the whole ordeal was how shocking it was that it happened at all. One hundred and four type-A overachievers used to being number one in everything: by all rights our class should be one giant ring of continual backstabbing. One would expect this undercurrent of undercutting to be med school status quo, but sometimes expectations and reality are two very different entities.
At Vanderbilt there is a community among the students. I have never felt a spirit of competition from my fellow classmates but rather one of mutual goals and purposes. We might have different backgrounds but we are all trying to tackle the same overwhelming amount of medical knowledge and this common cause unites us. I guess this idealization of our academic interaction was what made the aforementioned offense so egregious. Even if it was provoked (which I doubt) there was no justification for the action.
I guess it is some consolation that the rumor mill is already in full force and the offender will be identified and routinely vilified by our class. However, it’s hard to think that this is the action of a future MD. No doubt this person will have excellent board scores and most likely match highly, but if those are the qualities that ultimately define an excellent physician, I’m in the wrong business.