The Dark Side of Medical Education – Premed Through Residency

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Session 78

Sess 78

Ryan and Allison talk about the dark side of medical education which starts in the premed world with “goners” as most people know them. Additionally, the Academic Medicine Journal published by the AAMC also released several articles talking about medical student mistreatment based on the responses to the medical school graduation questionnaire.

Listen in to help you become more aware of the dark side of things in the medical school journey and what you can do to deal with each challenge that comes along the way.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Ryan and Allison:

The Dark Side of the premed world:

Scut work

Scut work is an activity that is asked of you without any educational value or doesn’t involve any direct patient care (ex. cleaning up bodily fluids, getting coffee for a resident, picking up laundry)

The “gunner” philosophy

Gunners make it miserable for everyone. They are the people who will tear you down and write things on the forum just to make other people bad. They will purposefully sabotage and cut down everybody else to gain an advantage.

The Dark Side of Medical School:

Mistreatment of medical students

  • 17-20% of medical students report mistreatment
  • Huge increase in the percentage of students aware of the school’s policy on mistreatment from 50% in 2000 to 89% in 2011; however, there was no increase in the percentage of students reporting any mistreatment.

Factors for students not reporting mistreatment:

  • Medicine as hierarchical in nature
  • People think this is normal


PIMP is an acronym for Put In My Place. Historically, pimping is a way for an attending physician or resident to ask questions about disease processes or surgical procedures to test your knowledge during rotations; which is something that you really need to prepare for.

Pimping vs. berating

Pimping has the goal to try to educate you on the value of coming prepared for a case but it’s a different story when the physician is already cussing to the point of berating you. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel you’re being berated.

Duty Hours

The cheap labor of residents. As a resident, you’re being paid roughly 10/hour for heavy work.

Subjective Grading

Majority of grades are calculated based on the subjective evaluation of residents and attending physicians supervising you on the wards. A lot of education you have in your 3rd and 4th year are provided by your residents and sometimes they may not be the best teachers.

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

If you are mistreated, speak up. Do not put up with it.

Have you ever been mistreated? What have you done about it? Share it with us by leaving a comment.

Links and Other Resources:

Academic Medicine Journal

Session 17: Step Up Your MCAT Prep With the Princeton Review

Why Failing Med Students Don’t Get Failing Grades – New York Times Article

The Princeton Review – Save 10% off of the MCAT Ultimate Classroom or Live Online Course – Promo Code 2 minutes in!

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