Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Welcome to the flock

Sometimes it seems that in order to get by and do well in the world of medicine, you have to become a clone of those who have gone before you. We have already been advised that we are now walking advertisements for our profession, and as such we are to conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects the rest of the medical "club".

We are to dress, sound and look like everybody else. If we don't, we could me misrepresenting the rest of the doctors and students, and people would think less of us as a profession.

Now, I realise there is a huge difference between a medical students who discusses patients in a disparaging and unprofessional manner at a party and a student who chooses to wear a loud scarf. But how much do you really need to conform and play the game to get by?

Part of my concern probably stems from the fact that I am very good at being myself, and while I am a compassionate, professional and responsible person, I don't know how good I can be at fitting the "mould" that we seem to be given. Moreover, I honestly don't think I WANT to learn to become somebody else.

No, I am not one of those people who is cruel to others under the guise of "honesty" and "helpfulness". Really, some people seem to be able to turn any flaw into an asset just by changing the word they use to describe it.

Yes, there is a professional mask that you put on when you see patients. It is like that in every single job on the face of the planet. But I wonder how much damage laying low and acting like everybody else in the flock is going to ultimately do to me as an individual.

After all, I have had an entire life before now, and am a well-rounded and stable personality. I know myself very well. I LIKE the person I am. How much of this is going to change in the coming years?

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