God Complex MedBrane

Oh, that awful God Complex!

Has anyone ever told you that you will become arrogant when you enroll in medical school, and especially when you finish it? Someone told me that, but why?

This time, we will move away from the topics of stress, anxiety, and studying and focus on the topic of the vanity of medical students (and doctors), or closely related phenomenon called The God Complex or God Syndrome. Since I have had a considerable number of medical interventions in my life (as a patient), I have encountered different types of doctors. Some have been extremely successful in their jobs and yet so kind and helpful, while some of their equally successful colleagues have been the exact opposite in their behavior.

I have always wondered why this is. I was interested in what kind of person I would be after completing medical school. Will the patient’s face light up when they see me, even if they are in pain? Will I always stand up for my patients’ rights, and will they even matter to me? If someone needs medical help near me when I am not on duty, will I respond or continue with what I was doing up to that point? There were many questions, and I continue to ask them to myself.

Vanity from the first day of medical school

When I enrolled in medical school and began to get to know my colleagues from my year, as well as those older than me, I saw that many of them behaved as if they were a superior species compared to their peers from other colleges. Not only did they look down on students from “easy” colleges, but they also looked down on their colleagues with whom they shared their everyday life. Some only socialized with those they knew could be helpful to them when studying, while others did not exist for them. They knew how to hide professional literature, scripts, old exams, and much more, thus ensuring themselves a “advantage.”

MedBrane Doctors Sense of Superiority

Exam results

When the exam results were announced, hardly anyone would look for only their name on the list. When they started showing us the results only by student ID number, some began recording the ID numbers of those they considered competition and thus recording their results and competing with them. The atmosphere in the classroom amphitheater became increasingly toxic. When we sat for coffee during breaks, I heard colleagues whispering while scrolling through Instagram: “Look, she says studying all day every day, and she’s studying economics.” or similar.

What influenced my decision to study medicine?

I remember when our high school teacher asked us what we planned to study later, a few of us in the class said medicine, to which she said, “Yes, because other colleges are just courses for you.” Of course, this is far from the average teacher’s attitude since this particular one was truly special, but that assumption that I was studying medicine out of a desire to prove something and for status in society deeply hurt me.

I have been saying for years that I want to study architecture, until the moment I had to undergo an emergency knee surgery and met my doctor, whose kindness impressed me. I admit that until then, until I was twelve years old, I thought doctors were some higher beings, people with extraordinary skills, but cold and unfeeling. When I met this doctor and saw how he addressed patients of all ages, how he tried to remember everyone’s names, joke around, explain every step of treatment until it was completely clear to you what situation you were in, all while carrying an incredible amount of knowledge in his head that saves lives.

He treated hospital staff he met while walking through the department, from janitors to medical technicians, with such respect. I was fascinated and started idealizing the medical school right there in my hospital bed. I thought most doctors were like him.

Expectations vs. Reality

I thought that infinitely empathetic and warm colleagues would greet me after enrolling in medical school. I lived under the belief that everyone who wanted to study medicine did so out of a desire to help others. However, soon enough I learned I was wrong.

I realized that many wanted to enroll in that college because they would then be considered privileged members of society, more valuable than others, respected and well paid. I wondered what fed the ego of those still practically “kids”. I understood then – parents and society. When we talked at the beginning of med school about why we chose medicine, one colleague said, “Well, because of the M.D. in front of the name.” Even some professors continued to feed the ego of such people by advising us that we should always highlight our title whenever introducing ourselves to others.

As time goes by, there is no shortage of ego food, and colleagues become more conceited. Recently, a colleague told us not to hang out with people with a GPA below 3.8 and that everyone with a lower GPA would kill their patients tomorrow. The same colleague stated that she was not the Red Cross (ARC), and that she did not want to share her part of the presentation with a colleague so that she could also get a good grade. I can’t help but wonder what kind of doctors such colleagues will be. Maybe they will be top-notch experts in their fields, but hated among their colleagues and patients. What changes in their behavior will be brought by the M.D. in front of the name that awaits them in a few years?

There are also many great medical students!

Of course, not everything is so bleak, I must emphasize that there are still students who will always help you. Some of them will always explain the part of the material you don’t understand, point you to new learning resources that will save you when you’re in a time crunch and the exam is approaching. They will always think of you when it’s time to register for exams or remind you of our college obligations. At times, you will also be able to help them, and together, you will be able to overcome all the difficulties you encounter.

Your MedBrane

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