Disclaimer: This post is on a VERY light note and all characters in it are entirely fictional.
If you’ve been in medical school long enough, you’ll find out that each medical student you meet is different from the next. Knowing this provides you with a balanced perspective in approaching medical school and helps you to set realistic expectations for yourself.
Please note that the humor and sarcasm in the labels are a bit exaggerated and the list is by no means exclusive.
1. The Bookworm/Silent Genius
A.K.A The Nerd.
(S)he is your average Joe, who sits in a corner of the lecture room or at the very front to avoid any form of distraction. (S)he hardly talks in class unless asked a question.
Bookworms may be loners or friendly, depending on their personalities.
The school library is usually their second home and they would often stay back after school hours and on weekends to study.
If you need someone to put you through the Kreb’s Cycle the night before your Biochemistry test, just call a
friend, sorry, nerd.
Interestingly, a nerd’s life is not only about medical school and studying. Some have remarkable interests in art, photography, music, nature, or poetry.
As expected, the nerd is likely to be the class valedictorian.
2. The Popular Student/Party-goer
Every class has a Chris (or Chrissa).
That one person who seems to be friends with everybody (or who everyone says “hello” to). Like a magnet pulling objects towards its core, they can’t help but draw attention to themselves.
Chrissa is the fashionista who is up-to-date with her weaves, makeup and accessories. Chrissa would rather finish a season of Grey’s Anatomy than study for her Anatomy test over the weekend.
Chris is the cool dude with the latest ride, phone and wristwatch. He even wears designer shoes. He is also an unrepentant sports fan and doesn’t mind skipping a class or two to watch a game.
Both thrive on fun and have activities planned for every weekday and weekend. They know every interesting place there is in town and often find time to steal away for out-of-town adventures.
As a rule the popular guys are “book-smart” and manage to keep up with their studies, with some performing quite exceptionally.
3. The Activist/Politician
This is Bill.
He is on the face of every bill board in the school.
Bill participates in most, if not all, student events and plays active roles in the student government. He is eager to stand up for (or against) a cause and easily draws a large following.
Bill is also quick to point out the inefficiencies of the school administration as well as unfair student policies, and mobilizes other students into signing petitions.
If you need something done, all you need is to get Bill involved.
Bill is sometimes unlucky enough to get into conflict with the school advisory committee and may even suffer some setbacks academically.
But Bill doesn’t mind, he will do anything for the cause of justice even if it means getting expelled from medical school.
Bill as we know, is likely to run for Global President, a decade from now and we ALL would vote for him.
4. The Nervous wreck/”Water-works” Student
Lisa is fidgety and cries a lot.
She cries at the beginning of the semester on merely seeing the class timetable.
She cries before every test, not knowing if she would do her best.
She cries after every test, not knowing if she has done her best.
Lisa is often the last to check the score board and needs the support of a friend or two, to do that.
She cries if she fails the test, she always knew she would.
She cries if she passes the test, she thinks it’s a narrow escape.
This kind of student needs lots of reassurance from time to time.
It’s not unusual to find her malingering and having to reschedule her tests/exams a few times.
Sometimes, Lisa needs more than a box of Kleenex and a shoulder to cry upon. If she has other psychological issues, she might benefit from seeing a therapist.
5. The Indifferent/Absentee Student
We’ll call him Fred.
Fred hardly shows up in class. And when he does, he is late and never stays until the end.
In fact half of the time Fred is in class, he is on his mobile phone texting or playing a game. And weird enough, the lecturers don’t seem to mind.
As a rule, he is the last to get to the exam hall and always the first to leave.
He never stays around long enough to strike a conversation with anybody and isn’t known to hang out with any friends outside school.
He is such a recluse that nobody really knows where he lives and whether he is a real student or a “phony student” sent in by the CIA.
To add to the mystery, Fred stops coming to school after 1 or 2 semesters.
Maybe Fred was never a student after all!
6. The Know-It-All/Competitive Student
Maria is a smart but bossy student who likes to intimidate others with her smartness.
She claims to know everything there is to know about everything there is to know.
In every class, the Pathology lecturer tells her to wait until the next class before he answers her question- which just happens to be the next topic!
Maria chairs the table in every Anatomy lab session and believes that her dissecting skills are second only to that of the Anatomy Professor.
She dominates every group work and outshines others in every seminar presentation.
To her credit, Maria knows how to go the extra, extra mile in getting whatever task she’s given. No wonder, she’s every teacher’s favorite student.
Maria strives to know the test scores of all the students in class and gives a cold shoulder to anyone who performs slightly better than her.
What type of medical student would you say you are (were)?
I would say I was almost nerdish (“almost” because sometimes I’m in class supposedly paying rapt attention, but my mind is 10000 miles away 🙈🙈).