This morning I happened to stumble upon an article called “Top 5 Reasons to Dislike Pre-med Students”, and I have to say, I found it pretty offensive, and more importantly, inaccurate on the most part. What took me by surprise was that it never occurred to me that such stereotypes of pre-med students even existed. I mean yes, we all want to study medicine and become doctors one day, but what’s so bad about that? To sum it up, the author of this particular article believes that pre-med students “are willing to give everything up — hobbies, athletics, even their curiosity — for the sake of a high-paying job as a body mechanic” . He doesn’t stop there…
These are the points that the author makes:
1. Pre-med students are not motivated by curiosity. When they ask questions, it’s usually because they want to find out what will be coming on the upcoming exam.
2. They haggle with their teachers to get extra points.
3. They use questionable tactics to get good grades (meaning they resort to drugs such as adderall, provigil, and Ritalin, or they cheat.)
4. They hoard leadership positions and then run organizations into the ground.
5. They game the system to get good grades.
I’m honestly offended by these generalizations. If I’m asking my professor a question, it means that I’m secretly trying to find out what he’s bringing on his next exam; I can’t be asking because I genuinely want to know? I’ve attended science classes where some of my fellow students would ask questions that would lead to fifteen minute tangents, and moreover, they wouldn’t drop the question until they found out the answer. Medicine is fascinating, but so are many other subjects. Students of every field can ask questions they don’t really care about; I don’t see why the author would limit this to just pre-med students.
Next up, we haggle with our teachers to get extra points. Perhaps the author didn’t consider that maybe when we go up to the teacher to ask about a question, it may be because we want to know where our mistakes are OR that maybe we felt that we answered in a way that deserved more points. Whatever the reason may be, this claim is completely unjustified and really shallow, if I may say so.
And now, my absolute favorite accusation yet: we use drugs and/or cheat to get the grade we want. Hmmm, that’s odd because in every science course I’ve taken, my professors made sure that every person sitting to my right, left, front, or back had a different version of the exam than I did. Other than this type of cheating, I honestly cannot think of another effective technique. I mean write down all 10 steps of glycolysis on a sheet of paper? Will they all even be able to fit on that discreet shade of white without anyone noticing? And drugs? Must I say anything more?
There’s no point on picking on poor pre-med students because these generalizations can work for anyone studying anything. Pre-med students just happen to be more ambitious, more driven to success, and more willing to sacrifice what means to them most to achieve their dreams. So please, don’t hate if you can’t do the work.
Here is the link to the full article if you’re interested: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/04/top-5-reasons-t/