Letters to A Young Resident, II: Stop Apologizing

Okay, before you immediately start to object: this isn’t meant to be blanket statement.

There are times when you should absolutely apologize in medicine, medical mistakes being the number one reason to apologize, and well.

But for the majority of residents who are not psychopaths, and certainly among majority of first year and female residents, the problem is, in fact, over-apologizing.




As a Canadian, and as an only daughter in an Asian household, I understand your pain. Politeness to the point of discomfort is practically the mortar of my being. I grew up differential and soft-spoken. I lived within the rules set by school, by parents, and by society. When coloring, I drew crisply within the lines. And it worked well for a while: the quiet, nice girl who puts her head down and does her work well may not be well known, but she is certainly well loved (if and when she is recognized).



I would argue that medicine is no place for this sensibility.

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Rx for Daily Life: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior AKA How Not To Be A Creep

This is a little change of pace from norm.

But I suppose it has some merit in a relatively medical related blog because:

  • I once read in some dopey magazine article on female nerds that the category of hot nerds is usually comprised of “girls who wears Tina Fey glasses and is probably in medical school.” (At which time, I was in medical school, still wearing glasses, extremely flattered, and clearly took this article to heart.)
  • Medical schools are basically breeding stables that corral some of the most intelligent and good-looking people around.
  • Doctors are both sexy Halloween costumes and a role-play thing.

So, would you, dear men of the world, be interested in catching the attention of a pretty and intelligent woman with an altruistic heart, who will go on to earn a significant, stable income, and owns a white coat perfect for public and private use?

Well with great intelligence and beauty comes a lack of tolerance of the uncouth and ungodly.

So here is a Rx for Daily Life: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior. Continue reading

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