Blog | Thursday, July 26, 2012

Remember where you started

Have you noticed that too many physicians develop the "big head"? These physicians start to believe that they are as good as the flattery they receive.

Our position in society is very seductive. We receive almost instant respect. And too often we believe that we are special.

But many physicians escape this trap. I can only speculate why some physicians resist temptation.

I think they remember from where they came. They remember who they were as kids. They remember how hard they worked to achieve academic success. They remember being medical students and striving to learn medicine so that they could help patients.

Even "big head" physicians usually work to help patients, but they become jerks other than when with their patients.

Physicians are not unique. The same thing happens to many other successful people. But this blog is about medicine.

So I hope medical students and residents are reading this rant. You have already met the "big head" physicians. You probably have told yourself that you will not turn out like them.

So work hard to keep yourself grounded. Remember your roots. Keep your friends from before medical school, and hopefully they will treat you like the same goofball you were prior to medical school. Remember your inner goofball.

Remember how lucky we are to become physicians. Remember that we are regular people who are doing a very special job, but that does not give us the right to become jerks.

db is the nickname for Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP. db stands both for Dr. Bob and da boss. He is an academic general internist at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and is the Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of UASOM. He also serves as a frequent ward attending at the Birmingham VA Hospital. This post originally appeared at his blog, db's Medical Rants.