Why Do Other Students Hate Medics?

Why students hate medics So then, where do I begin? Quite frankly, this article could fill the whole edition, but for now, I’ll try and keep it brief.

Before I begin I should probably explain a little about myself. As a graduate medic, there was once a time when I was also just a ‘regular’ student and so have partly shared in the perspective of the other side on occasions – it’s amazing how things can change!

I remember when in the first week of term my medic friends all jetted off to a swanky black tie ball held in Cardiff City Hall, then on Saturday nights to their own separate union, because the normal one for the rest of us just wasn’t good enough, furthermore they would always be constantly up to some exciting group endeavour – be it that of rafting down the River Taff, going on some charity based road trip, ‘ jail breaking’ -not literally, obviously- all of which seemed to be meds only – a tad frustrating. On top of this, individually they seemed to have already acquired so much life experience that Sir Ranulph Fiennes would look agoraphobic in comparison.

Over time certain resentment built up against this super-active clique and from what I gathe, it would seem attitudes towards medics haven’t changed too much as only before Christmas did a friend tag me in the delightfully named article ‘ All medics are twats’ – an article that was responded to in this very section at the start of the academic year.

In breaking it down, there seems to be a few common threads of hatred. Firstly it’s the cliquey element which can seem very exclusive rather than merely inclusive. Even though the average student can cognitively appreciate why this happens – intensive teaching hours, separate facilities, societies, sports teams, future colleagues and the rest of it, there becomes a natural feeling of almost tribal jealousy towards this tightly knit group of over achievers. In a desperate attempt to avoid sounding arrogant, it seems that it’s that secondary note of frustrated jealousy that underpins a lot of the following reasons of student displeasure with us. Nowadays, medicine is the hardest subject to get into university for and is very much heralded as the pinnacle of middle class ambition and success – and it’s not just medics who feel that social standard. Everyone knows that to get into medical school can be pretty difficult and therefore if you ever do achieve it, then it says something about that individual. You can usually assume that they’ve attained excellent academic results, have won multiple trophies, done some good, hard, earnest character building work and life experience, are loved by their family and friends and in more recent years have probably single handily built an orphanage in Africa.

As a result a certain hierarchical status is attained – deservedly or not – and for all those students who wanted to study medicine but couldn’t; think that they’re more intelligent but are not getting the same ‘kudos’ or are genuinely the most committed doctor-to-be out there and then bewilderingly witness the outlandish behaviour – of a kind you can sadly, and often, associate with medic sports teams – of those who got it in, there quickly develops a bitterness in response.

On the note of sports teams I wouldn’t be surprised if the recent debacle over the future of medic sports teams stems from this angered student body – in the form of BUCS this time. I mean let’s face it – how many times do medics actually play for the university side as well as the medic team versus how often does a non-medic want to play for our teams – not to mention they have their own internal department teams. To me this is just another outburst of petty jealously that has gone too far. Having said that there was a time when I may have felt differently! I would suggest the reason for this is similar to the slight disparity which I recognised ‘back in the day’ and now, and that is the reason most often touted as the necessity for medic only teams is that our timetables are so busy – and they really are – that Wednesday afternoons are just not compatible for us. However, it does seem that most medics, especially in the first 3 years do get most, if not all, Wednesday afternoons off for sport! Either way, I want to keep our sports teams now! And this is because, whether there be a logistical reason or not, it is part of our history and part of the medic bubble that we now surround ourselves in. Following that theme I do think there is a difference between going to university and studying a subject of interest and choosing a directly vocational degree whereby you know that your fellow classmates one day will be working with you. Hence I’ve said since the start of this year that I read law at university, but now I am in medical school; A subtle difference but one that is noticeable nonetheless.

So in the style of a nice and balanced summary, whether it’s because of all our ‘exclusive societies’, our hopefully guaranteed job at the end or the occasionally unsubtle superiority complex of our colleagues – people hate us, because they just want to be us!

By Oliver Davies

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