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My advisors are morons

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I'm a third year medical student now.  I did fine up until now.  I want to enter dermatology, probably one of the most competitive specialities in medicine.  I met with my clinical advisor and the chair of the department and they are morons who just care about board scores.  They are so strung up on board scores and don't even look at you as a person.  This board score is a test you take on one freaking day with no opportunity to retake.  It has a standard error of like 10 points.  It has very little to do with actual clinical medicine.  Yet these dimwits at my school seem to hold it to such high regards.  I did about average on the test which is depressing in its own, but to be belittled because of it is even more discouraging.

 

I'm depressed because I have to deal with these minions to get my letters of recs in.  They don't believe in research here, but research plays such a large role at top tier medical residencies.  Yet, they don't see the value here (no wonder this school isn't going up in the rankings).  I have a very substantial amount of research in my field of choice but all they do is downplay it.  It's so irritating to sit in a room with them.  

 

I've been depressed for like 6 months now for getting an average board score (I needed to get in the 75+% nationally to make my life easier to match at a top program).  I let myself down.  These advisors are making it worse because they are feeding into my depression by just focusing on this part of my application (my sole and glaring weakness).  This is going to me a rough next 6 months because they are asking me to do an unreasonable amount of work to "make up" for the average board score (taking our next boards early on top of our clinical rotations).  This whole process just sucks.  Medicine sucks.

 

Sorry, this is really depressing that I just can't take a standardized test to save my life.  

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HI,  I am not in medicine but in a related field, that also required board scores, residency, etc... I am sorry that you are in this situation... it really does suck, but you obviously are very bright to get this far, and all you have to do is get through the next 6 months and move on...  I also generally have not done well in standardized tests... but many of us don't and end up doing work that we are meant to do, despite our less than perfect scores! Please try to be good to yourself... you did the best you could and will likely be an awesome dermatologist.  Best wishes, Lex

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Yeah it sucks. It's all hoops to jump through. If you want to get ahead of the competition, you gotta suck up to the right people. Whether they are stupid or not, they are in power and you aren't, so you have to do what it takes for them to like you or they'll recommend someone else.

If board scores are what they care about, you gotta show them what they want to see. I think that is important for you to overcome, letting go of personal resentment against your superiors, because in the next six months they will evaluate you. As you will continue to be evaluated by superiors throughout your career.

They can either have a perception of you as a candidate who fell short of their expectations, and carries a negative attitude about it - or as a promising doctor who just needed some extra time (in their opinion) to cram for a test. It doesn't matter that both may be fictions, it's their opinion that counts to getting your residency, not your own. I not agreeing with them, but I think it's in *your* best interest if you can not hold their views against them, so you can put them and their failings behind you.

It does infuriate me, to be judged impersonally based on a crappy standardized test and not given full consideration of my capabilities and the work I've done. Especially when I see people I know who can pass tests but can't do actual work get ahead because stupid people in power like them. I just hated doing what they told me, and wanted to do things my own way.

Sometimes the people you think are making stupid decisions have their hands tied and the decision is from higher-up telling them not to accept test scores below a minimum. So being resentful at them doesn't accomplish anything. I know holding onto my resentment did not help me get ahead in any way.

I wish you courage to let go of your personal dislike for your advisors, approach your next board with a clean positive thoughts that will help you succeed! Don't hold anger in your heart. Believe that they want you to succeed, and this is their imperfect misguided way of helping you. Tests can be 'figured out' by preparation, repetition, tricks, and massive memorization. You can do it!

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3 hours ago, 4amRedLight said:

Sometimes the people you think are making stupid decisions have their hands tied and the decision is from higher-up telling them not to accept test scores below a minimum.

Very true! While I'm not a fan of standardized testing it's become somewhat of a necessity. How else should they evaluate people? You'd have to take everything about a person into account... Person A had a bad day, person B can't perform due to a bad childhood, person C has test taking anxiety, person D needs a break because of depression. It simply isn't possible to consider and accommodate every person's unique situation.

Standardized testing is a reasonable way to filter candidates in a competitive environment. It's both fair (everybody gets the same opportunity) and unfair (no leeway for anyone facing unique circumstances) at the same time. 

Like @4amRedLight I also think that you need to let go of your anger toward your advisers, it's nothing personal and having a bad attitude is counterproductive and only adds to your stress. 

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