Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pre-Professionals and Teeth Collecting

I encounter pre-dents/vets/meds/pharms/ect all the time at school and over the internet. I go to a small SMALL liberal arts school. In fact, I am pretty sure I am the only pre-dent that got accepted and there were only three of us. Of the 20-some odd pre-meds, only 5 or 6 ended up taking the MCAT and only 2 got in anywhere. Granted, I am only referring to kids in my class, so who knows. My interactions with these students are usually quite normal and often fun.

However, once one enters the mysterious void known as the internets, things get frightening. The Student Doctor Network is a prime example. Whilst it provides a vast amount of information for the generally clueless pre-professional, it also contains numerous pitfalls that are often difficult to ignore. Namely the population.

I don't know about you, but when I post on the internets, I'd like to think I was sending an email or having a normal conversation over long distance. However, the anonymity of the internets for some reason empowers people to be, quite frankly, total jackasses. You ask for some friendly advice and suddenly you get bombarded by all these faceless pricks berating you and talking as if they actually hold some authority.

A great personal example would have been my first post made about a year ago. I was asking for information about OMFS and Ortho and what were some ways to get exposure in dental school early enough to rule one or both out. I was simply curious as these two fields initially drew me into dentistry as a whole and you can only get so much from shadowing. The first response came from some kid who was JUST admitted to dental school and he essentially told me I was a clearly only in it for the money for being interested in those specialties and that I shouldn't even consider specialties until my third year of dental school. Seeing as you usually have to apply to specialities during your third year, having an idea if you are interested might be something you want to know beforehand..but hey, I might just be insane.

The best part is that this douchebag, who had the audacity to insult me, made a post in the residency forum about getting into OMFS a mere ONE WEEK after attacking me. I would hardly consider the spring/summer before starting Dschool as "the third year." This is the kind of crap you must be prepared to deal with. The hippocracy is almost painful.

For every genuine, helpful, friendly person you find; there will be 10 other complete assholes that try to demoralize and belittle you. Don't try to fight them online either, you will end up looking just as stupid.

Note that most of these people are PRE-dents/med/ect. In fact, you will find that while sarcasm still runs rampant amongst residents (particularly OMFS), they will actually back up a statement with sources. If you ask "what are my chances" in the pre-dent forum, you will get all these random responses from supposedly learned 20-year olds telling you what is right and wrong.

Granted, I will admit that I too have offered advice to the next wave of applicants. However, I try not to overstep my bounds. I don't answer specific questions about dental school because..well..I haven't started. I usually like to leave a disclaimer that I am merely stating OPINION not FACT. You also will get drained really quickly if you spend too much time on the SDN forums. The level of incompetence and downright mean-spirited behavior is very disconcerting seeing as these are my potential peers/colleagues. I simply reassure myself in knowing that the only real brats online are the PRE-whatevers while the actual students seem too busy to really post much of anything.

On another note: Collecting extracted teeth is getting me stressed. I already hate calling random strangers on the phone for pretty much anything - lets just say its a minor phobia. I am fine in person, fine over email, but something about the phone gets me uncomfortable. So imagine the joys I had calling random OMS offices asking if I could collect teeth.

Well I only called two so far...that is how many it took me to realize that most oral surgeons play golf on wednesdays so nobody is open. However, both messenger services reps were very friendly and gave me better times to call back and took down my info.

I just don't get phone etiquette. This was really the last dental school thing I wanted to get started before break ended and I still have a few days, so hopefully I'll get at least 2 jars going tomorrow. FUN!

Remember the immunology snafu? Well I got all the records from the last physician that was supposed to send them to the NEW physician, and signed a release for some copies. Of course the secretary forgot to give me the Hep B report so I had to go back after realizing it was missing. Than she couldn't find anything official - aside from some scribbled log notes that one could barely distinguish the dates for my 3 vaccinations. I hope those are official enough for the current guy to sign off.

Speaking of which, I had to leave all these papers at the new office, and pray they don't get completely mishandled/lost before the doc can sign them and mail them back. I was so nice I even left an addressed envelope to inspire them to get it done and sent, hopefully this isn't just wishful thinking.

The temperature is great outside, too bad it comes in tandem with a thunderstorm.