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Walking Into a Minefield

C. is a classmate and friend of mine – she is currently on her O&G rotation
J. is an O&G resident who is good friends with K.

Tuesday Morning:

C: “J. just texted me and said that Dr. – is blind!!! Is that true?”
Me: “Um, no, she’s not.”
C: “Do you know know what’s going on with her?”
Me: “Yes, but I don’t think it’s really appropriate for me to talk about it.  If you want to know about it, you should ask her.”
C: “No worries, I was just kind of shocked.  Glad it’s not true.”


C: “I just thought I should tell you about something.
Some people were talking about Dr. – and her being blind.  I told them that I didn’t think it was true.  They asked me how I knew that and I said that you told me.
Then they said, “Oh, why does she know anything about it, why is she so privileged?”
I told them that she’s your mentor or that you guys are friends or something and then someone said “Oh, well hasn’t she set herself up nicely for residency, then?”
Then someone else said, “don’t worry, she’s in for quite a shock if she gets into residency here.”

That’s nice.

I knew that being friends with K was going to cause a few difficult situations for me as a resident.  In fact, DH and I talked about it while we were on vacation and he thought that perhaps I am walking into a minefield.

K has a strong personality – she’s one of those people who you either really like or really don’t like.  I know that, and it’s funny, because I think I can be like that sometimes too.  Quite a few residents don’t like her much because she is strict, she is detailed in what she wants, and she can get quite upset if things go wrong.  And, in obstetrics, when things go wrong, they go wrong fast and they go wrong badly.  That’s just a fact.  So, it’s no wonder that tensions can run high and people can get mad and feelings can get hurt.

It is inevitable that I will one day be in a position where K is supervising me and I make a mistake and it causes a problem.  The question is, how will the aftermath all go down?  I don’t know, but DH suggests that I should be prepared for her to “tear me a new one” (as he so kindly phrases it).  That thought it horrifying.  Not because I can’t handle being yelled at or reprimanded by a superior, but because I don’t think I can handle that level of disapproval from K.  There is one kind of mine.

I guess there is also the possibility that she would never treat me that way.  That would be great and it would show a huge level of mutual respect if she is able to address the situation while keeping my dignity and our friendship intact.  However, what happens when the other people (residents, nurses, etc.) realize that she treats me differently than she does other people?  Well, that’s just a whole other problem to deal with.  No one likes a pet, and no one likes when there are different standards for different people. There is another kind of mine.

So if starting residency in this program, with K essentially as my boss, is like entering a minefield, that above conversation makes me feel like I may already be dodging some bullets.  Gossip is gossip, and who knows what people mean by it all.
Are they pissed off that I am friends with her?
Do they think that I am using her as some kind of strategic move?
Are they jealous of me because I am well liked by her and some other staff?
And, what do they mean by saying that I’m in for a surprise – that I’m going to see the “real K?,” or that being friends with K will actually do me more harm than the good they perceive it will do for me?

Either way, I was pretty grumpy after hearing about that little conversation.  I know the real reasons why I am friends with K and I hate feeling like people think I am just using her.  I also hate feeling like I need to choose between being friends with her and being a resident in this program.  I know I need to talk to K about it, especially since she said that she’s been doing a lot of thinking about it too.  Last night I mentioned to her that I wanted to talk about it, in light of something I heard, but now I’m beginning to get anxious about the impending conversation.

8 thoughts on “Walking Into a Minefield

  1. Geez – I certainly don’t miss those days! I’m sorry you are going through this (though I am so, so curious as to where you are going to school! lol!!). I remember the O+G “keeners” when I was in 4th year and doing rotations (I never matched the first time and chose family medicine in the 2nd match which was totally the best thing that could have happened to me). I hated the keeners, partly because I just wasn’t one of them myself, which is probably why I didn’t get into O+G!

    My best advice is to just ignore them. Actions speak louder than words. Do your job, be the best medical student you can be, impress who you need to impress and let the chips fall where they may.

    As for what it will be like to work with KM – I think it’s important to realized that you will have a professional relationship and a personal one. Keep the professional relationship at the hospital. Never bring the personal relationship to work and vice versa.


    1. Thanks, I appreciate your advice! I think you’re right: I need to just make work a place for the professional and home a place for the personal. I guess the problem comes in when you have social interaction in the work place…

      Anyhow, I’m sure if you scoured my blog enough, you’d probably be able to figure out where I live… ;). It is obviously not where you are, since I consider it way too cold outside to run. Although, maybe you are just more hardcore than me!


      1. Oooh! A challenge!

        As for the cold, surprisingly enough I do enjoy colder weather running compared to sweltering hot. I think I’m most happy running around 10-15degrees Celsius. (Totally just gave myself away!) lol!


        1. Well, given that it was fairly temperate across the country today, that doesn’t help me much… But I would be pleased with winter weather like that!


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