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ninja7292

Medical Student v.s. MD Candidate

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Which would be the appropriate term? I see MD Candidate 20XX a lot but if you ask anyone on Reddit they will tell you that's a big no-no because we aren't candidates in the same sense as PhD or MSc students, there is no dissertation or defense or whatever. However, Medical Student Class of 20XX seems too long... How do you address yourself (e.g. in signatures of emails/linkedin).

Personally, I use Medical Student (20XX)...

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My name (always)

Medical Student, Class of 2020 (if it's not someone I know directly)

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke (if it's not someone from my own university)

 

As you've mentioned, saying "MD Candidate" is a no-no.

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It is commonly done - but I do not think that necessarily means that it is an expectation. To me, an email from one's university email account, with a statement introducing yourself as a ** year medical student at ** University would be equally professional without coming off as overly formal.

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lol I signed off as MD Candidate throughout med school and didn't even realize it was frowned upon
no one ever gave me flak for it or disadvantaged me in any way that was perceivable

I don't think ppl really care what your email signature is, they barely care enough to read the first line of your email body and send you their one-word replies

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Personally, I don't think we need a signature at the med student stage.

Being this far down on the totem pole, nobody we are emailing professionally is going to be confused about or much care that we are a "MD candidate". In the body of the email, you will introduce yourself as a medical student at whatever level of training and from which school. That should suffice.

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I never used an email signature with my graduating year. If it was relevant, I mentioned it in the body of the email. 

There were a few more formal letters and such where I included “MD Class of 2018” under my name, but that was only a handful. 

Wouldn’t bother with the signature in your place, to be honest. 

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I agree with the preceding two posters and also don't add a formal signature at this point, but to each his/her own.  Used in the right context, formal signatures can add to increase  professionalism, but as a student, I think there's not much gain, except in maybe very particular situations.  
 

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On 6/8/2018 at 6:15 PM, MDinCanada said:

Is it the norm to have a signature as a medical student (or only in extremely formal e-mails)? I always sign off with my first name. 

Signing off with just my first name. Establishes dominance. B)

At the very least it allows your name to carry weight.

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On 6/8/2018 at 5:35 PM, ninja7292 said:

Which would be the appropriate term? I see MD Candidate 20XX a lot but if you ask anyone on Reddit they will tell you that's a big no-no because we aren't candidates in the same sense as PhD or MSc students, there is no dissertation or defense or whatever. However, Medical Student Class of 20XX seems too long... How do you address yourself (e.g. in signatures of emails/linkedin).

Personally, I use Medical Student (20XX)...

Correct. MD Candidiate is nonsensical. But most people won't know the difference. 

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On 6/8/2018 at 2:35 PM, ninja7292 said:

Which would be the appropriate term? I see MD Candidate 20XX a lot but if you ask anyone on Reddit they will tell you that's a big no-no because we aren't candidates in the same sense as PhD or MSc students, there is no dissertation or defense or whatever. However, Medical Student Class of 20XX seems too long... How do you address yourself (e.g. in signatures of emails/linkedin).

Personally, I use Medical Student (20XX)...

Here's my thinking. This might actually bother some people so why risk it. During PhD studies, you are officially a 'PhD student' until you go through what is known as a comprehensive exam. It's basically a defense of your proposal where the committee's objective is to decide if you have matured enough in your academic thinking to start on your project. In the worst cases, students spend several grueling months reading and writing to prepare for this (not to mention the year or two of general perperation like course work etc.). Only after your committee has deemed that you are mature enough do you get to call yourself a 'PhD candidate.' The truth is the vast majorities pass this step and many already have a project or two under their belts. And this is really a formality in many places these days. But here's my point: this will annoy a few people familiar with the process and might really irk people who have actually gone through this (especially the older generation) because you have not passed a formal maturation stage on your studies - in fact, we don't know anything yet. But here's the kicker, no one will ever tell you not to do it because they don't want to seem like a stickler. So you put it on your signature because it sounds flashy and 95/100 people can't give a shit while 3 are annoyed and 2 are pissed. Why would you take the chance and come off as naive, or worse, arrogant because you like the 'ring' of 'candidate' after your email. I say UXX MD Class of 2021. It conveys all the information you like without any of the risks.

BTW OP, I'm using 'you' in a more general sense btw to make my point.

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Candidacy is restricted to research doctorates after completing the qualifying exam. Using 'MD Candidate' makes the bearer either seem like they don't understand what a candidate is, or that they have an exaggerated opinion about themselves. Since it's a bit pea-brained to signal ignorance and/or brag to complete strangers, I think it's more prudent to write (if anything at all):

 

Name, graduate degree if you have one (MSc, PhD, etc)

MD Student, phone

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1 hour ago, PhD2MD said:

I don't understand why this debate is ongoing. It's pretty simple: there is no such thing as an MD candidate. Unless you're trying to hide the fact that your a student, title yourself appropriately as an MD student.

Agloe, a copyright map trap, was a fictional hamlet that became a real landmark because people kept visiting it, expecting to find it. Language is the same way. I’m actually on your side and think it’s a bit much to call yourself an MD candidate. But it’s important to recognize that language evolves and if enough people start calling themselves MD candidates (and if med schools start referring to their students as MD candidates), then soon, there will be such a thing as an MD candidate. So while I agree that MD candidate is an absurd title, I don’t think the debate can simply end because of the way we’ve traditionally defined the term. 

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30 minutes ago, premed647 said:

Agloe, a copyright map trap, was a fictional hamlet that became a real landmark because people kept visiting it, expecting to find it. Language is the same way. I’m actually on your side and think it’s a bit much to call yourself an MD candidate. But it’s important to recognize that language evolves and if enough people start calling themselves MD candidates (and if med schools start referring to their students as MD candidates), then soon, there will be such a thing as an MD candidate. So while I agree that MD candidate is an absurd title, I don’t think the debate can simply end because of the way we’ve traditionally defined the term. 

I’m going to start calling dogs “bears” and see if it catches on. If enough dogs identify as such and if breeders call them that too then it’ll gain traction. 

You cant reinvent the definition of a word. It’s use and definition can broaden, but the base definition remains. So when it’s use goes against how it’s defined altogether (like MD Candidate), it’s not a matter of language evolution, it’s a matter of people not understanding the definition.

Moral of the story, it’s MD Student. Just like it’s BSc Student, and how residents are residents and not “neurosurgery candidate”. Even in PhD, it’s student until you become a candidate by passing your CANDIDACY exam. 

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8 minutes ago, ZBL said:

I’m going to start calling dogs “bears” and see if it catches on. If enough dogs identify as such and if breeders call them that too then it’ll gain traction. 

You cant reinvent the definition of a word. It’s use and definition can broaden, but the base definition remains. So when it’s use goes against how it’s defined altogether (like MD Candidate), it’s not a matter of language evolution, it’s a matter of people not understanding the definition.

Moral of the story, it’s MD Student. Just like it’s BSc Student, and how residents are residents and not “neurosurgery candidate”. Even in PhD, it’s student until you become a candidate by passing your CANDIDACY exam. 

This is getting more philosophical than anything, but who’s to say you can’t call a dog a bear? Language is nothing more or less than a set of sounds we as a collective have attributed to certain “things”, abstract or concrete. You just need enough people calling a dog a bear, or or an MD student an MD candidate. 

Believe me, I’m surprised I’m defending the people who call themselves MD Candidates, but I have to begrudgingly acknowledge that the way we’re embracing the concept, it’s all but official at this point. Call it whatever is most comfortable for you and live and let live. Cheers. 

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I think I might have put "MD Candidate" in my signature back in the day but I honestly don't remember. It looks dumb and pretentious in retrospect. 

And really it's just putting on airs next to FRCPC. #staff

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