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catchlynall

Signature as a medical student

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Hey everyone,

What does your signature say, as a medical student? I ask because during my course-based Masters degree, some of us made the mistake of putting "MPH Candidate" in our signature. It turns out "Candidate" is an earned distinction for those Masters/PhD students who have almost completed their degrees (passed their comps? I'm not 100% sure on this because it was a while ago).

So, do you put "MD Candidate, 2021"? 

Thanks in advance

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Awesome, thanks!

I was just submitting a manuscript and thought I would add my new medical school student status to the bottom of the cover letter to the editor. I decided not to, though, because the manuscript isn't medically related anyway.

 

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I do just put MD Candidate because it helps clarify in case I forget/don't feel the need to explain in my email who I am.

I think it also just looks more professional in general but it really doesn't matter either way, it's just personal preference really.

I agree regarding your manuscript it really isn't relevant.

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Why would you use "MD Candidate" ?

If you have to write something to someone related to the field or faculty staffs, just write in the email that you are a medical student.

If you have to write something unrelated to your professional life, write your name, that's all. Nobody likes a show off.

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In academia, the only use of the term "candidate" is for someone who has passed their qualification exams towards the "Doctorate degree" (or sometimes for a Master).

Unless you are in a university that requires you to write a doctoral thesis, you're not a "MD candidate". That's a misuage of the title.

When I was working in a lab with a few "PsyD/Ph.D and psychiatrists (M.D/Ph.D)", we received a few emails (by med students) with the famous "MD candidate" in it... We had some good laughs.

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Don't use candidate. Makes you seem uninformed and unnecessarily snobbish. No heavens I'm not a med student, I'm a MD candidate! As though it's a step up. And as pointed out above, it's rightly reserved for those who have passed their PhD candidacy exam as a distinction of where they are at in their program. The definition of candidate is that you have been nominated for something. In a PhD program, students must pass a comprehensive candidacy exam, and then nominated by a panel of professors to meet minimum standards to proceed with doctoral-level research in their area. Only then can they use the term PhD candidate, because they've been selected to do so. Fail the candidacy exam, and you are out of the PhD program. In an MD program or BSc program or whatever you are nominated for nothing. You're a student, and that's it - you've earned and been selected for nothing.

 

Plus, how would you introduce yourself to a patient? Probably MD student, so why would it be different in email?

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What a heated and polarized debate..

I personally use MS-X for 'Medical Student - year of study' as is it concise and official in the US at least. This way, I feel like it's discreet, isn't too pompous and goes to the point for those who know. My signature looks a little like this:

Jane Doe, MS-1.
Name of Faculty
Name of University

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Maybe it's because we're in the profession of medicine, but I feel like everyone in society already recognizes the profession as being prestigious and by putting "MD candidate" - it makes me feel like I'm coming off as pompous or pretentious.

But that's just my own insecurities/anxiety of not wanting to come off like a egotistical jack-ass in any setting (real-life or virtually). I don't judge anyone else for doing it though, I just think, "wow I wish I was that confident"

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I would suggest that you should always be clear about both your status and your ambition. Eg.:

John Doe, 

MD candidate,

University X, 

Future Cardiac Surgeon

 

Joke aside, it is important to correctly inform of who you are, so I think it is okay to write in the email or in the signature or both that you are a medical student. So, like some already said earlier, this what I did :

Hi,

My name is John Doe, I'm a third year medical student at University X, [...]

John Doe, MS-3

 

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Wow I left the forums for a about a week and came back to this lively discussion!

I agree with basically everyone. As a professional, I didn't use an email signature with colleagues or others who knew me. If I was emailing externally, for example, to a journal editor, to a REB, or to another external organization, I added a signature to provide context about my credentials and where I worked. I'll do the same for medicine - but I will put "Medical Student." I agree that "Candidate" is reserved for academic distinctions. I think that should be respected. Plus, you never know how the person on the other end feels.

Thanks for the great discussion! (and jokes haha)

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Just write:

Medical Student, Class of 20xx

University of X

 

If you are signing clinical documents or orders use MSx (x being your year of study). 

 

Myself, on my dictated notes I use:

Dr. Name Name; B. Eng., MD, FRCSC

for hand written stuff I just scrawl my signature and write my last name underneath. 

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Salutations,

My name is _____ and I am a medical student at _______. Blah blah blah.

Byebye or whatever,
Name

A signature in 99% of all situations is really unnecessary. Establish context in your opening line. If the point is to state who you are, do it up front or where it's relevant (ie: I wanna research stuff with you and I have a PhD in whatever from wherever and that makes me pretty comfortable doing this this sorta thing). Otherwise, I feel that you're just putting something as filler to state your level of awesome.

Sincerely,
Justin Trudeau
PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA

My personal favourite is people that put every designation they've ever received in abbreviated format for stuff that most people have never heard of before.......  RCKSTR SMTHNG IMAWSUM HRDWRKR

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I think it's just a matter of preference and the context. 

For example, on all my documents that are submitted to the courts: 

John Smith, JD, LLM

Solicitor

Day to day I sign my emails just J.S. my initials. No one really cares what your degrees and accolades are, but there are situations where this is necessary. There is a time and place for everything. 

I am going to med school, and I don't think I will sign my emails like

John Smith, JD, LLM

MD Candidate 

^ That's kinda ridiculous. My JD/LLM have no relevance (at least from the med school sphere perspective) so adding them there looks odd. 

But, after med, I go into health law or something, then maybe on official docs I will do 

John Smith, MD, JD, LLM 

Cuz that would then be relevant to my field. 

Just my take.

 

 

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On 2017-08-17 at 10:12 AM, NLengr said:

for hand written stuff I just scrawl my signature and write my last name underneath. 

Ditto.  Except I spent 30 bucks on a self-inking stamp that has my name, license number, and billing number on it.  It was a life-changing purchase.

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2 hours ago, ploughboy said:

Ditto.  Except I spent 30 bucks on a self-inking stamp that has my name, license number, and billing number on it.  It was a life-changing purchase.

I have been planning to do this for years as soon as I am staff.  TBH I've kind of thought of just doing it before and just getting a new one every year when my credentials change. 

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