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Pre-meds Sabotaging other pre-meds


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  1. 1. Have you ever been sabotaged before by another pre-med?

    • Yes!
      21
    • No!
      60
    • Almost!
      16


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I'm curious, as someone who has been sabotaged before by another pre-med student which almost caused me to fail one of my lab reports, What are your thoughts about this topic? Any stories that some of you have experienced before and are willing to share? Any advice on how to spot a sabotager and what to do if you've been victimized?

https://www.goodcall.com/news/pre-med-culture-010987

I understand that this article is technically from the US but I still think that its still quite relevant to Canada.

Lastly, please answer my short poll.

Thank you all! :) 

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That's ridiculous, I would not want this type of person as my doctor. I've never been sabotaged, but I also tend to keep good relations with everyone in my program and have a very tight friend group of "premeds" that I completely trust. They know that I would help them at any time, and I know that they would help me at a time of need.

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Sorry to hear that, how did you end up dealing with it? I didn't hang out with many pre-meds, and my classmates/lab mates have all been pretty chill. The few pre-meds I know have always been happy to share class notes and help out if you're stuck on an assignment. I think the only thing close to sabotage was when someone told me Queen's doesn't do acting stations for their MMI (I'd like to believe it was because they were also misinformed), but that was quickly debunked.

It feels like a big part of the problem (at least from the article) is grading on a curve, so students have to fight to be at the top in order to obtain a certain letter grade. Rather than deflating grades, fairer assessments that give the professor the average they want would be much better for the student environment. From what I've seen, no one at my school really had much to gain by getting someone else to fail, tbh, since we never get curved down (they only ever get curved *up*, when the class average is below the B/B+ target).

Frankly, I would hope that if someone had been like that throughout their undergrad, it would show during interviews, because this sort of behaviour and attitude is not conducive to healthy working relationships. There will always be competition for residencies, fellowships, positions, etc., and if they're willing to resort to these shady acts in undergrad, and are rewarded for them by successfully gaining admission, it's scary to think what else they'll be willing to do.

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I'm glad that the majority of the people who answered my poll has not experienced any form of sabotage from other premeds. :) I don't really think that anyone can gain anything from sabotaging other people, pre-med or not. Sure, you may get a small leg up in the game but Karma will bite you back in the end!

 

On 6/9/2017 at 10:30 AM, 1997 said:

That's ridiculous, I would not want this type of person as my doctor. I've never been sabotaged, but I also tend to keep good relations with everyone in my program and have a very tight friend group of "premeds" that I completely trust. They know that I would help them at any time, and I know that they would help me at a time of need.

I agree with having a tighter and more closer group of friend compared to having too much, which was in my case. I simply trust people too much and I guess that I need to be a little bit more vigilant. :P

 

On 6/9/2017 at 11:33 AM, Sauna said:

The most "premed" thing I've ever done was in second year: I used to have a crush on this girl but she already had a bf so I convinced myself that he prob has a shit GPA to feel better about myself.

I've grown a lot since then pls don't judge me haha

No judgement on my side here! But I have to admit, that's pretty funny! :D Glad that you've grown a lot since then!

 

On 6/9/2017 at 0:18 PM, lulu95 said:

Sorry to hear that, how did you end up dealing with it? I didn't hang out with many pre-meds, and my classmates/lab mates have all been pretty chill. The few pre-meds I know have always been happy to share class notes and help out if you're stuck on an assignment. I think the only thing close to sabotage was when someone told me Queen's doesn't do acting stations for their MMI (I'd like to believe it was because they were also misinformed), but that was quickly debunked.

It feels like a big part of the problem (at least from the article) is grading on a curve, so students have to fight to be at the top in order to obtain a certain letter grade. Rather than deflating grades, fairer assessments that give the professor the average they want would be much better for the student environment. From what I've seen, no one at my school really had much to gain by getting someone else to fail, tbh, since we never get curved down (they only ever get curved *up*, when the class average is below the B/B+ target).

Frankly, I would hope that if someone had been like that throughout their undergrad, it would show during interviews, because this sort of behaviour and attitude is not conducive to healthy working relationships. There will always be competition for residencies, fellowships, positions, etc., and if they're willing to resort to these shady acts in undergrad, and are rewarded for them by successfully gaining admission, it's scary to think what else they'll be willing to do.

I was actually sabotaged on the due date time for my lab report. Our school is extremely strict with handing things on time, especially online since the portal shuts off. I'm not going to lie, some part of it was my fault and it was my own responsibility to know the exact time of the due date. However, I was already starting to fall behind in class since I had 5 courses to juggle, volunteer and work to manage. I was in a frantic state to finish the report at that time so I asked my so called premed "friend" when the due date was and he told me that it was due at 11:59PM... Little did I know that it wasn't due at 11:59PM... It was due at 11:59AM!! I believed him since most of my assignments that had to be handed in online from my other classes are due before midnight. But this wasn't due before midnight, it was due before noon... :( 

When I found out that I couldn't submit my report, I panicked really hard... You know that feeling? I felt like my stomach sank and my heart started to beat faster and faster... After I recollected myself, I started to think logically again but I never once thought of blaming my "friend" since he must have been misinformed too... right? 

I quickly emailed my professor and explained to him what happened and attached my lab report along with the email. My professor told me that he would give me some partial marks for completing the report and I accepted his offer even if its just a passing mark (it was a 50%). I know that its not even that bad but I worked my butt off that 8 page detailed report...

I later found out from my "friend" that he handed his lab report on time and when I asked him if he was late he began chuckling... He then straight up laughed at me for believing in him and told me how "naive" I was. Man, he really showed his true colour there... I thought that I had met someone that I could trust but that trust was completely broken... 

Long story short, I distanced myself from him and his toxicity. I still see him around the school but I rather avoid all contact with him. We sometimes have to volunteer together and as much as I want to avoid him, I know that I have to keep things professional and separate my personal life with my job, even if its just volunteering. 

So yeah... That's how I dealt with the situation!

Ohhh!! One more thing that I forgot to mention, after my late lab report, I NEVER missed a single due date and I always handed my lab reports and other assignments at least 1 day in advance. Just in case! ;) 

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On 6/9/2017 at 11:33 AM, Sauna said:

The most "premed" thing I've ever done was in second year: I used to have a crush on this girl but she already had a bf so I convinced myself that he prob has a shit GPA to feel better about myself.

I've grown a lot since then pls don't judge me haha

You monster!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I definitely did many times especially in my first 2 years. Although I never really fell for it as I had other info regarding what some of these people were saying. I'd say it definitely fucks with your head. I had trust issues with people I had to work/volunteer with. This made me isolate myself... I later decided to switch to another program.

I still run into these people when I volunteer or do anything a typical premed does.  What I found for my school and area was that most people who who were part of this culture were from the city and I found this behavior most common with students with an immigrant background. Majority of the people with immigrant backgrounds at my school were South Korean or Arabs. They always seemed to misguide people. I found that people who were from the city and went to the same high school as them had the same behavior regardless of whether they had an immigrant background or not. They also mostly misguided people who were not in their clique. 

I myself grew up in a rural town and went to a high school that had more of a friendly competition. From my experience those who were from rural towns had less information as they were the first in their family to go to university. They were more likely to fall in this trap.  

 

All in all, in the past 4 years I seen a majority of these people struggle in their academics or were not successful applicants to med school. Many settled for pharmacy programs after 3rd year or switched to completely different programs.  I feel that they spent a lot of time focusing on how to misguide people rather than work hard and become a competitive applicant. 

 

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2 hours ago, mollypercocet said:

What I found for my school and area was that most people who who were part of this culture were from the city and I found this behavior most common with students with an immigrant background. Majority of the people with immigrant backgrounds at my school were South Korean or Arabs. They always seemed to misguide people.

 

...Is this really necessary?

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Well, I start my first-year in September so I haven't actually experienced any sabotaging (and I hope I never do), however, I find some irony in people striving for a career dedicated to helping people who, for lack of better words, cannot help themselves, going out of their way to make it harder for others to succeed. That's the part that really itches me the wrong way. Maybe I am still overly altruistic because of my lack of life experiences. :)

But we are only human, and I can definitely see the rationale behind sabotaging your peers: you want to be admitted to medical school so badly that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get in, even if that means purposefully derailing others. Nevertheless, I’m sure there are other things you can spend your time doing that will make you a more desirable applicant; I don't believe that an individual confident in their grades, experience, etc. would find the need to minimize the capabilities of others.

I'm crossing my fingers that when I'm stressed out over mid-terms and exams next year that I will still uphold these beliefs and help others.

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47 minutes ago, SunAndMoon said:

 

...Is this really necessary?

I see what you're getting at, but in my experience and school I know these were the types of people who would sabotage others.  

It could also just be that these were the same type of people and they hung out with one another and learned the behavior. 

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FYI: Unfortunately, this still carries on into residencies and at hospitals.Not that everyone does this, but there are quite a few who do. I feel that its just because most people are insecure and jealous.  Moreover, other factors come into play later on too, like trying to maximize yearly billings so that doctors can meet their $X goal. 

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"Trust, but verify"

Even without assuming ill intent on the part of others, I know that people can be well-meaning but mistaken about details - certainly I have misremembered or misspoken on occasion. So when I was in undergrad, I would essentially never rely on word-of-mouth for information on courses, requirements, etc. if I could obtain it directly from the official source instead.

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5 hours ago, Lactic Folly said:

"Trust, but verify"

Even without assuming ill intent on the part of others, I know that people can be well-meaning but mistaken about details - certainly I have misremembered or misspoken on more than occasion. So when I was in undergrad, I would essentially never rely on word-of-mouth for official information on courses, requirements, etc. if I could obtain it directly from the source instead.

Thanks for adding this. Yes, sometimes people forget or mix up what they saw/hears.

I'm talking about instances like when this girl kept telling me that there was a genetics lab exam that I should be studying for instead of studying for the upcoming ochem quiz. Or when someone I worked with as a teaching assistant this past year told a first year student of ours that majoring in sociology will never get you into medical school, so she should try for health sciences or any other science  because adcoms would award more points for a degree in health science/sciences.

This was very common in my classes: "I didn't even study/I studied last night for that final and got an A+. If you can't learn this quick, you'll never make it to med." I saw these people study their asses off the summer before and spent 99% of their free time at the library. 

One of my lab partners would either not answer my text or answer when it was too late when I needed to clarify our results, but when he was in the same position he would constantly call me and text me. This same guy screwed over someone else after telling them that he was going to send the results to his partner after the lab, but never did and his partner had to go see the instructor for sample results.

 

On the positive side of this, I did meet someone who was very helpful and did not mislead people.  Unfortunately, we never became friends because I was having major trust issues and I left the program. 

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Interesting topic. I usually lurk, but thought I'd add my 2 pence. I've heard horror stories about U of T where students rip pages out of books at the library to sabotage others. That is more indirect sabotage of randoms, but I have never heard of anyone actually sabotaging someone directly. At most, "sabotage", if you can even call it that, from what I've seen, is when someone has to work in a group of poor students. That is as bad as having someone directly sabotage you because it's like reigning in wild horses. 

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On 7/3/2017 at 7:48 PM, mollypercocet said:

Thanks for adding this. Yes, sometimes people forget or mix up what they saw/hears.

I'm talking about instances like when this girl kept telling me that there was a genetics lab exam that I should be studying for instead of studying for the upcoming ochem quiz. Or when someone I worked with as a teaching assistant this past year told a first year student of ours that majoring in sociology will never get you into medical school, so she should try for health sciences or any other science  because adcoms would award more points for a degree in health science/sciences.

This was very common in my classes: "I didn't even study/I studied last night for that final and got an A+. If you can't learn this quick, you'll never make it to med." I saw these people study their asses off the summer before and spent 99% of their free time at the library. 

One of my lab partners would either not answer my text or answer when it was too late when I needed to clarify our results, but when he was in the same position he would constantly call me and text me. This same guy screwed over someone else after telling them that he was going to send the results to his partner after the lab, but never did and his partner had to go see the instructor for sample results.

 

On the positive side of this, I did meet someone who was very helpful and did not mislead people.  Unfortunately, we never became friends because I was having major trust issues and I left the program. 

 

This doesn't seem like sabotage. It's just people talking out of their butts. Words only affect you if you let them, and in this instance, simply reading up about medical admissions solves the above problem pretty easily. You'd have only yourself to blame if you listened to other people and didn't do your due diligence. The reason I say this is because I know what you're talking about. During my first year Biology course, I had a TA that was gunning for medicine, though she never tried to sabotage anyone in any way. She did, however, say a lot of things that I disagreed with and some were either plainly speculation or patently uninformed/behind the times. However, her TA status added weight to the conversations so I can see how some people would be influenced. I doubt she was doing anything to harm anyone, as mentioned. Like your scenario, however, it is just talking. There's no crime against talking casually, which is why they say talk is cheap. Generally, anyone can afford the consequences (which are nil 99% of the time).

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On 7/3/2017 at 2:29 PM, Lactic Folly said:

"Trust, but verify"

Even without assuming ill intent on the part of others, I know that people can be well-meaning but mistaken about details - certainly I have misremembered or misspoken on occasion. So when I was in undergrad, I would essentially never rely on word-of-mouth for information on courses, requirements, etc. if I could obtain it directly from the official source instead.


This. 

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