A reader asks, “Why are medical students such assholes? The same people are in charge of EVERYTING. It seems like they’re all licking each other’s asses.”
At my own university, we have about 20 students in my class who run every organization from student government to most of the interest groups to even the choir. These people got elected into positions of power as freshmen while most people were trying to study and then spent the next four years appointing each other to positions so they could pad their resumes in attempts to land an elusive residency spot. Watching them work is like visiting the zoo and watching the monkeys pick nits out of each other’s hair. At the end of each year, they hold self-congratulatory parties in which they circle jerk to let the rest of the student body know how awesome they are for organizing the spring formal and judiciously dispensing student government funds to the registered groups on campus.
While I have no problem with someone wanting to become involved with extracurricular activities on campus, there is certainly a line that people cross when they join organizations for the sake of holding leadership positions. I’m the president of one of my campus’ interest groups. I have a vice president who has never been to a meeting, a secretary who has not returned an e-mail since last July, and a treasurer who has no idea how much money is in our budget. In a sense, I’ve had to run every officer position in the club over the past year and frankly, I’m quite annoyed that other students would run for positions without any intention of following through on their leadership responsibilities.
The other line people cross is mistaking leadership for dictatorship. I know quite a few people who believe that barking orders to others is the only necessary component to leadership. Our last class president was completely ineffective at his job and needed the secretary to plan and organize every event from social functions to the teacher of the year award. He would then gladly take credit for all of the effort put forth by others. While I would like to claim that he is an idiot, his move was actually very smart. If a residency committee were to acknowledge the accomplishments of our student government, he would automatically gain credit simply from his position.
There really is no other way around the situation. You can try to ignore it during your four years in medical school. Some people just need to be in charge and there is nothing you can do to stop them, unless you plan on running against them in the next election.