A while ago, I came to work and one of the attendings Dr. Kenalog had a young man standing next to her. I initially thought was a new fellow or resident, but then decided he looked awfully young for that. I mean, I know residents all look really young, but this guy looked just a little too young.
Dr. Kenalog: "Dr. Fizzy, I'd like you to meet John, he's a high school student who's doing research in the neurology department."
Me: "Hi, John."
John: "Actually, it's Tom."
Me: "Oh. Hi, Tom."
Dr. Kenalog: "Right, so Tom is very enthusiastic. He's only 13 and he's already in 10th grade. Isn't that amazing? He skipped two grades. Which two grades did you skip?"
Tom: "Kindergarten and 5th grade."
Dr. Kenalog: "Also, he's never been to summer camp. He always works!"
Dr. Kenalog: "Tom wants to be a neurologist, right?"
Tom: "Actually, I want to be a geriatric psychiatrist."
Me: "Gosh, that's awfully specific."
Me: "You know, there's a really great geriatric psychiatrist who works here."
Me: "He might be able to talk to you about the field, if you're interested."
Dr. Kenalog: "Tom, I don't think we have any other patients right now. Do you want me to find you a computer to work on?"
Tom: "No, that's okay."
Me: "Do you have any questions you'd like to ask me? I recently finished training, so I could talk to you about getting into med school and how to prepare. Do you have questions?"
Me: "So I guess you're pretty confident about getting in, huh?"
Geez, I just wanted to smack the kid by the end. I mean, show a teensy bit of interest or enthusiasm or humility or SOMETHING. Dr. Kenalog and I were talking about him later... she thought he was way overconfident and I thought he was maybe a little shy. I've hypothesized that nobody who has skipped more than one grade can possibly be normal.