Ever since I made my post about why I didn't do dermatology, I've gotten responses reprimanding me for implying that dermatologists are all terrible people.
They're not. Back in the old days, it was much easier to match in derm. And I'm sure the people who trained back then are nice people. Just the new ones are terrible.
(Or am I?)
One of the responses got me thinking about my own classmates who matched in derm. There weren't many of them, and yes, they were very very competitive. They were the ones who fought to have every exam postponed, who showed horrible behavior during clerkships that made everyone hate them. Future dermatologists: if you want people to stop saying you're terrible, stop doing things to make us hate you! (But you can't, because then you won't match in derm...)
Then I got to thinking about the people in my class who were junior AOA.
For those of you not in the field, AOA is the medical honor society. In most schools, a few people get elected early to AOA due to just being totally awesome. And these people are called "junior AOA."
In my class, there were five. Four of them were incredibly competitive, very cutthroat students. They actually had a fair amount of charisma as well, which meant that they weren't quite as hated as maybe they could have been. But believe me, if you were on a rotation with any of these students, you got to dislike them. Or possibly even refer to them as "the devil incarnate."
Those four matched in ortho, plastics, derm, and rad onc. Coincidentally, none of them had their interest sparked by peds or family medicine.
The fifth junior AOA member, the only female, was a little different. She was a little quieter and more studious. I never heard any horrible stories about her behavior on clerkships. And then when match came along, she failed to match in the surgical subspecialty of her choice and had to settle for general surgery.
Five students. All very smart. All very good at studying and getting high grades. Four matched in highly competitive specialties, one didn't. Apparently, being smart and studious isn't enough. Being a huge competitive jerk is requisite to getting what you want.