Thursday, August 18, 2011

Training with babies

When I was in med school, I had the following conversation with another student, who was studying medicine as a second career:

Classmate: "I still remember during Operation Desert Storm, my college roommate put up a sign on our window to protest."

Me: "I don't remember Operation Desert Storm very well. I was just in grade school then."

Classmate: "No, you weren't!" [thinks a minute] "Oh my god, you were! Oh god! That makes me feel so old!!!"

Of course, he was only in his late twenties, but I guess it's kind of weird to be 30-ish and training with students who are 22 and fresh out of college (like me). Personally, I think if situations were reversed, I would have been bothered by all the young whipper-snappers.

The average age in my class was 24, which was probably the median age as well. It definitely seemed like there was a disconnect between the students in their late 20s and the under 25 crowd. It seemed like the older students had their own group of friends. Although frankly, I thought we were the more mature ones, in many ways. I may not have known as much about the world as they did, but at least I never made obscene gestures with a banana during histology lab.


  1. I had a friend of my younger brother's ask me who Captain Planet was when I brought up the name. THAT made me feel old.

    And yes, I noticed the same thing in our class, that those in the over 25 set generally all hung out together and didn't have much to do with us young'uns. Of course, they were all married/engaged, and several were trying for kids, so I think they had a lot more in common than with the rest of our class (our average class age was 23 according to our dean)

  2. Well, as a threeapplicant currently hoping to start at 27, I'll probably try to avoid the ' younger than my little brother' crowd just to feel a little less fail...

  3. Most of the really really big differences evened out by the time clerkships were over. I think it was the "having a job" thing. Mostly the issue for me was that they still liked to do college things (like get violently drunk), and I'd stopped doing that years before. I liked some of them, but didn't hang out that much because of this sort of thing.

    Once someone suggested I hang out with the other married students, since they were sure to be more like me. I thought this was sort of annoying. First off, people who get married at 22 tend to be WAY different than people who get married at 29. Second, it's like telling a black person that they might like someone else just because that other person is also black. Like all married people become old, parental, and republican as soon as the rings get exchanged.

    The only other thing that annoyed me was that I felt sometimes like some of them were hanging out with me BECAUSE I was old. Like it somehow made them more mature as a result, or that I was the token old person. Peculiar.

    Still, it's really amazing how mature a lot of them were though. I.... am not. That is probably why I didn't find the age difference to be THAT bad.

  4. iamnothouse: Captain Planet and the planeteers!!!

    OMDG: Now that I'm an old married person, I do feel like I'd rather hang out with other people who are married. I definitely wanted to do different things when I was single than after I got married, because when I was single I wanted to meet men! Not so much now :) Plus you can do couplesy things with another married couple.

  5. How does a banana fit into histology lab? I'm intrigued.

  6. F -- Yes, I love hanging out with my friends WHO ARE IN THEIR 30S who are married. The 22 year old marrieds are just different in intractable ways.

  7. T: When you are immature, you can fit a banana into anything.

    OMDG: Oh, I missed that part. There were a few 22 year olds in my class who were married and all but one were extremely religious. The one who was not religious was divorced by the end of the first year. So I agree with you. Although I think by 24 or so, the married people were more mainstream types.

  8. I was older when I did my undergrad (late twenties). I found that though many of my classmates were almost unrelatable in their youth (read: getting pissed on the weekends), many were brilliant, insightful and driven. Some of my closest friends now are 10 years younger than I am. I've imagined that medical school will be the same: some 35yo boys and 22yo men.

  9. hahahah I DEFINITELY would have made inappropriate gestures during histology lab...mainly because I thought it was so boring. I was 25 when I started. Thank goodness I can't think of funny jokes when I am actually in a situation or bananas + histology lab would have = hilarious.


  10. Good lord you are making me feel old.

    I'm 30 and have my applications in for medical school. I've been married for 12 years and have kids. I do worry about my opinions of any younger classmates that I might have.

  11. I still remember Captain Planet. I don't remember any of the villains anymore though.

    I think late 20s/early 30s is an awesome age group to be in. The non-married recent graduates (most of the time) still haven't outgrown the need to get piss drunk and then wickedly hungover the next morning.

  12. I'm 31 and one of the oldest students in my M3 class. Also the only mama. I definitely gravitate more towards the older students when it comes to friendships, just because they better understand my priorities. That being said, I have become close friends with many younger students too and they really love my kids and often treat me like a big sister. I also have been able to gently encourage them to grow up a little bit (I.e. maybe not get drunk and party EVERY weekend.) :) But the times I make references to Friends and they have no idea what I am quoting because they were 8 when that show came on the air, well then feel old!

  13. Want to feel really old?

    If The Wonder Years came out now, and looked back the same amount of time, it would be about a boy growing up in the early 1990s. The soundtrack would probably have a lot of Nirvana.

  14. Scrub ninja.... Mission accomplished! My husband and I were just talking about how most of my classmates never listened to Nirvana, at least not in the nineties, while in junior high or high school, while Kurt Cobain was alive.

    I had a similar moment last week. I mentioned the Vioxx recall and the only person in my group who remembered the story was the attending. That hit me.

    My other favorite from last weekend...
    Me: "I am 31"
    Classmate: "really, you don't look old"
    Me: (ummmm thanks?!?)