ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: In The Spirit of Free Speech

Monday, November 22, 2004

In The Spirit of Free Speech

(Note: Names have been changed to protect...well...me)

After parking myself on the couch for the weekend, chips, salsa, and the tv remote in hand (once again inspiring confidence in the future generation of doctors for you outsiders I’m sure), I received a particular bizarre email from an anonymous classmate. It was written by someone who listed his/her name as “I don’t like Rachel” and the email address was dntlkrachel@yahoo.com.

Strange, I thought. Using my exemplary deductive skills that will no doubt translate into me becoming an incredible doctor, I figured that this must have something to do with the mysterious summertime disappearance of the head of the student affairs office, who’s name is also Rachel (how’s that for putting two and two together? Eh? Eh?). Many rumors floated around about her sudden disappearance, ranging from “some administrative bureaucratic bullshit that the higher-ups had to enforce” to “I heard she sold crack to little boys and girls”, but for the last few months the school administration has been silent on this issue. As a result of frustration over this silence and a need to fight the injustices of this world, some students, who likely had delightful encounters with this lady, started an email petition and tried to set up a meeting with the dean of the medical school to demand answers, action, and her immediate return.

However, it appears as if these students have acted too fast. They must have assumed that everyone liked the head, but apparently they were mistaken. Below is the email the mysterious dntlkecharlotte sent out to all four classes:

I think it is important that if you go to the SAO [Student Affairs Office], you emphasize that you only represent those students who have signed your petition. I, for one, do NOT like Rachel, and I know that there are other students, who, like me, feel that the SAO is running smoother and is a more welcoming place without her there. In almost every interaction I ever had with her I felt that she was rude and unfriendly, and I feel that she does not do a good job of making us feel welcome in the SAO. I understand that she was overworked and always too busy - but that was never an excuse to be rude to students. For fear of angering those of you who do like her, we can't as easily march in to the Dean’s office to express our applause for what has happened - and so I only ask that you emphasize that you do NOT represent the entire student body when you speak with the Dean. Thank you.

Which followed later in the day with:

Thank you to the students who have written me to tell me their appreciation for my email.

As one student mentioned, "I have had very similar experiences in my interactions with Rachel, although given the woman's grip on the SAO, I haven't felt safe vocalizing my opinion."

If you agree with this student, please write me back to let me know. If there are enough of us that we wouldn't eventually be risking our own necks to make a public statement, perhaps we can draft a letter of our own opposing Rachel's reinstatement. I give my word to keep your identity completely confidential unless we all agree to draft a letter together.

To everyone else, I apologize for the intrusive emails - I will not send any more.
Thank you.

Wow. Besides once again demonstrating how fucked up medical students are, it is evident that I am obviously not the only person who has a lot of time on his hands. I’d like to ignore the fact that this person chose to remain anonymous (thus losing a lot of credibility – ok if you’re going to call someone out in front of everyone it seems reasonable that you shouldn’t hide behind anonymity) for now and instead consider how this new form of email social action can be used to address other problems with medical school (at least in my experiences so far). So without further ado, I give you the great anonymous email activists of the future, appearing in an inbox near you (and before you call me a hypocrite for hiding behind my own veil of anonymity, I'd just like to point out that this is meant for entertainment/my own cathartic purposes, and if I ever felt a need to make someone look bad in front of 4 years worth of medical students, the administrative staff, and the deans, I promise I will put my name at the end of the email):


Dear Complete Waste Of Space,

I like it that you don’t interrupt lecture and disrupt class too much. In fact, I don’t even know your real name. But when you do talk, it is like taking the noise from nails on chalkboard, multiplying that by a billion, and then adding the vocals from Lindsay Lohan’s song (without the accompanying slutty images). Why, you ask? Well, you have a way of making all of us medical students look bad when you talk. For example, a while ago a doctor came in to announce small group pairings, but she was not aware that the groups she was reading were incorrectly organized. However, rather than just quietly laugh at her and the uncomfortable confusion she was creating, you had the gall to raise your hand and ask “Umm. Are you sure you aren’t supposed to be teaching the first years or something?” Now this lady had obviously made a mistake, but she did not get this far in life by being a complete idiot, which is what it would take to not know which year of medical school you’d be teaching for the next two weeks given the amount of scheduling preparation that goes into this sort of stuff. So don't call her out as a total idiot in front of everyone. From now on, could you please do us all a favor and never talk ever again? Thanks a bunch.

P.S. Don’t think I forgot about you, Frenchie – yea, you are involved in this email too. Just because a guy gets up and lectures to us about a French disease and mentions that he is French, that doesn’t give you the right to raise your hand and start talking in French to the guy while the whole class sits there and listens to you show off. I hope a plague of French bread filled with anthrax rains down upon you for eternity. Not that I’m bitter or anything, but honestly who does that?


This is for you people that can’t control your hands in class. You know who you are. For the sake of humanity, STOP PICKING AT YOUR FEET AND FLICKING YOUR DRIED UP FOOT JUICE ON US. I swear if you keep doing this I’m going to collect these specks and make you eat them, vomit them up, and eat them again.


Dear classes of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008,

I’ve been sitting on my hands about this for a while now, but things have seriously gotten out of hand. A doc told us once that we were entitled to nothing, which may not be true. But what is true is that we aren’t babies who need to have everything handed to us on a silver platter. You all keep complaining about the most ridiculous things – “We should have every lecture powerpoint given to us a week in advance!”, “We insist that the administration clearly tell us how letters of distinction are awarded so we know who’s ass to kiss!”, “We refuse, REFUSE, to accept any mistake in an optional self-assessment!”. Seriously guys, this is getting out of hand. Any day now I’m expecting the “We demand our own personal helper midgets to carry our books and provide the occasional massage and/or sexual favor!” If you keep complaining about the stupid shit, they won’t bother to listen to you when something really bad happens. Like, say, oh I don’t know…an entire block run by people who are completely inept at organizing or presenting material? So from now on, please follow this simple rule:

1. Shut the fuck up
2. Calmly suggest your ideas to the student representatives so they can a) do their job and b) more calmly present the actual good ideas to the people in charge, which is how it’s supposed to work in the first place. See, it’s just that simple.


Hey you, Mr. Block Chair. Ya, I’m talking to you. You seem to have a problem with a lot of us coming a few minutes late to class sometimes or leaving early if the lecture is painfully boring. Look, it’s hard to get 150 people to show up at the same place and the same time for anything, much less a painful lecture about perirectal bleeding or the miracles of biostatistics. We’re busy and lazy students, and the shit you keep dishing out is so boring I keep having to restrain from taking my pen and shoving it through my eye, pulling it back out, and shoving it up my neighbor’s ass just to stay awake. But if that was just the problem, then I would have been complaining since the start of medschool. No, this is much worse. See, you just had too get all snotty with us, didn’t you? Remember that [cue British accent] “Never in my years at Oxford, Yale, or San Francisco have I ever seen such behavior in students!” line? Well I do. And if you know what’s good for you, you better just shut the fuck up from now on. We saved your asses in World War II, so stop biting my ass every time I’m a little too hung-over to get to class right on time or if I have to leave an atrocious lecture before I kill myself.


Dear Mr. You Don’t Belong Here,

We’ve all been together for more than a year now. 150 people coming to lecture, sitting for two hours, and getting up to leave. As is the case in any lecture-based class that lasts more than two weeks, seating arrangements have been extensively established. The cool kids sit over here. The question-askers sit over there. The sleepers sit in the back. And, as has been a tradition since about week 3 of medical school, the talkers, joke-makers, and hybrid talker-sleepers sit in the upper left corner. This is how our class seating plan has evolved, and everyone has been living in harmony for a long time. However, a few weeks ago, for some inexplicable reason, you took your old, attentive, engaged with lecture Mormon ass and transported it alarmingly close to the upper left corner. Since that time, you have shushed us, whistled at us, and came very close to uttering whatever weak curse word you people are allowed to say on many occasions. Just what exactly were you expecting? It has been firmly established that the hours of 10-12AM are the social hours for the upper left corner. I just wanted to write and say that no one here likes you. We all want you to leave and go back to where you came from. No, not the center of class. We mean 1975, when none of us were around and you could whistle and shush all you want.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny stff. way more entertaining than tv

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fake Doctor - Keep 'em coming, man. Your blog makes me laugh as hard as watching Jon Stewart's Daily Show. Making the irritating, infuriating, humiliating, [insert more -ing's here] realities of everyday life into funny commentary is a gift.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. You Don’t Belong Here must have been a big jerk who really had it coming. Afterall, he committed the worst sins/crimes possible: he was "old, attentive, engaged with lecture" as well as being a Mormon. Or perhaps he just had to move from his normal spot but still wanted to learn. Regardless, the rant was funny but maybe not the way it was intended.

6:26 PM  
Blogger mir2003_07 said...

HAH. I have just found your blog and thought I would let you know how amusing I find them. I now have something to occupy my time when I'm procrastinating my own medical curriculum aka self mutilation. And your hate letters...wonderful. I spend alot of my time writing some myself. Nothing like releasing tension through the use of insults, explicatives, and annoying people bashing in general.

1:18 PM  

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