If you’ve been a premed student or med student long enough chances are you’ve heard of StudentDoctor.net (herein referred to as SDN). Now granted, the title of this blog entry is a little extreme, but I think it highlights some of the dangers of SDN. I want to examine the world of premeds when given a vehicle like the interwebs to connect with one another.
SDN has a core group of members on there that are typically sane and dole out sound, constructive advise to lost premeds that stumble onto the forum. These people are usually, but not always, attendings, residents, or med students that have been in their program for a while. They are seen posting well thought out posts that aim to direct and guide the lost premed to information whence they can help themselves hopefully. They rarely seem to get drawn into some of the darker parts of SDN. These are the guys I want as my doctors. 🙂
Where to start…?? Searching SDN for anything remotely controversial will bring out the worst the board has lurking in its shadows. Searches like “DO vs Caribbean MD” or “School X vs School X” or heaven forbid you search “MD vs DO”. It is in these threads that you find some of the most twisted logic and entrenched beliefs on both sides of these ‘debates'(I use that term loosely :P). Trolls abound these wasted plains. You’d do best to do your own research on such topics, lest you waste away hours(much like I did) scrolling through pages of nonsense and cyclical arguments.
SDN represents is a small percentage of the total premed population that has a majority on these forums. I call this small bloc “hyper-premeds”. Students with mediocre grades are told there’s no way that they could hope to achieve their dreams. This forum has been known to be anxiety provoking in even some of the best applicants. Take a look-see around the “What Are My Chances?” section and you’ll see the battered souls of premeds that offered up their stats only to be crushed and defeated. What do they care? Less competition for them. This is the part that makes me sad; to see people’s hopes crushed. I hope all the premeds and others on SDN eventually grow out of that mentality once they get into med school or once they start working in the real world because I gotta tell you, if these are the kind of attitudes I am going to working with as my colleagues, I don’t know if I want to be a doctor quite so much anymore. Yeah…I’d still be a doctor anyways and tell em to shove it. 😛
All kidding and blowing things slightly out of proportion aside, the moral of this long-winded story is: Take almost anything from SDN with a very large pinch of salt, do your own research, ask questions of people who have been down the path you are looking to travel (not the kid next to you in the same boat. How the heck would he know what to do?!), draw your own informed conclusions after doing said research and querying and you’ll do fine. What do you readers think? SDN good or bad? Taint or saint? Cheers everyone!