Medscape Video Editorial on "Pimping" Medical Students

Christine Wiebe of Medscape has recorded an interesting video editorial on "pimping" or "hazing" of medical students (free subscription required):

"Pimping" students on hospital rounds is an age-old practice that forces them to be prepared and to think on their feet. At some point, however, the "tough love" approach to medical training crosses the line into abuse."

She quotes a medical student blog:

"It seems that the first thing they do to us on entering school is to strip us of our soul... Before you realize it, the sweet and caring person who once chose this course to care for human life, turns into a monster that couldn't care less for the human. . . "

As a disclaimer, I do teach medical students and residents at Cleveland Clinic but I have never done nor I am planning to do any "pimping," which can be broadly defined as making somebody uncomfortable by asking questions in a certain way. I generally try to ask stimulating questions in a friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere which I believe promotes better learning and work relationship.

Asking: Or Is It Pimping? Doc Gurley, 08/2008.
Image source: Medscape.

Updated: 09/02/2008

1 comment:

  1. I'm so tired of the pimping from medical school to residency. It often seems mean and more about hazing than about learning. I really love learning and appreciate the time some attendings take to teach us. Yet too often the abused become abusers. How would,the attendings like it if their peers heard what they don't know about a new subject? The process serves to intimidate to the extent that most students/residents won't admit they don't know something since they are being graded by the attending. This is unsafe. Times have changed and with the rapid turnover of pts, signoffs, sheer number of pts, number of labs, number of tests, following docs who are double booked, going home post call, to clinic, etc etc etc. No...residents do NOT have it made. I worked 5 30 hr shifts at Christmas...over 100 hr weeks often. Many of us will likely be jaded...feel entitled the rest of our lives from the suffering just like many attendings. Half of my medical school class admitted in a questionaire that they had contemplated suicide after being kept near failing despite being honors students. Asking questions is okay esp if not grading the student so they can ask questions, pimping is not right. It must stop.