How can I get through med school if I dislike group work?
September 8, 2013 8:33 PM Subscribe
I've just started medical school and the emphasis on group work is overwhelming me. I know that medicine is generally a team-oriented profession. I have certainly worked well in teams before, and found it enjoyable. I am affable and pulling my own weight is never an issue. Still, the fact that I have to work in a group for four hours a day, five days a week, is draining me like no other. I am angsty and tired. Please, fellow introverts and independent workers, especially those who are familiar with medical education -- how might you approach working in a heavily team-oriented environment? Details inside.
posted by gemutlichkeit to human relations (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I am very introverted and fairly independent. I am also not a consistently engaged/enthusiastic person, which I feel strongly works against me in our peer and professor evaluations (they evaluate us on how we interact and work with the team) -- personally, I would rather be distant and unengaged than feel like I'm putting on a show for people.
When I am in a group, I am typically not very invested in how the group performs and unless I find that people are grossly incompetent, I won't try to lead the group or impose my ideas on the group. I have confidence in the quality of my work and ideas but like to really think things through before putting forth any of it. Am I doomed to poor evaluations and general agony for the next four years (or the rest of my career) if I dislike group work and demonstrating enthusiasm 24/7?
Other factors that are making things difficult for me:
1) I am not a memorizer, and I tend to prefer learning about ideas over facts. Thus, I am not truly enthusiastic about talking about the material that is covered in the first-year curriculum.
2) I am highly non-confrontational. I also I have a general tendency to think that people dislike me or do not think highly of me, even though I cognitively understand that this may not be the case. There is somebody on my team who consistently makes rude comments that has progressively irritated me over the past several weeks. This makes group work even less enjoyable than it normally would be, but I have not said anything and do not have the self-confidence/assertiveness/general position in the group dynamic to say or do anything about it.
3) I currently probably have some form of PTSD from previous events that is making it even more difficult for me to want to relate to/interact with people. It's not that significant because I know that my personality would be like this regardless, but I figured it was still worth mentioning.
4) Also, when I say that I'm reluctant to consistently exhibit enthusiasm, I don't mean to say that I'm not enthusiastic about my work or about medicine. I just don't outwardly show it all the time.