The third year of medical school is a lesson in humility. In the OR, you’ll invariably cut the suture too short, or too long, or too slowly. On the floors, the one laboratory value you haven’t checked is the only value vital to the patient’s survival.  And just when you think you know everything there is to know about a disease, the Attending Physician will keep asking you questions until you’re stumped, a fun game known colloquially as “pimping.”

The goals of pimping, to me, are three-fold in nature. In order of importance, they are:

1. To make the attending physician look/feel very knowledgeable.

2. To make the medical student realize how little he/she actually knows.

3. To teach the medical student something useful.

On rare occasions, however, pimping a student can actually backfire on a doctor. Who knew?

Continue reading...