Friday, November 10, 2006


Why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they at ease who deal very treacherously?

I've recently lived exactly the kind of competition I find so distasteful and referred to in an earlier post. I'm working in the same department with a classmate of mine, and a week and a half ago, I saw a fantastically interesting case. Fantastically interesting, by the way, coming from a doctor or doctor-to-be generally means the patient is screwed. Fret not, this guy will live.

But his case isn't the point. The point is, this case is really rare, in that the condition itself is about 1 in 200 000 or so, and to have the right combination of enivronmental factors to bring out the manifestation we saw...suffice to say it's never been written up before and will undoubtably be published now in a major medical journal.

I saw this of course, and asked my fellow (the cardiologist I'm working with) if I could write the case up for publication. He said yes, and I started writing. Meanwhile, as we were only the consult team, we transferred the patient to the inpatient team. The inpatient team happens to contain my classmate, and as we made the transfer, I told him that I was writing the patient up. So, what did my classmate do? He talked to his fellow, and three or four staff cardiologists, and started writing his own article. And since the staff heard about it from him first, he gets the article.

I have only rarely been this displeased with another human being. He completely exemplifies the backstabbing, look out for number one attitude I despise in the ultra competitive medical student type. And though I very much doubt I'll have a say in his life in the future, right now, I'm fairly certain if I did, it wouldn't be a positive one.

Which is of course unhealthy and unchristian. And though I'm not going to actively work to undermine him, I don't think I'll have to. Surely karma will catch up with him. But even wanting him to fail is probably wrong. Big picture, this isn't going to matter a lot, and I should try to remain on good terms with him. But that's not a level of strength I have in and of myself.


medstudentitis said...

Just think, when he's out looking after number 1, he's not looking after the patient. You'll be the better doctor, and really, that's all that matters.

Aiming at Proverbs 31 said...

Actually, that is not all that matters. The bitterness that could build up in you (do I see the roots already?) matters alot not only to your patients, but to your family, friends and most of all, to God. Bitterness can build up in us because of real wrongs to us as well supposed ones. Be carefull of your heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this happened. Sadly, it will probably happen again over the course of your career. Hopefully you'll get other chances and will get published before long too.

I don't suppose you could co-author... :-)

zhoen said...

How sad and petty of him, let him have his victory with your blessings, it is all life will let him have, cheats and thefts. Write it up for yourself, keep it close. When you write your book, it'll take up a whole chapter. You have earned the knowlege and the insight into human character. He will have a stolen published paper. Pity him.

Anonymous said...

you don't think it's unchristian to take solace in the justice of "karma" do you? In many ways it might be more biblical to say "joab will knife him in the east gate under false pretense" in Samuel II, or judges, or something.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, Christianity aside, that's wrong. If I were you Nate I'd totally date his girlfriend, sister, and mother (in that order).

It does happen from time to time in science. It's despicable and completely undermines the point of science. The un-popularized annals of history often find a way of relegating scientists into their true roles.

In the meanwhile write the article anyway and submit it to a major journal. Seriously. Do it right and do it better, but do it fast. Like the girlfriend, sister, mother thing.

Anonymous said...

is there a "right" way to do dating his sister?

Joel said...

I'm really sorry to hear that Nathan. I've been backstabbed before, and I know how frustrating it is. Just keep plugging along, other opportunities will come!