Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gunner vs Sniper

All medical students are chosen based on excellent academic results, good participation in co-curricular activity and able to answer questions during the interview prior to enter medical school. Thus, it is safe to say that most of us are high achievers (and perhaps perfectionist) and among medical students, the competition to gain the recognition as the top students is extremely competitive. Any medical students who are perfectionist will consider themselves as a failure if they were not able to answer a single question.

With this kind of attitude, the level of stress is extremely high among some of us. After few years in medical school, some of us may choose to be satisfied to be just among the average students. I think I might be one of them too biggrin. I don't want to harm myself with unnecessary stress and worry with exam result.

....But the title mentioned something about gunner and sniper and how is it relevant to medical students?

I came across this terms when I read this article
The Gunners. Every med school class has them. Usually there are multiple Gunners to a class. Being a Gunner isn’t necessarily all bad, all the time. In fact, some people take it as a compliment, meaning they’ll go the “extra mile” to learn.

But it doesn’t stop there. There exists something much more evil and far more frightening. The evil med student archetype that you may not know about, though nearly every class has one, is The Gunner’s more extreme counterpart, The Sniper.

A few comparisons:

-GUNNER: Reads. A lot.

-SNIPER: Checks out all four library copies of the “suggested” textbook for your rotation.

-GUNNER: Puts his pager number at the top of the list on any given service.

-SNIPER: Creates the pager list on any given service, and accidentally mistypes the pager numbers for the other two medical students.

-GUNNER: Suggests during rounds that perhaps he could give a short presentation on Disease X, prompting you to follow with “And I can present Disease Y.”

-SNIPER: Approaches the attending after rounds to offer a similar presentation, and then surprises you by doing said presentation the next day, while you remain presentation-less and lazy-looking.

-GUNNER: Finds obscure online resources and/or notes from previous classes, posts 20 links to online forum under the heading “FYI”.

-SNIPER: Finds online resources and notes, denies having any study materials when asked by a classmate in need...
There are many comments to the article and I like this comment cool.
there are two sub-types of 'gunners'...

Type A is the 'follow-me, and I'll gun the crap in front of us' type who is boisterous to some degree but is willing to help everyone in their group with notes, extra(!) tutes during lunch-breaks, and other annoying but helpful things.

Type B is the 'I'll gun the crap in front of me - you included' type who is boisterous and makes sure everybody knows they're the incredibly hard-working gattling-gunner of the universe and that no-one is going to ever usurp their gunnery-sergeant position. Anyone deemed as a threat will automatically ignite the afterburners of the Type B gunner, who will proceed to turbo-charge their WoMD and blow away all competition. There will be massive collateral damage.

On the other hand, the 'snipers' in our cohort are more like assassins.

Type A assassins:
To consultants and tutors, they are the sweetest, most enthusiastic students who quietly approach them after class or during lunch breaks to suck-up. Everything they do is a ploy to set themselves up in an advantageous position compared to their peers. However, unlike the gunner, they cleverly mask their ways to those that matter to them....but anybody who is not important to their schemes are treated in a superficial way and eventually find out about their noxious ways. (And bitch about them on Medscape.)

Type B assassins are the people who may show type A traits but work to much more insidious and subversive levels as mentioned by most people here. They hide a copy of popular textbooks in a completely unrelated location in the library which only they know about, so that only they can have on-demand access the books, come exam time. Type B assassins love to claim they know nothing and that they don't study at all. They study ten million metaphorical hours a day and NEVER share information or tips they receive, in order to maximise their leverage over peers. (Or they share the info in a friendly way AFTER the usefulness of such info becomes zero) They end up doing well in whatever they aim for, but inevitably find themselves alone. They may form a bunch of similar minded snipers, not for friendship, but to maximise the benefits of herd-behaviour and leeching. Even then, are they poised to surreptitiously assassinate each other when opportunities arise.
read more: The scariest medical student of all

I'm pretty sure I've seen someone who can be described as a gunner but I never saw someone who fits the description as a sniper. Maybe because the snipers are always in stealth mode which made a bit harder to detect them.

Gunner and sniper eh. I guess after this I may need to a shield to defense myself from any friendly or unfriendly fires or from any collateral damage mrgreen


Ummu Layth said...

i know a sniper in my group.

i just wonder la...kenapa competitive sangat pun? it's not like the person with the highest marks aje yang akan jadi doctor????

arsaili said...

salam..apa kabar

mosh said...

as long as they're "shooting" books, not much harm can be done (except to their fellow students) :D

hafiz238 said...

@aliya, entahlah. Perhaps because we are used to get top place back in high school kot.

@arsaili, waalaikumsalam. Khabar baik.

@mosh, that's true but as a fellow colleagues, we have to be wary of their existence :)

Adzrul Ariff said...

True, Gunners aren't necessarily evil. I'm not a gunner myself, I pretty much go by "I do what I can, so whatever marks/grade I get I'm happy so long as I pass". No stress. I know some who are qualified as gunners, pretty helpful bunch of people. Love them to bits!

But snipers...yeeesh, they're the worst kind of students around. Must resist the urge to roll them over by a steamroller. Haha. Die sniper, die!! I'm lucky that my friends aren't snipers (some are gunners which are ok). Heaven forbids I'd be called a sniper.

And congrats for passing the OCSE. I'm not sure whether I've wished you so, but just in case. I'm getting more and more forgetful lately with all the preparation to go back's so unbecoming of me. Anyway, nice post.

hafiz238 said...

true. Not all gunners are bad person but we have to be careful around snipers. You will never know when they are starting to shoot at you

thanks for that. Now, I will be able to proceed to the next semester :)