Brad was the chief resident when I did my 3rd year medical school surgery rotation.
And he was a prick.
The rivalry between surgeons and non-surgeons (cutters vs. thinkers) goes back to the dawn of medicine. Generally it's a source of good-natured joking. After all, we really complement each other more than compete. Patients will generally need both of us, and the goal is to do what's best for them.
Not to Brad.
When I met him, Brad was in the last few months of his year as chief surgical resident, and had already been accepted to a vascular surgery fellowship. Medical students, to him, were the scum of the Earth. Long removed from being one, he made no secret of his distaste for us.
By the end of the 3rd year of medical school most doclings have some idea of what they want to do. My interest in neurology was no secret, and I didn't hide it.
The other 4 med students on my rotation were smarter than me. Terrified of Brad, they all claimed to be interested in surgery even though none of them were. Vijay was planning on radiology, Michelle pediatrics, John dermatology, and Amy pulmonology. But I was the only one who freely admitted to having no interest in surgery.
Brad drove all of us hard, but treated me with particular disgust. I had to be the first one there in the morning (he considered 4:30 a.m. to be late) and made sure I wasn't done with anything until the other 4 had left. He'd give me extra work to ensure I couldn't leave. When the other 4 were told to go get lunch, Brad would ask the nurses to find something for me to do so I couldn't go.
Everyday he'd tell me (and have me repeat back) the mantra he believed: "If you're not a surgeon, then you're not a doctor. And if you're not a vascular surgeon, then you're not a surgeon." He made sure I knew how little he thought of neurologists, non-surgeons in general, and medical students. Since I was all 3...
I remember one night in spring, during that annual rite of American lunacy, March Madness. Back then I was a rabid basketball fan, and Angie and I had set-up the med student coverage schedule weeks in advance so I could watch the championship game (I don't remember who it was that year). She had no interest in it, so took call that night.
Late that afternoon, as we were getting ready for check-out, Brad pulled Angie aside and told her he'd decided that I needed to be on-call that night in case there were any surgeries (realistically, you don't need ANY med student there for surgery. We get in the way). Angie didn't have a choice, and wasn't in any more position to protest than I was.
Brad told me he wanted me to wait, in scrubs, in the surgery holding room... just in case I was needed. There was no TV in there. Brad sat across the hall with another resident, in the surgeon's lounge, watching the game and cheering.
Occasionally he'd walk over to make sure I was still there, and even told the nurse watching the one post-op patient to page him immediately if I went anywhere except the station's bathroom.
As soon as the game ended, Brad came over to dismiss me and said "well, I guess we didn't need you tonight. Too bad you had to miss the game, it was a good one."
On my evaluation, Brad gave me a low pass and wrote "lazy, incompetent, socially retarded, uncaring, unmotivated, and the poorest quality house officer material I've ever been suffered to put up with."
Brad, you probably don't remember me, but I'll never forget you. I googled you last night. Looks like you've lost some hair and shaved the mustache, but your smirking asshat smile is still the same one I remember from 25 years ago.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one you treated like that, and you probably haven't changed much. I doubt you read this, either, since something written by a non-physician, like a neurologist, is beneath your contempt.
But, on the off-chance you are... Fuck you.