Orientation. 6 weeks until test day.

Collaboration not competition.” Out of all the phrases tossed around during orientation, this one caught our attention and was the topic of our first orientation speaker. Collaboration not competition. In med school? That was for elementary school when we played games like “Ring Around the Rosie.” Collaboration not competition? This is med school. It’s competitive, whether we like it or not.

But, we kept listening. And, although we may have been successfully brainwashed into a naïve mindset, it seems to make sense. In the med schools’ current grading system, collaboration not only makes sense for a Christian school, but for us students.

Placement into choice residency programs is the main breeder for competitive natures. And, with competitive natures come the horror stories of sabotaged cadavers (aortas joined to inferior vena cavas and eyeballs in intestines).
However—and this is according to our orientation speakers—the USMLE scores (aka boards or national exams) become more relevant than class standing. So, sabotaging a few of the top students in one little medical school will not likely make an impact on your position in the nation.

Of course, we’re not so naïve as to believe that there is absolutely no competition in med school. Competition is an inherent quality whenever there are multiple people applying for limited positions, and the speakers noted as much. They admitted that summer research positions for first years at Loma Linda are often determined by rank.

Regardless, we like the idea. After all, we’d hate to have to compete between the two of us. ‘Cause we all know Anthony would win. Right? Right?!?



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