It’s hard for some people to stay humble knowing what they do is important in the world. That’s why doctors, lawyers and politicians are known for either being really nice, or being really cocky. As a med student, you must get your ego in check before you become a practicing physician.

If not, you’ll create a negative environment around you for the people you work for, with and around, as well as your patients. This bad reputation can follow you throughout your entire medical career.

You Need to Get Your Ego in Check Before You Ruin Your Medical Career

You Need to Get Your Ego in Check Before You Ruin Your Medical Career. Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Get Your Ego in Check: Confidence VS Egotism

You cannot provide excellent medical care to patients if you have an attitude that says, “I’m better than you.” It takes good clinical skills to be a good doctor. But it takes empathy, patience and being open-minded to be a good physician.

Soon, your job will be to listen to your patients attentively, so you can grasp their medical problems and work with the team of people around you to provide medical solutions. Empathy, patience and open-mindedness are skills you need to acquire now, as a medical student to effectively work with the colleagues, superiors and patients around you.

Wait until you’re already practicing medicine and it may be too late. There’s no room whatsoever for ego in healthcare.

Get Your Ego in Check, Or Ruin Your Future Medical Career

There’s a very thin line between being a confident person and being an egotistical person that most people prefer not to deal with. Having high self-esteem and taking pride in your work are both keys to becoming a successful doctor someday.

But when you start to think you’re better than everyone else, it’s time to get your ego in check.

This attitude causes you to act superior over the people around you. Your egotistical attitude will ruin relationships with classmates, instructors, nurses, attendees, interns, physicians, even patients.

Patients don’t like arrogant doctors. Without patients you have no purpose… and therefore, no job.

And without people on your team who are there to help, you can’t effectively practice medicine… it takes a team to solve medical problems.

10 Mistakes Med Students Make During Clinical Rotations – Part 2

6 Signs You Are Too Egotistical to Be a Good Physician

If you really want to create a positive reputation for yourself in the medical industry, don’t let your ego get in the way. Never waste energy and time gloating and making others feel bad about themselves. Instead, build up the people around you.

That way, you build a reputation as a true team player because it takes teamwork to succeed as a medical professional.

Here are six signs that you truly need to get your ego in check if you want to become a good physician someday:

1. You Are Very Impatient

Egotists think they know everything. Therefore, they are very impatient with people who take some time to complete a task or learn something they already know. It frustrates them when people take their time learning or accomplishing something.

Check your ego and take time to consider the capabilities and thought processes of other people. Instead of complaining about the time it takes them to grasp or complete something, try stepping in and helping them.

That’s how true teamwork works in a clinical environment when medical professionals work together to solve a patient’s problems.

2. You Are Too Defensive

Are you always quick to blame others for everything, yet always have a “good reason” why your tasks are performed well? Do you consider others incompetent when they make mistakes, yet always have an excuse when you fall short?

Well, these are egotistical traits that you need to get in check fast!

Without constructive criticism, it’s impossible to learn how to practice medicine effectively. Be open to receiving it from instructors, other med students, nurses the superiors around you.

This helps you improve your skills and knowledge, which also improves your chances of being a good physician someday.

3. You Constantly Complain

Do you immediately start complaining as soon as things start going wrong? When working on a team, do you blame everyone else for failures and shortcomings? These are egotistical ways!

You need to put your energy into helping the team become better as a whole. One of the best ways to do this is to look for ways you can help others learn what you know, so they can grow. Also, come up with ways you can do better as well.

Remember that many of your patients will be terrified. Check your ego and learn to empathize with them.

Remember that many of your patients will be terrified. Check your ego and learn to empathize with them. Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

4. You Argue Frequently

Egotists place blame on everyone but themselves. This tends to make them confrontational. As med students, they often argue with classmates, colleagues and sometimes even superiors.

If this is you, it’s time for you to get your ego in check before you ruin your future career in medicine. Arguing closes your mind, so you can’t hear the other party, who may be saying something valuable.

All this does is stunt your growth and the growth of others around you. Plus, you develop a reputation for being argumentative, which is counterproductive in a learning environment.

5. You Never Apologize

An egotistical person never apologizes… for anything. Why? Well, they don’t believe they ever do anything wrong. Their inadequacies and blunders are always the faults of others. They rationalize their own issues and bad behavior by telling themselves it’s not their fault.

Does this sound like you? Then, you really need to get your ego in check… and fast!

When you do wrong against others, you would love for them to just let it go. However, you don’t follow that same idea. You refuse to move on until they ask for your forgiveness. You’ll have it hard as an intern, resident and during clinical rotations thinking like that.

Learn to forgive others even if they don’t apologize instead of holding grudges before you believe they’ve done you wrong. And learn how to apologize when you’re wrong.

This skill comes in handy when dealing with a cranky nurse whose help you need frequently. You’ll also be better equipped to handle a scared patient who also has an ego that probably needs to be checked.

Remember, you’re the medical professional. It’s not your job to check these people’s egos. But you do need to check yours.

6. You Are Very Judgmental

Who are you to judge others? Well, if you’re an egotist, it doesn’t matter. You just take on the task like you were born to do it. Your egotism doesn’t allow you to consider the backgrounds and personal lives of others.

So, you don’t have the tools you need to analyze the abilities of others. Therefore, you judge the other med students around you, as well as the healthcare professionals there to help you.

This also causes you to judge patients, which is the opposite of empathy.

When people fail, most are a work in progress. Their histories and backgrounds determine their abilities to learn and progress. Don’t judge others for what they don’t know.

As an up-and-coming healthcare professional, it’s your job to encourage the discouraged… not bring them down.

Patients do NOT like arrogant doctors.

Patients do NOT like arrogant doctors. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Get Your Ego in Check: Don’t Let It Slow Down Your Future Career as a Doctor

Having a hard time preparing for your USMLE exam? Are you looking for live USMLE test prep in the Atlanta, Georgia area?

MedSmarter provides test preparation courses for the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK and USMLE Step 2 CS exams and USMLE 3 tutoring in Suwanee, GA.

We offer both test prep courses and in-person, one-on-one USMLE tutoring services in Atlanta. We also provide USMLE online tutoring for special circumstances.

Learn what it takes to pass these US medical exams, so you can reach your goal of becoming a doctor someday. Click the link below for details.

Discover USMLE Tutoring Atlanta