People often seem to think that members of the medical world are excessively preoccupied with, defined according to, and ruled by a status-oriented system. That may have been an accurate perception a generation ago, but I've seen enough surgeons sweeping O.R. floors, attending physicians socializing with interns, and doctors having deep conversations with custodians to believe that "medical people" have matured a little past the old caste systems that governed the hallowed halls of medicine. Not a lot, perhaps - but a little.
- People highly trained and skilled in a discipline that demands total commitment, superb knowledge, hard work, talent, and long hours.
- Shop talk, engaged-in with relish and even pride, that can often leave outsiders feeling out-of-the-loop or even condescended-to.
- Excessive preoccupation with who's "important" - the seasoned, perhaps famous professional, the experienced teacher, the uber-talented whiz kid - and where everyone fits into a silently understood hierarchy.