The 23 types of medic you meet at university

A comprehensive guide to each and every type of student medic


Finally, a medical list that’s not a page and a half of adverse drug reactions. Swipe that name badge, straighten your stethoscope and settle down for a run-through of the 23 types of medic you know and love, love to hate, and just plain hate.

1. The one that plays a sport

“Mate, do you play sport?”

This guy would turn up to ward rounds in his hockey kit if he could get away with it. Every Wednesday morning he nips out of teaching 10 minutes early because he’s “got a match this afternoon against Glasgow 1sts.” He asked the Consultant whether it was okay to excuse himself beforehand but made sure he sat through the tutorial in full kit with stick and bag tucked under chair just in case people didn’t get the message.

2. The one that cycles into lectures

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This wannabe Armstrong clunks into lectures in cycling shoes and fully clad lycra. You’ll know he’s around from the smell of unwashed TeamSky cycling jersey and the fact he wears his helmet indoors. Be sure to avoid looking below his waistline unless you want a lunchbox crotch visual that rivals the starting line-up of the men’s 100m final. The less dedicated cyclists stuff stethoscope into pannier bag, tuck chino into sock and whap out the Hi-Vis jacket for an I-save-money-on-bus-fare-but-don’t-pretend-I’m-on-a-leg-of-the-Tour look.

3. Mr Disorganised

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You catch sight of this clown hurriedly run-walking around campus, shirt being tucked in on the move. He’s 15 minutes late for a clinic he just realised he was supposed to attend. As he rounds the corner he stuffs down the last of his sandwich and sucks his fingers clean. Shit, he’s forgotten his stethoscope and name badge. What’s the name of his Consultant again? And where the hell is OPD1? Finally he arrives, catching his breath as he introduces himself to the nurse. What’s that, Dr Johnson doesn’t have a clinic 1 on a Wednesday afternoon? You’ve never even heard of Dr Johnson? He digs out his crumpled timetable. Ah. The clinic’s in at the other side of campus. And it finished two hours ago.

4. The question-answerer

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You rely on this guy to speak when a lecturer invites contribution from a room of 300 silent medical students. However, in spite of his eagerness to pipe up he mostly chats shit. Additionally, his talent for opening his mouth serves as an extreme source of annoyance when a tutorial finishes late on a Friday afternoon and the apologetic Registrar asks whether there are any final questions.

5. The RugbyLAD

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Known to wear his tie to bedside, this tweed blazer-wearing snakebite-necking LAD enjoys nothing more than preying on vulnerables at AU night and indulging in homoerotic drinking initiations. Boasts an identikit wardrobe of Oxford blue shirts and beige chinos. Occasionally seen kicking a rugby ball around, weather permitting.

6. The nice guy/girl

“Michael? SUCH a nice guy.”

7. The gentle genius

Super friendly and slams 90s for fun

You’ve got to respect this one. He wears his wisdom lightly: top of the year but happy to help. Desperately intelligent and extremely lovely, you convince yourself you’re better off because he’s all work and no play. That is before you befriend him on Facebook and see that he’s in a relationship with a very solid 7.4/10. Damn.

8. The workshardplayshard

This lad smashes the exams yet manages to go out and get lashed at least 4 times a week. Swamps your Facebook feed with statuses declaring he will “struggle to make the 9am tomorrow” now that the few quiet pints has turned into a big sesh (#spontaneous).  In the morning you’ll see the 1.50am check-in at a takeaway and a photo of him strung out on the sofa, face resting on half-eaten schwerma, with the caption reading: “Never. Drinking. Again”

9. The MIA

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You’re standing amidst the crowds in the hallway outside the end-of-year exam room.  Nervous excitement abounds. You notice a lanky bearded guy leaning against the wall, headphones in.  “Who the fuck is that guy?” you ask, “Is he even in our year? I’ve literally never seen him before.” “Oh yeah, “someone pipes up, “That’s Tim, he’s in our year but he never turns up to anything. He should be in the year above but I think he failed his exams so he’s resitting.” 

10. The event organiser

event organiser

These lads/ladettes are the face of the Medic’s Facebook page, keeping your newsfeed ticking over with reminders about the massive rotation social next Monday (free entry if you say “pancreatitis” on the door).  You’ll hear from them before the start of the palliative care lecture this afternoon when they make a quick announcement about the “Pimps and Hoes fancy dress night tonight at Malones. Get there before half eight for half price shots.”

11. The gunner

Image source: http://doccartoon.blogspot.co.uk/p/gunner.html

This lone wolf is out for themselves and more than happy to ruin anybody in their way. Reared to believe competition is one of their five a day, they’ll be the first to answer any question, volunteer for any procedure, and scoff at your suggestions in effort to embarrass you in front of the Reg. Trust in these individuals is misplaced: Gunners take pleasure in sabotaging your chances in the hope of boosting their own – deceiving fellow students about the start time of ward rounds is commonplace. A constant presence at teaching, Gunners indirectly affirm their own knowledge by dressing up last night’s reading as confessions of ignorance: “Sorry I’ve forgotten, but is it bifid P waves that indicate left atrial hypertrophy?” Also considering themselves something of a Professor, they have no qualms about challenging Consultant Cardiologists on the minutiae of cardiac failure. The only perk of their existence is the intensity of pleasure you experience when they get a question wrong. Mmmm, delicious.

12. The liar

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This species is a different genus but in the same family as Gunner. Less overt but just as deadly, The Liar will claim to do no work all year before nailing As in every single exam. Look and you will find them lurking on the wards hours after their scheduled teaching has finished. When you question why they are still on Respiratory when their rotation ended three weeks ago expect vague references to having to meet with tutors or still not having their portfolio mark back. In reality they’re there to soak up more knowledge so they can backhand you in the face with a 98 per cent OSCE they completely forgot to prepare for.

13. The keen bean

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This guy loves medicine. Currently he’s  juggling typing up the dementia audit with making the poster he’s presenting at the Pharmacology Conference next month. He didn’t intercalate in Pharmacology but when he read in the StudentBMJ that submissions were open for abstracts he started a project especially. He knows he should get an early night if he wants to make pre-rounds tomorrow but will squeeze in a quick cardio exam on his model skeleton before flashcarding himself to sleep.

14. The nervous wreck

The psych lecture overran, meaning Helena was going to be five minutes late for her afternoon tutorial…

Ask one of these to go and take a history and expect flappy panic hands and welling tears. Giving presentations, relaying findings, examining patients, in fact just about everything and everyone fills this person with an impending sense of doom. They’ll beat themselves up when they realise they forgot to ask about travel in the cardio history and collapse into foetal position when a tutorial is scheduled for the same day as their OSCE.

15. The position grabber

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This guy’s CV reads like an the uni’s official list of clubs and societies. Not content with being the President of Surgical Soc, Vice-President of Psych Soc and Secretary of the Paediatrics Society, he’s the med school’s BMA and the class MSC rep and does the Publicity for Teddy Bear Hospital.  Oh, and he’s the social sec of the Ultimate Frisbee Team (because you’ve got to have a life outside of medicine!)  Need volunteers for front of house for the medic’s musical? He’s willing to help, although he might request a certificate of completion for his portfolio. 

16. The toocoolforschool

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Named something like “Jed” or “Trent”, this chilled cat rocks Vans to bedside and an attitude that screams #Idon’tgiveafuck. Speaking only in low-pitched mumbles and normally staring vacantly into space, recently this guy’s been toying with the idea of ditching medicine to go full time with his Punk/Ska Band, The Big Juicy Lips.  At weekends spot him smoking Golden Virginia on the low wall outside with Saskia and Jez – the Art College students he’s going to Creamfields with this summer. You’ll know about when he puts up the polaroid snaps on Facebook #vintage.

17. The meek mouse

Come on now, time for teaching..

Come on now, time for teaching…

This feeble thing has a penchant for beige clothing and blending into wallpaper. Known for carrying a tiny notepad into which points are jotted in perfect handwriting. Rarely makes any noise but when she does muster the courage to speak be prepared to auscultate her mouth if you want to be able to hear.

18. The moaner

Most likely an annoyance to non-medics, enjoys pissing people off with protestations of “Urgh, I’m in at 9am tomorrow”, “I’ve got so much work to do” and “There’s just SO much to do ALL the time.” Uses MSC meetings as an outlet to vent how overwhelming everything is.

19. The sunny bunny

“I made this cake especially for you on my day off!”

This rotund, scarf-wearing ball of joy lights up every patient’s day. Wearing grandma’s knitted cardigan and the widest of smiles; she is in her element chatting to geriatric patients about the peculiarities of powdered eggs and air raid shelters in 1942. Enjoys spending her spare time on the wards opening yoghurt pots for the demented. Will be the first offering to push back the patient’s table after bedside.

20. The lazy guy

Probably constitutes the bulk of the medical school year. Meet the normal, decent lad who loves his bed. Pleasant company if present but will have likely sacked off the morning’s clinic in favour of a lie-in.

21. The social butterfly

“I’m sure they’ll be here any minute…”

This guy is friends with absolutely everyone…but really friends with no one. Along with 600 other people you’ll be sure to get a Facebook invite to his 21st BIRTHDAY FLAT PARTY!!  (feel free to invite anyone I’ve forgotten!), with the event photo one of him looking loose on another c-rrrazy night out. The next day at the 9am lecture he’ll be sure to greet you with gangsta handshake and tedious recollections of last night, where he was “so wasted” because he “started drinking at 6!” Did he mind that only 12 people turned up, 4 of whom left early? “Nah no biggy mate, I didn’t even make it out to the club I was that gone!”

22. The results guy

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Announces the arrival of the exam results a full 3 hours before a notice goes up online. Either has an inside man in the College Office or sits at his desk the day the results are due to be released repeatedly Ctrl-F5ing the “My Results” tab.

23. The really, really post-graduate

Meet Victor and his almost-wife, Carrie. Oh and their dog,  Oswald.

Patients think he’s a Consultant and for the first semester you thought he was auditing the lectures but no this 32-year-old man really is an undergraduate medical student just like you. After doing his first two degrees he worked in the city for 10 years before deciding medicine was for him. You don’t see a great deal of him outside of class because he commutes an hour every day where he lives with his wife and two kids. Recently he’s been consistently late because his six-month year old is teething and has been a nightmare in the mornings.