Doctors, Scientists, and Silliness

So, I came across another weird statement on the internet. Imagine that, right? Someone was playing Assassin’s Creed and came across an email written by a doctor, which contained informal internet spelling in an email. He objected, saying that no doctor would write like that.

Well, why not? I mean, I get the feeling this is the kind of stuff I’m supposed to be countering, but I don’t understand the logic that brought about that conclusion in the first place. Which makes it hard to argue against.

I get that they’re talking about doctors and not necessarily scientists (although I feel the need to defend doctors too, what with some of my friends in medical school). But since the doctor character in question seemed to have gone into clinical research instead of patient treatment, I think it’s fair to assume that some stereotypes of scientists are playing into this, as well. I’m not good at identifying stereotypes but it’s probably reasonable to assume that people generally think of us scientists as very formal, too.

And if that’s the case, well, it’s a career path. I’m pretty sure we aren’t being brainwashed and stripped of our personalities to become the embodiment of the quintessential scientist. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that doctors aren’t, either.

Speaking of, funny silly things done by scientists, below!

Another interesting tidbit about doctors and scientists: while a lot of what doctors do and are trained for differs from a scientists’ experience, some doctors or doctors-in-training have delved further into science than others. I know a bunch of people from my undergrad days who did a few years of lab work before going to medical school, and some of them are considering MD/PHDs as a result. Also, some people who graduate with a medical degree move into research instead of practice, potentially becoming PIs (Principal Investigators, the professors who have their own lab). I imagine this is more likely for those who have more research experience–medical school is different from graduate school, after all.

And finally, if anyone knows of any stereotypes about scientists or science, please comment and let me know! It would make it easier to know what to address, and maybe I’ll be less shocked if I ever encounter it in real life.

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4 Responses to Doctors, Scientists, and Silliness

  1. wildbow says:

    Stereotype: Scientists are good with computers.

    I know some health professionals (speech and language therapists) who don’t know the difference between save & ‘save as’ in MS word, or how an excel spreadsheet works. When they type, they henpeck (index fingers out, search keyboard for the right key, peck, rinse, repeat)

    • Marie Erving says:

      See, I didn’t know that was a stereotype, either. I definitely think this one’s more of a generation thing than anything else, with some exceptions. I could maybe manage a short post on this one, actually…there’s a good image I could use.

      • wildbow says:

        Well, the way I’ve heard it, people stick the ‘smart’ label on scientist-types, and with that, they assume some ability with computers.

        That said, it does baffle me how one can get a PHD in linguistics and language learning and not know how to change a font in a Word program.

      • Marie Erving says:

        It makes sense if the PhD predated the Word program.

        And TV, at least, is starting to give me the impression that it thinks intelligence is like magic.

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