Taking a sip from my trusty Big City University water bottle the other day during a brief lull in the stream of crazy people overrunning my team, I received a look of incredulity when the medicine resident doing her ED rotation learned that I, a mere ER tech, attended college. Revealing that she herself had graduated from Big City University a few years ago, she immediately began grilling me with questions, designed I believe, to see if I really was a student there. Finally she asked me, "So, do you want to be a doctor or something?"
Normally I'm loath to advertise my pre-medness for fear of being labeled as "one of those," but in this case I explained that I was finishing my bachelor's in biology before applying to med school next year. Looking at me blankly, she replied, "Well I volunteered in a bunch of hospitals when I was an undergrad, too."
Feeling a little like Ben Stiller's character in Meet The Parents, I explained that I actually got paid to work in the ED, so everybody wins. For the rest of the shift, however, she insisted on referring to me as "Volunteer," and treated me with an inexplicable degree of hostility.
When non-ED residents rotate through, they usually learn pretty quickly that we work as a team, and that arrogance will not win you any points with the staff. With anyone else, I'm more than happy to show them where to get supplies, draw a second set of labs to make up for the orders they forgot, or run interference keep them from being tied down with every single patient request. But not for her. Each time one of her several crazy patients had any sort of question, I immediately replied that I was just the tech, and went to drag the Doctor to the bedside. I think she eventually got the message.