For our first episode of Med Student Over Easy, Season Two, our blog editor, Patricia Capone is joined by three of our hosts, Drew, John, and Tanner to discuss the difference between a cocky and a confident medical student. This episode will hopefully help to differentiate between being cocky and having a healthy level of confidence when on shift in the emergency department.

One example of confident behavior would be having a solid oral presentation. This includes having an assessment and plan that you can back up with reasoning as to why this is the best course of action. Another way to display a healthy level of confidence would be by remaining open to both positive feedback and constructive criticism.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can be viewed as being too cocky if you become argumentative when someone does not agree with your plan. You may not see where they are coming from or understand the thought process behind their decisions. It is okay in this situation to ask clarifying questions, but it is not okay to argue. Similarly, be careful not to dismiss nursing concerns. Nurses have plenty of experience you can learn from and generally spend much more time with the patient. What they think is very important and should not be disregarded. Everyone in the emergency department works as a team so you should consider the input from everyone and treat everyone with respect.

One way to ensure you are being viewed as confident and not cocky is to communicate effectively. Your body language and the way you say things matter. Don’t be afraid to ask others how you can improve, if you have been told you seem too cocky in the past. Self-awareness can be difficult, but it is crucial in differentiating between being cocky and being confident.

Take Home Points:
  1. Be confident in your presentations and plans.
  2. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.
  3. Communicate effectively and try to be self-aware.

Post by Shannon Caliri, DO PGY-3

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Cocky Versus Confident – Med Student Over Easy

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