There's nothing better on a crappy rotation than having good residents, or even better, good fellow students on your team. The benefits of good residents are obvious; it's akin to having a cool boss that you really like. You don't get screamed at when you mess something up, the rules are reasonable, and they let you go home when your work is done.
The benefits of good student teammates are a little harder to understand. It's similar to having good coworkers, I guess. It's always better to work with people who don't annoy the shit out of you. But there's this extra layer of competition on medical school (that I tolerate because I'm too far in debt to drop out, but it is so annoying to deal with) that turns some students who seem normal into these crazy, achievement-hungry brownnosers who will throw you under the bus in the blink of an eye if it means making themselves look good.
There are a few breeds of medical student that make me groan when I see their name next to mine on the rotation assignment sheet.
1. The Scut-Seeker: These students are generally pleasant and helpful. The problem is when they don't know how to say no. Pair this student up with a lazy resident or intern and you have disaster. The resident instantly recognizes the doormat potential in this student and puts him or her (usually her; why can't women say no!??!) to work doing pointless tasks, which we call "scut". These tasks usually are unrelated to patient care and involve things like making copies, fetching coffee, running prescription pads down to the ER to another resident who ran out (this really happened and I could not believe it...the student was being scutted out by some resident on another service who paged our resident asking for scripts!!). Usually the Scut-Seeker is too nice, too spineless or too fearful of a bad evaluation from the resident to say no. This makes the rest of the students on the team who refuse to be scutted out look lazy, uncaring and unhelpful. Not good.
2. The Closet Gunner: In med school, the term "gunner" refers to a student who is so hell-bent on getting the top score that he or she (usually a he, in my experience) will stop at nothing to tear other students down in order to get to the top. The Gunners are easily recognizable and although they're awful, their motives are transparent and everyone usually agrees that they suck. The Closet Gunner is a different animal. This student is one who pretends to not care about grades or evaluations, is generally "too cool" to stress out over something, and appears to be a pretty normal, harmless teammate. Their true colors are revealed on attending rounds, which consist of walking around the hospital to visit the bedside of interesting patients, then discussing the case in the hallway. These discussions usually involve the attending asking lots of questions and students racking their brains to come up with an answer. The unspoken rules of attending rounds state that if the patient being discussed belongs to a particular student, then that student gets a few seconds to answer the questions before other students start chiming in. Closet Gunners will not abide by these rules. They will usually talk over another student, or answer all of the attending's questions without allowing other students time to think. They'll make other students look bad by answer questions about their patients, and are generally so busy kissing the ass of the attending that they don't notice the rest of the team rolling their eyes at him all morning.
3. The Frat Brother: This student can be good or bad. Usually these students are fun-loving, pleasant, and hardworking, if a bit annoying when they talk about how many beers they drank last weekend or how their "boys" are going to come visit this weekend and he can't wait to "pick up some chicks" with them. The trouble starts when The Frat Brother is placed on a team with a Frat Brother Attending or Frat Brother Resident. Then they spend all of their time talking about college, beer, "chicks", "bitches", and how much they can bench press. The rest of the students are marginalized and forgotten about because they are unable to forge such connections as are seen between Frat Brothers. The Frat Brother will get the best evaluation from the Frat Attending and Frat Resident, because Brothers look out for each other. Ugh. Annoying.
On this last rotation, I was paired with a Closet Gunner and a Scut-Seeker. Thankfully I also had a Hilarious Person and a Friend on the team with me, so the three of us yukked it up on the sidelines and let the other clowns run themselves ragged trying to impress people. Thank god this rotation is over!