Trauma Surgeon Rips Nurse with Three Months Experience for Calling Herself a Doctor

A trauma surgeon that goes by the username u/Tight-Change-3696 on Reddit recently published a viral post about how his sister often implies that she’s a doctor even though she is a nurse with just three months of experience. He wrote that he is regularly “annoyed” with his sibling for putting herself on the same pedestal as him, despite their different backgrounds and skill sets.

The man explains that his sister has been a registered nurse for about three months, but she calls herself “a full-on doctor” and lets people believe she is a doctor, according to the Reddit post.

“When we meet someone new, she’ll say she works in a hospital,” he wrote. “And if they literally ask ‘Ah, so you’re a doctor?’ she’ll give a slight nod. When we’re at home with family who knows she’s a nurse, she just says she’s basically an honorary doctor.”

“Obviously, as a doctor drowning in student loan debt and who’s worked for years to attain the title, it just feels a little bit offensive,” the post continued.

He wrote that he has “all the respect in the world” for nurses, adding that society needs them because “they are the soul of the hospital” who keep things from grinding to a halt.

“But they’re not doctors. Not anything close,” he added. “Maybe after, like, five years of experience they end up soaking up some knowledge about the field. But not my sister, as she’s been working for less than three months.”

Research shows that trauma surgeons make over four times as much as registered nurses with an average salary of around $424,000 per year. The range falls between approximately $368,700 and $504,500. The average “level one” registered nurse makes just $65,640 a year by comparison, with a salary range between approximately $58,900 and $75,000.

Both doctors and nurses have faced unprecedented stress and hostile working conditions over the last two and a half years.

A recent survey shows around a third of all registered nurses, or 34%, are planning to leave their current jobs by year’s end. Doctors in the U.S. are facing their own “Great Resignation”, according to the American Medical Association.

A recent survey of more than 20,000 respondents at 124 U.S. institutions showed that one in five physicians were likely to leave their current practice within two years, and about one in three doctors and health professionals intended to reduce work hours within the next 12 months.

The brother and sister got into a public dispute after attending to a medical emergency at a mall near where they live. A child collapsed and needed emergency aid.

The surgeon said that he was “doing the appropriate things” to help the young patient, but his sister allegedly tried to undermine him and instead offered her own critique of his handling of the event.

“At one point she literally grabbed my hand yelling why I won’t listen to her, and I just told her to f**k off,” he said. “At home after the kid survived, I just unleashed myself on her. She is completely and utterly arrogant and needs to realize she is nothing close to a doctor (yet), and that almost cost the kid his life today.”

Many commentators came to the doctor’s defense, considering the sister’s lack of professional experience.

One commenter said that a nurse with 15 or 20 years of experience might know more than a doctor and be able to provide insight to the situation, but not someone that’s only been on the job for three months.

Others called attention to nurses’ “brutal schedules” and how they are often asked to look after more patients than they can safely handle.

“To be fair, the nurses have a schedule just as bad as ours in my hospital, maybe slightly better in the ED,” the surgeon replied. “And not only that, but I’ve seen so many a**holes just act like nurses are servants. Nobody treats doctors like that, arguably for a good reason but still, not really nice.”


Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.