"You're way too smart to be a nurse."
What I did not say:
"You want somebody stupid at the bedside?"
"What would you rather I do: teach students, or teach you?"
"Are you saying that nurses are dumb?"
"How many hours of microbiology and chemistry do you think we all have to pass?"
"Should I be a doctor instead? Do you have to be smarter than a nurse to be a doctor?"
What he said:
"You should get your PhD or something."
What I said in return:
"What I love doing is this. I love being here at the bedside, helping people heal. I like working with very intelligent, dedicated people. I have a good time, and I don't want anything different."
I once, more than half my life ago, took a stage movement and modern dance class at Carnegie-Mellon University, as part of a summer theater program. At one point during the semester we were joined by the local high-school football team. A couple dozen teenaged boys (we were all teenagers) came in snickering about how "faggy" it was that they had to take a dance class with all these theater geeks.
Not a one of them made it to the first break. What they thought was easy and low-status and faggy actually took a combination of incredible strength, concentration, and stamina.
This is how I feel about people who say "You're way too smart to be a nurse." They have no idea.
You can't educate people like that. You can't change their perceptions in the twelve hours you have with them. The best you can do is remind yourself that murder is still a capital crime, then put all the pillows out of reach.