I don't know all that many medics who attempt to epitomise perfection.
Personally, I'd split them roughly in half, there's those that are a member of a sports team, involved in the union, drink a fair amount of alcohol, are sociable and so on. The other half study hard, spend entire days in the library and seem to have few friends outside of study groups.
Of course there's a middle ground and all sorts of exceptions, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that most medical students are towards one of the extremes.
So, who's right?
I don't think that there's a really noticable academic difference. Of course those that fail and scrape through are more likely to be of the former group and the academic superstars are more likely to be the latter, but most are in the middle.
What concerns me is that with the advent of MMC, the new medical job system or Mangling Medical Careers and the changing demographics of medical admissions more medical students drift towards the latter group. This has serious implications for students unions, in the long term, if this trend continues, sports teams will struggle to find players, unions will become unsustainable and eventually close.
Now when we can clearly see that those who are involved and those who do have a good time at medical school can do equally well academically as those who don't, we have to ask, who does this benefit?
Not the student, that's for sure.