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Any INTJs in surgery?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by jiggabot, 08.10.11.

  1. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    I want to know if there are currently any attending or resident INTJs out there in surgery. If so, please let me know

    1. What subspecialty are you in
    2. Do you like it or do you wish you did something else.
    3. What aspect about it do you like.
    4. Are you going to practice full time as a surgeon in the future or do academia/management.

    For all those disbelievers of the personality tests, don't hate. If this thread does not apply to you, then you need not apply yourself.
  2. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me

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    Introverts are not allowed in any field but radiology. Everybody knows that.
  3. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    Are there seriously no INTJs in surgery? Perhaps the lack of response says enough...either that or they are all neurosurgeons too busy for SDN.
  4. DHT

    DHT The Most Potent Androgen

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    ENTJ here and I am probably about 60/40 E/I

    I'm an orthopaedic surgery resident and I could not do anything else in medicine (MAYBE plastics). I could see myself in a managing position in the future. I like being able to actually repair things and restore form and function and dramatically improving quality of life (after all, QoL is what living is all about). Surgical specialties spend their week in the OR, clinic, and hospital which helps break up the day to day monotony/grind that many clinic based specialties feel. I would rather do a day full of surgeries than pretty much anything else. I like having a (usually) well defined problem and thinking of the best way to fix it and then actually fix it, rather than spend my time trying to figure out what the problem is and then follow an algorithm (medical specialties) and then prescribe a drug which the patient may or may not take and does not normally cure anything.

    The J in you will like surgery because you will gather the information, make a decision and move on. The I may make interacting with patients and colleagues a little more difficult for you. There are definitely I's in surgery and I would not let that stand in your way. Some specialties tend to have more I's than E's and you will notice that if/when you do your clinical rotations (neurosurg comes to mind for me). In the end there are successful people with every personality type in every field.
    Last edited: 08.12.11
  5. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    Thanks for the reply. Does the "N" in you ever feel like the surgery is too repetitive and lacks problem solving/mental stimulation?

    As for the J part, I see a lot of Ps in urology (the other surgical field I was considering). What is it about ortho that attracts Js and urology that attracts Ps?
  6. DHT

    DHT The Most Potent Androgen

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    No. But remember every job is repetitive once you are good enough at something that people will pay you to do it. Surgery will get repetitive too, but no more repetitive than any other field in medicine. Don't forget that you will always evaluate patients to determine if they are good surgical candidates, and if so what kind of surgery do they need? Every patient is a little different with different anatomy. Every surgery has little nuances which you may not notice at this point in your career. You will have complications which you will need to know how to deal with. You spend time in clinic, the OR, and hospital serving a different role in each place. Things will come up all the time where you will need problem solving skills (the instrument you need breaks/falls on floor/isn't in the hospital), but eventually these things will all become repetitive as well.

    What do you expect for a specialty that looks at wieners all day. They don't call them the "Stream Team" for nothing.

    I never said ortho attracts J's, I just said that I am one. I think any personality type can find job satisfaction in any job, its just dependent on the individual. If you want my advice, I think you are taking this personalty type WAY too seriously. Lighten up and don't worry about what a test says you should or shouldn't do. Find something you like and do it and don't worry if your letters don't match.
  7. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS

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    Most of us have our MBTIs on our name tags, or at least on our white coats, and I've never seen an INTJ in surgery. I guess it's not possible....
  8. Smurfette

    Smurfette smurfalicious Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Isn't that why they give you the test to take at residency interviews? To screen out all the INTJs? ;) ;)

    To the OP--I don't think many of us remember our personality types anymore, which is why you aren't getting many responses. Most of us don't read much into the whole MBTI thing anymore as we've chosen our career paths. I think I was close to what you are, maybe one letter off...FWIW. Choose a field you want to do, not one that a personality test says you should do. You'd probably have found just about every MBTI type in my residency program at some point. We were a diverse group.
  9. GregsAnatomy

    GregsAnatomy

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    ENTJ here as well, although I switched from an INTJ at the start of college to an ENTJ at the start of med school! Surgery is definitely the only specialty for me. The N part comes out as mentioned above when there's a need to be creative or improvise in an unusual case or situation.
  10. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    What kind of surgery do you? What other ones were you considering? And what do you like about it?
  11. chronicidal

    chronicidal Scrub

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    http://www.gesher.org/Myers-Briggs/MBTI Chart and specialty.html

    I took the above data and did the following. Check my reasoning because I'm not trained in stats. I performed a binomial exact test on the number of each specialty in a given two-letter temperament over the total of physicians surveyed in that specialty, compared to the proportion of all surveyed physicians falling in that given temperament.

    There was no significant difference between the proportion who were NT in any surgical specialty versus all physicians, except for OB/Gyn, which had a lower proportion of NTs (p<0.05).

    Similarly,
    Higher NF: Neurosurgery
    Lower NF: Orthopedic surgery

    Higher SF: Ophthalmology

    Higher ST: Orthopedic surgery, general surgery, OB/Gyn
    Lower ST: Thoracic surgery

    No significant differences were found for plastics, urology, and ENT.

    ====

    My personal opinion is that ISTP (the mechanic) and INTJ (the scientist) most fit the stereotype of a surgeon. By that I mean those types fit surgery more than other types do, rather than that those types fit surgery more than they do to other specialties.
    Last edited: 08.13.11
  12. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    I have seen gesher before, thanks for the breakdown. However, keep in mind, an INTP is very different from an INTJ, despite just having one letter difference. In urology, I saw a lot of ENTPs, but few J types.
  13. Putrescine

    Putrescine

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    I consistently have tested ISTP through college, medical school, and even now in residency (R4). We do exist in this field, and I don't think I could have done anything else.
    Asperphys likes this.
  14. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    The ISTPs I know either like Gas or Rads. I wouldn't be surprised if some went into surgery though (may ophtho?).
  15. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS

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    I can't believe it took me this long to notice, but your above-quoted comment is kinda funny.
  16. Renovatio

    Renovatio Class of 2012

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    INTJ here. Going into Neurosurgery. To the poster above, why would anyone screen against INTJ?

    I don't think there are a lot of INTJ's in surgery because there aren't a lot of INTJ's in general, and the few of us around are not usually attracted to medicine anyway. A lot of them go into engineering and pursue a PhD instead of an MD. One thing about INTJ's is that we're driven to be the very best at something, and don't really care about much else. This is reflected in our lifestyles, hobbies and even thought content. I am choosing Neurosurgery because it is an extremely challenging and technical field, that requires a lot of critical thinking and dedication. It is also very research driven, with potential for future discoveries--I notice a lot of Neurosurgeons are dual MD-PhD's. I plan to go into academics at the end of my training.

    To the OP, go into whatever field interests you. The field you choose will probably be both challenging and cerebral, and your dedication to it will help you become a great physician. On the other hand, should you choose a field that is not very challenging or cerebral, you might end up a very bored and unhappy resident that spends his energy on other pursuits.
    Last edited: 08.18.11
  17. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    Thanks for the reply. Yea, it seems like all the INTJs go into neurosurg or CT surg if they want surgery. However, you are a medical student it seems, so I don't know if what you say and your outlook will still be true when your a resident/practicing. I desperately wanted to talk to some resident/attending INTJs to see how they feel about surgery (it is the closest thing to talking to myself from the future).
  18. Putrescine

    Putrescine

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    *GAG* I dont think Gas or Rads would appeal at all to a true ISTP. We are action oriented, somewhat lone wolf-ish, fly by the seat of your pants types. We like working with instruments/tools. The theory and mental masturbation that medicine types like puts me off. I'm about as concrete as you can get. I would think of an ISTJ as a better fit for a rads guy. I'm a general surgery resident, and there are plenty of surgical subspecialties that would suit a "N" type - Transplant, Surgical Critical Care.
  19. chronicidal

    chronicidal Scrub

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    Could you explain to someone who is unfamiliar with what the types mean why N fits with transplant and critical care?
  20. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    I studied the Step 1 with an ISTP. He was able to just sit there and crank out the pages one after another, without thinking too much about what he learned. I thought his ability to grind through hours of work would have been good for Rads, lol.

    I guess all the surgical subspecialties that an INTJ might like all have really bad hours and lifestyle (CT, neurosurg, transplant...). Surgical CC might be good, but I believe it doesn't pay like a surgeon.
  21. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Vac Ninja Extraordinaire

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    This thread had me curious and I had to go find the print-out I saved with my MBTI results from 1st year of medical school. I remembered I was an I and J but couldn't remember the rest. ISTJ here. Once I googled and read this http://www.personalitypage.com/ISTJ.html I realized I must be the most ISTJ of ISTJs that has ever lived. So far surgery seems to fit me well, except on the services that are a little more fractured and disorganized, wherein I want to tear out my hair the entire month (read: vascular at my institution).
  22. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS

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    This continues to bother me. You mention multiple medical professionals you've interacted with, and their MBTI. I seriously doubt that all these people are sharing their calculated MBTIs with you on a regular basis, which leads me to wonder how you obtained the information. Are you diagnosing/deciding these people's MBTIs based on their behavior?
  23. bennybrak

    bennybrak

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    I'm INTJ too!! I/E about 60% and J/P also about 60% although i oscillate btn P and J sometimes. I'm interested in NS not because I'm a masochist, but because of the technical nature of it. I think it will fit me more than any other specialty I've been exposed too. For the medical specialties, just takes the drive for me. INTJ =Hardcore!!:D
  24. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    haha, yea, once again, another INTJ going into neurosurgery. Why must we gravitate towards the least lifestyle friendly fields...
  25. DHT

    DHT The Most Potent Androgen

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    Or a field where your patients don't talk to you.
  26. jiggabot

    jiggabot

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    So true (aka. pathology). The only irony is that INTJs also gravitate towards psych, where the patients do nothing but talk, but I guess the psychiatrist listens more than he talks, so it still lets us be INTJs.
  27. Enkidu

    Enkidu

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    Well, I'm an INTJ interested in pathology. I think that the common thread of INTJ-heavy fields is that they're heavily cognitive, not necessarily that they have low patient interaction.

    My sense about surgery is that it does not attract the most cognitive people. It maybe attracts very smart people, but not people who want to spend most of their time in analysis and reflection a la path, psych, and neuro.
  28. SurgeonTH

    SurgeonTH

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    1. I am INTJ and started in general surgery. I became bored after several years, got a Masters degree and am now a physician executive. I gave up clinical practice a little while ago to concentrate on the executive career.
    2 and 3. Many aspects I did like when I was practicing. I loved to see the outcomes of my work. I loved solving clinical problems and implementing the solutions. I loved the manual component of the work. There is more mental challenge in my current work, though.
    4. I did have a part-time practice for about 5 years and really enjoyed having the variety. But the unpredictable schedule as a surgeon made the non-clinical work extremely difficult and ultimately I decided to focus on my executive role.

    There are other INTJs in surgery, perhaps more in subspecialties. I think there is appeal to the decisiveness required, the need to check your emotions at the door, and the fact that some decisions require using the intuitive abilities when working with incomplete information. Of course, surgeons generally call this "judgement".

    By the way:

    This is quite consistent for an INTJ. We rarely consider personal costs and sacrifices in deciding to do something.
    Last edited: 10.15.11
  29. Maybeknot

    Maybeknot Member

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    Yes.
  30. FPRS

    FPRS

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    another INTJ here

    I'm a facial plastic surgeon and could not be any happier with my career. I do a mix of cosmetic and reconstructive (heavier on the cosmetic side). My residency was in ENT. I then chose to subspecialize even further and now focus exclusively on facial plastic surgery -- typical INTJ move. The independent part of me (among other classic INTJ qualities) was a big factor in deciding to start a solo practice.

    You would definitely think that what I do for a living is not typical for an INTJ, and I guess you're right. The E part has developed over the years, but I always had a naturally good bedside manner even back in the days of getting feedback on patient encounters very early in med school. I attribute much of that to good listening skills, the ability to remain calm, and a natural ease at synthesizing information. Overall I find my natural strengths as an INTJ are very well suited to what I do. I was lucky to have a few surgeon mentors with similar personality qualities as myself which helped me realize I didn't have to be some greasy Dr. 90210 type to be great at what I do.

    bottom line --- learn your personality type, tap into your strengths, improve your weaknesses, and don't let your MBTI limit what you choose to do as a doctor!
  31. Asperphys

    Asperphys

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    INTJ female here (only mentioned the gender because apparently we're rare). MD PhD going into gen surg and currently drawn to transplantation. I seriously considered neurology but would rather operate on patients than deal with untreatable neurological conditions. A lot of surgeons are skeptical but there are a lot of fantastic potential research projects in surgery (and not just in device development or surgical outcomes either). Am planning on going into academia.

    I've always suspected that I didn't have the "stereotypical" surgeon personality, but it's a relief to see that there are other INTJs in surgery!
  32. Kahreek

    Kahreek

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    I am ENTP.
    EXtroversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perception, what would be a good specialty for me?
  33. Kahreek

    Kahreek

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    I agree, but about the last part, MBTI isnt about personality strenghts or weaknesses, it is about how our brain structures our thinking mechanisms to handle outside world. It is not a trait classification. For example the extroversion and introversion have little to do with social skills ,they are about how we perceive and generate thoughts.
  34. Kahreek

    Kahreek

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    "
    Type not trait
    The MBTI sorts for type; it does not indicate the strength of ability. The questionnaire allows the clarity of a preference to be ascertained (Bill clearly prefers introversion), but not the strength of preference (Jane strongly prefers extraversion) or degree of aptitude (Harry is good at thinking). In this sense, it differs from trait-based tools such as 16PF. Type preferences are polar opposites: a precept of MBTI is that people fundamentally prefer one thing over the other, not a bit of both."
  35. Kahreek

    Kahreek

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