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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Hanta, Jul 30, 2002.
any Premeds with Social Anxiety? How do you deal with it?
Just plain old pre-med application anxiety for me.
I don't sleep, I don't eat, and I drink.
explain the anxiety. anxiety over doing interviews? the same way you get to carnigie hall!
Anxiety of being social? Introversion.
so are you talking more about interacting in groups? i just usually stay silent and memorize details.
I am quite the introvert. Never have been highly social, although everyone likes a good time every once in a while!
Yes, interacting in groups.
So are you talking more in the professional setting, or personal (social) setting?
Personal (social) setting
So are you the type that really wants to go out, but doesnt feel comfortable, or are you the type that just doesn't like to go out much?
Hey, I'm introverted too! And I can't help but think that current technology(computers) really boost introversion.
I hear that. But I guess it does give the extreme introverts some form of human contact!
or gives extreme extroverts an excuse to procrastinate on essays.
i usually take some time to get to know them. once that happens i break loose and run wild and free!
just get into a comfort zone and then you'll be ok
yes, i have social anxiety, diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder when i was 16 by a family friend psychiatrist. i take paxil, which works really well to take away most of my anxiety but i guarantee that in two weeks when it comes time to go to orientation i will be nervous and feel like vomiting. that's just how it goes for me, after a few days i'll be comfortable and feel better about everything. don't worry, everybody's got something that's an obstacle.
Nope, can't say that's me..I am too wild and crazy ALL the time
But if your having problems, you can break the ice by talking to at least one person that you don't know everyday, adn chatting with random people, like cashiers and people in the cafe'. Then you will be more comfortable around others.
For someone with social anxiety disorder, that is a lot easier said then done.
Premed and Social Anxiety don't belong in the same sentence, not to mention within the same person!
Just think for a second what medical school rotations, residencies and daily work will involve. If you can't deal with people as easliy as you can breathe or walk, you're in the wrong business.
I wouldn't say that is necessarily true.
the greater the struggle, the greater the triumph!
there are no rewards without risk!
I don't agree with the poster who said pre-meds couldn't have social anxiety and be successful. My brother was diagnosed two years ago with ADD and social anxiety and is a paxil/adderall combination (unfortunately ADD therapies make social anxiety worse) and doing well. My family works hard every day telling him that he can do whatever he wants to with life and be successful. People with social anxiety find it difficult enough to fit into society, they don't need to be told that their choosen profession is not right for them. Patients come in all forms and so should doctors.
I respect your opinion and see where you are coming from. However, doctors are not supposed to represent all medical conditions in our population. It's great to medicate people with anxiety and encourage them to be successful, but if people are introverted and have a geniune fear of groups and social interaction, I honestly feel that medicine is the wrong profession for them. There are many brilliant people out there who possess both academic potential and exhibit full fledged comfort in dealing with people in any situation. In my opinion, those are the people I hope end up in medical school seats.
I completely agree...introverted people who want to go into medicine should really work on their social skills.
I'm confused are we talking about just having a bit of anxiety in public setting or are we talking about anxiety disorder?
Well, let's dig deeper here. Some people have anxiety when they need to meet people in a SOCIAL situation. In such situations, there is often no set agenda on what people should talk about. You don't know what you should be saying or doing.
However, as a doctor, you will have a CONTEXT, an agenda, when it comes to social interactions. You know that the patient is there because they're not feeling well. You'll immediately operate on your training and know what to and say.
So, in conclusion, premed or MD can exist in the same sentence with social anxiety.
Not to be rude, but I think this shows some fundamental ignorance.
1. What some people are talking about is a real, psychological disorder. Many of us here are talking about emotions that are well within the spectrum of "normal" (i.e.-does not meet any of the three D's). Let's not be shallow and say that those with diagnosed social anxiety disorder just need to break loose and party or chill out. For some it may not be that simple.
2. And even though some people have a serious psychological disorder, many do very very well. I would highly recommend the book "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison for anybody interested in highly successful people struggling with a mental illness. NOT that social anxiety disorder is the same as manic-depressive illness (which KR Jamison has). Basically Jamison is a world-renowed psychologist (and prof of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins) who's specialty and mental disorder happens to be manic-depressive illness. Saying that those with metal illness challenges simply shouldn't be in medicine is akin to saying that those with flat feet shouldn't be runners.
Maybe my choice of words wasn't appropriate. I was thinking more of the range of temperments. If a doctor was abrasive, loud, and intrusive (some adjectives that could describe the other end of the temperment spectrum from someone with social anxiety) we wouldn't think anything of it, in fact in some fields it would be expected. But we would have a problem with someone who is mild-mannered and introverted? People with social anxiety aren't socially inept, they can be quite funny, charming and well spoken, but they're extremely uncomfortable in certain situations. Once they become comfortable with a hospital environment, I don't think anyone with social anxiety would have difficulty communicating with patients. In fact, from what I've observed with my brother, his words carry greater weight because he is quiet and many people are drawn to him, especially children, because he is so genuine.
i think doctors should be able to respond well to adversity - whether it be mental or social. many doctors don't respond well to social adversity: ie throw tantrums, or oppositely, are passive-aggressive. these are the kind of people who you will hope aren't your chief resident, your attending dr, or even filling your med school seats.
I rather have one of them Social ******s as my doc, than an arrogant doc like mike. Mike who are you to say what makes a good doctor. It?s an issue that takes time to understand. How would you feel if you were in that situation, must be hell. Introversion is not a liability in medicine, and in fact, it can be an asset. Introverts are unfairly stereotyped as aloof, uninterested, and even arrogant. The reality is that they are good listeners. They generally have a good capacity to maintain focus and think deeply, a valuable asset for diagnostics. Communication skills are extraordinarily vital for physicians as long as you are able to communicate fairly well with people, you'll be fine.
Who the hell are you calling arrogant??? Take a chill pill, this is a message board and people can talk. As a person who wishes to enter the medical field and has spent years around many types of doctors, my opinion of what makes a good doctor is important to me. You know nothing about me, so please keep to the discussion topic and stop throwing **** around.
Mike you suck
I think the situation you put forth would describe me quite well. Once I become familiar with the setting(doesn't take long) I become comfortable and act normal. I'm a very quiet person. People are actually drawn to me and assume that since I'm quiet I'm an intelligent and highly observant person and find it easy to approach me. I don't always notice, but people are always telling me that I leave a positive influence on others. Intresting huh?
To all social phobics and introverts out there, do not worry. The field of medicine is a wide one. You don't have to be a Chris Rock or a rock star to succeed in it. Where social phobics encounter most of their problem is in dealing with group settings, ie speeches, conferences, etc etc. The social anxiety does not impede that patient-doctor relationship, and as one great poster put it
Just because someone can't give a speech to a room full of people without the same pizzazz as one of his or her colleagues does not mean he is impaired in the same way in intimate dealings with patients. I don't trust the doc who's loud and cracking jokes with everyone (the prototypical extrovert). I see him as a jack ass. I'd rather confide in the quiet guy who seems pretty harmless...
does it have to be a quiet GUY?????
umm, i hope the people who end up in medical seats are smart and observant. I'd rather have a doctor who's cold, makes the correct diagnosis, and prescribes the correct treatment than someone who charismatically makes misdiagnoses. A doctor's competency, especially in speciailities that have life and death consequences,should be a patient's number one concern. This is a valid question, in the context of social anxiety (not the exterme Social anxiety Disorder but just someone whois inept at social situations). Most premeds don't have social lives and I think this is a valid question--how do people who aren't use to social interactions cope in medical school?
so exigente chica,
u r wild and crazy huh?
Quiet guy, girl, whatever. My point is, the majority of social interactions doctors are involved in are one-on-one or small groups. The social phobic should have no problem with this. Social phobics run into problems mainly in large gatherings: cafeterias, class rooms, etc. This, in large, does not interfere with his (or her) role as a doctor.
Some person posted earlier that a person with a psychiatric problem shouldn't be a doctor in the same way that a flat foot shouldn't be a runner. Psychiatric disease is a huge label, encompassing everything from schizophreina to pedophila to phobias, which many many people have. By saying that ALL people with ANY psychiatric illness are not fit to be doctors, then you're ruling out a sizeable chunk (30-40% maybe, numbers anyone?) of the population. It's much more prudent to say that anyone with a psychiatric illness that impinges on one's ability to perform as a doctor should not be practicing as a doctor.
I hope all of you enter med school and get a corrected perspective on what "psychiatric illness" is.
BTW, doctors of the future, where the hell is your empathy? "Ooooh, let's all rail on the shy person!!"
Dr. kevin 40
yep, wild all the time and crzy too..don't be scurrred
I should have posted this earlier, but I just thought of it. For anyone with diagnosed social anxiety disorder, here's some more hope. I did my research at a drug/alcohol clinic and the head doc/researcher has social anxiety disorder. If you looked at this guy's CV, you would laugh. He has done EVERYTHING. President of addiction research assoc, honorary degrees, major awards, too many publications to list, magazine covers etc. Addicts are a difficult group to work with and he did it very successfully for many years. He now chooses to work out of his home instead of the clinic, but it does not impede his career in ANY way.
Basically what we tell my brother is it comes down to determination. If you've got it, you'll succeed regardless of the obstacles in your path. The previous posts that draw a distinction between unorganized social situations and interactions in context are right on and show that this is a disease which can be overcome successfully.
I'd just like to say that I am an introvert too. Got it from my dad, even though both parents keep on saying that it's my own fault for not trying to be social with people. Now what's a guy supposed to do if his role model does one thing and tells him to do the opposite? The "do what I say, not what I do" thing just doesn't work. I would never follow the advice of someone that didn't follow his/her own advice. Would anybody here do?
Actually, despite being an introvert, I am a good listener, and very good in conversation when it comes to one-on-one or small groups. Forget about having me give a speech in front of a large audience though.
Most people in medical school test in personality tests as introverts, so if you are just introverted, you will fit in well in medical school. If you have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, you will be fine in medical school with some therapy and possibly medication. There have been doctors who graduated and went on to have successful careers with medical conditions that were easily as debilitating as social anxiety such as bipolar, chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities, etc. Ignore judgemental pre-meds who tell you that you won't be good enough. If you think about it, they will be the ones that are more likely to be poor doctors if they keep their attitude because part of being a good doc is helping other people and not being judgemental. Everyone has their own baggage, and just recognizing what obstacles you have to overcome is half the battle.
From what I've seen premeds are some of the most social students at college.
Thanks for making it clear to us premeds that individuals with social anxiety do succeed in medicine. I must admit that I was guilty, at first, for questioning whether social anxiety would affect people's performance as doctors. But what do I know...I'm just a lowly premed. I agree with the others that as long as people don't let their social anxieties affect their ability to interact with patients, then it shouldn't matter to anyone (especially judgemental premeds) what personality type their peers possess.
(PS: I editted my original post (if anyone read it) because it didn't make sense to me after I read it. Boy, this MCAT is really getting to me. )