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By introvert I mean someone who requires alone time without having to deal with patients OR coworkers. There's radiology for those who don't want patient interaction, and Ive heard mention of anesthesiology, although I imagine I would have to work with a team of people, and sometimes I find I work better getting lost in my own thoughts and in work, and not having to worry about what my coworkers think about me. What's good for those of us who enjoy some brief patient/coworker interaction but happen to need some time to ourselves throughout the day?
 

Law2Doc

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I'm not sure you'll find much ability to avoid working with coworkers in medicine, even if you minimize patient contact. Team approaches to healthcare are becoming progressively more important. The radiologist or pathologist who doesn't enjoy regularly talking to the clinicians about his findings and patient care, and the anesthesiologist who doesn't communicate well with the surgeon tend not to keep jobs long. Medicine isn't practiced in a vacuum. It's not about going off in private and generating a pretty Report, it's all about communicating those findings to the person who needs to know about or act on them. Those services that don't provide direct patient care of necessity have to effectively communicate with the clinician or they aren't doing a good job. And all the competitive fields that are advanced tracks are going to require you to get through an intern year to boot. I'd say the answer to your question is that you can work in a variety of settings, but won't be a useful doctor if you aren't regularly communicating and interfacing with someone.
 

ruralsurg4now

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I'd say the answer to your question is that you can work in a variety of settings, but won't be a useful doctor if you aren't regularly communicating and interfacing with someone.
That's highly debatable. I've run into a lot of physicians who don't communicate with anyone. In fact, most of the reason people "require" talking is because they're for some reason incapable of reading notes.
 
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ruralsurg4now

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When did "introvert" become a synonym for "on the autism spectrum"?

I'm an "introvert" according to every personality test I've ever taken, and somehow I manage to talk to people without clawing my eyes out.
I'm pretty sure 90% of our medical school class was introverted. We had to take a personality test (for fun) during orientation and everyone was an introvert.
 

colbgw02

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When did "introvert" become a synonym for "on the autism spectrum"?

I'm an "introvert" according to every personality test I've ever taken, and somehow I manage to talk to people without clawing my eyes out.
So true. I'm an introvert, but I communicate well with others. For me, introversion just means that I "recharge" by being alone instead of among others. It's also a continuum - some people are just barely introverts. Plus, it's situation-specific. Overall, I'm introverted, but I'm very comfortable at work where people might mistake me for an extrovert.
 
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smq123

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So true. I'm an introvert, but I communicate well with others. For me, introversion just means that I "recharge" by being alone instead of among others. It's also a continuum - some people are just barely introverts. Plus, it's situation-specific. Overall, I'm introverted, but I'm very comfortable at work where people might mistake me for an extrovert.
Yep, exactly.

I'm in family medicine and manage to see patients for 8 hours a day without much problem. I just recover from that 8 hour day by spending an hour or two alone with either music or a book.
 

Law2Doc

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When did "introvert" become a synonym for "on the autism spectrum"?

I'm an "introvert" according to every personality test I've ever taken, and somehow I manage to talk to people without clawing my eyes out.
Regardless of how personality tests would define it, the OP has indicated that he wants a Job with little to no interpersonal communication so he can "be lost in his own thoughts", have " alone time" and not have to care about how he is perceived. I'm not sure that job exist outside of maybe a compuer lab someplace. I'm not aware of many doctors who fit this bill in any specialty, and those that do would tend to be quite expendable.
 

ruralsurg4now

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I'm not aware of many doctors who fit this bill in any specialty, and those that do would tend to be quite expendable.
Nah, you can be mostly quiet in most specialties and have no problem. The ones where you have to talk a lot would probably be EM, IM, FP. I'm mostly quiet and don't talk to people, I just walk in, write in the chart, and walk out.
 
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Law2Doc

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Nah, you can be mostly quiet in most specialties and have no problem. The ones where you have to talk a lot would probably be EM, IM, FP. I'm mostly quiet and don't talk to people, I just walk in, write in the chart, and walk out.
Again, we aren't talking about being "mostly quiet". The OP seems to want a job with essentially no interpersonal dealings and where perceptions of coworkers don't matter. Meaning he doesn't want things where there is a consult relationship, or where he is part of a team. You guys are hung up on the personality test definition of "introvert" but unless I'm misreading his first post, I don't think the OP is talking about just being quiet or shy or reserved. He wants to do his work in a vacuum without much interaction with others. This would be pretty rare in any medical specialty, and if you were like this you'd be the most expendable, because in most cases what others think of you matters to job security.
 

colbgw02

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The OP talks about needing some alone time during the day. That sounds a whole lot more like the personality test definition of introvert, i.e. needing to be alone to recharge, than your interpretation of the OP.
 

Smurfette

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Given the OP's description of what s/he is looking for, the two fields that immediately come to mind are radiology and pathology, where you are often in your own area doing your own thing, but can call in colleagues to look at something, etc. Anesthesia can go either way, since you are in a room with many people but can be in your own "zone" at the head of the bed for blocks of time without a whole lot of interruption (although there are communications regarding patient status and to change patient positioning).

But as others above mention, you can find a way in all fields to quietly do your thing.
 
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KnuxNole

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By introvert I mean someone who requires alone time without having to deal with patients OR coworkers. There's radiology for those who don't want patient interaction, and Ive heard mention of anesthesiology, although I imagine I would have to work with a team of people, and sometimes I find I work better getting lost in my own thoughts and in work, and not having to worry about what my coworkers think about me. What's good for those of us who enjoy some brief patient/coworker interaction but happen to need some time to ourselves throughout the day?
Coming from someone who is introverted(needs time to recharge from socializing and gets lost in thoughts often), you can find what you're looking for in any field.
 

KnuxNole

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When did "introvert" become a synonym for "on the autism spectrum"?

I'm an "introvert" according to every personality test I've ever taken, and somehow I manage to talk to people without clawing my eyes out.
Oh god this. I hate when people equate introversion with asocial behavior. I love to talk and laugh with co-residents, nurses, and have brief convos with patients/families and at the same time, can't wait to get to my warm, heated house to have some alone time to recharge.
 
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What about academics, or clinical research? you can always structure your day so that you only see patients for a few hours in the morning, and then go on to do something else in the afternoon (writing/medical journalism, research, etc). Also if you own your own practice you can pretty much do whatever you want. Work alone, see patients whenever YOU schedule them..
 

Law2Doc

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The OP talks about needing some alone time during the day. That sounds a whole lot more like the personality test definition of introvert, i.e. needing to be alone to recharge, than your interpretation of the OP.
I'm focusing on the "without having to deal with patients OR coworkers", the suggested dislike in working in a team, the goal of "brief interaction" with patients and coworkers, and the goal of not wanting to have to worry about "what my coworkers think of me". My reading of that language conveys to me something very different than some "time to recharge" throughout the day. So no, i think a fair reading is that hes not really talking about the personality test definition, but something even further beyond.
 
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Law2Doc

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What about academics, or clinical research? you can always structure your day so that you only see patients for a few hours in the morning, and then go on to do something else in the afternoon (writing/medical journalism, research, etc). Also if you own your own practice you can pretty much do whatever you want. Work alone, see patients whenever YOU schedule them..
In an academic career, I think you pretty much maximize the importance of what coworkers and supervisors think of you -- it's hugely political, and to have any sort of academic career you need to be willing to jump onto or run any committee that might put you in good stead with your superiors.

Owning your own practice might be a mistake for someone who doesn't want to be out there front and center -- you are your own marketing department and patients wont just find their way to you by a sign on the door. Getting patients is mostly about cultivating interpersonal relationships. Most of the people who succeed in setting up new thriving practice have the gift of gab or the salesman gene. Plus then you'd have to interact with vendors, lawyers, accountants, employees...
 
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