Can an introvert become an effective surgeon?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by HoboCommander, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. HoboCommander

    HoboCommander 7+ Year Member

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    Hi, I just sent in my residency app for a surgical subspecialty, so this thread isn't going to change my career goals, but I've always wanted to get the thoughts of others about this.

    I am an introvert and don't talk much socially. I am also very nice. But the surgeons I know tend to be extroverts (usually hogging the conversation) and yell at nurses. The residents teach me how to yell at the nurses, but I just have a hard time doing it. I try to be nice to everyone. Instead of yelling at the nurse, I bought the nurse coffee and she finally executed our orders.

    When I become a resident, is it essential that I become a mean person? Do I need to make myself more arrogant? I just want to be a very effective surgeon, and I would try to change my personality if it's necessary, but it's hard. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
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  3. Noctámbulo

    Noctámbulo 2+ Year Member

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    The best neurosurgeon I ever shadowed was noticeably an introvert.
     
  4. HoboCommander

    HoboCommander 7+ Year Member

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    That is great to know! Thank you! He must have been even more of an introvert when he was a med student like me.
     
  5. RueTay

    RueTay 7+ Year Member

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    You will see.

    Being nice is great, it gets you very far with lots of people and makes your life easier. Being TOO nice puts you at risk of being taken advantage of.
     
  6. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery 5+ Year Member

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    #1 "Hogging the conversation" != extrovert
    #2 Yelling at nurses != extrovert
    #3 Residents teaching you how to yell at nurses = ****ty residents
    #4 Buying coffee to get people to do their jobs != being an introvert
    #5 Being mean != being an extrovert
    #6 Being arrogant != being an extrovert

    #7 You should probably learn what those terms mean before you start throwing them around.
    #8 Your medical school sounds terrible.
    #9 Follow common sense.
    #10 Learn that things aren't black and white.
     
  7. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Being an introvert has nothing to do with how much you talk or how often you yell at nurses. I don't think you actually know what the word means.
     
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  8. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery 5+ Year Member

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    Logically does not follow.
     
  9. HoboCommander

    HoboCommander 7+ Year Member

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    I mean "more reserved" when I say introvert. Yes I know that's not the correct definition of introvert. You guys can tell by the context what personality type I am referring to. I am a reserved person who prefers to avoid conflict. I do not dominate a room full of people like some of my surgical attendings do. I was wondering if others have experiences with the more reserved attendings, and if they were effective surgeons.
     
  10. Theafoni

    Theafoni True Blue 2+ Year Member

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    Haven't you heard, nice guys finish last. Just kidding.

    As a lowly pre-med, I don't know what sort of advice I can give you, but I guess I'd just say open up. Yell at people when you need to, and be nice and approachable other times. Introversion shouldn't stop you from doing your job.
     
  11. HoboCommander

    HoboCommander 7+ Year Member

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    I just reread what I wrote and it's you not reading correctly. If this is the only comment you can make, then I would be very concerned if I were you.
     
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  12. looncat

    looncat 2+ Year Member

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    I'm just a pre-med, but I'm pretty sure "yelling at nurses" does not a good surgeon make. I'd rather my doctor be quiet and nice than "extroverted" and constantly yelling at others.
     
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  13. HoboCommander

    HoboCommander 7+ Year Member

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    I think everyone is buying into the Myers-Briggs definition of introversion which is different from the commonly accepted definition. Now I realize how confusing this thread is, and will reword a new title.
     
  14. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

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    Then there's something off about your reading. You equated introvertism with not talking a lot socially, which is not true. You're mistaking shyness with being an introvert. Both are different and are explain different personalities.

    Also, you're concerned that a premed can't make any other comments about a thread regarding surgery? Are you sure it isn't you we should be concerned about?
     
  15. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Moving to Allo
     
  16. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    As much as I sometimes go off and complain about Surgeons (more General, not the subspecialists), I really have to question whether your post is a request for information or more a trolling premed post. Most surgical residency programs will not tolerate surgical residents yelling at nurses (no matter how much they deserve it).
     
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  17. demayette

    demayette Banned Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

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    You see what I was saying! OP just sent in his residency application...
     
  18. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I know. His post still sounded like an uninformed premed though.
     
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  19. operaman

    operaman 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah OP is either a pre-med or goes to the worst med school ever.

    Surgeons who yell at nurses and residents who teach students to do it are not extroverts, they're a--holes. They are also probably mediocre surgeons at best. The very best surgeons would never do that and are actually fairly laid back. These are the guys who when the scrub hands them the wrong instrument, they don't get mad they just make it work if possible or kindly ask for the correct one if it doesn't. The mediocre and bad surgeons flip out and yell or even throw things, but the good ones are just too far above it all to get worked up. The great ones are just forces of nature who are so awesome and well respected that people are happy to carry out their orders.

    My sense is that the inherent stress and pressure of doing surgery on a human being can wreak havoc on fragile egos who are secretly insecure about their ability.
     
  20. Ventric

    Ventric 7+ Year Member

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    The residents are teaching you to yell at nurses? Wtf?

    There is absolutely no way you're a 4th year medical student. You've been posting questions in preallo that any 3rd year would know. Stop trolling.
     
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  21. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Sadly, I think they really are a fourth year applying to a surgical subspecialty. I took a brief look through the posting history and they've been posting consistently for many years, from pre-med through pre-clinicals/step 1 to clinicals.

    Which makes these questions all the more sad. How can someone get through three years of med school and be applying to a field, yet understand so little about it...
     
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  22. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    Not much to add here except the comment that if your definition of introvert is in question could the same be said of your use of the word "yelling?"

    If not, and the residents are "teaching you to yell at the nurses", you've got some really ****ty residents.
     
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  23. NontradCA

    NontradCA American Hero 2+ Year Member

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    :confused:How can someone with such an epic avatar and username be asking such questions?
     
  24. histidine

    histidine 2+ Year Member

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    Or he's one of the most dedicated trolls that SDN has ever seen.
     
  25. GoPelicans

    GoPelicans 2+ Year Member

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    Having an outgoing personality helps in pretty much any walk of life, but I would say it's far from essential. Just don't be a total wallflower who people will try to take advantage of.
     
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  26. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    It could be worse, he could be the type that enjoys yelling at nurses and thinks that his surgical subspecialty will allow him to do so without consequences.
     
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  27. Dral

    Dral 7+ Year Member

    Do you mean literally? Like "hey med student, when a nurse does something wrong, you raise your voice and blah blah blah".

    Wow.
     
  28. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    That or he actually yells at the nurse in front of the student and then has him give it a try.
     
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  29. SplenoMegastar

    SplenoMegastar MS4 7+ Year Member

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    I have noticed that people use the word "yell" pretty freely to just mean "someone said something I didn't like above a whisper." Maybe the OP's residents are just asking the OP to be a little more assertive in certain instances. Since I have expressed interest in surgery, my residents have given me advice on being assertive to make sure that things get done (this doesn't even come up that often) since they are often on a tight timeline. I can't state clearly enough that no one has advised me to yell, though. I have heard some attendings get pretty loud in the OR but it's usually when someone is telling a story about their kid instead of passing the instrument that was asked for twice (and this is the third time that case, or it's just time for everyone to focus up and be quiet, etc.)
     
  30. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    No, that' just being mean. (drops mic) :whoa:
     
  31. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    True, for someone who is self-described "introvert" they may misinterpret being assertive as "yelling".
     
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  32. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Then they write books and title them: Heart Failure: Diary of a Third Year Medical Student.
     
  33. jw3600

    jw3600 2+ Year Member

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    It's all apart of the facade.
     
  34. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    There are alot of introverts in surgery here. Not sure if you're not getting enough exposure or what.
    Also, i practice 5x's a day how to properly yell. Jk. I just talk. Sometimes joke, sometimes self-deprecating humor. I just get along fine with some surgeons. It's the ones with no sense of humor that make it kinda tough.
    Like when we were doing staple closure and I jokingly asked for dermabond and the nurse went to get it knowing we don't use dermabond on staples. The scrub techs stopped her before she opened it and were like "seriously?" to the nurse.
     
  35. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    :nono:
     
  36. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    Honestly, that nurse did deserve it. We were on a previous case when she was the scrub tech and I asked for something and she said no. Five seconds later the attending tells her to hand me what I asked for.
     
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  37. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I'm just saying that move could have easily backfired considering you were med student. You will now have to undergo mandatory sensitivity training and professionalism remediation.
     
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  38. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    Who's saying I didn't? Also, sexual harassment. Also, mandatory withdrawal.
     
  39. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    Also, it's the OR. Those things don't exist.
     
  40. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Yes, you'd undergo those things outside the OR. Surgery residencies are not as willing to overlook those types of issues as much due to regulatory pressure.
     
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  41. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    I was joking
     
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  42. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I know. :D. That's what FancyMyLotus loves about you.
     
  43. dirigo

    dirigo 2+ Year Member

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    Imagine what he could accomplish by using the same commitment to trolling.
     
  44. samuelp

    samuelp 7+ Year Member

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    You're better off using the coffee thing. ... Positive reinforcement. And you're also giving her a drug as positive reinforcement which will get her to do what you want more often. Yelling works also, but not as effectively as doing a variable rate of getting her (or whatever subject) treats and coffees and stuff.
     
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