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Does Psychiatry really suck, or is that a myth?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by minigirly17, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. minigirly17

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    Would you suggest psychiatry as a career to go into if you like to deal with the brain? Please list the bad points about psychiatry , so that I may avoid it if needed.:D :D
     
  2. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    If you want to deal with the brain, also consider neurology or neurosurgery. You will have the opportunity to decide on your own about psychiatry as it is a required clerkship in the third year of medical school. You will not be able to avoid it. Whether you enjoy it or not will depend on the facility where you rotate, and thus the quality of cases you get to see, and the mentor you have while you are learning about it.
     
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  3. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I think psychiatry sounds great, and most people who do it seem pretty happy with their choice. However, I think the vast majority of med students would hate it because it doesn't get a lot of respect (yeah, we're all ego driven here), the pay's not great (good, but not ortho good), and you don't do procedures. Oh yeah, some people don't like nutty people, and it seems like the medical community still has a pretty heavily ingrained bias against mental illness.

    Maybe you should lurk on the psych forum a bit to get some insight.
     
  4. MartianOddity

    MartianOddity The sexy thing from Mars
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    Psychiatry? Most people I know of that are psychiatrists tend to be nutcases themselves or are married to nutcases-to-be.
    Do it if you like it, nutcases are always in denial of their mental state though :smuggrin:.
    No offence meant at all. Prove me wrong!
     
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  5. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    The problem with med student exposure to psych is that we all tend to rotate at large university settings where the pt population is largely indigent and crazy. Psych seems like a continual up-hill battle against "the system."

    If you look out in the real world there are psych docs with nice suburban practices who see a much more tolerable pt group. There are a few solid students in my class planning to do psych, I think that is awesome. There is very little reason why it should be the red-headed stepchild of the medical profession.
     
  6. BrianUM

    BrianUM Future M.D
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    I am going to be an MS-1 later this yr and my interests are likely to change, but right now I'm extremely interested in going into psych. I think its a great field that is still respected although perhaps not the degree of other specialties. If you are good, though, you will be respected no matter what field you go into. You cannot tell me that psych. is not extremely interesting. Plus, the advent of Neuropsychiatry and Biological Psychiatry appears to be on the way. It's looking promising!
     
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  7. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader
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    Speaking personally, I thought my psych experience was simultaneously fascinating, depressing, and unsatisfying. The pathology will blow you away because never in your life did you think neurons were capable of firing in the ridiculously f'd up way they are in some of the sick people. The life stories of most of the people will make you want to curl up in a fetal position and quiver... childhood abuse and rape were prevalent- and this was not in a inner city- and the injustices many had to suffer were just mind boggling... pretty often a group of people who never really stood a chance at life given the deck of cards they were dealt. Ultimately I found it to be tremendously unsatisfying. The diagnosis seemed to be assigned too arbitrarily and half hazerdly and the overlap in treatments suggested you were just throwing 18 meds hoping one would work. Additionally, treatment sucked.... I mean absolutely blew. I left everyday with the feeling that we really didn't do anything. There is NO effective treatment of bad schizophrenia which caught a fully functioning person in the prime of their lives. So in my mind I was left with a field with questionable algorithms at how they arrived at diagnosis, and treatment options were didn't work. No pill or surgery is going to fixed up life filled with abuse and abandonment. I admire inpatient psychiatrists passionate about their job, but would never in a million years do it. Had a little bread and butter outpatient experience, and just found it way too boring... great lifestyle though.
     
  8. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    what about the brain interests you? have you had any experience with the brain or do you just like the idea of working with the brain? i would suggest you wait until you have taken neuroscience and psych in med school, then make a decision. If you are still interested, rotate through one or both during 3rd year.
     
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  9. CptMorganMD

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    Psych is a fascinating field. I knew long before med school that it is what I wanted to do. The problem with Psych is that you are limited by the lack of the gold standard. It is much harder to characterize mental illness than it is to characterize physical ailments. With the complexity of diagnosis, it is that much more difficult to develop treatments, objective testing etc. This is set to change in the near future I believe. There has been a lot of research into using objective testing like EEG for the purposes of diagnosing disorders like Autism and Schizophrenia. Other objective tests and a better understanding of neuroanatomy will someday lead to better diagnosis and treatment for your patients. This is a leap of faith. If things do not progress as rapidly as I would like, I could spend much of my career doing less than I would like to help my patients. It cold turn out though that I am entering a field like Oncology was not so long ago, where I will see the dawn of a new era where patients become happier, more productive individuals. It is one thing to save a life, but it is a greater thing to make a life worth saving. That is what Psychiatry is to me.

    The heart is like a pump, only more complicated because it is living tissue. The brain is like a computer, only more complicated because it is living tissue.
    When the day comes that a psychiatrist can understand the way the brain works at the level that a cardiologist understands the heart, you will see that Psychiatrists get their due of respect within the medical field. Until then, we will continue to be seen as witch doctors more or less practicing voodoo. Going into Psych means being comfortable with treating the patient without having the benefit of knowing every detail of the pathophysiology behind the disorder you are treating, at least for the time being.
     
  10. excalibur

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    I admire everyone who goes into psych. I respect the hell out of psychiatrists. It simply was not for me and here is why...(remember these were my opinions but they resonate with Turkleton's and are not meant to offend anyone, just how I felt)

    Typical diseases you deal with in Psychiatry:
    1. Depression
    2. Anxiety
    3. Psychosis (Shizophrenia, Schizophreniform, Schizoaffective, etc)
    4. Bipolar disorder
    5. Substance abuse and Addiction

    Reading about these diseases is fascinating, but dealing with the patients with these diseases is another story.

    As Turkleton already mentioned, these people's stories are really f'n depressing! With the exception of maybe the anxiety patients, many of your patients' lives are a total f'n mess. The patients can be emotional and social train wrecks destroying everyone in their path. You may think these patients need help the most, and I tend to agree, but often times your help is so minimal that I could never see myself doing it. I just know that I would lose my mind dealing with these patients on a daily basis.

    Other issues are diagnosis and management. Diagnoses are mainly made from question and answer sessions. Oh and sometimes these interviews are difficult to get information b/c the patient is just answering with crazy responses like answering in numbers. Or, "Can you repeat these three words for me? Monkey, pencil, rose." She responds, "*****, *****, *****" Management is mostly pharmacology. Not a lot of physical exam or labs done in comparison to other specialties. In the mental institution, we also always needed to have an "escape plan" before we interviewed our patients just in case they attacked us. Not my idea of fun. Also, psych is social worker heaven. You have to deal with a BOATLOAD of social aspects in this specialty that they are a must. I know that these social aspects are absolutely necessary, but I decided to go into a specialty where you wouldn't have to deal with these things as much b/c I just didn't like tyring to chase down where this patient was going to go, where is the mom, wife, his ride, what other facility can we send him to, is there a spot open there? Just not my thing, sorry.

    Bottom line is I would have been miserable dealing with these patients, and all the gloom would have left me with depression, which would have been brought home to my wife without question. I didn't want that.
     
  11. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member
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    It Saturday night/Sunday morning. And I knew I could come to this thread for some for for a few guaranteed laughs and stress release...:laugh:
     
  12. skybliss

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    I realized that psychiatry is for me after I realized that most of my closest friends were either:
    - raped as children
    - tried to commit suicide
    - childhood abuse or trauma
    - abandonment.

    of these 4, I have 3. I have an amazing ability to look at someone, and understand their ****ups. It's so rewarding.

    I don't know if doing it professionally would be as great, because I like the friend aspect, and psychiatrists aren't supposed to be friends with patients. also, I bet psychiatrists are less appreciated by patients and respected by patients/peers.
     
  13. Orbo

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    This is too true.
     
  14. Analog

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    *note: all posts in this topic were made 2 years ago

    for some reason someone decided to bump it to share why they are going into psychiatry (how do you know?)
     
  15. AlexMorph

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    i hate random thread bumping, but psychiatrists are amongst the happiest doctors.
    surgeons on the other hand...
     
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