Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,910
1,148
from the ministry of information
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I'm an MS3 who is seriously thinking about going into psych, and I've had so many people recently tell me that I have a good personality for psych. What does that mean? I don't even know if this is a good thing or not. :eek: Anyway, just wondering what I'm doing that is apparently saying to others that psych is a good fit for me. Do they sense my complete disinterest in listening to someone's abdomen, and my fascination with everyone's psychosocial issues? Or do they just think I'm a lazy hippie type? ;)
 

Chimed

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
717
78
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
lucy%20doctor%20stand.jpg
 
About the Ads

Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
11
Pennsylvania
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Let me translate the posts above for you by OPD and Chimed.

Basically, you want to make the patient better, not just patch em up and send them home. Don't worry, we suffer this problem in psychiatry too... just ask the inpatient attendings how they feel about patients.

:whistle:
 

kstotes

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2007
41
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Well I would argue the lazy hippie stereotype would only apply if you are going to UCSF, Univ or Oregon, or Cheba State School of Psychotherapy and Horticulture.

In general "you seem perfect for psych" falls into one of two categories:

A. "I went into psychiatry because I can relate to the patients":
this is not the category you want to be in for the most part. I actually had someone once ask me which programs in the country are more open to applicants who want to frame their work in the context of her own experiences as a patient and share those experiences with patients. I told her to look into Countertransference University. Now I'm not saying having been a patient is a bad thing, in fact it provides a very unique insight, nor that empathy for patients is a undesireable. But in the spectrum of personalities... you don't want someone saying you'd make a great psychiatrist because you are in fact yourself crazy/weird. If that made you a good psychiatrist we'd see Dr. B. Spears as the new Program Director of the UCLA- Geffen School of Music, Medicine, and Psychiatry.

B. The Analytic Mind:
most people who I feel would be good for psychiatry are "Why" people... a patient comes in with chest pain and the person asks "do you think his cultural background involving high fat cuisine and the fact that his mother was raising 5 children, had two jobs, and neither the time or money to buy fresh groceries contributed to his coronary artery disease". I think a good personality for psychiatry really appreciates the biopsychosocial aspect of their patients. You will thrive in a setting where people argue which had more impact on a patients current state- their abusive childhood or their drug abuse... or are they even mutually exclusive. I came from an anthropology background and I feel that psychiatry is modern human anthropology with a purpose. Anthropologist find the answers of why we are who we are... psychiatrists affect something with that knowledge.

So to answer you question, hopefully they mean you are the B-type, and yes, being inquisitive is a strong step toward psychiatry. That's not to say a stellar neuro-biochemist couldn't be a great psychiatrist, but they might get bored with the more ethereal components of their training. Its very interesting to see the 8 residents in my class dividing off based on specialty interests and personalities. Those of us child psych bound eat up the developmental background discussions while the emergency psych people languish away waiting to talk about overdose and suicidality. Meanwhile the outpatient-bound people are eating up the medical-legal and psychopharm.

Succintly stated- there's something for everyone in psych, but I think you gotta love the invesitgation of people regardless.
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,910
1,148
from the ministry of information
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Let me translate the posts above for you by OPD and Chimed.

Basically, you want to make the patient better, not just patch em up and send them home. Don't worry, we suffer this problem in psychiatry too... just ask the inpatient attendings how they feel about patients.

:whistle:

Hmm, I guess that is true. That's one reason why I'm really not enjoying medicine right now. It seems like we do just get our patients a small step away from death and send them home with the expectation that they'll be back before long.

Ack, though, still trying to figure out what these non-psych people are thinking about me when they tell me this.
 

Still Kickin

Attending
10+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2005
209
15
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
...I don't even know if this is a good thing or not... ...Anyway, just wondering what I'm doing that is apparently saying to others that psych is a good fit for me...
Have you expressed (or even hinted at) an interest in psych to anybody? If you tell your residents and/or attendings you're interested in [or even "thinking about"] a particular specialty, they are usually on-board with nurturing your career in that direction... (Assuming they think you are suited for it...) (And if you say "I'm thinking about [this] vs. [that]" they will provide you will plenty of info [comparisons & contrast, etc.] on the two specialties)

...my complete disinterest in listening to someone's abdomen, and my fascination with everyone's psychosocial issues?
Hmm, this reminds me a bit of my personal statement for residency... ;)

a patient comes in with chest pain and the person asks "do you think his cultural background involving high fat cuisine and the fact that his mother was raising 5 children, had two jobs, and neither the time or money to buy fresh groceries contributed to his coronary artery disease".
:laugh: :) :laugh: :laugh: :) :laugh:
(unfortunately there is no ":roflmao:" "smiley")
(I'm basically "laughing" at myself, because I of how much I relate to this statement...)

Its very interesting to see the 8 residents in my class dividing off based on specialty interests and personalities. Those of us child psych bound eat up the developmental background discussions while the emergency psych people languish away waiting to talk about overdose and suicidality. Meanwhile the outpatient-bound people are eating up the medical-legal and psychopharm.
This *all* sounds interesting to me... *sigh*
 

Chimed

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
717
78
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Without sounding to clichéd, here are some qualities that make someone good in psychiatry:
-Ability to show empathy (Doctoring 101, really)
-Ability to make the patient felt they have been heard (again, basic doctoring...),
- Being able to make a diagnosis based almost completely on history (more unique to psychiatry). In other words, being able to hear an entire story and conceptualize the patient in a biopsychosocial format that helps direct and inform treatment. Then, being able to articulate your conception of the patient to others through written and spoken language.
- Ability for abstract reasoning
- Ability to listen to patients in a non-judgmental manner (doesn't mean you condone their behaviors :cool:)
- Helps to have a deep curiosity of human behavior
- If you're in medical school, you already have the necessary scientific mind and intellectual ability.
- Of course, you need the ability to read minds and mend them to your ways! Maybe this is the personality trait they're speaking of...:D
 
Last edited:

originial dream

New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2008
9
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
Awesome thread! All this talk gets me even more excited about my decision to pursue psychiatry!:D

kstotes: why do outpatient people eat up medical-legal and what about psychotherapy?
 

kstotes

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2007
41
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Well let me qualify... as interns we don't get a lot of psychotherapy didactics yet. The outpatient bound people seem to be more intent on getting down the specifics of "how often to I have to check TSH, CBC, Lipids, etc", "what needs to be documented on physical exam and how often". I assume inpatient people see their patients every day so these are easier to keep up on than the outpatient doc who may see a patient once a month. Again I'm not saying these are mutually exclusive interests to particular specialties, just my observation thus far.
 

rotator22

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
17
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
If other people's thoughts and behaviour interest you tremendously, than Psych. is the right field for you
 

1985psych

New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2008
4
0
Status (Visible)
this is an awesome thread...i've been trying to figure out if i want to do clin. psych ph.d. or m.d. and go into psychiatry. i feel like i relate to all of the traits that previous posters have mentioned; this is what is going through my mind. it seems like most md's are pretty type A, and im not like this at all, so i wonder if i wouldn't do well in med school. b/c of that, i figured i should do the clin. psych. phd. but when i think about why people do what they do, it often seems that you can attribute it to biological factors and i'd want to diagnose people based on more than just social/developmental issues. is that what psychiatrists do?
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2002
10,910
1,148
from the ministry of information
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
this is an awesome thread...i've been trying to figure out if i want to do clin. psych ph.d. or m.d. and go into psychiatry. i feel like i relate to all of the traits that previous posters have mentioned; this is what is going through my mind. it seems like most md's are pretty type A, and im not like this at all, so i wonder if i wouldn't do well in med school. b/c of that, i figured i should do the clin. psych. phd. but when i think about why people do what they do, it often seems that you can attribute it to biological factors and i'd want to diagnose people based on more than just social/developmental issues. is that what psychiatrists do?

I can't say much about what either psychiatrists or clinical psychologists do, but yeah, most medical students are Type A people. However, I would guess that most clinical psychology people are, too, especially considering how competitive it is to get into those programs. I'm not Type A, so yeah, sometimes I do have trouble relating to my fellow students.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.