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How much does personality matter?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mg0abraxas, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Mg0abraxas

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    Hey


    Well, my predicament is this. When I first entered college, I was a physics major. As a naive freshman, I wanted to learn about the world, and try to understand truth in its most pure mathematical elegance and so on and so forth. However, after talking to people and researching, I learned that a typical career in theoretical or quantum physics is not glamorous at all, but in fact, pretty terrible.



    So as my parents have urged me since birth, I decided on a pre-med major. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that a human body is extremely intriguing, just as interesting as the entire universe because well, there is an almost meta interaction going on, especially in terms of neurology/psychiatry. Reading Oliver Sacks' books have really piqued my interest in neurology; the human mind is much more complex than we ever thought it was.



    Now after shadowing and volunteering and talking to my peers, I am beginning to have doubts, not of my ability, but of my personality that clashes with typical workers of medicine. I love dark humor, such as that of George Carlin. I believe that the world would be a better place if people abandoned religion. My personal philosophy seesaws between existentialism and nihilism. I don't believe that people are born equal, nor will they ever be. Sometimes I find myself desiring the company of music and art rather than the people I'm with. I smoke occasionally, and used to blaze regularly.


    In short, I am not a typical premed student in terms of personality, will this drive me insane if I choose a career in medicine? Would a medical research career better fit me? Am I naive for believing that it matters at all?
     
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  3. theroadtomed

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    You're fine. PandabearMD is a living testament to most of these traits being just fine.
     
  4. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    heh you are not alone.

    i also was bordering on the physics/mathematics thing. than i met brian greene and he was a douche so i moved on to biochemistry and still dont think i have the magic personality of the selfless doctor. i think its okay, you can always be House.
     
  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    I don't know what "to blaze" means in this context but otherwise it sounds like you might be a good fit with neurology. ;)
     
  6. NeuroChaos

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    ......my life just lost meaning. stephan hawking...einstein...bohr...planck...such terrible human beings...my GOD forgive them in the after world.

    as to the other ques.
    do not think that u have to act certain way to be a good docotr. yes there are certain qualities that u should posses. but everyone my express those qualities in a different ways.

    yorur personal beliefs donot matter in ur professional life. so u can be an atheist on sundays ..a philosophor on saturday...and a doctor monday to friday
     
  7. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    Just do whatever makes you feel like your life wasn't a total waste when you die. By the way, you have a realistic view on the world and there are truths that people would rather ignore and pretend aren't there. Recognizing these truths does not make you a bad person or ineligible to be a physician. They may even make you a better physician.

    Here is Panda Bear MD's blog link: http://www.studentdoctor.net/pandabearmd/
     
  8. Lukkie

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    you sound a lot like me. im applying this year, don't know when you are but i'll tell you how it goes...
     
  9. Lukkie

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    don't know if you were being sarcastic, but it means he wasn't smoking lite cigarettes
     
  10. 236116

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    oh look pseudohouse.

    can you keep it to yourself around the parents of a dying 2yo?
     
  11. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    If this board is any indication, you won't be at all alone in the medical field; If I remember correctly, I'd say about half of the respondents in a poll we had a couple of months back self-identified as atheist/agnostic. One's religious views are completely irrelevant when it comes to your competency as a physician; the only thing that matters is your ability to at least respect the opinions and beliefs of your patients and coworkers to the point that you can work alongside your religious coworkers and put up with your religious patients.
     
  12. otterpop

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    Religion is such a complicated thing.
     
  13. Lindlar

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    The most important thing is that you stay true to your own personality. If you find that you really are a dark person and are not just filling in your own lack of such with someone else's, say House or George Carlin, then that's fine.. To a degree. If a patient decides to pray to whatever flavor of deity they like, and you can't help but tell them to stop talking to themselves, then maybe medicine isn't for you. Or any kind of social career. You might try lab work though.
     
  14. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    Pre-emptively, let's please not have another religion thread. It seems like one always pops up every couple of weeks or so. At best, everyone learns where everyone else stands on everything- usually, they learn that everyone's viewpoints are a lot more nuanced than just what they might perceive from the usual cookie-cutter atheist or religious person; at worst, they devolve into a pointless, circular argument that usually ends in name-calling followed by a lock. To my knowledge, nobody in the history of civilization has ever changed his or her religious beliefs based on even the most impassioned post on an internet message board.

    At this point in threads like these, someone just feels compelled to throw in their $.02, which leads to everyone else just chiming in as well, and that's really not what the OP was asking for. So let's just not, please.
     
  15. Mg0abraxas

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    Thanks for the replies, I actually feel much better.

    So basically, as long as I can keep my mouth shut when I need to, I'll be fine.

    I try not to infringe upon other people's beliefs unless they harm me or infringe upon my beliefs.

    Well, now I have another question for you.
    Which career do you think will best suit a person like me? MD/PhD, PsyD, MD (neuro, psych), etc?
     
  16. 236116

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    Honestly, I'd stay out of people's heads. Remove the temptation. Research?
     
  17. Lukkie

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    how about just a PhD?
     
  18. otterpop

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    haha hey man, don't worry, it wasn't my intention to start anything.
     
  19. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    Oh no worries, it wasn't really aimed at you in particular; it's just we were reaching the point in the thread where someone (not necessarily you or anyone in particular) usually randomly can't resist the urge any longer to just throw out their own $.02 on the issue.
     
  20. Retsage

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    Marijuana.
     
  21. otterpop

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    I get a little nervous every time LizzyM posts. I don't know why. I feel watched.
     
  22. Retsage

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    I love LizzyM. She's probably the most worthwhile poster on the pre-allo forums. Plus, she really helped me out when I was in a bind a while back. Lovely lady, she is.
     
  23. 236116

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    Yes to both of these.

    She makes me feel like I should be on better behaviour but that I won't get in trouble if I don't.

    IDK. It's 3 am, bedtime. :sleep:
     
  24. Superman78

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    You have a very intriguing personality, which is actually a good thing. As long as you make a hell of a neurologist, it doesn't matter anyway. Empathy is overrated. You don't have to be empathetic to solve a problem, you just have to be good. Be NICE, don't be an a-hole to your patients, but it doesn't have to go beyond that. You don't have to tuck them in and sing them a lullaby.
     
  25. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    I'm blushing! Thank you for your kind words and thanks for the vocabulary lesson. We had different slang back in my day.


    To NeuroChaos: saying that one thinks that for them a career in physics would be terrible is not to say that physicists are bad people, just that the lifestyle (grubbing for research grants, rejection of submissions of grants and papers, competition and backbiting, faculty politics, professional jealosy, the need to be an administrator and teacher/mentor to the next generation ) is not the writer's cup of tea. Could your response to the OP be why so many schools put a high value on verbal score?

    re: my earlier response. No, I wasn't being sarcastic. Some of my esteemed colleagues are non-believers with a taste for dark humor and irony. Neurology was, until very recently, a profession that specialized in giving a diagnosis, a prognosis and a handshake (no pun intended in reference to Parkinson's disease) as there were few if any medications for neurological conditions. (Some called the process of reaching a diagnosis "mental masturbation".) With more diagnostic imaging and some new medications (I'm talking about the last 15-20 years) this is changing but neurologists are still viewed as less in the realm of "warm fuzzy" types.
     
  26. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    OP, if you have a personality/attitude/dress that is a turn-off to the average joe (do you wear black eyeliner and dress like a goth?), you may have problems as an MD that sees patients (and there are all kinds of MDs that don't see patients). If your attitude is that of constant slightly sneering cynicism (a la House), I would probably go into a field without too much patient contact. I'm not saying that any of the above description fits you, but I'm extrapolating possibilities from your original description.

    Don't get me wrong -- it's not that I mind House necessarily, and I have no opinion either way on goth outfits; I have a pretty easy live and let live attitude. But most people aren't going to want to have a philosophy lesson at their annual check up ;). I think in general, there are *lots* of things patients probably don't want to know about their physician's personal life.

    I was thinking more along the lines of radiology when I read the original post.
     
  27. Nomdeplume

    Nomdeplume (nom nom nom)
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    :eek::laugh::laugh:

    Purely awful. :p
     
  28. variablistic

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    Huh, and here I thought all the mental masturbaters were the psychiatrists.
     
  29. Narmerguy

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    Well do you have any experience with research? You could be well suited for it but you'd definitely have to get some research experience first to tell if you like it and also to even have a chance of getting into it if you do happen to like it. MD/PhD could be viable is all I'm saying.
     
  30. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Don't bait me. I'd have a response to this one but it would be scandalous for LizzyM to be banned for trolling.
     
  31. LadyMD2b

    LadyMD2b ... moment of silence
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    Contrary to what some people believe, personality does matter if you want to KEEP your patients. I would say pick a career in research or go into a speciality where you dont have to deal with patients as much. If I were a patient, I wouldnt really want you as my doctor. Just MHO :shrug:
     
  32. 236116

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    :laugh::highfive:
     
  33. Lukkie

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    i have to say, you've really been on a roll this weekend :laugh:
     
  34. Bkv11

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    I'm pretty similar minus the smoking. I'm wondering if I'll have to put up a Mother Teresa front to get into a medical school though =/ . I do "care" about people, but not to a degree where I'd go to ridiculous lengths to appease them when they're being irrational. The main reason I want to be a doctor is because I have a genuine interest in the functions and abnormalities of various parts of the human anatomy. But I'm not as interested in the souls that inhabit it.
     
  35. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    That's the beauty of neurology. Some work solely as consultants: make the diagnosis, provide a prognosis, and refer back to the primary care provider for symptom management. No long term relationships, and keeping patients, rather than sending them back to the referring physicians is actually a way of killing the chances for future referrals.

    Neurologists in some teaching facilities will keep one patient with each unusual diagnosis in their practice (as a teaching case) but otherwise refer back.
     
  36. 236116

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    You're kinda gonna hafta need to be able to do both.
     
  37. otterpop

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    I like your sense of humor, LizzyM. You're a lot less threatening than I had imagined.
     
  38. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    I've actually only heard this in reference to internal medicine docs, never psychiatrists or neurologists.
     
  39. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    I think that it is the surgical specialists' put-down of the physicians who use their brains rather than their hands.



    OMG, I"m just looking at this again and I meant to refer to surgical specialists using their hand for surgery.... and others using their brains to practice medicine but juxtapositioned with mental masturbation... I see that I've really stepped in it!
     
    #38 LizzyM, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  40. Oceaner

    Oceaner Certified smartass
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    "So as my parents have urged me since birth... my personality that clashes with typical workers of medicine... I am not a typical premed student in terms of personality."

    I love special snowflakes. Dark humor is fine, just try not to be a self-inflated douchebag.

    Then there is neurosurgery...


    <- warning: user is neither a physician nor self-inflated. maybe a bit of a db though.
     
  41. Narmerguy

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    :laugh: Priceless.

    :laugh:

    Unfortunately it seems they inevitably go hand in hand.
     
  42. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    :laugh:. The title made me think this was a dating thread.

    For the question: There are people in all professions who if you knew certain things about their opinions/personality/personal life you would probably think less of them. I'm sure there are surgeons who's high-school, college, and maybe even med-school classmates would run for the door if said surgeon was going to operate on them. There definetly is a such thing as knowing to much about someone. You just need to behave in such a way around patients(and certain co-workers) as to not undermine your own authority.

    This exists in most work places. Which is why if you walk into an office building, doctors office or any other place of work as an outside observer you'll find very similar, and bland cultures seemingly scubbed clean of all fun by the political correctness machine.

    But don't worry, all is not lost. Once you get working somewhere you find the people who can appreciate your humor and personality. You just don't see this sort of stuff as a casual observer; because the people placing bets on how through the roof a patients blood glucose is don't want to deal with any backlash so they do it among their own little group.
     
    #41 DrYoda, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009

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