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Med School & Personality Change

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by confuse, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. confuse

    confuse Senior Member
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    Do you guys notice any personality change before versus after or during med school? I feel that my personality has changed alot since I entered med school; some for better, most for worse. I want to talk about one aspect of medical school that has affected my personality. I feel like med school emphasizes so much on professionalism, which is a very good thing, but the flip side is that it has made me much more anal when I become "more professional" in my personal relationships as well.
    Before med school, I'm cool with people making dumb jokes and sometimes even laugh along. Now in med school, I sometimes think that these jokes are just plain dumb.
    Before med school, I'm cool with people chilling out and not really caring about the future or just taking a really long vacation to have fun. Now in med school, I tend to characterize these people as unmotivated or lazy.
    Before med school, I don't mind corny words or actions, but inow in med school, I think these things are a waste of time.
    ......
    You get the idea. I'm not very happy about this transformation. I wonder if anyone else has noticed a personality change and whether you are happy about it?
     
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  3. thechad

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    You need to chill out and get over yourself.
     
  4. LadyWolverine

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    Dude, this is called "growing up" and would likely happen regardless of whether or not you were in med school. Perhaps school just sped up the process a little bit. As you age, you become less and less tolerant of those who don't have the same standards or work ethic that you do. You become impatient with ineptitude and annoyed by immaturity. That's just the way it is.


    For the record, I still make and laugh at dumb jokes.
     
  5. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    You need a good dose of humility. You are human, you are no better than your patients, and in third year you'll see that you are the bottom of the barrel. Being put in your place is a good thing.
     
  6. confuse

    confuse Senior Member
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    How? Help me. This hasn't affected my relationship with other people because I can control my thoughts well. I don't let the anality side get the better of me, but with someone that I'm really close to and share everything with, I have revealed some of this side of me. Someone I care very much for said that I'm much harder to please now since I've been in med school, and I don't want that to happen.
     
  7. SpookyDoc

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    Just let it all go. I think this is one of the few cases where regression is an acceptable form of coping ;)

    Be on your game when you're at school, but outside, pretend like you've never spent 18 hours in a row studying, pretend like you never even went to medical school. In your free time, with friends, it doesn't matter what people say about what they want to do... hanging out is for fun, not to impress eachother with maturity or foresight.

    Just relax and get back to the stage where you're one of the guys/girls, and put your game face on when its time to study.
     
  8. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member
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    That's interesting that you mentioned that. For me, I think I am way easier to
    please now that I'm in med school. ie. going out pleases me more since I
    do it a less than in undergrad. Also simple pleasures tend to please me
    more, like having a good conversation with an interesting person,
    since i have less time to enjoy them, and when I do, it's great.
    Can you elaborate on any specifics of you being harder to please?
    I'm curious.
     
  9. Bartelby

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    It doesn't sound to me like your personality was revolutionized over the last few months, it sounds to me like stress is making a less playful part of you rear its ugly head. You might want to evaluate how much stress you are really under-- it could be getting to you.

    One summer I worked 80-100 hours/week for several months doing a very high-stress job and I definitely underwent a "personality change" (which magically disappeared when the stressful job ended). It wasn't really me that changed, just my circumstances. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed.
     
  10. CorduroyGlance

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    Actually, I'd like you to elaborate if you don't mind. One of the things I'm looking forward to about becoming a physician is the growth in person and personality. How long into medical school did you feel a change in yourself?
     
  11. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member
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    I think as long as you be open minded, med school can actually have lots
    to contribute to in terms of personal growth. You will notice that people
    become more and more cynical the farther you get into med school.
    I'm a 2nd year and most people I know in med school can't wait
    to be done with it. I lived at home for undergrad so maybe some of the
    changes I'm having is due to being independent and basically structuring
    my life exactly as I see fit.

    I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I personally am not looking
    forward to 3rd year, and its mainly for just one reason. Being in the
    hospital and talking with patients forces you to grow up really fast,
    because you need to be professional and kinda sound like an adult
    and a provider that knows what they are talking about. I really love
    M1 and M2 year, just having really one thing to worry about, and that
    is to learn science and medicine. The rest of the time I can do whatever
    I please. I feel like during 3rd year I will have to put on this professional
    face and sound like an adult. Maybe someone can agree/disagree with
    me and tell me more about this.
     
  12. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    I heard it makes you a SOB, and I don't mean shortness of breath. :D
     
  13. tazaman

    tazaman New Member
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  14. Jwax

    Jwax Just a minor variation
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    I feel that on the one hand as a doc (or 3rd year med student who some people will see as their doc), you need to sound adult at times, but you also need to retain your own personality. So far, most of the time that I relate with patients, I make sure to have a mix of acting like I know what I'm doing/saying + making jokes / empathetic comments / comments that make me sound like a human being. I don't know if this is something that gets erased throughout clinical training or not; I hope not. I fit into the category of 2nd years who just wants to get this shiznit over with.
     
  15. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Medical school is professional school and nothing else. You are not magically transformed into another human being by taking some classes and clinical rotations. You (should) acquire the knowledge to practice medicine (under supervision [residency]) but other than that, any "personality" changes that you are citing are largely things that have been happening to you anyway. Most people change in some way or manner as they get older (perhaps you are maturing).

    Remember when you entered puberty and started to like girls (or boys) in a different way? Well, now you are going through more changes (much like puberty without the hormones and acne). Relax and go through the process. It's practically painless. In my experience, I found that having an outlet outside of medicine or medical school is good. Go see a movie or do some shopping.
     
  16. meister

    meister Senior Member
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    Sounds like you have no tolerance for idiots or lazy asses. Basically, children or child-like behavior. This is called growing up.
     
  17. vasca

    vasca En la era postpasambre
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    Stress during the harder weeks of a semester got to me making me more moody; but when it's vacation time I'm my usualy awekward self. I think the only thing that has really changed thanks to med school is that I'm more neurotic, but I was always neurotic, so who cares.

    I still do random stuff (I went yesterday to meet a bum, go figure; he was a really cool guy to boot) and I watch lots of Japanese cartoons of all genres. I still think Pokémon is an awesome show.

    Sounds like you need a night to get really, really wasted on booze.
     
  18. PeepshowJohnny

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    I'm still my same self personality wise, but I am much more confrontational when people don't do their jobs after working in a hospital. I mean, I'm not one of those surgeons throwing a fit because they got handed the wrong instrument because the tech overheard, I'm still a pretty mellow guy.

    What does get me upset is pretty much laziness and complete ineptitude. Before I'd tend to let these things roll off my back. But getting fed up with hospital staff that puts their own laziness above patient care has made me much more likely to be vocalize my frustrations.

    But other than that, I'm the same dude.
     
  19. OncoCaP

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    Give it time and it will affect your relationships as well (but not preclude having great relationships; things will just be different). There is very little you can do about this. Your medical training is going to affect your personality whether you like it or not. What you do most of the time (studying medicine, theater, playing professional sports, going into the ministry, or whatever) and the people you spend most of your time with will influence how you think and act. A few people are more resistant to such influences, but it's somewhat inevitable. Explain to your friend that it's not something you can really control and learn to work through it. As long as you communicate and explain that it's not that you dislike the other person they will usually come around to understanding what is going on (be patient). Most people understand the need for doctors and pretty much assume that if you are one, you are going to be "anal" or a jacka some of the time and give you a pass. I'm not saying it's all good ... just part of life.
     
  20. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Your attitude does come off as a bit arrogant. Sure medicine is important, but it doesn't make you more mature or important than other people. Many people cannot understand why you would sacrifice so much to be a doctor. How could you pass up the opportunity to blow out of town on a backpacking trip for a few months? How could you skip that concert or party? You're only young once. So, don't concern yourself with what other people are doing, and don't be so sure you are covering up your scornful attitude as well as you think you are. Everyone gets to make their own choices.
     
  21. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member
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    Ouch. :laugh:
     
  22. muireinin

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    I think medschool has the capacity to desensitize you on a couple of levels. You get used to gross stuff (ie cadaver lab) and you can become desensitized to human suffering. It lets you see if you have grace under pressure.
     
  23. confuse

    confuse Senior Member
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    Hey guys,
    Thanks for your advices. I think after all my finals are done, I will definitely take time to destress.
    When I called myself anal, I said that in reference to my former self before med school and to the people whom I care for, not to the med school crowd within which I would be considered to be a fairly normal guy. :D I think we can all agree that the med school crowd does not represent the general population. Many people out there are just trying to get by. My sister who is struggling in community college, my cousin who calls me every week to ask about very basic physics problems or my ex who lost all self-confidence because she couldn't find a decent job for years in this economy, these are the people whom I care about and they represent the general population. Med school is very good at teaching you to be critical, to sound smart (note: I said "sound" smart), because if you don't, you will fail out or you get yelled at. I learn all of that and it's good for med school but what I haven't learned is that it's ok to not sound smart; sometimes, it is the considerate thing to do. With the people that I'm close to, sometimes I don't watch myself and might have unintentionally said things that have made them feel stupid, all because I tend to be more critical now. I think the cure for me is do what some of you have suggested, relax, chill, and mingle more with people outside of school.
     
  24. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    A little bit of distance is healthy. If you get emotionally involved with every patient you will never live through the profession until you retire. You have to have a barrier in order to stay sane. Of course you still want to show that you are empathetic and care about the patient. Just don't go overboard.

    You need to stop being critical. Whether it is talking down to your peers or patients both will make everyone hate you pretty quick. Med school is supposed to teach you to use your listening skills or empathy. If you don't have them, at least try to pretend you do.
     
  25. meister

    meister Senior Member
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    I think I have located the problem. :eyebrow:
     
  26. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member
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    that is exactly why schools need mandatory psych evaluations. :)
     

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