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Psych residency - auditory sensitivities, disability & accommodations

quined

New Member
Jun 17, 2020
1
1
1
  1. Pre-Medical
I'm applying to medical school next year. I am in my late thirties, have ASD, have already had a career, etc, and am nervous about noise in my future work environments. At this age, dealing with workplace noise / auditory sensitivities is my biggest concern.

If you have disabilities for which you sought or considered seeking accommodations in residency, how did that go?

How was your psych residency, workplace-noise-wise? Current working environment (if different)?

How toxic do you find your work environment as a psychiatrist/resident?

Honestly, I'd really love to find a drug that makes my auditory sensitivity less bad, but I haven't had luck even finding a candidate drug to discuss trying with my psychiatrist.
 
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Sushirolls

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10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2010
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  1. Attending Physician
Noisy, even during medical school.
ICU beep, squirch, whirrrr, beeep
Doors for medical units are large slam and clank shut.
Carts nurses, phlebotomests, food services, C-arms with x-ray, all go bump clank, thump
Patients might be shouting, screaming, crying.
Routine fire drills.
Doing a consult in a patients room, typically shared with another patient, on general medical floors, the IV drips will always be beeping/screaching.
Hospitals are noisy.

Now for the OR, same thing, music is playing, typically the type you don't like, and carts going in and out, people talking, and instruments being set/dropped down. Beeping of the various machines in the OR.

Psychiatry, has noisy inpatient psych units, which will be more than 1 year of a residency. Typical units have non-carpeted floors for easy cleaning, that means sounds travel/echo. Can be loud. Doors slam/jerk shut *bang*. Charts get dropped *bang.* Phones, oh the dang phones always ringing, and no one answers them accept the designated person(s) who usually aren't around, so the phones ring non-stop all the time. Every so often you get noisy patients on the unit who scream, yell, slam things, bang things, etc.

In summary medical school and residency will be a noisy chaotic auditory experience.
 
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Sushirolls

Topped with salmon, avocado and tobiko
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2010
1,983
3,541
276
Not Big Box Shop
  1. Attending Physician
Oh, and I forgot the worst. Probably Suppressed it.. the [insert long list of expletives here] pager.

I've had fantasies of it flying across the room and shattering. After one of my last jobs as an attending I had phantom pager vibrations on my hip/belt and would at times reach down instinctively for it - for a year after I stopped carrying one. Listening to pager tones of other doctors on different units would procure a minuscule sense of rage. Because the loudest, most obnoxious are the ones that actually are heard and get you up in the middle of the night or during the day time on the noisy units.
 
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clozareal

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Sep 21, 2016
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495
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  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Oh, and I forgot the worst. Probably Suppressed it.. the [insert long list of expletives here] pager.

I've had fantasies of it flying across the room and shattering. After one of my last jobs as an attending I had phantom pager vibrations on my hip/belt and would at times reach down instinctively for it - for a year after I stopped carrying one. Listening to pager tones of other doctors on different units would procure a minuscule sense of rage. Because the loudest, most obnoxious are the ones that actually are heard and get you up in the middle of the night or during the day time on the noisy units.

I still have nightmares about the pager going off in the middle of the night, particularly right as I'm about to go to sleep. The actual experience of it gave me panic attacks each time it went off.
 
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Celexa

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2+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2017
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  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'm applying to medical school next year. I am in my late thirties, have ASD, have already had a career, etc, and am nervous about noise in my future work environments. At this age, dealing with workplace noise / auditory sensitivities is my biggest concern.

If you have disabilities for which you sought or considered seeking accommodations in residency, how did that go?

How was your psych residency, workplace-noise-wise? Current working environment (if different)?

How toxic do you find your work environment as a psychiatrist/resident?

Honestly, I'd really love to find a drug that makes my auditory sensitivity less bad, but I haven't had luck even finding a candidate drug to discuss trying with my psychiatrist.
As both a medical student and a resident you have almost no control over your workspace and move into different locations in the hospital literally every month at minimum. many of those places are loud and chaotic (ie, the emergency room).

asking about psychiatry residency accommodations is way, way too far ahead you should be concerned about. whether you would even be able to get through medical school rotations if your sensitivos are that high.

if you have an established career that you. find even moderately satisfying you are almost certainly better off staying with that.
 
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INTPsych

New Member
Nov 9, 2020
2
0
1
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Hi, I havent been tested for ASD but I'm clearly an introverted personnality type so I like quietness. But I'm currently doing a psych residency in Europe and the worst thing about it is the noisy, loud and overly chatty colleagues. I happen to work with extremely loud colleagues in an open space and it is hell, can't concentrate at all. My productivity levels drops to 25% on a daily basis. Patients though, don't cause any concern to me! Same for other everyday work related noise.

I happen to also have a very specific way of stress gestionning. Where I need calmness and chill time and relaxing. My colleagues though seem to do things differently than me and destress when they talk and get agitated. So agitation and noise make them feel better while calmness and quietness make me feel better! Also extroverts seem to be chronically way more stressed than I am.

I don't think it's impossible to handle it but again I'm not ASD, just highly sensitive and introverted... I don't think that postgraduate work is impossible but you will have a handicap because you'd want to go chill instead chat with your colleagues!
 

nrmp

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2016
83
30
146
Noisy, even during medical school.
ICU beep, squirch, whirrrr, beeep
Doors for medical units are large slam and clank shut.
Carts nurses, phlebotomests, food services, C-arms with x-ray, all go bump clank, thump
Patients might be shouting, screaming, crying.
Routine fire drills.
Doing a consult in a patients room, typically shared with another patient, on general medical floors, the IV drips will always be beeping/screaching.
Hospitals are noisy.

Now for the OR, same thing, music is playing, typically the type you don't like, and carts going in and out, people talking, and instruments being set/dropped down. Beeping of the various machines in the OR.

Psychiatry, has noisy inpatient psych units, which will be more than 1 year of a residency. Typical units have non-carpeted floors for easy cleaning, that means sounds travel/echo. Can be loud. Doors slam/jerk shut *bang*. Charts get dropped *bang.* Phones, oh the dang phones always ringing, and no one answers them accept the designated person(s) who usually aren't around, so the phones ring non-stop all the time. Every so often you get noisy patients on the unit who scream, yell, slam things, bang things, etc.

In summary medical school and residency will be a noisy chaotic auditory experience.
Can't agree more
 

notamindreader

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2016
35
23
86
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'm applying to medical school next year. I am in my late thirties, have ASD, have already had a career, etc, and am nervous about noise in my future work environments. At this age, dealing with workplace noise / auditory sensitivities is my biggest concern.

If you have disabilities for which you sought or considered seeking accommodations in residency, how did that go?

How was your psych residency, workplace-noise-wise? Current working environment (if different)?

How toxic do you find your work environment as a psychiatrist/resident?

Honestly, I'd really love to find a drug that makes my auditory sensitivity less bad, but I haven't had luck even finding a candidate drug to discuss trying with my psychiatrist.

As mentioned above, I think that psychiatry residency will place you in situations that are often unpredictable with loud sounds from both machines and people. If you are strongly invested in a medical career, then specialties like pathology and radiology might offer you more control over your environment.
 
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