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Psychiatrist personality

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by jiggabot, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. jiggabot

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    I have always been interested in psychiatry due to its abstract and intuitive nature. However, people I meet tell me they can't see me as a psychiatrist because I am not warm and fuzzy. I do admit, I am very analytical and logical, sort of like Sherlock Holmes as portrayed on that British TV show that just started airing (not to that extent of course, I can and do often pretend to be more mainstream). However, people like Freud and the old school psychoanalytics seem to be logical, like me.

    I was wondering, can someone who is very logical set up a private practice as easily as someone who is warm and fuzzy? In the end, can patients (or your referral base) tell that just because you are not emotional/sympathetic, that you are still a good psychiatrist? No need for polite words or theoretical words, I prefer those telling me what they have personally seen out in the private world. Thanks!
     
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  3. DrGachet

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    Psychoanalysts are more imaginative than logical. Yes, they are logical too but if you want real logical, look at people doing Cognitive therapy and REBT. But of the various therapists, psychoanalysts are generally more likely to come across as cold, that part is true. In part because they are not interested in dealing with the person in the room but with his unconscious. The conscious being sitting there is in fact the obstacle, blocking their access.

    I can't answer your specific question but I just wanted to make these points.
     
  4. psychked

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    I think its all about how interested you are in the field

    everything else can be acquired during training
     
  5. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    Do those people who think you're not geared for psychiatry have any expertise in the area?

    Being a good psychiatrist does involve having to be emotionally supportive, but sometimes being warm and fuzzy isn't a good thing. Setting boundaries, telling it like it is, even telling a patient (diplomaticaly) to stop screaming or they're going to get medications against their will aren't exactly situations where warm and fuzzy are needed.
     
  6. peppy

    peppy Senior Member
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    I don't think there is just one personality type that is suited to psychiatry.
    Different kinds of patients respond well to different styles.
     
  7. sunlioness

    sunlioness Fierce. Proud. Strong
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    I don't think I'm all that warm and fuzzy. At least not in an exuberant way. I genuinely like people and like to think of myself as warm and compassionate, even if not "fuzzy". Being warm and compassionate helps me. But like Whopper said, in order to be an effective psychiatrist I've had to cultivate my inner hard ass. "I'm not unsympathetic to how you must be feeling, but throwing hospital furniture around is not going to get you Ativan.". That's been hard for me at times. But I think if you love the work and are committed to being good at it, you develop the skills you need.
     
  8. PETRAN

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    For the more stimulating and logical detective-type work i guess that C-L psychiatry or neuropsychiatry/behavioral neurology to be good choices. I'm in clinical neuropsychology now because i think it has similar pattern-recognition, reasoning-about-multiple-factors and "investigative" qualities to those fields. These would be good fields to look at i think
     
  9. DrGachet

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    That's great advice right there. Though I think ANY subfield requires lots of detective work, in neuropsych you have some decent tools, Lezak's fat book full of interesting tests, and collaboration with neurologists, and if you close your eyes, you can almost imagine you're dealing with a bona fide science /jk
     
  10. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I'm interested in mental illness and trying to help those who suffer from mental illness. Though this field attracts many who are on the touch-y/feel-y end of the spectrum, it's not a prerequisite.

    You see a lot of meatheads playing football, but you don't need to be one to play the game or even be one of the greats.
     
  11. PETRAN

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    There is also the "compendium of neuropsychological tests"-this is also a big book! :p



    True, all sub-fields need intelligent work of high-standard, something that (unfortunately) you don't often see it in the fields of mental health (lol, well from what i've seem from both psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. I don't know why, but my impression is that you don't ofter see geniouses in comparison to other fields) Well, i've suggested C-L or neuropsychiatry because, from what i've seen at least, you have to consider a lot of different contributing factors for a varied type of cases. This means lower use of stereotyped diagnostic algorithms and, well, more reasoning, deduction and even creativity. You probably don't have to see the same patients again and again something that probably helps with the less-empathic personality of the thread-starter. Neurology (again behavioural neuro) could also be an interesting choice for the threadstarter. I'm suggesting these fields because, whilst in psychology, i have similar personality traits and this is why i've entered the current-somehow related- field (which is enormously satisfying, especially if you combine it with cognitive neuroscience research :D).
     
  12. HooahDOc

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    I'm not very warm and fuzzy and I tend to be more logical in my approach. I think I'll make a horrible psychoanalyst but pretty damn good at CBT and other things, as I tend to try to get people to examine their own thinking and thought patterns. We'll see I guess.
     
  13. curiositykat

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    Hmmm. I'm not sure these stereotypes are true. Some of the smartest, most perceptive people I've ever met have been analysts. And while I guess they are interested in the subconscious, I'm not sure they all yearn for a world in which reality is expunged so we can live in a subjective libidinal chaos.

    I did read somewhere that there are several basic types of psychiatrists (the intellectual who might have been a humanities professor; the near-internist who might have gone into family practice; and the person interested in the brain who might've become a neurologist), but those are categories that may or not be valid, and the other question is more about dimensions--and I'd assume psychiatrists are all over the map.
     
  14. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Woo hoo! Spring Break! :laugh:
     
  15. psychgeek1

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    I am just like you, I think analytically and logically and come with the best possible conclusions. I think psychiatry is one of the medical field's blossoming areas and there should be more people that can logically approach things.
     
  16. sluox

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    I would actually even go farther and say that the direction in which psychiatry is going may not be as touchy-feely as you want if you are that type of person. To me it's trending more towards very subspecialized care, evidence based practice, neuroscience etc. and I'm getting a different vibe from the junior attendings compared to the vibe I get from say primary care/family medicine junior attendings. I think if you truly want to practice old school touchy feely type of medicine primary care might even be a better choice. Psychoanalysis remains a possibility but that's becoming less and less except in a few major metros.

    The other thing about psychiatry is as Whooper mentioned, it's probably the medical specialty with the MOST antagonistic and outright manipulative component to it in regard to doctor-patient relationship. The principle of beneficence is still there, but very frequently you have to work against the patient's desires and wishes, sometimes to a very dramatic degree. My observation is that on an inpatient psych unit, generally the psychiatrist is the LEAST warm/fuzzy and MOST logical/goal driven member in a team context (i.e. compared to therapy aids, OT/PT, social work etc.)
     
    #15 sluox, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  17. Ibid

    Ibid Posting total rubbish
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    Yep, just about the most disfunctional "teams" you will ever find anywhere. Lovely. You don't have pointy ears by any chance?

    McCoy: Respect is a rational process. Didn't it ever occur to you that they might react emotionally...with anger?Spock: Doctor, I am not responsible for their unpredictability.McCoy: They were perfectly predictable, to anyone with feeling.
     
  18. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Nah...it's the RNs. Now that's a scary personality! :scared:
    I'll go a long way to avoid peeving them off!
     
  19. DrGachet

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    I don't think I understand what you're saying. I said analysts are logical like people doing CBT but that it's more than that, that they are quite imaginative. Surely many psychoanalytic concepts require imagination and creativity. It's not purely about if X, then Y. The logic of if X then Y does operate but in a unique subjective world of new and unique concepts, like primary process, superego, and anal fixation.

    That generalization of mine and yours (them being perceptive and very smart), are not mutually exclusive. Nor did I say they live in pure subjectivity. They permit the patient to do so for the hour but they remained in reality. Freud was a shrewd businessman. To be able to convince patients that they need to be seen everyday for many years in order to improve, now that takes some real smarts.
     
    #18 DrGachet, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

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