SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Psychiatry as a career questions

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Maygyver, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Maygyver

    Maygyver 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Hello. I'm currently an undergrad student going and will be going into my third year. Lately I've been trying to figure out what profession I would enjoy the best between physician and dentist and just recently began thinking about psychiatry. I had concerns about how much 'wear and tear' the job has on you after working with ill people all day. I was also wondering if the job was exciting each day and doesn't become boring and monotonous after awhile. I've read through a few of the previous posts and already learned quite alot. Thanks!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated Physician 10+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Not Boston anymore
    I chose psychiatry specifically because each day is totally different. No boredom or monotony thus far for me.
  4. RaistlinMajere

    RaistlinMajere 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    This is a big factor for me choosing psych as well. It's simply the most stimulating specialty for me and I know I'll never be bored.
  5. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Well, this may sound a bit funny, but as much as I love Psychiatry & would pick it all over again, a part of me wonders what would've happened if I chose dentistry.

    I have no real interest in it other than that dentists work a lot with materials that are needed for model building--a hobby of mine. I could've become a much better modeler had I gone to dental school! E.g I'd be able to cast, sculpt, glue etc much better!

    Anyways, and this may be a prejudical statement that I invite people to correct because I'm basing this on what I hear, not what I truly know....
    I hear that dental school is easier than medical school. Dentists earn almost as much as docs & I hear the school is much less intense. I'm in no way, shape or form trying to knock dentists. IMHO, so long as someone enjoys their work & are proud of it, who cares what others think? I also hear the hours are good & there's no residency type of training where they work you 80 hrs a week with call duty.

    Aside from difficulty, you have to want to enjoy what you're doing. Medschool & residency are not worth it if you don't want to be a practicing physician & are doing it for other reasons such as money. Its just too difficult & time consuming, and not very profitable. You'll have to work for about 14 years before you earn enough back to pay off your loans.

    This is ultimately something you're going to have to decide on your own but factor in if you will enjoy the work & will it give you enough pay to live on what you feel is comfortable.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  6. Maygyver

    Maygyver 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I think the biggest thing I'm struggling with now is just trying to figure what exactly I do want to do. It's a big choice and I'm still on the fence. I shadowed my dentist this past winter break and enjoyed it. This question is slightly off-track but I was also wondering if you get used to blood. I know my dentist said the first surgery he watched he almost fainted and I'm kind of at the same point. I've heard from a few people that you get used to it but I'm still not sure.
  7. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Its tough. The way academia is structured it expects students to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives at an age where you really haven't experienced enough to decide. What you learn in texts also is not an exact sample on what the work will be like in reality.

    I took off a year in medschool because I wanted to just check out other facets that I considered doing & to just live a "normal" life free of stress from exams, earn my own money, date women etc. It was a very meaningful, & it even reinforced by desire to go into psychiatry & sharpened by ability to relate to patients, yet during interviews for residency & fellowship, you better believe that some places brought it up in a very condescending manner saying they don't like to see things like this on a person's transcript. Some of the responses I got from programs were also quite outlandish like, "oh so you took off a year", & from that, "we know you have a mental illness, that year off confirms it. You better tell us what you have".

    I hate saying this but ultimately you got to decide this one on your own. I don't think you can really get a feel for what a field is like until you've worked in it for about a month.

    In response to your blood question...........
    Well I got used to the blood, but then again I went into psychiatry so I don't have to see it as much.
    but I did do surgery on animals for about 1 year & did a surgery rotation. I got used to it.
  8. luft

    luft PGY-3!!! 5+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    It really depends on you how you would do in a career in psychiatry. Psychiatry is totally awesome IF it fits you. You really need to know yourself well to know if this is the case. When I was in your place I would have said there was no way I would have gone into Psychiatry, but here I am in psych residency and I totally love it. It feels like a perfect fit. As for knowing if it is the right fit for you, you need to get some exposure to it and see how it affects you. If nothing else, it will certainly be interesting. See if you can get in touch with a psychiatrist in your area who would let you sit in on patients with them. As in everything, assertiveness will serve you well.

Share This Page