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Lately I've been having some second thoughts about going into medicine. It isn't that I don't enjoy medicine. I'm sure I wouldn't be miserable doing medicine for the rest of my life. It's that I wonder if my talents would be best utilized in a different field. I'm an INTP, if you know the myers-briggs personality test, which I think is probably the best personality ruberic there is (based on Jung's personality function theory). Trouble is that medicine seems to be built for extroverted thinking. I.e. making the diagnosis is just the prerequisite to treating the patient correctly. I find more satisfaction in solving problems, and figuring things out. For me the treatment is almost an afterthought. I'm aware of the specialties grid that gives you a look at what specialties would suit your personality...

For INTP's:
Pathology-looks sort of interesting, however, just looking at slides, day after day seems more like an assembly line than project oriented work.
Psychiatry- more interesting, would have to look more into this one.
Neurology- Not sure why this is a specialty since there aren't really a lot of treatments that neurologists do, other than put seizure patients on dilantin or depakote.
Internal Medicine- This one looks the most promising, as there is a lot of backwork the internist has to do, to find the cause of the admitting diagnosis.

On the other hand, could just do an MS in Chemistry and then PhD and do research, which seems like what most INTP's do, other than engineering.

Any thoughts? BTW have a lot of experience in ER medicine which may be coloring how I see medicine as a whole...more algorithmic than real creative problem solving.

Ironically, one the weaknesses of the INTP personality is

medicman327 :confused:
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You're putting too much stock into your myers-briggs personality test.

I'm INTJ. I know I've seen doctor listed as a career for INTJs. You're only 1 letter different.


....... what?

I'd recommend getting a tarot card reading and basing a major life-decision off of that next time.
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Total ENFJ here. If you don't all ready know, I'm the type of person who sees the potential in everybody and wants to make everybody shine to the best of their ability... according to Myers-Briggs anyway. :D

I think the other posters have summed it up best though, I wouldn't leave your decision in the hands of a personality test alone. If you find that you genuinely lack qualities, independent of your personality type, that would make you hate medicine or be bad at it then look into something else. You definitely do not need an MD to do research diseases if that is what tickles your fancy.

For those who don't know, extravert does not equate to being outgoing or socially savvy. It's more an indicator as to where your interests lie, external events or internal thoughts.


tl;dr but that got my attention. I'm pretty sure most doctors, and scientists in general, are introverted. They seem to do just fine in this field :thumbup:

I'd say they are the minority.

A great physician told me that:

Your personality will ultimately decide which field of medicine you are most comfortable in, and will help you find your niche. My extrovert personality has driven me to preliminary interest in general surgery/urology.

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read Quiet by Susan Cain. it will make you feel much better about having introverted characteristics. even empowered.


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Hi, very interesting thread, thanks for posting this. I'm also a fan of the MBTI, although I agree that one shouldn't put total stock in it. For what it's worth, I'm an INFP and resonate extremely strongly to it. I'm currently contemplating medicine and the kicker for me is if it will really fulfill the 'healing' need-- connecting strongly with people in a meaningful way. Sometimes it feels like the technical aspects and the high pressure environments overshadow this connection. I'm not sure, I haven't shadowed doctors yet or really been in a hospital setting other than volunteering. I'm looking at Peds and Internal medicine.

I know that medicine probably won't fulfill my creative need, but I've always fulfilled that on the side anyway.

These are my .02, and good luck in whatever you decide.
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