Should you still consider derm if you didn’t enjoy your home derm rotation?

odyssey2

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    Does it get better when you are more confident in your clinical skills and can set up your practice however you like? I found clinic unbelievably draining despite the relatively short hours I worked and didn’t feel like a really “clicked” with the personalities I was working with, but I wonder if the immense lifestyle benefits of dermatology would outweigh that down the line.
     

    dermie1985

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      I think these are red flags that you should pursue another specialty. You can find balance and income in many other specialties if you're self-driven and smart...so if that is your goal, I'd choose a specialty you like / click with.
       
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      asmallchild

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        I agree with the others: it is worth exploring other options if the only thing tying you down to dermatology are the immense lifestyle benefits. There are plenty of fields that are just as lifestyle friendly and that flexibility increases further once you become an attending.

        That being said, I had a similar experience where I was kind of turned off by my home derm department when rotating through as a student. I flirted very seriously with the idea of pursuing residency elsewhere or perhaps even switching into another field but ultimately decided I did like the field itself and wanted to stay in Texas for training. Personalities change especially with a shorter residency like derm. Your views and how you are viewed by residents/staff will also change once you match. If you are confident the field is right for you and it's just a personality clash issue, I think you can still confidently move forward with derm and keep an open mind about where you want to train. FWIW, I ended up matching at my home program and loved my time there as a resident despite not enjoying my student rotation there.
         
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        Dr. Doctor MD

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          Does it get better when you are more confident in your clinical skills and can set up your practice however you like? I found clinic unbelievably draining despite the relatively short hours I worked and didn’t feel like a really “clicked” with the personalities I was working with, but I wonder if the immense lifestyle benefits of dermatology would outweigh that down the line.
          If your only issue was personality mismatch then I would say that you should still go for dermatology, as I don't believe that stereotypes or personalities should influence your decision of which specialty you choose. Any doctor can set up any practice setting how they want, so it doesn't matter what all the other specialists in that field are like.

          However, when you say "I found clinic unbelievably draining despite the relatively short hours I worked" that's a huge red flag and is highly suggestive that you would not enjoy the day to day of dermatology. If you hate it and feel drained as a medical student (where you essentially do next to nothing and are just there to learn), you would be absolutely crushed in residency and eventually in practice when you realize that you have to slog through 30+ patients a day, do all the procedures, type up 30+ notes, actually deal with the difficult patients (anxious, morgellons, body dysmorphia, needy, angry patients) and do callbacks and follow ups for all your biopsies, labs, and medication refills. It's exhausting, even for people who enjoy the field. If you can't handle that as a medical student when you're protected from 99% of the scutwork and slog, I don't see you being happy in residency and beyond. The people who do well in dermatology tend to thrive on (or at least not mind) the breakneck pace and high volume of the specialty.

          As has been mentioned before, you can find "immense lifestyle benefits" in a ton of other fields. You need to find something you enjoy or at least don't mind doing for the next 40 years, and dermatology doesn't sound like a match for you. If you want an unbeatable lifestyle and want a slower more relaxed clinic you should definitely consider rheumatology, endocrinology, PM&R, or psychiatry. There are way more options than just those for great lifestyle specialties, but if you're a clinic person and want to have a more relaxed pace while still being a specialist and in high demand, you can't go wrong with any of those fields.
           
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          OraclePL

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            yeah, your post is triggering some red flags. there are obviously exceptions, but most of the people that I know immensely enjoyed their rotations, putting aside the stress of the competitiveness. I would consider other options.
             
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