what field gives me the least amount of verbal interaction with patients?

YoungProdigy

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my work has shown me that I'm not really a people person (something I knew before, but this reaffirmed it), and while I'm 100% invested in medicine, what are some options for someone who doesn't really want any VERBAL interaction with patients? I'm a little more tech oriented, so if there's something there, lmk please.

and please, no snarky comments about how I should reconsider my life choices blah blah blah.
 

gonnif

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pathology
 

mimelim

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my work has shown me that I'm not really a people person (something I knew before, but this reaffirmed it), and while I'm 100% invested in medicine, what are some options for someone who doesn't really want any VERBAL interaction with patients? I'm a little more tech oriented, so if there's something there, lmk please.

and please, no snarky comments about how I should reconsider my life choices blah blah blah.
Why are you '100% invested in medicine' when you don't want personal interaction, the cornerstone of most specialties? What exactly do you mean "not really a people person"? You have to deal with a lot of people, even as a pathologist or radiologist. Less so than most other specialties, but you shouldn't go to medical school if you could only be happy in one of a couple of fields. What if you don't enjoy either of those things?

I don't understand how you can be committed to going into medicine if you are asking on a forum about specialties and areas that allow you to not interact with people.
 

StudyLater

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my work has shown me that I'm not really a people person (something I knew before, but this reaffirmed it), and while I'm 100% invested in medicine, what are some options for someone who doesn't really want any VERBAL interaction with patients? I'm a little more tech oriented, so if there's something there, lmk please.

and please, no snarky comments about how I should reconsider my life choices blah blah blah.
Path, rad, anesthesiology, in that order. Rad and anesthesiology can have some decent patient interaction, however.

But I guarantee you as you get out in the work force and interact with more people (that aren't d*cks -- maybe you're just interacting with some people now that just aren't very nice), you'll start to have a better opinion of how beneficial interacting with others can be. As @mimelim said, it's the cornerstone of this whole thing -- we'll be caring for people that can't care for themselves, and we've got to be able to make them feel comfortable and safe.
 
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I've been hearing some docs complain that interventional rads never bother to interact with the people they operate on.
 

GrapesofRath

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Having an uncle who is a pathologist I can tell you that communication and verbal interaction are still crucial. No, you aren't interacting with many patients. But you are someone who will be consulting with ALOT of colleagues to give input to surgeons and others who do work with patients. Your relationship with them will dictate alot of your success. Something to keep in mind and that "not being a people person" will still be rather relevant in this or any medical field as well.
 

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Medical school evaluations are largely based on the quality of your interpersonal/communication skills.
Standardized patients can be hard on the guys who don't like talking to them (in evals, of course!). This will continue in CS.
Weak evals translate into restricted residency opportunities.
The person with highest test scores in the class will get the worst residency (or not match) if he doesn't communicate spontaneously, effectively and sympathetically.

I see students become very frustrated by this.
They feel it is because supervisors/patients don't like them and that they are being "judged."
Of course, they are being judged (and graded).
 
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Goro

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Good communication skills are one of the six REQUIRED competencies for medical students now.
 

gannicus89

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Like others have said... it's time to work on those communication skills. I had a med school interview a few days ago and the candidates who didn't like communicating with others stood out in a really, really bad way. So if you want to make it through the interview process alone, you have to make some changes.
 
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mcatjelly

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I honestly don't understand how anyone can claim to like medicine but not want to work with people.

If you like the science, get a PhD.
 
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YoungProdigy

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Like others have said... it's time to work on those communication skills. I had a med school interview a few days ago and the candidates who didn't like communicating with others stood out in a really, really bad way. So if you want to make it through the interview process alone, you have to make some changes.
Here's the problem, though. People have often told me that I'm just not very friendly looking. I talk in a straight forward manner (without a lot of the BS words that people like to use i.e. "honey" "sweety" - admittedly typically done by a few females - but still), I keep a pretty stoic facial expression, and I'm terrible at small talk (which may come from a sense of insecurity, but I doubt this is the place to talk about it). I've asked for [constructive] criticism from my bosses and peers and I've been told that I'm "abrasive", for whatever that's worth. I've tried to correct myself, but I honestly have no idea what to do.

I've noticed that when I'm in a casual, usual environment, I'm able to converse properly, but as soon as I'm talking with people from different age ranges, I'm not able to come across as articulate, friendly as I'd like.

I understand this isn't the place to seek help for possible psychological abnormalities, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I've asked previously on here, and I've been given recommendations such as taking acting classes, but that's just way too out of my norm for me to even approach.

tl; dr: I'm "abrasive", stoic, "mean-face", which all sum up to me being "unfriendly". This has caused me to hate talking to people, and is already effecting my decisions as to possible job prospects. I'm constantly Googling job prospects which have limited face-to-face interactions. Any suggestions.

Also mods, if this post is out of place, I'll gladly delete it, but just don't close the thread, please.
 
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YoungProdigy

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I honestly don't understand how anyone can claim to like medicine but not want to work with people.

If you like the science, get a PhD.
Because I don't come from a wealthy background, yet I work in a place where affluent people frequent and I'm forced to interact. I often feel out of place, and I can't imagine feeling like this for the rest of my life. Alternatives that would allow me to help the underserved/minorities is something I'm extremely interested in, but I'm not finding many results when I google - maybe I'm doing something wrong, IDK. I'd also like to do something that incorporates both the human body and technology, and while there may not be a field that explicitly incorporates the two, I'd like to know what fields come closest to it. I'm aware this differs a bit from my OP, but any answers here would be greatly appreciated.

Also money while a minor factor is NOT what I'm basing my potential career on.
 

gannicus89

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Here's the problem, though. People have often told me that I'm just not very friendly looking. I talk in a straight forward manner (without a lot of the BS words that people like to use i.e. "honey" "sweety" - admittedly typically done by a few females - but still), I keep a pretty stoic facial expression, and I'm terrible at small talk (which may come from a sense of insecurity, but I doubt this is the place to talk about it). I've asked for [constructive] criticism from my bosses and peers and I've been told that I'm "abrasive", for whatever that's worth. I've tried to correct myself, but I honestly have no ideas what to do.

I've noticed that when I'm in a casual, usual environment, I'm able to converse properly, but as soon as I'm talking with people from different age ranges, I'm not able to come across as articulate, friendly as I'd like.

I understand this isn't the place to seek help for possible psychological abnormalities, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I've asked previously on here, and I've been given recommendations such as taking acting classes, but that's just way too out of my norm for me to even approach.

tl; dr: I'm "abrasive", stoic, "mean-face", which all sum up to me being "unfriendly". This has caused me to hate talking to people, and is already affecting my decisions as to possible job prospects. I'm constantly Googling job prospects which have limited face-to-face interactions. Any suggestions.

Also mods, if this post is out of place, I'll gladly delete it, but just don't close the thread, please.
It's called RBF, resting bitch face. Lol. Both men and women are victims of this terrible disease! The first thing you need to do is sit down in front of a mirror and smile. Sounds lame, but you really should practice smiling and looking pleasant. During the day of my interview, I was nervous as hell, but I made a point to smile and be as pleasant-looking as possible. It becomes much more natural the more you practice smiling and making small-talk. I'm sure there are tons of videos on YouTube that can help you learn how to make small-talk or break the ice. I understand that this whole thing might make you feel uncomfortable, but if medicine is what you want...then you're going to have to face this issue head-on. In order to get to the point where you can go into pathology or radiology, you're going to have to make it through interviews, medical school, residency, etc- all of which require TONS of face time, group work, collaboration, public speaking. So to recap, work on your facial expressions in front of a mirror. Start using YouTube as a resource to sharpen your nonverbal communication skills.

On a different note, what made you bring up psychological abnormalities as a possible cause?
 

Promethean

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Here's the problem, though. People have often told me that I'm just not very friendly looking. I talk in a straight forward manner (without a lot of the BS words that people like to use i.e. "honey" "sweety" - admittedly typically done by a few females - but still), I keep a pretty stoic facial expression, and I'm terrible at small talk (which may come from a sense of insecurity, but I doubt this is the place to talk about it). I've asked for [constructive] criticism from my bosses and peers and I've been told that I'm "abrasive", for whatever that's worth. I've tried to correct myself, but I honestly have no idea what to do.

I've noticed that when I'm in a casual, usual environment, I'm able to converse properly, but as soon as I'm talking with people from different age ranges, I'm not able to come across as articulate, friendly as I'd like.

I understand this isn't the place to seek help for possible psychological abnormalities, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I've asked previously on here, and I've been given recommendations such as taking acting classes, but that's just way too out of my norm for me to even approach.

tl; dr: I'm "abrasive", stoic, "mean-face", which all sum up to me being "unfriendly". This has caused me to hate talking to people, and is already effecting my decisions as to possible job prospects. I'm constantly Googling job prospects which have limited face-to-face interactions. Any suggestions.

Also mods, if this post is out of place, I'll gladly delete it, but just don't close the thread, please.
Ah...

Not to diagnose someone over the internet, but this sounds a little Aspergers-ish. I'm not saying that you "have" a disorder, just that it sounds like you might be rather unsuited to a field that requires its participants to be socially adept. You can try to fake it. Practice smiling, etc. But that is almost worse, since the moment someone catches a whiff of insincerity, they are going to seize on it and think far worse about you than if you'd just been abrasive. It would probably be read as contempt or worse. Certainly, someone with an "unfriendly" affect is going to have a hard time of it in medical school and residency, no matter what field they hope to go into. Attendings don't respond well to mean-faces on rounds. And you have to have patient contact along the way, like it or not. If they don't like you, that is going to affect how your program evaluates you.

If you know now that you aren't good with people, then don't put yourself in a bad situation. You might like every other thing about medicine, but this is kinda one of those dealbreaker things.

Where are you at in your journey? What other avenues might be open to you?
 
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Goro

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I don't know if you have this already, but a god in a service or sales capacity might help.

Here's the problem, though. People have often told me that I'm just not very friendly looking. I talk in a straight forward manner (without a lot of the BS words that people like to use i.e. "honey" "sweety" - admittedly typically done by a few females - but still), I keep a pretty stoic facial expression, and I'm terrible at small talk (which may come from a sense of insecurity, but I doubt this is the place to talk about it). I've asked for [constructive] criticism from my bosses and peers and I've been told that I'm "abrasive", for whatever that's worth. I've tried to correct myself, but I honestly have no idea what to do.

I've noticed that when I'm in a casual, usual environment, I'm able to converse properly, but as soon as I'm talking with people from different age ranges, I'm not able to come across as articulate, friendly as I'd like.

I understand this isn't the place to seek help for possible psychological abnormalities, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I've asked previously on here, and I've been given recommendations such as taking acting classes, but that's just way too out of my norm for me to even approach.

tl; dr: I'm "abrasive", stoic, "mean-face", which all sum up to me being "unfriendly". This has caused me to hate talking to people, and is already effecting my decisions as to possible job prospects. I'm constantly Googling job prospects which have limited face-to-face interactions. Any suggestions.

Also mods, if this post is out of place, I'll gladly delete it, but just don't close the thread, please.
 

mcatjelly

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Here's the problem, though. People have often told me that I'm just not very friendly looking. I talk in a straight forward manner (without a lot of the BS words that people like to use i.e. "honey" "sweety" - admittedly typically done by a few females - but still), I keep a pretty stoic facial expression, and I'm terrible at small talk (which may come from a sense of insecurity, but I doubt this is the place to talk about it). I've asked for [constructive] criticism from my bosses and peers and I've been told that I'm "abrasive", for whatever that's worth. I've tried to correct myself, but I honestly have no idea what to do.

I've noticed that when I'm in a casual, usual environment, I'm able to converse properly, but as soon as I'm talking with people from different age ranges, I'm not able to come across as articulate, friendly as I'd like.

I understand this isn't the place to seek help for possible psychological abnormalities, but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I've asked previously on here, and I've been given recommendations such as taking acting classes, but that's just way too out of my norm for me to even approach.

tl; dr: I'm "abrasive", stoic, "mean-face", which all sum up to me being "unfriendly". This has caused me to hate talking to people, and is already effecting my decisions as to possible job prospects. I'm constantly Googling job prospects which have limited face-to-face interactions. Any suggestions.

Also mods, if this post is out of place, I'll gladly delete it, but just don't close the thread, please.
Hmm. I agree that taking acting classes might not be the best approach for you.

Plenty of people don't have a friendly face but are still friendly people. But if you want to work on how you physically come across, raising ones eyebrows works wonders. My nurse unit manager has resting bitch face but is able to look somewhat friendlier by raising her eyebrows haha.

As for everything else: It's not necessarily even about making small talk, it's about making people feel acknowledged and listened to, and you can do that without calling people "honey" or whatever--no idea where you got the idea that pet names are a requisite for friendliness. :p In fact, many people don't WANT to be called "honey" and I'm sure it'd be a turnoff to many of your patients.

You can have an entire conversation simply by using active listening skills and asking questions. And using inflections might help you sound less abrasive.

Sorry, this is very disorganized as I'm on mobile
 

nverqrui

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The typical SDN responses. All the OP wanted to know was which specialties required the least amount of verbal interaction. Just answer the question and leave. Why do SDN members take every opportunity they can to show off their self-acclaimed moral superiority? Are you that desperate for attention?
 

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Is it my imagination or did we not have a very similar thread a couple of weeks ago?

As others have noted, Path or Rads would have the least patient interaction in clinical medicine fields. Perhaps a non-clinical field might be best for the reasons noted above.
 
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AlfonsTheGuru

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You can't talk with corpses. Pathology.
 
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@YoungProdigy If you want to start with something small for practicing small talk, I might have a suggestion. Do you live in the city? If so, whenever you take a cab or Uber, try to start up a conversation with the driver. I also have been trying to work on my communication skills, and I find that forcing myself to engage in conversation when the opportunity arises has really helped me in my ability to participate in spontaneous conversations. Plus, you meet a lot of interesting people that way.

I'm sure this has already been mentioned, but get a job as a cashier. Or find a volunteering position where you can talk directly with patients. My volunteering at the hospital has helped me SO much in terms of knowing how to respond to unexpected things, what to do when the conversation turns awkward, etc.
 

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Because I don't come from a wealthy background, yet I work in a place where affluent people frequent and I'm forced to interact. I often feel out of place, and I can't imagine feeling like this for the rest of my life. Alternatives that would allow me to help the underserved/minorities is something I'm extremely interested in, but I'm not finding many results when I google - maybe I'm doing something wrong, IDK. I'd also like to do something that incorporates both the human body and technology, and while there may not be a field that explicitly incorporates the two, I'd like to know what fields come closest to it. I'm aware this differs a bit from my OP, but any answers here would be greatly appreciated.

Also money while a minor factor is NOT what I'm basing my potential career on.
Have you tried working/volunteering in a low income setting: in a Head Start program, a nursing home dementia unit, in a VA hospital or nursing home, etc?

In terms of medical practice, there are a number of specialties that are more "high tech" than "high touch" but you still have to get through two or more years of clinical training to reach a point where you are just doing procedures with minimal interaction.

When I was seen by an interventional radiologist for a procedure, he did make small talk with me for a few minutes while we waited for a pathologist report which determined whether he needed to do more or not. Diagnostic radiology requires no patient contact and is quite high tech. Pathology, has was mentioned earlier, has no patient interaction although I would argue that most patients are still alive when their tissue is examined by the pathologist. Autopsies are a very small part of pathology these days unless one is a forensic pathologist/medical examiner.
 
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Promethean

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The typical SDN responses. All the OP wanted to know was which specialties required the least amount of verbal interaction. Just answer the question and leave. Why do SDN members take every opportunity they can to show off their self-acclaimed moral superiority? Are you that desperate for attention?
Absolutely no one here has expressed moral superiority. I don't think you understand what that phrase means.

I don't think that I am better than OP as a person. I have a different skill set and probably a different outlook than s/he does. There but for fortune goes any of us. Doubtless there are many things s/he is better at than me.

Encouraging someone to do something that they aren't really suited for is not doing them a favor. Not only because it will be a lot harder for them than for others, but because it distracts them from the opportunity to do something else, in which they could truly excel.
 

nverqrui

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Absolutely no one here has expressed moral superiority. I don't think you understand what that phrase means.

I don't think that I am better than OP as a person. I have a different skill set and probably a different outlook than s/he does. There but for fortune goes any of us. Doubtless there are many things s/he is better at than me.

Encouraging someone to do something that they aren't really suited for is not doing them a favor. Not only because it will be a lot harder for them than for others, but because it distracts them from the opportunity to do something else, in which they could truly excel.
Answer the question and leave. Simple as that.

You in particular seem to be one of the worst offenders. You literally gave a psychological diagnosis over the internet. You tried to mask it by saying "Not to diagnose someone over the internet", but then you immediately followed that by saying that the OP sounds he has Aspergers. Nowhere in your post did you actually answer the original question. If there truly are no specialties that have no patient interaction, you could have just said "All medical specialties require some human interaction". Instead, you try to make some kind of medical (and worse, mental) judgment over the internet based on someone who never asked for your diagnosis. Makes me gag.
 

StudyLater

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Answer the question and leave. Simple as that.

You in particular seem to be one of the worst offenders. You literally gave a psychological diagnosis over the internet. You tried to mask it by saying "Not to diagnose someone over the internet", but then you immediately followed that by saying that the OP sounds he has Aspergers. Nowhere in your post did you actually answer the original question. If there truly are no specialties that have no patient interaction, you could have just said "All medical specialties require some human interaction". Instead, you try to make some kind of medical (and worse, mental) judgment over the internet based on someone who never asked for your diagnosis. Makes me gag.
Moral superiority inside moral superiority.

Is this Inception?
 
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So I work in an ED:

Yesterday, new doc comes in i've never seen before. Nurses are all "Thank god its X; he'll clear this place out in no time!"So, he shows up:

Guy walks into the room, looks at the chart, "your kid is reacting to the pollen. Its allergies." 20 seconds later, hes out of there. Later, woman comes up to the guy, saying she really feels something is off and asks if hes looked at the lung X-ray. He says he has and pulls it up (it turns from red to green on my PC; this means he hasn't). He briefly glances at it, and he says that hes sure its allergies. She interjects. He interjects her interjects: "Its allergies". She tries to argue. She finished her sentence: "Its allergies". This isn't a vague paraphrasing by the way; he literally just said "its allergies" 2 times. The mother walks away and the doc goes back to watching baseball on his second screen. The nurses loved him. The other doctors don't seem to care. He then proceeded to awkwardly brag about he is payed more than the other physicians.

I'd say the guy's average pt interaction time was 1 minute. Those HPIs I wrote up were so sketchy. My fallout shelter is coming along great though.

TL;DR: Do what you want. Please quit acting like doctors are saints. ADCOMS aren't saints either. People are people, and no amount of interviewing is going to stop physicians from being human. For every person like you who at least recognizes that hes not a "people person", theres another 10 who will destroy interviews because they think they are.

EDIT: No you all misunderstand. I'm saying you can be an ED doctor just fine with 0 "people skills" and you might even end up being payed more; if you're planning on radiology you could probably lobotomize your Wernick's are and get away with it. . I'm saying that people skills is an ambiguous term and kind of worthless in the long run.
 
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NotYou20

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The typical SDN responses. All the OP wanted to know was which specialties required the least amount of verbal interaction. Just answer the question and leave. Why do SDN members take every opportunity they can to show off their self-acclaimed moral superiority? Are you that desperate for attention?
That, or they're doing what they can so that op doesn't go into a field that makes him/her miserable. Wonder which is more likely...
 
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nverqrui

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That, or they're doing what they can so that op doesn't go into a field that makes him/her miserable. Wonder which is more likely...
Read and think a bit harder. You think SDN members are at a position to judge whether or not OP will be miserable or not in his field? Do you really think you're that superior? Read what @wasteofspace323 posted. You're just the same as @Promethean. You think you're doing the OP a favor by making judgment calls on his future.

Just curious, do you have a superiority complex? You shouldn't go into medicine man. Doctors should try to empathize with their patients. I don't think a narcissist like you would REALLY want to help people.

See what I did there? Same thing you guys are doing to OP. Doesn't seem so great when it's happening to you, huh?
 

StudyLater

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Read and think a bit harder. You think SDN members are at a position to judge whether or not OP will be miserable or not in his field? Do you really think you're that superior? Read what @wasteofspace323 posted. You're just the same as @Promethean. You think you're doing the OP a favor by making judgment calls on his future.

Just curious, do you have a superiority complex? You shouldn't go into medicine man. Doctors should try to empathize with their patients. I don't think a narcissist like you would REALLY want to help people.

See what I did there? Same thing you guys are doing to OP. Doesn't seem so great when it's happening to you, huh?
Right right. Hive mind judgment sucks. This road has been traveled down many times.

And I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
 

nverqrui

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Right right. Hive mind judgment sucks. This road has been traveled down many times.

And I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
Sigh. I don't think this is too hard to understand, but I guess I'll have to go a bit further. There have been lots of great posters/comments in this thread. Gonnif, alkaloid, and andafife. There may be more, but I just picked the first three I saw. These are examples of good, HELPFUL (hint: emphasis on this word), posts. Posts that actually answer the question.

Get it now kid?
 

StudyLater

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Sigh. I don't think this is too hard to understand, but I guess I'll have to go a bit further. There have been lots of great posters/comments in this thread. Gonnif, alkaloid, and andafife. There may be more, but I just picked the first three I saw. These are examples of good, HELPFUL (hint: emphasis on this word), posts. Posts that actually answer the question.

Get it now kid?
I was pointing out that you use the same methodology as those whose methodology you criticize, i.e. the feigning of superiority as a means of argument.

You just did it here again with the "kid" thing. Also, I wasn't even really responding to your main point, which is sound. I do agree people should try to help OP if they've got a direct answer.
 
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YoungProdigy

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Please stop the tiresome back and forth. It's unprofessional and immature. If we can't have a simple conversation without insulting each other then I'll close the thread.
Please don't. I'm reading all of the comment, and while I don't have the time to respond right now, there's a lot of great advice already posted and being posted. That said, you are the mod, so...
 

Winged Scapula

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Please don't. I'm reading all of the comment, and while I don't have the time to respond right now, there's a lot of great advice already posted and being posted. That said, you are the mod, so...
Its not up to me, its up to your colleagues in this thread.
 
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nverqrui

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Please don't. I'm reading all of the comment, and while I don't have the time to respond right now, there's a lot of great advice already posted and being posted. That said, you are the mod, so...
The cringe.
 
Mar 13, 2014
1,045
817
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Medical Student
The typical SDN responses. All the OP wanted to know was which specialties required the least amount of verbal interaction. Just answer the question and leave. Why do SDN members take every opportunity they can to show off their self-acclaimed moral superiority? Are you that desperate for attention?
We're speaking out of desire to potentially save him entering a training program that is both extremely demanding and expensive when he provides information that makes it sound like he may be a bad fit for the field. Discovering you don't enjoy patient interaction while in med school is an unfortunate thing. Knowing you don't enjoy it and still going into it is... Well... There are better ideas

So I work in an ED:

Yesterday, new doc comes in i've never seen before. Nurses are all "Thank god its X; he'll clear this place out in no time!"So, he shows up:

Guy walks into the room, looks at the chart, "your kid is reacting to the pollen. Its allergies." 20 seconds later, hes out of there. Later, woman comes up to the guy, saying she really feels something is off and asks if hes looked at the lung X-ray. He says he has and pulls it up (it turns from red to green on my PC; this means he hasn't). He briefly glances at it, and he says that hes sure its allergies. She interjects. He interjects her interjects: "Its allergies". She tries to argue. She finished her sentence: "Its allergies". This isn't a vague paraphrasing by the way; he literally just said "its allergies" 2 times. The mother walks away and the doc goes back to watching baseball on his second screen. The nurses loved him. The other doctors don't seem to care. He then proceeded to awkwardly brag about he is payed more than the other physicians.

I'd say the guy's average pt interaction time was 1 minute. Those HPIs I wrote up were so sketchy. My fallout shelter is coming along great though.

TL;DR: Do what you want. Please quit acting like doctors are saints. ADCOMS aren't saints either. People are people, and no amount of interviewing is going to stop physicians from being human. For every person like you who at least recognizes that hes not a "people person", theres another 10 who will destroy interviews because they think they are.

EDIT: No you all misunderstand. I'm saying you can be an ED doctor just fine with 0 "people skills" and you might even end up being payed more; if you're planning on radiology you could probably lobotomize your Wernick's are and get away with it. . I'm saying that people skills is an ambiguous term and kind of worthless in the long run.
Poor communication is the most commonly cited factor for pursuing a malpractice claim against a physician. Think again.
 
Apr 2, 2015
364
391
29
Topeka, Kansas
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
The cringe.
To be honest, I cringed more when someone explicitly apologized.

Poor communication is the #1 factor cited for pursuing a malpractice claim against a physician.
I'd need a really elaborate study dealing with objective, average communication rankings for a physicians cross referenced with rate of malpractice claims against said physicians before i'd really care. Moreover, i'd need a really developed and standardized definition of communication which could be agreed upon by all and measured in an objective way. Until you've got at least standardized units for communication skills, its all just garbage rhetoric.

I would bet a LARGE sum of money almost all of those aren't because the physician was incapable of communication he information, but chose not to out of apathy. It doesn't take Taylor Swift to communicate basic ideas to a patient. 99% of applicants likely could.
 
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StudyLater

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2015
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We're speaking out of desire to potentially save him entering a training program that is both extremely demanding and expensive when he provides information that makes it sound like he may be a bad fit for the field. Discovering you don't enjoy patient interaction while in med school is an unfortunate thing. Knowing you don't enjoy it and still going into it is... Well... There are better ideas



Poor communication is the most commonly cited factor for pursuing a malpractice claim against a physician. Think again.
To add a little irony, ED docs have a decently high risk of malpractice. On any given year, it's like 7.5-8% (ref: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/2011/RAND_RB9610.pdf & http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204310/)
 
OP
Y

YoungProdigy

7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2012
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Hmm. I agree that taking acting classes might not be the best approach for you.

Plenty of people don't have a friendly face but are still friendly people. But if you want to work on how you physically come across, raising ones eyebrows works wonders. My nurse unit manager has resting bitch face but is able to look somewhat friendlier by raising her eyebrows haha.

As for everything else: It's not necessarily even about making small talk, it's about making people feel acknowledged and listened to, and you can do that without calling people "honey" or whatever--no idea where you got the idea that pet names are a requisite for friendliness. :p In fact, many people don't WANT to be called "honey" and I'm sure it'd be a turnoff to many of your patients.

You can have an entire conversation simply by using active listening skills and asking questions. And using inflections might help you sound less abrasive.

Sorry, this is very disorganized as I'm on mobile
This was very helpful. As for RBF, LOL; that made my day. All this has also made me realize that I quickly become unbecoming and "mean" whenever I'm accosted or unsure about something (relaying a message from manager to customer without fully having 100% knowledge about the topic). This is definitely something I need to work on. I like to think that I'm one of those people who may seem unfriendly, but once I really get to know you, I'm there for you forever. However, this isn't how the medical field works, so how can I accomplish this in a much shorter span of time? I realize this is an abstract, unpractical question, but maybe someone has had prior experiences?

Whenever I'm spoken to, I give 100% of myself, and that's something I take pride of. However, just today, I had someone who barely knew me tell me that I "just look mean". WTH am I supposed to do with that? Will every interaction I have involve an uphill battle of me proving that I'm someone who can be friendly?
 
Apr 2, 2015
364
391
29
Topeka, Kansas
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Well I am a needy OP right now, so being rude wouldn't help me, now would it?
Needy? You got your answer in the first two posts. If you really can't stand people AT ALL, forensic pathology isn't even particularly competitive if I remember correctly. Just opt out of physicianing and go for dissecting; its still like 180k/yr.
 
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YoungProdigy

7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2012
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Ah...

Not to diagnose someone over the internet, but this sounds a little Aspergers-ish. I'm not saying that you "have" a disorder, just that it sounds like you might be rather unsuited to a field that requires its participants to be socially adept. You can try to fake it. Practice smiling, etc. But that is almost worse, since the moment someone catches a whiff of insincerity, they are going to seize on it and think far worse about you than if you'd just been abrasive. It would probably be read as contempt or worse. Certainly, someone with an "unfriendly" affect is going to have a hard time of it in medical school and residency, no matter what field they hope to go into. Attendings don't respond well to mean-faces on rounds. And you have to have patient contact along the way, like it or not. If they don't like you, that is going to affect how your program evaluates you.

If you know now that you aren't good with people, then don't put yourself in a bad situation. You might like every other thing about medicine, but this is kinda one of those dealbreaker things.

Where are you at in your journey? What other avenues might be open to you?
I'm going into my second year (already have 60+ credits as I did dual enrollment - but a ton of science classes left to take, since most of them were BS humanities). Do you have any general alternatives that you could throw out?
 
OP
Y

YoungProdigy

7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2012
182
30
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Needy? You got your answer in the first two posts. If you really can't stand people AT ALL, forensic pathology isn't even particularly competitive if I remember correctly. Just opt out of physicianing and go for dissecting; its still like 180k/yr.
Why pigeonhole myself right now, instead of trying to remedy the problem? There seems to be a lot of friendly people here who are willing to help, so I'm going to take anything I can get.
 

StudyLater

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2015
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This was very helpful. As for RBF, LOL; that made my day. All this has also made me realize that I quickly become unbecoming and "mean" whenever I'm accosted or unsure about something (relaying a message from manager to customer without fully having 100% knowledge about the topic). This is definitely something I need to work on. I like to think that I'm one of those people who may seem unfriendly, but once I really get to know you, I'm there for you forever. However, this isn't how the medical field works, so how can I accomplish this in a much shorter span of time? I realize this is an abstract, unpractical question, but maybe someone has had prior experiences?

Whenever I'm spoken to, I give 100% of myself, and that's something I take pride of. However, just today, I had someone who barely knew me tell me that I "just look mean". WTH am I supposed to do with that? Will every interaction I have involve an uphill battle of me proving that I'm someone who can be friendly?
Well, there's two options when accosted by someone in the workplace: bend over and take it or fight back. I tend to do the former, as it's just simpler to say, "Oh yes I'm sorry about that" as opposed to starting **** and potentially losing my job. Plus if you start some **** now it's awkward whenever you pass the person in the hall. Can't have that now can we?

Did he/she say it jokingly? Maybe the person didn't mean (haha) for it to cut so deep. I mean, maybe just look nicer by smiling or as @mcatjelly says the eyebrows seriously can be helpful (at least just don't have them constantly flexed -- that'll save energy if anything).