future INFJ psychiatrist here (possibly) | INFJ Forum

future INFJ psychiatrist here (possibly)

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by elect locution, Jun 14, 2012.

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  1. elect locution

    elect locution Regular Poster

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    The third year of medical school is about rotating through core specialties both to learn and to find out what we enjoy. I began my third year a few months ago and so far I have experienced surgery, psychiatry, and one internal medicine-ish rotation. Every medical student hopes to have an "epiphany" in their third year that reveals to them the specialty they were destined to go into. I may have had mine.

    (italicized is optional reading)
    Surgery sucked. Every morning:
    "Good morning Mr. Johnson"
    "good morning"
    "how is your pain?"
    "bad"
    "have you had a bowel movement yet?"
    "yes"
    "okay, goodbye"
    (your colon freezes up after surgery [postoperative ileus] and its unfreezing is often the surgeon's cue to eject you)

    Medicine is filled with minutia to rote memorize--laundry lists of symptoms, side effects, treatment algorithms, details, data, details, details, data, details, data point, data graphed, chart, algorithm, details. UGH! I liked learning about how things work in the first two years. It was tedious, but I had the time to draw things out and make concept maps--using the (big picture)-visual INFJ intuition to retain the minutia. This however is not sustainable when hospital hours grow long and study time grows short. I found myself struggling before going to see a patient to think "this symptom... what is the 10-items-long differential diagnosis? What are the symptoms, historical points, and physical exam findings I need to ask about or look for for each of those? Lists upon lists upon lists of things to remember. After each interview, I'd stare at my notes in horror--the chaos, the disorganization, the things I forgot to ask, the things I hadn't considered, I had covered maybe 1/2 the things that I should have asked about. Nightmare. I feel like I'm the only person in my class who can read a paper and 5 minutes later not be able to regurgitate the symptoms, side effects, fine points of it. I hear that medicine gets intuitive after near a decade of practice, but it will be an agonizing process to get there. Nightmare. Don't get me wrong, it's all fascinating, but what really kills me is the mad mental scramble I have when I interview my patients to recall the factoids I understand so well, but free-recall so poorly.

    Psychiatry was a dream. I showed up in the morning, walked into my patients' rooms and asked them "how you feelin?" then sat back and listened. I'd ask a few questions to guide their responses and a few yes/no questions to rule out the relatively limited list of other possible psychiatric issues they could have. Certainly, knowing the drugs, their side effects, efficacy, interactions, et cetera will be necessary, but the breadth is nowhere near as massive as in general medicine. Only some of the interview is what my patients say--the rest is how they feel. NiFe very happy.


    tl;dr: Surgery is cold and stupid. Medicine is an ocean of lists to memorize (sensor stuff AUUUGH). Psychiatry is intuitive (mmm.... iNNNNtuition). Any other INFJ medical students or physicians have some input? Anyone with comments? Anyone with questions?

    Really, I just want to open up the forum (pun intended) to talking about INFJs and the medical field.
     
    #1 elect locution, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
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  2. Tactical Panda

    Tactical Panda Community Member

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    I'm not an INFJ, and I have tried to stay clear of anything related to a biology focus in science, but have you talked to psychiatrists who are practicing in order to determine what sort of challenges they have to face in terms of depressing work? I've heard from medical students a saying that psychiatry can upset the doctor's faith - which may or may not be hinting at some larger issue.
     
  3. OP
    elect locution

    elect locution Regular Poster

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    I think all specialties of medicine have their "depressing work." Surgeons work 80+ hours a week--depressing in itself. ER docs deal with the insurance-less, homeless, and addicted--seeing them re-admitted again and again. Cardiologists and Neurologists manage patients with progressive disease until they die (CHF, Alzheimer's). Primary care physicians have their morbidly obese diabetics who can't or won't change their lifestyle choices. The practice of medicine, across all specialties and for most disease processes is management, not cure--band-aids on the disease of mortality. It can always be depressing, but we steel ourselves against it and savor the victories when they come.
     
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  4. Tactical Panda

    Tactical Panda Community Member

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    I'll try to re-explain the difference between regular medical work and what I'm trying to get at:

    Imagine you came back from a day of counselling people who were convinced they have been hearing the voice of god to a partner who tries to tell you that they think they have been called by god to do something. Or at a church with a churchgoer who is describing some life changing moment.

    After dealing with too many "voice from god" cases at work, it kind of deadens the faith you can have in that sort of thing.
    Or so the reputation goes, as far as my limited understanding of it goes.
     
  5. OP
    elect locution

    elect locution Regular Poster

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    Oh that's what you meant by faith.
    I have none of that. That kind of faith seems silly to me if it is so fragile that it can be shattered by the undirected ramblings of the insane.

    Maybe a psychiatrist of faith would feel called to purge "corrupted" ramblings from the lips of the unfortunate wretches.
     
  6. Tactical Panda

    Tactical Panda Community Member

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    I talked to a medical friend going through psych rotations at a hospital yesterday.

    Apparently the "voices from god" isn't as common as just hearing voices, (which doesn't make either the most common case compared to the usual problems the ward sees).

    It may depend on where you live I guess, but if you aren't worried about faith perhaps the issue isn't terribly important in this case.

    Also, there are interesting things going on in that ward - like the physically dangerous or violent being kept. Which may be something to consider, even if you are okay with it.
     
  7. j654dgj7

    j654dgj7 Please delete this account.

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    I think it would be good for an INFJ to get involved in the medical field! INFJs are called "counsellors" and behind-the-scenes helpers. Being a doctor/psychiatrist would seem like it fits right in there with what the type likes.

    Is it really that simple to divide surgery and psychiatry, though? It's fascinating, I don't know any doctors :D
     
  8. OP
    elect locution

    elect locution Regular Poster

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    I highly recommend psychology, medicine, or psychiatry to INFJs. Medicine will be tough because the memorization is our weakest point, but ambition and creative studying can overcome that (I made very colorful mind maps to memorize details and scored in the 80th percentile of the first of three medical board exams; though I don't expect to do as relatively well on the subsequent exams, I won't be doing bad).

    Medical specialties are very stereotyped. Surgeons literally are the jock-types (majority of them). Internal medicine docs (the highest scoring on exams, at least) are very meticulous often MBTI Sensors. Psychiatrists are the most liberal-arts, right-brained, creative types (though plenty of development of memorization skill is required to get there).
     
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  9. abeautifulheartandmind

    abeautifulheartandmind Community Member

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    I have been in the medical field in various positions but my love is counseling. :D
     
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  10. floatingbridge

    floatingbridge Life's a ride
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    Hey, I'm not exactly in the medical field but in occupational therapy. Like abeautifulheartandmind above, counselling is my joy. I did OT because of the job opportunities, compared to something like, psych. : )
     
  11. marguerita

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    This is an old thread I dug up out of personal interest, but I was just going to say that from what I've read, the biggest frustration for INFJs in Psychiatry is how much time they spend on the bureaucratic side of it... too much paperwork, etc. less time with patients. But I would think the right staff would take care of all the mundane stuff for you?
     
  12. invisible

    On Holiday

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    great thread with awesome information about your personal experience OP, would love to read more! i grew up with a nephrologist father, nurse mother, and worked in operating rooms as a porter for a couple of years. i think it would be very interesting to be a psychiatrist. wish medicine were my calling in life, its a fascinating world!!
     
  13. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    Hello there...I’m a first assist surgical nurse in the open heart room.
    I have worked as a paramedic in the field and in the ER, worked in home health, and in just about every specialty of surgery.
    I agree that surgeons are “the jocks” of medicine...they are most definitely (for the most part) egomaniacal, type-A personalities.
    I have thought of possibly going into counseling myself as I have ankylosing spondylitis (rheumatoid arthritis in your spine) and I know it’s just a matter of time before I can no longer stand for countless hours doing surgery....in fact, most of the time, I hobble out to my car at the end of the day...ugh.
    Regarding phycologists, psychiatrists, and counselors, I have found that they often time have some of the most deep-seeded psychiatric problems out of them all....lol.
    Not all of course....lol.
    Anyhow, nice to have someone else who is in medicine on the forum....welcome!
     
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  14. INFJMedicalStudent

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    Hi. I am also an INFJ interested in psychiatry and am about to enter my 3rd year. I am sort of terrified of 3rd year. Any tips for getting through it as an INFJ? Should I attempt to fit in with all the ESTJs out there or just be myself? Which is more energy sapping? I love people but need lots of alone time. Is it seen as terribly antisocial to eat lunch alone as a 3rd year medical student? Also did you end up going into psychiatry? I am so curious and would love to know how it's going so far.
     
  15. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    there's two sides to that - both be yourself, and take advantage of the college scene (however your comfortable) - college is some of the easiest/most prime socializing opportunities of your life. if you're going to a decent-sized university, you'll be bound to find several people you click with. Basically, take advantage of the opportunities you can. You don't have to be socializing 24/7. but do take advantage of the environment.
     
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  16. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    Please, don't sell yourself short. Medical psychiatry is in a crisis and medical school is a boat you seem to get on or don't.

    The pharmaceutical industry looms large but these are illnesses caused mostly by repressed emotions.

    There is so much more to Psychology than the clinical side and I am going to dedicate a good proportion of my life to change the attitude from one of 'curing' the patient to truly caring for the patient without destroying their will to act autonomously. If anything I believe that if we are to chemically alter their consciousness we have an obligation to at least attempt to educate them about their potential for self-evolution, something society generally doesn't seem that interested in.

    The unconscious psyche is not our enemy, it is our wider selves. Ugly? Maybe. Violent? Sometimes. Delusional? Almost always. But these things are to be transformed, not eradicated. When transformed they become the incredible, ineffable highs of the greatest art, music and spiritual texts from human history. I would recommend Carl Jung (who? :tongue1:) and Roberto Assagioli. Jung is more empirical but Assagioli...well, I'll let you decide for yourself. The broader term is 'Transpersonal Psychology'. Both were M.Ds in their day.

    Transpersonal Psychology is not mainstream really. However, the value of talking therapies is well known but applied patchily. The reliance on medication means that therapy is a secondary method and because medication is designed to act quickly, the therapy in hosptial never gets going and community care becomes little more than ensuring the medication has been taken, often in similar conditions to the ones that created the problems (crimes, drugs, poverty etc.)

    I don't know what the solution is, or if there is just one, but I'll be working toward something positive in this field. Psychology is so much bigger than advertising and medicine but as a medic you have an opportunity to change the world. I don't know if you want to but Psychology is linked to world events and religion, it is basically the bridge. You are in an amazingly fortunate position to have a real impact on the world as a Psychiatrist because being a medical doctor does still count for something...in mental health maybe more than anywhere since you'll often oversee entire wards.

    Whatever you want to do, study hard this year. Really go for it. It will be worth it whatever you want to do.

    That awkward moment when you've just potentially helped create either a strong ally or adversary.
     
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