Changes

Well, I had that practical test I posted about previously. I don’t know whether I passed and won’t know for a good while because it’s a two-part test. However, I have a good feeling about this one. I asked all the right questions. In other words, I’m going to be extremely pissed if I didn’t pass.

As you all know, I’ve been re-thinking my career these days. Psychiatry has honestly been losing it’s appeal each day. It scares me, because for some reason to me, psychiatry is a sort of comfort zone when it comes to my career (I guess because it’s not a competitive field). I feel like I took a weight off my shoulders by starting to think of other residencies, but at the same time opened a Pandora’s box. Yes, considering psychiatry as a career was a weight on my shoulders, because of how seemingly incompatible this career is with my personality. You see, in reality, I’m a quiet introvert who gets anxious from doing seemingly mundane things like talking on the phone or sending emails. And, honestly, being a psychiatrist would be taking me out of my comfort zone.

All these realizations and thoughts are pretty recent, because it was only recently that I realized that if I’m not honest with myself I won’t be happy in whatever career I choose. And, I have to start choosing soon. So, I’m trying to be as honest as possible with myself.

I wrote down four main reasons for which psychiatry has lost it’s appeal. It really breaks my heart to say these words, but it’s the truth. They are the following:

  1. I liked the psychiatry rotation, but I didn’t LOVE it. This really bothers me, because I want to be able to love my job.
  2. The theory of psychiatry comes as second-nature to me. I can answer psychiatry tests with no difficulty whatsoever. However, the practice of psychiatry is a whole other story for me. It is very difficult for me to establish more than a superficial relationship with any person and at the same time I don’t know if I actually want to. 
  3. If I were to be a psychiatrist, I would want to be the best psychiatrist I could possibly be. And, honestly, I don’t think I have the capacity to be the best psychiatrist out there. (I’ve gotten a few comments on here about how I can be a good psychiatrist, but the reality is that I’m good with written words….spoken words is not exactly my strength.) 
  4. I had more rapport with internal medicine patients than with psychiatry patients. I became more involved in the lives of my internal medicine patients, while my psychiatry patients just left me feeling confused and with a lot of countertransference to deal with.

Meanwhile, I’ve been harboring an interest in other specialties, mainly ophthalmology and neurology. I was interested in these two specialties even before starting medical school. My only worry is that they’re both significantly more competitive than psychiatry…and I’m not the most competitive candidate out there.

But, you know, this isn’t the first time I start making career changes at the last minute. Back when I was in college I always said I wanted to do a PhD, then at the last minute I changed to an MD. It all makes me wonder whether having BPD and having such an unstable sense of self has anything to do with it. Whatever the reason, I feel like I’m thinking the right things and that I’m in the right track.

Who knows, maybe I’ll end up being a psychiatrist after all. But, for now, I don’t think so.

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