Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

So, I'm conflicted these days. I really love psychiatry. I never thought that was possible. I often think it would be the perfect compromise between trying to have a great personal life and a rewarding professional life. It seems to be for my attending. It would be a bit hard for me because I don't know as much about matching into psychiatry as I have learned about OB/Gyn or anesthesia. But, not so hard that I couldn't do it. The main thing stopping me from doing more research is my own stupid ego.

Think about it this way. If you were going to be a physician, would you want to be able to offer medical advice to your friends and family? Or do you want to send them off to a "medical doctor." After all, what is 4 years of medical school worth if not to end up a medical doctor? There's some excitement and privelege in being allowed to see someone from the inside in surgery, or help deliver their new baby. I know that the absence of those things does not make psych any less noble a profession, but it's just not what one, at least this one, pictures when they go into medicine. "Is there a doctor on the plane," "Well sort of, I"m a psychiatrist." Does that count?

Alas, I have a whole year to figure it out. But this is my last week to really see psych and all it offers. I was always raised to believe that women can do everything that men can do, that I am capable of anything, and somewhere along the way, I determined that that should be the hardest thing possible. Maybe that's just not the lesson I should have taken from it. Maybe it's fine to want to be there when my future kids have band concerts (blah) or swim meets, or (please) track meets. And maybe, just maybe, there's an area of medicine where that's possible.

What do you think? Does being a "head shrinker" make one less of a doctor?


The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I think you have a lot of very exciting options, and the only person whose opinion matters is yours. I can't wait to hear what you think about your next rotation.

shrimppesto said...

in the end, what matters most is that you are doing something that you love. for me, the hard part is figuring out if, 25 years from now, i will still have the same passion for _____ field of medicine that i do now. but i think it's important to figure out, since you don't want to become one of those disenchanted burnouts that we encounter every day.

lifestyle is an important consideration, but remember that even the best lifestyle in the world is powerless to make worthwhile a job you are bored, disillusioned, or otherwise disinterested in. so, make sure you choose something that you love, and that you will continue to love. i think if you do that, there's nothing that can stop you =)

on a side note, my "word verification" image says "LUEST." hahahaha. hmm. strange.