If you’ve spent any time in the industry, you know that the typical state of any health care facility is controlled chaos: patients stream in and out in need of attention, while doctors, nurses, assistants, and techs all work together to keep the machine running. If you thrive on solitude, can you make it in this profession?
There has been a lot of talk lately about the role of introverts in society (people who feel more comfortable focusing inward on thoughts and feelings rather than outward on interactions with others). Popular opinion used to be that you were doomed if you weren’t commanding and outwardly confident. But people are starting to realize that introspection is a very valuable professional skill–especially in medicine, when dealing with the important topic of patients’ health.
Starting in undergraduate school, and then through professional studies, introverts learn to rely on themselves to weather the most challenging storms. Building up a quiet confidence comes in extremely handy when life-or-death challenges are thrown your way in the working world.
You also have a skill set the more social of your peers struggle with: the ability to tap into the more emotional and sensitive side of patients. In fact, if you identify as an introvert you likely will not only survive–you will thrive in patient relations, one of the toughest parts of the job.
Embrace your ability to be quiet and thoughtful. Then, learn to work with extroverted colleagues to create a medical team that can handle all sides of patients’ needs. Your introversion is not a liability, it’s a bonus!
Can Introverts Survive in Medicine?