Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm a neurologist. Psych.

I tend not to talk about work when it’s something I dislike (eg ED) to keep from sounding like the male equivalent of a negative Nancy. But I sometimes forget to talk about the work that I like. Perhaps that’s because I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about work when I’m not at work, which is when I blog. Because blogging at work is discouraged. But as it so happens, I’m currently blogging at work.

I’m able to do this because I’m on a Neurology rotation. Neurology isn’t inherently easy, in fact it’s inherently kind of complicated, but this particular rotation is pretty laid back. The doctor I work with likes to dictate all his notes, so doesn’t need me to write any notes for him to use for his notes. And since there are 3-5 residents and students working with him, we each have relatively few patients to see. Which makes this a pretty sweet month. When you can blog at work, you can’t complain too much.

But even if I saw more than 3-4 patients a day, which I don’t, neurology would still be great. To be honest, I’m probably a better neurologist than a psychiatrist. When I first told people that I was thinking about psychiatry, I often got “Really?” as a response. Some of this is probably due to the general view of psychiatry as quackery. But some was undoubtedly because I’m a bit Aspergers. I’m not terribly good at reading emotions, which you might imagine is a good skill to have in psychiatry. But I am a good listener, pretty good abstract thinker and am generally good at being objective. So I’m not a complete loss as a psychiatrist, but I’m probably better at Neurology. I did a fair amount of neurology as a neuroscientist major, I did an above average amount at med school, and I took some neuro electives. The brain is kind of a squishy mishmash of shapish blobs, but it still makes a certain amount of sense to me.

But I didn't go into neurology. Although I'm probably a better neurologist than a psychiatrist, I don't enjoy it as much. There is a near infinite number of strokes you could have, but I don't find one much more interesting than the next. But psychotic people, they're all different and all interesting. Both fields have pretty poor outcomes; you don't cure schizophrenia, and you don't cure seizures, you just treat them as best you can. But of the two, I feel like successfully treating psychiatric conditions is more rewarding.

So if you've seen me in the last month you may have noticed I'm liking my job. But more likely, you didn't notice any difference. I'm greatly enjoying my neurology vacation, but it will be nice to get back to psych in a couple months.

No comments: