I wanted to know if anyone could relate to what I’ve been experiencing.
I’m currently a resident interested in a fairly competitive specialty that I’ll be applying for next year. I find rotations in it to be fulfilling and engaging. Learning more about it and making myself a better clinician is easy to do for that reason, and preceptors have remarked on my interest and promise.
However, given the competitive nature of the program, I worry merely being a dedicated, skilled clinician is insufficient. It seems a successful candidate must come packaged with extras like being a chief resident, conducting research, and participating in administrative roles. I’ve tried and tried to make myself enjoy such things, but I truly just don’t.
I find the idea of “chiefing,” making schedules, liaising with admin, and I guess “being involved,” to be uninteresting and taxing. It’s just not how I want to spend my non-clinical time and it feels like it takes away from learning medicine. If I was guaranteed a spot in my specialty of choice, I would do none of that and prepare simply by learning. It makes me feel inauthentic, but how could I even compete if every one else is doing all those things?
On top of that, I’m a quiet, introverted person with no desire to be a leader, which feels taboo to even say in medicine. What I do care about is clinical acumen and skill, and ultimately reducing the suffering of my patients. I'm a friendly colleague and I work hard, but I just like to come home after work and read a book or watch a movie with my partner.
Do other people feel this way and just get on with it and compartmentalize? Is my reserved, unambitious nature prohibitive?
I’m open to the thought that I’m being immature provided it comes with an explanation because I do sometimes sound like a grumpy teenager to myself.