Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
medstudent36

How important is it to have a fun personality?

Recommended Posts

I'm a 2nd year medical student and I have been very stressed about CaRMS because I am worried that my personality/shyness will hinder my application.

Most of my classmates would agree that I'm nice, polite and easy to work with, and I believe I'll be a hard-warking clerk with decent clinical skills/knowledge. However, when it comes to more casual settings, I see myself as a pretty "boring" person with no particularly interesting hobbies or experiences. As an immigrant who grew up abroad in a completely different culture, I find it difficult to relate to most of peers and physician staff. I'm also a pretty shy and nerdy in general, so during social events I often just smile politely and nodd because I can't think of anything relevant to add to the conversation. When I see my classmates having enthuasitic conversations with program directors and staff physicians (e.g., about research or just life in general), I simply can't imagine myself doing the same.

For CaRMs, it seems that many programs, especially the smaller ones, value whether candidates are a good "fit" with the program. While I think I will be pleasant to work with, I definitely don't think I'm somone fun that others would particularly want to hang out with. And with my shyness, it's hard to imagine myself doing a good job networking with program directors. 

Evidently, it's hard to judge my situation without seeing how I actually come across, but I guess I'm just interested in hearing what people have to say based on my description. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To really know if your personality is a hindrance, you need to identify and then outright ask someone or several someone’s you trust what their impressions are of you. 

I wouldn’t worry about being too shy or introverted. Medicine contains all kinds of folks. I’d worry more about being too “fun” as you describe it. That, too, can get people in trouble.

good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree, residency is more a job interview than a social club. At least you know that you did well enough during medical school interviews to be accepted.

PDs want someone who will do well in the program i.e. works hard, doesn't cause trouble, contributes to program initiatives and is a good team player. I think most people make the distinction between fun to hang out with and pleasant to work with.

I had a similar question about being considered a "quiet" student, and was advised that it's more those students who come across as overbearing that run into difficulties due to their personalities during the match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone can truly give you a good answer. When you go through clerkship you'll have plenty of chances to see how your personality plays into your performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t have a particularly “fun” or outgoing personality and it’s not a big deal. People enjoy working with me for other reasons.

The networking thing is more a learned skill than anything. Even if you’re shy or feel anxious, you can learn how to network with potential contacts even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. That’s what I did. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find not having a lot of hobbies describes most medical students, residents, and doctors tbh. I find it hard to relate to some preceptors because of the fact that I do have hobbies and many interests outside medicine. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/9/2019 at 11:47 PM, medstudent36 said:

Most of my classmates would agree that I'm nice, polite and easy to work with, and I believe I'll be a hard-warking clerk with decent clinical skills/knowledge. 

 

This is what is important during clearkship, that leads to residency!  :P This is what will make you a good fit for selection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to be extremely extroverted, but people do need to like you and want you around for the next 5 years if you want to match to a RCPSC specialty. This matters less so for FM programs due to their larger program size and being less hand selected, but instead sorted via computerized ranking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree that being reasonably pleasant, competent, respectful is more than enough to get you through most of medical school and even match in the majority of programs, I've heard of more competitive/small programs weighing impression at CaRMS socials more heavily. In those specific situations, I can see how the "cool", "fun" personality would be more memorable and advantageous. But still, a quieter, polite personality would be definitely better than loud, ostentatious personalities. It just might take a bit more work in those situations to be positively memorable.

Also sometimes, being an engaged listener can help overcome your lack interesting things to say. If you don't have a lot of interests of you own, pretend to be somewhat interested in what other staff/residents are interested in, regardless of how uninterested/unknowledgeable you are about the topic. "wow please tell me more about your crossfit calesthenics paleo intermittent fasting lifestyle you're soooo zen"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I think being genuine is the main thing. No matter what personality you have, you will get along better with some types of preceptors, and less so with others.
An outgoing happy-go-lucky person can come across as immature or annoying to a stoic preceptor just as a calm collected introvert can come across as stuck up to a more jovial attending.
Learning how to deal with preceptors that you don't naturally mesh with is a skill in itself. I'd argue that outgoing students being annoying/putting their foots in their mouths would be a worse outcome than a quieter student not laughing at every joke. This is of course assuming both students are equally effective team contributors.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calibrate your behavior to your preceptor and overall vibe of the group. With some preceptors, I don't hold back. With some others, it's super serious. Had one preceptor who's autistic af. Obviously my jokes didn't land.

On your surgical rotation, regardless of preceptor personality, if the volume of blood in the suction canister goes above 500 mL, you stfu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×