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Will Introvert Dentists Make Less Money Than Extrovert Ones?


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I know it says dent but I will bite as I have an interest in the whole introvert/extrovert thing that has been going on the last few years.


My thoughts: I don't think it matters.


When the whole "introvert movement" started gaining ground a few years back I really started following it. This was compounded by the fact that my wife is an MBTI evaluator and she used to do practice assessments on me. I thought: this is great, finally there is a label for what I am (I always knew I was a bit weird) and there is a whole movement to normalize it. I have to admit I was really bad at first and used to use my new-found status as an introvert for an excuse. Suddenly it was OK that I didn't want to go to parties and would rather spend lunch by myself. I felt like I didn't have to try and be more extroverted anymore. That was until one day my wife explained to me that the whole introvert/extrovert/MBTI thing was designed to identify your weak points so you can work on them, not to use them as a crutch or an excuse (I know I am getting a bit off track here).


This became important when I decided to pick a specialty. I, like you perhaps, thought that being an introvert would mean i should only follow certain specialties, or that I wouldn't do well in others. I ended up picking a surgical specialty (not all introverts have to go into pathology or med micro!) and although it has been difficult at times I don't think it affects my performance with patients or my earning potential. I treat every patient encounter the way my more extroverted peers do and I don't think the patients have any idea I would rather spend my life locked up in a room (with good internet access) than have to mingle at a party.


That is not to say there are not challenges, man are there challenges. For me I have a ticking clock that starts whenever I leave my house that drives me to want to come home. I would almost always rather be at home or doing things that i want to do versus work. Every minute I am out in the real world I feel the pressure to want to get home and on long surgical rotations where you spend weeks (literal) at the hospital it gets really hard. Couple this with the lack of any "alone" time. I am the kind of person who needs 30 minutes to myself every now and then to get lost in a song or read something not medicine and I rarely get this as a busy resident. It is hard, but no more so than if I was doing anything else outside of med or dent that required this type of investment. When I was younger it was easier to deal with but as I get older the batteries drain faster and my patience for people goes down.


I would suspect as a dentist, it is much like being a surgeon in that outside of the brief intro to clinic stuff you are mostly left to your work and I love being in the OR, I think of it almost like alone time and I am sure the dentist clinic is similar. It probably even helps you when I think about it as you are able to spend long periods of time quietly working away where as extroverted people need constant conversation and interaction.


Hope this was somewhat relevant.  

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