Hey, what’s up you guys? Hey, thanks for watching this video once again.
In this video, I wanna talk about how choosing a specialty actually affects your personality and the rest of your life.
I know I’ve done some funny videos about which personalities go into which specialty, but what I think people don’t realize – and this is in general for anything. If you’re gonna be a teacher, if you’re gonna be a postmaster, if you’re gonna be a plumber or whatever. Over the long-term, that really will affect the outcome of, number one, your life but number two, your personality and the things that you end up doing in life and how you perceive the world.
I’ll tell you a quick story. When I was in residency, I really did a lot of trauma. We did a lot of critical care and acute care surgery. The program there said, “Hey, we’d like you to do our critical care fellowship and then stay on as staff. Would you wanna do that or would you wanna stay on staff as a general surgeon?” Although it was a great place to train and I owe those guys everything and all the staff and everything I really love working with all of them and I learned unbelievable amounts of knowledge and skill and everything from them. They weren’t happy. Not many of them were really happy. There was a few surgeons that were genuinely happy, but a lot of them were not.
I kicked the idea around a little bit and I was like, “Man, I don’t know. I just don’t see how am I gonna be happy if nobody else here is happy? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.” So I turned that down and honestly, I probably should have done the critical care fellowship because it’s another piece of paper. It’s one more year. It probably would have been fairly easy for me to do because I had already been in that hospital. I was already in that system. I was already taking care of those critical care patients for five, six years. It wouldn’t have been that difficult. I really should’ve done it.
Now I can’t really work at a level one hospital because they want everybody to be critical care certified there. That’s the reason I should’ve done that.
I was just concerned that if I stayed there, I would become one of them and be an unhappy person.
It’s a little bit of the chicken or the egg thing. Being happy is really – I’ve found – is really an inside job. It should be the outside, the things that influence you to make you happy or unhappy. But many people are, and I think that if you don’t dig deep and really understand what should make you happy or not happy or upset or miserable, whatever it is, then you’re gonna basically take on the characteristics of the people around you and the people or the environment around you.
What I wanna make clear in this video is that when you choose a career, that really defines you. A lot of people say, “I’m not my career. I’m not this, I’m not that.” But you’re doing something every single day for eight plus hours, probably more really. You’re in this environment, you’re in this headspace. You’re thinking the same way these other people are trying to do that. What it does is it affects your habits.
Say you’re a clerk, I’m gonna use this example. You’re a clerk at a toll booth. You’re just taking money and maybe there’s a lot of obese people there because the habit, or that job, forces you into being sedentary. What are you gonna do all day when you’re taking money at a toll booth is you’re gonna try and keep yourself busy. What are you gonna do there? You’re probably gonna eat. You’re gonna drink soda, stuff like that. Those habits will develop. It’s not surprising that many of those people may be obese or something like that.
That’s maybe a poor example. I’m just pulling that out of the sky, but there are definitely clerk positions that I see that a lot of people are obese because they’re forced into this habit of being sedentary and only choosing something to keep them awake, keep their minds stimulated, and a lot of times that’s just sugar.
If you’re a postmaster, you’re going to look at the world a little bit differently than if you are a physician. When you start changing your perception of the world, then the things- how you operate in the world is also different.
If you are an internal medicine physician and you’re maybe a hospice and you’re just getting killed all the time, you’re super busy. All the other specialties maybe, you think, work less than you and make more money, then you may be upset with that. That’s an example also. You may or may not. But I will tell you that if the other people that you work with are like that, then it’s highly likely that you will be like that too. That’s a very, very important distinguisher. Because if you get into a group where everyone’s upset and no one’s happy with their lives, then it’s highly, highly likely that you will be the same unless you do some serious self-help.
It really took me about three years to dig myself out of that mindset. ‘Cause, in general surgery, where I was, the attitude there was a negative attitude. It was born out of necessity. The attitude was trust no one. That included all surgeons, all doctors, all nurses, everybody because the thought was that if you trusted nobody, then you would go check everything yourself and you wouldn’t miss anything and you wouldn’t have bad complications because of human error. It’s a good thought, but we felt that that doesn’t really happen like that.
And then that brings me to the point of, when you are happy or your brain is functioning better and you’ll have less error because your brain, actually, is firing better than if you have a negative mindset.
My point is that when you’re looking into a specialty, what are those people like? Are they negative people? Are they very upset all the time? Are they unhappy in their positions? If they are, if it’s the majority of people like that, then you’ve really, really gotta think about that because it’s not 100% but it’s highly likely you’ll be the same.
If there are not and they have a great life and they love it and they think what they do is amazing, then you’ll have a higher chance of being just like that.
I’ve talked about this before that you are made up of the five to eight people that you surround yourself the most with. You will be molded to those characteristics, those personalities, those incomes. Everything.
It’s really something I never thought about before when I was a medical student. This is great for high school students, actually. This is great for medical students, this is great for college students going into anything. No one ever told me this before so I think this is a big deal. If I would have known that most general surgeons are unhappy, I might not have gone into general surgery.
For me, because I did a lot of personal work, I’m gonna call it that, I can change my mindset. I have a different mindset than most general surgeons. That’s why I’m able to do these things and have fun. It’s hard. There’s no question about that. But it’s not impossible.
I have probably a small percentage of general surgeons who are happy with what they’re doing and happy with their lifestyle and their income and all that stuff.
I think I made the point in this video. I hope that you understand what I was saying.
Choose a specialty that is the outcome that you want for your life. A lot of people will decide that they wanna go into surgical specialty but say, “Well, I don’t wanna be like those guys but I’m gonna do that.” It’s highly unlikely.
A lot of people wanna go into neurosurgery. If you wanna go into neurosurgery, you’re gonna have a (bleep) tough ass life. You’re gonna make a lot of money, but it’s gonna be very hard on yourself, your schedule’s gonna be very hard, your relationships are gonna be very hard, your family life is gonna be very hard, your relationships with your kids are gonna be hard. It’s gonna be tough. And, in fact, it reminds me of one of my senior residents one time. I was an intern, he was a fifth-year. He barely saw his kids very much. When he did, of course he tried to be Dad. They’d do something and he’d say, “Hey, don’t do that.” They’d look at him and say, “Dad, go back to work.” ‘Cause they didn’t feel like he was really around enough to justify for him to tell them what to do so the kids said basically, “(Bleep) you, Dad. Get out of here. Go back to work. You’re not part of this family.”
That’s pretty significant. You gotta think about that. It’s not impossible but if you’re gonna go into it, you better be ready for that (bleep).
That was a pretty serious one there. Hopefully, I’ll have some more fun videos coming up. Actually, I’ve got some super awesome videos coming up this week. Stay tuned. Subscribe. Like, share, comment as always.
Thank you very much for watching these videos and subsribe. Take care.
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