Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Pathology people" versus "people-people"

And herein lies the dilemma of a non clinical specialty versus a clinical one. I've come across one too many acerbic personality bearing pathologists (and staff) in the past 3-4 years, that have me running toward the hills of clinical medicine. Add to that the fact that I've never felt that my hyperactive self "fit in" among the type of people that typically work in Pathology, it's somewhat of a surprise I've been able to do as well as I have. And if I'm really being honest, I have to throw Scientist types in there too and with this in mind, it may very well be the reason that while I've been supremely stimulated intellectually with my career choices so far, the emotional/personal stimulation has been pretty much non existent due to the personality "issues". Yes, I KNOW that frosty personalities are found in ALL career fields, but I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the Scientists and Pathologists I've ever known are just plain salty a LOT of the time. And the thing I've come to terms with in the past 3-5 years of having the worst employment experiences in a career that began in 1988, is that the personality of the people you work with/around is more important than what you do, at least that's how I'm feeling now.

And this is what makes the prospect of clinical work seem so cool, on those days when the people you work with are working your nerves (and I've seen/heard of horror stories about hospital staff), there's a patient somewhere in that hospital or clinic that can put a smile back on your face. And for me it's usually one in a little diaper, and I specify little due to some "challenging" experiences with adults who need to wear diapers, not throwing shade though, just keepin' it real. In contrast, microarrays and H&E's don't smile, although they're VERY cool to look at.


  1. Ah how I feel your pain! I am still struggling now with staying with our people. There's so quiet and nonchalant that it's draining me of my hyperactive self. i too "suffer" from being overactive, since a child, so my bubbly personality doesn't quite fit in among my co-workers. They even got mad and irritated with me for socializing with people outside of our department. Even accused me of talking to one of the residents, who btw is the exact same age as my father! Not to mention he was only interested in helping me out concerning medical school as is the other black resident there, there's only 2, gasp. I don't know, if I don't find a hobby soon or start working out, they're going to make me lose my mind. I hope you find everything that you need. Hurry up and become a doctor already, I need a pioneer. j/k.

  2. Thanks for that Dr. Kay, I'm working on getting there every day. My rate limiting step in this process is my daughter's graduation from high school next year, then I'll feel clear to do something just for Mama!