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I've considered it..i'm still considering it. The truth is I have no passion for any particular area of life. I have strong , STRONG desires for security and financial freedom and also autonomy.

I was pursuing psychology and am receiving a B.S. in it but realized I don't want to do psychotherapy and the doctoral training for psychologists is just as long as the M.D. with about 1/3 the compensation, and decreasing job security as masters level professionals (LPC, LMHC, LCSW, MSW) encroach on the profession from all sides.

Anytime I consider other things, like being a career counselor or sitting in a corporate environment doing human resources or marketing none of it sounds much better than doing anything else that I also don't have an undying passion for.

I'm happy with film, television, playing video games, laying in streams lol, I love to sing, and i'd love to dance and maybe act.. none of those things are careers though. Well, you can make them careers if you try, but that goes back to my whole extreme desire for security and financial freedom. Pursuing acting and singing at the age of 26 I don't think would be the best way to attain those things.

With that said.. INFP's.. do we make good doctors? Are there any around here who are happy with thier lives? I wouldn't want to do psychiatry as that's just the drug pushing form of dealing with mental pathology.

I've thought about Radiology, Dermatology, and Allergy. Those perhaps allow you to help people, make enough money, and also still have a life outside of work thus granting me what I want: Security, Financial freedom, and independence. Thoughts anyone? Any encouragement would be great. I know that we intuitive feelers tend to enjoy hearing the opinions and advice from others.

When you have no "passion" do you just pursue the other values you may have then? like stability, income, freedom?
 

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I understand the desire of wanting financial freedom, but personally I don't think it's going to make you happy. All it's going to do is make sure you have enough money, but if it's only to allay your fears... I'm afraid I'm one of those who prefers following what you want (singing, dancing, etc) instead, sorry :crazy:

Anyway, as they say, business and medicine are the two things not going to go away. You're going to get tons of money off of the baby-boomers and corporations always need paper-pushers. Anesthesiologists are known for their ridiculous amounts of money, if you can handle standing in an operation room for hours on end. Pharmacists and dentists make a ton of it, as well.

Overall, though, yeah, INFPs make good doctors. We're generally the ones going into the field because of our desire to help people. If you're of the more sensitive types (which is fine) or want to be around "the populace," then maybe become a general practitioner. But specialists (pathology, pulmonology, dermatology, etc) tend to be able to pick and choose their patients, hours, vacations and whichever, so that's probably what you're looking for. There's tons of choices.

Wikipedia's list of specialities.
 

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If you ever get in a position where you have the ability to subscribe drugs, you need to challenge yourself and really train being able to hold back whenever it's right. Being kind has its downsides. There are probably others, but I don't see why you wouldn't be a good doctor. If you get to work with people who frequently die, a morbid sense of humor is a good thing, as is being able to relieve stress, but that goes for just about any job.

:3 My biology teacher wanted me to be a surgeon because I was good at cutting things apart without making too much of a mess, but then I realized I was too cool for school and joined the military, only to become a medic. XD
 

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If you ever get in a position where you have the ability to subscribe drugs, you need to challenge yourself and really train being able to hold back whenever it's right. Being kind has its downsides. There are probably others, but I don't see why you wouldn't be a good doctor. If you get to work with people who frequently die, a morbid sense of humor is a good thing, as is being able to relieve stress, but that goes for just about any job.

:3 My biology teacher wanted me to be a surgeon because I was good at cutting things apart without making too much of a mess, but then I realized I was too cool for school and joined the military, only to become a medic. XD
that's ironic, shorttail! Is your time there over or are you still amidst your being a medic? Did/are you enjoying that and what do you do now? I would prefer not to work with people who frequently die, however I have a very dark, morbid cynical humor none the less.. In fact when I was hospitalized two years ago and thought I would be dead soon I was still laughing in between crying sessions :crazy:.
Neuro radiology seems cool because you'd get to look at brain scans all the time and be there in the future when we find out all the problems behind depression/anxiety etc. and the biological causes behind and hopefully how to fix them!

I understand Paradigm's philosophy too though. If all we had to do was do things that interested us, I'd go master piano with expensive teachers, harness my voice with incredible vocal instructors, overcome stage fright, get the perfect body.. all sorts of goals. I don't see how I can realistically support myself by pursuing any of that right now though. If I pursued money first, then I could use that money to put into all the myriads of things that I have greater interest in but never enough in any specific one to become the sole focus of my life (career)....if that makes any sense. That was a bad run-on sentence but oh well.
 

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I was in a similar situation a few yeas ago when I had to chose what course I was going to take at university. I suggest you maybe go with something that you wont lose interest in or something that would motivate you so that you wouldn't get bored of the job.

When I was deciding what career to do, I decided on doing a healthcare type job because it motivates me more when I can help people. I then narrowed it down to physiotherapy because it sounded like an area which I wouldn't get bored doing (although I'd maybe put more thought in it than I did, I was running out of time to apply :tongue:). To be honest, I didn't really like the course that much until I started doing practice placements and helping people, then I started to really enjoy it. I guess what I'm trying to say with this example is that sometimes it's hard to know if you'll have passion for the job until you actually start working in it, so sometimes it's good to try a job which you know you'll be motivated to do.

About INFPs being doctors, I guess it depends on the area and on you as a person. I've noticed that doctors need to be able to turn their emotions on and off when they need too, which could be difficult for some people. Doctors do need to be empathic though, which is something that INFPs are good at, but I think you'd need to look more into the different areas that doctors work in to know if you'd like it/be good at it.

I think a good idea would be to try and organise a day following someone who works in the jobs you've thought about, that way you get an idea of what they do, and if you'd be good at it and if you'd enjoy it. :proud: (I actually did this with radiology for a few days and it helped me a lot with understanding the job and what they do)
 

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I really think that being a doctor would be tough for an infp. It is nice to help people. But it is one of those careers where unless you own the hospitial, it is all about following the rules and making proper surgerys incisions etc. I think also being a nurse you would have to be somewhat heartless. I would feel terrible for every single patient. I would not be able to handle messing up/ watching someone die. I personally really would not be able to handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was in a similar situation a few yeas ago when I had to chose what course I was going to take at university. I suggest you maybe go with something that you wont lose interest in or something that would motivate you so that you wouldn't get bored of the job.

When I was deciding what career to do, I decided on doing a healthcare type job because it motivates me more when I can help people. I then narrowed it down to physiotherapy because it sounded like an area which I wouldn't get bored doing (although I'd maybe put more thought in it than I did, I was running out of time to apply :tongue:). To be honest, I didn't really like the course that much until I started doing practice placements and helping people, then I started to really enjoy it. I guess what I'm trying to say with this example is that sometimes it's hard to know if you'll have passion for the job until you actually start working in it, so sometimes it's good to try a job which you know you'll be motivated to do.

About INFPs being doctors, I guess it depends on the area and on you as a person. I've noticed that doctors need to be able to turn their emotions on and off when they need too, which could be difficult for some people. Doctors do need to be empathic though, which is something that INFPs are good at, but I think you'd need to look more into the different areas that doctors work in to know if you'd like it/be good at it.

I think a good idea would be to try and organise a day following someone who works in the jobs you've thought about, that way you get an idea of what they do, and if you'd be good at it and if you'd enjoy it. :proud: (I actually did this with radiology for a few days and it helped me a lot with understanding the job and what they do)
great insight Kokoro,

the part about needing to work in something before knowing if it's your passion is the major crisis of the whole thing! It's a catch 22! Depending on what it is, it's not easy to reverse course if it's the wrong thing you know? I know the "P" part of our personality type is what gives us analysis paralysis which is what i've been in for years. I talk myself into and out of careers sometimes within minutes at a time. Due dilligence for me is like a joke. There are very few decisions in this world that I will have made that didn't involve every detail and factor being considered before hand.

Kokoro, can you tell me about your experience with the radiologist? I'd love to know what it was like if you don't mind. As far as turning on/off my emotions , i'm not great at that. I'm a mood swinger and angstful, but I always direct it towards interpersonal relations (friends, family and self) and never the public if that makes sense. Like I would never allow my emotions to come out in a way that I would be rude or inconsiderate of a patient for example, but I might end up having a breakdown that night with a friend or something the same night. lol
 

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@insidetheinfp yeah, I definitely hear what you're saying. I would definitely never go into a life/death specialty like Emergency medicine or surgery of any kind. That's why the ones i'm interested in would be Radiology, dermatology, allergy. It isn't common for those types of doctors to be responsible for the patient at that level. I suppose an allergist could kill someone with an allergy shot gone horribly wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's extremely rare.

In radiology you help people , and mostly your fellow doctors who all need you but you don't necessarily ever meet the patient. The heart surgeon or neuro surgeon though? NO way. The slightest slip would be a flat line dead human being. Couldn't deal with that.

I've considered pharmacist too, but the market is becoming glutted with pharmacists where as doctors are really needed.
 

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great insight Kokoro,

the part about needing to work in something before knowing if it's your passion is the major crisis of the whole thing! It's a catch 22! Depending on what it is, it's not easy to reverse course if it's the wrong thing you know? I know the "P" part of our personality type is what gives us analysis paralysis which is what i've been in for years. I talk myself into and out of careers sometimes within minutes at a time. Due dilligence for me is like a joke. There are very few decisions in this world that I will have made that didn't involve every detail and factor being considered before hand.

Kokoro, can you tell me about your experience with the radiologist? I'd love to know what it was like if you don't mind. As far as turning on/off my emotions , i'm not great at that. I'm a mood swinger and angstful, but I always direct it towards interpersonal relations (friends, family and self) and never the public if that makes sense. Like I would never allow my emotions to come out in a way that I would be rude or inconsiderate of a patient for example, but I might end up having a breakdown that night with a friend or something the same night. lol
That's the problem I had as well, that's why I tried following different people around doing their jobs just to help me to get an idea of what they do because you don't seem to get the same experience just by reading about it.

Hmm, well I don't know if my experience was the same as what it would be like in the US but it should be similar. Well this is just my opinion it but I found it to be the kind of job that I would get bored of easily because it was quite repetitive. You do get different types of imaging like x-rays, CT scans and MRI scans, which was interesting but I could see it becoming repetitive after working there after a while. It felt like they worked more with the machines and the than the patient's as well whereas I wanted more patient interaction. Analysing the x-rays was interesting though (although I get to do that now as well :tongue:). I feel like I created quite a negative image of it, but that's just how I felt about it. It's probably best if you try to see it for yourself before you make an opinion on it (by the way, I think the fact that the first x-ray they showed me was a barium x-ray of the intestine kind of put me in a negative mindset as well :mellow:).

With the emotions, I was thinking more of dealing with patients or families of patients who are terminally ill or are dieing.I remember seeing the family around a patient of mine who had a stroke during surgery and they were really upset and crying, I have no idea how the doctor explained the condition without showing emotion because I could feel myself wanting to cry and I was only passing by.

EDIT: I seem to have got the words radiology and radiography mixed up. I was in the radiography department, the radiologist was hardly ever seen but sometimes he used to randomly appear to look at the images to see what they found, then he'd disappear. Sorry for the mix up, but hopefully it'll give you an idea of it anyway because they work in the same area.
 

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I think an INFP would make a great doctor given the right circumstances. It really depends what field you go into, and I agree that being a surgeon would be extremely difficult... no way would I want that kind of responsibility! There are plenty of fields that I think INFPs would excel at, though, because we do care so deeply about people. If you think you can truly handle the schooling and the difficulty that sometimes come with the job, I would say go for it :D
 

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that's ironic, shorttail! Is your time there over or are you still amidst your being a medic? Did/are you enjoying that and what do you do now? I would prefer not to work with people who frequently die, however I have a very dark, morbid cynical humor none the less.. In fact when I was hospitalized two years ago and thought I would be dead soon I was still laughing in between crying sessions :crazy:.
Neuro radiology seems cool because you'd get to look at brain scans all the time and be there in the future when we find out all the problems behind depression/anxiety etc. and the biological causes behind and hopefully how to fix them!
I was done a while ago. And while the actual medical part was shiz and giggles, I kinda sucked at carrying heavy people on my back all day long, so it's probably not something I'd go back to. All I do now is massage people.
I'm guessing neuro radiology is a petty specific field. The things I fancy the most are first aid for being ultra specific initial treatment with little focus on all the fine details later, and ... uh, whatever it's called when you cut corpses up to find out how they died. The thought of cutting into living things turns me off too much to want to juggle organs or perform knee surgery. x.x And stuff like general physician seems to require way too much knowledge for me to ever overcome it.
 

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For a time I thought about going into alternative medicine. I spent time volunteering in a local emergency room and taking courses towards that end (e.g. human anatomy and physiology). I found the volunteer work interesting, but I don't think I could take the stress of having so much responsibility. You have lives in your hands and the power to prescribe medication, and heaven help you if you mess up. I can't imagine doing this as an intern working 24 hours straight. I'm academically bright, but the pressure would cause me to make mistakes.

BTW I eventually wound up transferring credits to a four-year college and starting as a biology major with a concentration on ecology. Then, sadly, dropping out when I had kids. I do have bachelors and masters degrees in the humanities, though.

Advice to OP: see if you can volunteer in a hospital. Make your decision based on something real. Becoming a doctor is a big decision. BTW if you are interested in a paraprofessional degree, think of becoming a physician's assistant. It still pays well, you can still specialize, but it doesn't take as long to get through school.
 

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For a time I thought about going into alternative medicine. I spent time volunteering in a local emergency room and taking courses towards that end (e.g. human anatomy and physiology). I found the volunteer work interesting, but I don't think I could take the stress of having so much responsibility. You have lives in your hands and the power to prescribe medication, and heaven help you if you mess up. I can't imagine doing this as an intern working 24 hours straight. I'm academically bright, but the pressure would cause me to make mistakes.

BTW I eventually wound up transferring credits to a four-year college and starting as a biology major with a concentration on ecology. Then, sadly, dropping out when I had kids. I do have bachelors and masters degrees in the humanities, though.

Advice to OP: see if you can volunteer in a hospital. Make your decision based on something real. Becoming a doctor is a big decision. BTW if you are interested in a paraprofessional degree, think of becoming a physician's assistant. It still pays well, you can still specialize, but it doesn't take as long to get through school.
paraprofessionals I find admirable and logistically make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. My issues with areas like physician assistant would be feeling caught in the middle of the chain of power. I have issues with authority and I would always have a nagging feeling that I didn't reach the top, but stopped at the middle of the mountain..if that makese sense.

I guess what I'm saying is that my values include a desire for a sense of recognition or high perceived value among others. That I fought my way to the "top" and survived. I guess i'm crazy. I would like to go check out allergists, radiologists and dermatologists doing their day to day routine and see if that's something I could live with.

It's amazing that as much of an idealist I am, the world and reality we live in today is breaking me. I crave/need security and stability. I have anxiety that worsens when I don't have these things. Pursuing things that I consider "passions" more realistically "greater interests than others" would be acting, singing, dancing...being on GLEE! I don't think those idealistic fantasies are safe gambles for stability I want though.

At least as a doc, I'd be a healer in some fashion...and I've always been that, I just know I no longer want to heal in the form of mental/psychotherapy. can't handle it. nope.
 

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paraprofessionals I find admirable and logistically make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. My issues with areas like physician assistant would be feeling caught in the middle of the chain of power. I have issues with authority and I would always have a nagging feeling that I didn't reach the top, but stopped at the middle of the mountain..if that makese sense.

I guess what I'm saying is that my values include a desire for a sense of recognition or high perceived value among others. That I fought my way to the "top" and survived. I guess i'm crazy. I would like to go check out allergists, radiologists and dermatologists doing their day to day routine and see if that's something I could live with.

It's amazing that as much of an idealist I am, the world and reality we live in today is breaking me. I crave/need security and stability. I have anxiety that worsens when I don't have these things. Pursuing things that I consider "passions" more realistically "greater interests than others" would be acting, singing, dancing...being on GLEE! I don't think those idealistic fantasies are safe gambles for stability I want though.

At least as a doc, I'd be a healer in some fashion...and I've always been that, I just know I no longer want to heal in the form of mental/psychotherapy. can't handle it. nope.
I'm curious why you don't want to go into psychotherapy (BTW I'm not judging this...I don't think I could do that profession either).

Shadowing some doctors working in the fields that interest you sounds like a good plan. You also might try doing some informational interviews. Volunteering--if there are such opportunities for docs in the fields you want--also will tell you a lot about these jobs that you will never get from a book.

I used to be really competitive when I was younger, though I have never been very interested in having power. I have dabbled in political activism, and these to me are tools only to achieve my activist goals.
 

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I'm curious why you don't want to go into psychotherapy (BTW I'm not judging this...I don't think I could do that profession either).

Shadowing some doctors working in the fields that interest you sounds like a good plan. You also might try doing some informational interviews. Volunteering--if there are such opportunities for docs in the fields you want--also will tell you a lot about these jobs that you will never get from a book.

I used to be really competitive when I was younger, though I have never been very interested in having power. I have dabbled in political activism, and these to me are tools only to achieve my activist goals.
to answer your question:

1.) I've been struggling with my own mental issues (anxiety/depression) since dealing with withdrawal from benzodiazepines, ended up in the hospital in 2008, and am still trying to work myself out. I have a psychology degree and originally was going to pursue psychology but the past 2 years made me realize that I've already burnt myself out just in my own therapy.

2.) The work that occurs in psychotherapy is very untangible. It may take a long time to get results, or any results at all and often they can't be measured. I've studed the world of mental health care for a long time and realized that for my personality I need to have something tangible to look at and say "I did that.. I finished this" or "ok, that was accomplished I can stop thinking about it now". I need things that have beginnings and endings and not ongoing, perpetual purgatory. I may be very good at it, but I don't think I want to risk all the transference, counter transference, and even ethical issues I would run into as a psychologist or psychotherapist.

I'd must prefer to have patients that come in to be "fixed" and you know that you can do a particular function that gives some tangible result. An xray that leads to an answer, a test that leads to accurate results. am I making sense? lol. I have the utmost respect for those that do psychotherapy though..I have lots of friends in the field. It's hard work and they make 1/3rd your average family practice physician.
 

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As an INFP and a doctor, I don't see any reason why both aren't compatible. I'm a junior doctor at the moment so I don't have to specialise for a few years still. I've not been one of those who have known what area I want to go into since I stepped into university. So its a good job we have a couple of years working our way through certain specialities.
The only thing I would say to someone thinking about medicine is ask yourself is this something you REALLY want to do. It's not just a career, its a lifestyle choice. I enjoyed university immensely but the reality of actually being a doctor isn't always as fun. But whose job really is always enjoyable? It's a lot of hard work and the rewards are as great as some may think. Its hard to describe the drawbacks of medicine unless you're in the prefession and have been through it all. Certainly only my medic friends really understand me when I'm moaning to them about a difficult days work. Although it sounds as if I hate my job, I don't. I think being at the bottom of any career sucks a bit, we all have to work our way up! Hope that helps a bit!
 

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As an INFP and a doctor, I don't see any reason why both aren't compatible. I'm a junior doctor at the moment so I don't have to specialise for a few years still. I've not been one of those who have known what area I want to go into since I stepped into university. So its a good job we have a couple of years working our way through certain specialities.
The only thing I would say to someone thinking about medicine is ask yourself is this something you REALLY want to do. It's not just a career, its a lifestyle choice. I enjoyed university immensely but the reality of actually being a doctor isn't always as fun. But whose job really is always enjoyable? It's a lot of hard work and the rewards are as great as some may think. Its hard to describe the drawbacks of medicine unless you're in the prefession and have been through it all. Certainly only my medic friends really understand me when I'm moaning to them about a difficult days work. Although it sounds as if I hate my job, I don't. I think being at the bottom of any career sucks a bit, we all have to work our way up! Hope that helps a bit!
Hi Sarah, thanks for your insight. I know you said you are a couple years from choosing specialty but would you mind divulging what options you are considering? Is it the typical INFP Psychiatrist you're thinking of or something else? As far as drawbacks, what would you say they are?
 
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