An introvert isn't merely someone who stays in a corner and avoids social situations. And, yes, it is possible to be both a doctor and an introverted/shy person if you have good communication skills (the two are not mutually exclusive!)— And just because you're an extrovert doesn't mean you're better or more suited. Some doctors claim that being an introvert is a disadvantage in today's society where we all need to "sell ourselves". However, many great scientists, artists, and other intellectuals were introverts who developed ways to communicate their ideas without exposing themselves to danger or losing face in front of others.
Introversion is the tendency to get energy from being alone and to dislike being the center of attention. It is not the same as shyness which is also not uncommon among doctors. A quiet person can still be an important part of the medical team by serving as a translator for less verbal colleagues or by keeping notes during meetings. Indeed, some experts claim that a quiet personality type is essential for successful leadership.
Introverts usually have lots of close friends but may not want everyone they know to be their best friend. They prefer to spend time with a few good people rather than having many acquaintances. This does not mean that they don't like people; they just need time to process what others say to them before responding. Introverts often have huge libraries at home where they can find inspiration for their ideas or simply relax after a hard day's work.
In a nutshell, the answer is an emphatic yes. According to the 2018 Medscape Physician Lifestyle and Happiness Report, which questioned over 15,000 doctors across 29 specialities, 35% of physicians identified as introverted. However, this doesn't mean that all introverts cannot be doctors. It's just that most people think of doctors as being very extroverted, since they need to communicate health concerns to patients under stress at times when making eye contact or using formal language may be difficult for some doctors.
Introverted people tend to prefer privacy and time alone with their thoughts. They may also find social situations draining and avoid them as much as possible. However, an introvert can still have a successful career in medicine if they learn to manage their time wisely and seek out opportunities to share their knowledge and experience with their patients.
Introversion is not the same as shyness. An introvert does not have to be socially anxious; instead, they may simply want time alone with their thoughts or feelings. Doctors who are extremely introverted may only have one or two colleagues they can trust completely. These individuals often go beyond what most people would consider acceptable boundaries for solitude and will sometimes spend hours sitting in their offices by themselves thinking or writing notes.
A surgeon with an introspective and perceptive personality type would be more suited to the technical aspects of surgery than to the emotional contacts necessary in a pediatric or family medicine speciality. On the other hand, a surgeon who is energetic and outgoing may find specialisation helpful in maintaining his/her energy levels during long working hours.
The best personality type for a doctor is one that can adapt to different situations. If you have a clear mind and are able to understand others then any specialty could be suitable for you.
As you can see, becoming a doctor later in life is very feasible. You don't have to be concerned about losing out if you have a strong interest in medicine and are prepared to put in the effort. Determine whether medical school is a good fit for you. If it is, then begin applying early so that you can continue to develop your interest in medicine as you prepare for class visits and other required activities.
The next step is to determine which type of physician you would like to be. This will help you select the right medical school. For example, if you are interested in pediatrics, look for schools with large pediatric programs. Otherwise, if you want to work with adults, search for schools that have joint degree programs with other disciplines like nursing or psychology. No matter what type of physician you want to be, find a school that has programs that match your interests.
Finally, use the resources available online and through friends to guide you in making an informed decision. Good luck!
Be social with individuals from all walks of life. You'll soon be unconcerned about what people think of you. You'll begin to feel like a charismatic Time Lord who fears no one if you're pleasant and honest. Be respectful and nonjudgmental. After all, the doctor wouldn't insult or look down on someone at random. He'd treat them like anyone else would in their situation.
The best way to learn something is by teaching it. So, share your knowledge with others and help them solve their problems too. This will make you feel important and useful, and will hopefully lead to more friendships.
Remember, there are two types of doctors: those who heal and those who listen. The more people you meet, the more types of doctors you will become.