Is it bad that I'm intrinsically a quiet person? I feel like this hinders me like when I'm at interviews or maintaining consistent contact with my friends. Is it important to be outspoken when practicing medicine and at interviews for medicine?
Would it be easier to to through interviews if you were more confident? Yes. But you can learn these abilities: I promise nobody is born with the skills to not mess up an interview!
But, not everybody in medicine falls in line with the rather type A stereotype we see on TV. Many of us are rather more reserved. But there is a place in medicine for different personalities and strengths. I know a lot of people who believe they are the worst medical student or doctor; being quiet, shy or lacking confidence is actually really common! Perhaps the public would rather its doctors aren’t riddled with self - doubt, but it’s certainly a profession which involves a lot of (often harsh) introspection about our failings.
But it doesnt have to be harsh. We’re encouraged to reflect on our practice, so that we can improve. Being a doctor is a journey, you are literally on a never ending quest to be the best that you can be. So it’s only natural that when you start you will not be there yet.
I’m also a quiet person, at least as far as interactions with strangers are concerned. My ward colleagues from my last job commented that I turned into a completely different person half way through!
I always had to work on my interview skills, and I still don’t enjoy practical examinations because of the emphasis on confident presentation. which is silly because I have no problem examining or presenting in real life! But we all have to have some weaknesses; we’re human after all! It just means we know what we need to work on.
You are not the you that you will always be. I’ve gained a lot of confidence since my days at school. I would never have imagined that I would be walking into roomful of strangers and regaining control of situations involving sick patients whilst interacting with many different colleagues as a team. Schoolgirl me would not have done that. We all evolve through training, so don’t be harsh on yourself before you’ve even started that journey.
You may be quiet, but that is not your only quality. You’re thoughtful, smart, kind, and a million other things. Perhaps your quietness will be an asset; knowing when to listen is sn invaluable skill in this job.