That may have been the longest 15 minutes of my life.

The psych interview went really well, mostly because of everybody who clued me into the format I was supposed to be following.  You are all ridiculously awesome.

I had written the general structure in my notebook, figuring I could sneak looks as needed – but for the most part everything unfolded pretty naturally.  (At least, as “naturally” as can be expected when you’re pretending to have the authority to interview a total stranger about their darkest moments while 10 other med students watch.)

So interviewing was really nerve-wracking, but– and this is going to sound very overly-dramatic and “Oh!  My days in the theat-re!”–  I think that having a background in drama was also a huge help.  Not in a corny “becoming a character” way or anything – just, if I’m waiting for somebody to walk into the room, and everyone’s watching me, and I don’t know who this person is or what we’re going to talk about?  Well, that’s tough, but it’s also improv.

Because improv is familiar, I knew how to hide my nervousness.  And I think that was the other reason the resident said she was impressed.  (Amazing, that all of those overly-serious summer camps would actually come in handy even after I withdrew from 3rd-Tier Conservatory’s BFA program.  Who says quitters never win?)

I wonder, though, just how much harder it would be to interview a patient who not only didn’t volunteer to talk to me, but didn’t even like me or want to be there.  I mean, not that today’s patient was 100% warm fuzzy feelings or anything*, but, he volunteered and I didn’t make him uncomfortable.  That can’t be representative.

Still, after 6 months of being unrelentingly average, I could really use the self-esteem boost.  So I’m choosing to selectively ignore all of the above, and just believe that the resident said she was impressed because I would be good at psych.  It makes me happy to think that I might be good at something again, instead of just “good enough”.  Hell yes, psychiatry.

*  That interview may have been the saddest conversation I have ever had in my life.  This includes critical family conversations, break-ups, and even the first 10 minutes of Up.
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6 thoughts on “That may have been the longest 15 minutes of my life.

  1. Good job AP!! What you did takes a lot of guts and it sounds like you rocked it. I’m glad your background in the theat-re seemed to help but honestly I think you probably like talking to people and you’re just good at it :). I was nervous as heck when we did observed practice H&P’s on volunteer patients but when I relaxed, talked to them and treated them like I would a real patient, a real person, it was great. Its a skill you aren’t necessarily taught in Med School but I think its something that makes a good doctor great. No matter what specialty they go into (not to mention it really comes in handy with those occasional reluctant-type patients). I also think you have it :). Average, shmaverage.

  2. False. NOTHING is sadder than the first ten minutes of Up.

    Congrats on the interview! Like everything in medicine, it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice, and just generally being amicable and easy to relate to.

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