Can Aspies make good primary care medical doctors?

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jonathandoors
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03 Jan 2007, 11:37 pm

Given their known limitations?



anbuend
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04 Jan 2007, 9:51 am

I would think so.

I've definitely known some specialists and surgeons who struck me as autistic, and who were very good at their jobs, too. But I don't see why a primary care physician couldn't be.


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SteveK
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04 Jan 2007, 9:56 am

Why the heck not!? I don't get it! So many talk like it is a full out curse, yet people say they would never change? Doctors SHOULD be OBSESSED with diseases and their cures! They should have EXCESSIVE KNOWLEDGE about the subject. They should GET TO THE POINT! They should NOTICE PATTERNS. I could go on and on. Aren't the capitalized items AS symptoms?

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04 Jan 2007, 10:03 am

I think so. Most aspies are intelligent to ba able to pursue such a career, and they're also calm under such circumstances.



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04 Jan 2007, 10:36 am

Don't rule anything out. Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile, became a physician, specializing in neurology. I suspect he had strong Asperger traits. He was very intelligent, had an excellent memory, scored at the top of his class, and was a good, kind and compassionate man. Roger Bannister's credo was, "Nothing is impossible," and he set out to prove it in everything he did. Roger Bannister is an example for me, because he shows what determination can do. A less determined person would not have been able to weather the storms he experienced in his life in order to excel. For that, he is my inspiration.



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05 Jan 2007, 8:46 pm

A number of my doctors act like they have Aspergers too. The dr that diagnosed me has a child with Aspergers and the dr acts like she is on the spectrum too. My PCP is so a brilliant brain on legs that I think he has to have Aspergers. His co-workers all make fun of him which is another good sign. He tells some of the weirdest jokes and he tends to have too much eye contact. Not like he's being a perve or anything. He just seems to be like one of us and tries too hard with the eye contact and it becomings staring. I do that too.



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06 Jan 2007, 7:56 am

Yes! Although you will need some empathy, but Aspies make fantastic emergency care doctors becasue they are so calm in a crisis.



anbuend
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06 Jan 2007, 8:07 am

fresco wrote:
Yes! Although you will need some empathy, but Aspies make fantastic emergency care doctors becasue they are so calm in a crisis.


As long as they're okay with listening to people and not just machines. I just yesterday met a number of very non-autistic doctors in an emergency room who nonetheless relied on readings more than patient reports (of in this case a fairly serious condition where patient reports are often the first clues you'll get as to how serious it is, whereas readings are frequently misleading -- although this is an emergency room so bad that I know a woman who had severe cellulitis on several body parts and was told it was fine, if she hadn't gotten a second opinion she'd have probably died within a day, and the cab driver who took me there said that he had had problems with them there after a heart attack, so...). Fortunately my general practitioner a few hours later grasped the problem and actually treated the symptoms I reported, and they're way more manageable now. But I'd hope that an autistic doctor would discard the common machines-over-people preferences because of the fact that it's not the best way to gather information (the machines can give you data points but they can't give you everything) and I hope they would be thorough and logical about doing that.


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janicka
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06 Jan 2007, 11:22 am

anbuend wrote:
I've definitely known some specialists and surgeons who struck me as autistic, and who were very good at their jobs, too. But I don't see why a primary care physician couldn't be.


I dated a surgeon who struck me as extremely aspie. He managed to remain calm in some extreme crises and some things that would have worn down an NT didn't really effect him. He also had some personally imposed limitations on how much pain medication he would prescribe and under what circumetances, which seemed to keep the drug seekers away.

A lot of people at our work thought that he was a real jerk until we started hanging around together. They probably thought the same of me, too. Once they saw us interact, though, it seems like they understood that we were both human and wrote off our quirks are "cultural differences" (we're both Czech). It would have worked out great if we were both single.



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06 Jan 2007, 12:24 pm

I would think so. However, for those that want a doctor who is amiable and sympathetic can forget it.