By most people's measure, I am definitely not the warmest and emotionally effusive person in the world. Cold, standoffish, arrogant, anti-social, these are all terms that could be used to describe someone who is nearly a pathological introvert like myself. It's not that I am necessarily those terms, I'm just naturally and incredibly drawn inward. And while the sciences tend to have disproportionate numbers of introverts (we're often thinkers), medicine is the exception. Too much patient contact tends to preclude us types. We're definitely a minority.
And so it's so bizarre to hear these words from a patient I recently saw say, "you have to be the nicest and caring doctor I've seen here. I'm going to be sure to let your attending know." Don't get me wrong. I love to hear that. Or, more importantly, I love to know that I'm actually doing right by the patient. It's just not exactly what I was expecting. Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks.