March 27, 2010

Does your career reflect your values?

As part of our first year of medical school advising, we are supposed to take a variety of "tests" or "surveys" to determine what sorts of specialties and career paths we should think about pursuing. Each year there are more ways to do this, but right now, it involves taking a survey about your values in your career. After answering 15 minutes of questions that all begin with:
"It is important to me..."
and end with things like "that I am involved with teaching medical students" or "that I can control the hours that I work" or "that I manage the economic components of my work"

My results (listed below) are actually pretty reflective of my values and (perhaps unsurprisingly, to those who know me) tell me that I want to do everything except maybe a super specialized field.

So that narrows it down a bit. Sort of.

Prestige Your score: 2.8, Medium
High scores on the value of "Prestige" suggest a desire to be recognized by others as a top physician. Medical specialties related to Prestige afford high levels of power, stature in the community and among peers, and achievement. Surgery and most subspecialty areas of practice typically provide high levels of prestige.

Service Your score: 4.1, High
A high score on "Service" suggests a desire to care for others regardless of financial gains or other rewards. Individuals who score high on this value want to help others simply for the sake of helping. Medical specialties highly related to Service allow for contributing to the welfare of others. Primary care areas of medical practice may be associated highly with this value.

Autonomy Your score: 3.7, High
High scorers on "Autonomy" want freedom, independence, and control over their own work style, schedule, and lives. They want to do things in their own way, creatively, and with little constraint. Medical specialties related highly to Autonomy, such as pathology and radiology, allow working alone and in one's own way.

Lifestyle Your score: 3.0, Medium
High scores on the value of "Lifestyle" indicate a desire for security, stability, and consistency. A high score on this value suggests someone who does not want a lot of change, responsibility, or demands placed upon them. Medical specialty areas of practice that allow for routine, regularity, and predictability relate highly to this value.

Management Your score: 3.7, High
A high score on "Management" suggests a desire to supervise and have responsibility for others. High scorers on Management seek administrative responsibilities and find meaning in planning the work of other people.

Scholarly Pursuits Your score: 3.9, High
A high score on this value suggests a desire to engage in research and scholarship activities. High scorers typically seek opportunities to engage in intellectual pursuits and to be challenged by difficult cases or situations. Involvement in academic medicine, clinical or basic research, and teaching activities relates highly to this value.

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

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