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Is it common for narcissists to become doctors or surgeons?

If yes, why do they choose this career and in what ways does it benefit their narcissistic needs?

Though I acknowledge that most medical professionals are excellent and trustworthy, this is a question that clients have brought to therapy over the years.

Most people who excel in our educational system fully deserve to, they work hard. However is it possible that our educational system it is unhelpfully set up to accommodate those with photographic memories or those that can regurgitate information easily?

Unfortunately measuring a candidate's intelligence through our points system suits the high functioning ASD/Asperger type personalities because they are highly intellectually intelligent and can be hyperfocused which assists study.

However I wonder about the emotional development of a proportion of this group. Could they be struggling with communication and relationship skills deficits?

They will succeed in getting into any course they choose even though their personality may not suit these chosen careers. In the medical environment this lack of emotion in an individual might present as lack of empathy and appear narcissistic in presentation. This can cause fear in the patient and indeed also fear in their staff. These people can also be very difficult to work for as their main focus is the task.

Why do they do it? Some are genuinely unware and are just focusing on doing a good job for their patient with no frills attached.

Then there are others who are dismissive, who do engage in coercive control and do enjoy the power and get a feed by diminishing others. If so, they do this to get a narcissistic feed. If we must be in the care of such people, it is helpful to bring a family member along to meetings. The narcissistic personality tends to watch their behaviour under these conditions. So to answer the question I suppose they choose medicine because they can intellectually. The educational system accommodates this type of brain and if they have a leaning towards a need for power and control well where better to satisfy this need particularly if there are only a few people who provide the service they hope to provide. But I stress this is the exception rather than the rule.

The majority of doctors and surgeons are kind decent human beings but unfortunately a small minority fall into the narcissistic category - some are covert in abuse and others are overt - Dr Michael Neary comes to mind and the women he willfully injured and who sadly continue to be in extreme pain to this day.

A covert abuse example might be that of the cervical smear controversy - What person/professionals kept the truth of the diagnosis from all these women who continue to die. Who made these decisions? Were these decisions made by medical people?

Finally I can't help wondering if we measured educational standards in a different way would we have people who are ‘‘Intellectually and emotionally’ developed in key positions leading to happier outcomes for more patients and employees in all industries??

For more information about the subjects covered in this blog, contact Margaret Parkes - phone: 086 832 0422 email:

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