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I think I might have an INTJ doctor, and what that means

Monday June 17, 2019

So I met with a new doctor last week and I have the sneaking suspicion that he’s an INTJ. I don’t know for sure, and I haven’t talked to him about MBTI or anything, but at this point my intuition is pretty strong.

(By the way, we’re a rare type but we’re not that rare. Our rarity varies depending on vocation, for one)

Here’s what I already really like about this prospect:

Similar Experiences

I can tell we’ve struggled with some of the same tendencies, health-wise. I brought in all of my supplements and showed them to him, and he immediately honed in on the sleep-related supplements and shared his experiences with insomnia.

Similar Approaches

He likes to learn new stuff, and teach other people about it, as a way of learning. That part is pretty clear. He had a white board and gave me a lesson about insomnia and sleep cycles.

He also uses a lot of metaphor in explaining things.

He’s also pretty open to approaches that are irrational. We INTJs like that stuff. It’s counter-intuitive? GREAT! Fantastic! We’ll remember it better that way and it excites us.

What ELSE an INTJ doctor means

Here’s where the idea of an INTJ doctor gives me pause. After our appointment I found that I was asking myself these concerning questions:

  • Is he the kind of INTJ who will shoot down new ideas that don’t fit his existing mental models, before really understanding them?
    • This is explained pretty well by Jung’s “introversion” model; introverts are generally de-energized by new stuff that comes at them, and it can make them grumpy, negative, etc.
  • Will he need to teach too much, preferring to teach from his past experience rather than listening?
    • Again, will this prevent him or me from making important progress, or finding out new stuff that might be new to us both?
  • If I teach him anything due to my measurements and experiences (I’m an INTJ, there’s ALWAYS a chance of this), how will he take that? Will it hurt his pride?
  • If I learn something from a different source, or take a different course of action based on different feedback from other professionals, will this make him retreat emotionally and become aloof?

…those are just some of the concerns. So you can see: I’m not super excited to have an INTJ doctor or anything like that, except in the sense of having access to his past and things he’s learned. That part is awesome. But if he’s not open to new information, or if his ego is defensive regarding how much he knows/doesn’t know, that could really suck.

What you want in a doctor is someone who’s an awesome human being. Well-rounded, healthy, and willing to listen & help. Type is only part of the picture.

It’s nice, though, to be able to hear about his experiences and metaphors and kind of immediately understand what he’s saying, and on top of that to see how I can immediately put it into practice. He’s already shared with me some sleep tricks that I’m trying out.

He does want me to get off the sleep supplements:

  • Melatonin: let’s let your body produce that naturally.
  • Doxylamine: If you wake up too early, put on a boring podcast or lecture or audio book. Listen to it.
  • Overall: Ramp down before your sleep. Bananas, nuts, and milk all have tryptophan in them. Don’t watch stressful movies or TV shows. Go to bed at a good time.

I tried this for a couple of nights and promptly f’ed up my mood something severe. It was not cool. So for now I’m kind of doing a mix of all that stuff and planning on a slow ramp-down toward better natural sleep.

For example, I can write 700 to 2000 words before bed and sleep pretty well, usually. It’s annoying, but it helps.

Going to bed early helps me out, too.

So I’m still going to play with his ideas, adding in some of my own. Even if he didn’t tell me why he wants me off doxylamine (I’m a grump about this because I read the literature too, and IDK what the big deal is based on what I saw), he did give me some new general ideas to pursue.

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