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Quiet Strength: The Underappreciated Power of Introversion

Objective: Drawing inspiration from the book, ‘Quiet,’ we will explore what author Susan Cain calls the north and south of temperament. We will highlight examples of the understated strength of introversion and, with a focus on our profession, attempt to answer the question, “What else can quiet do that we don’t give it credit for?”


Methods: N/A


Results: N/A


Conclusion/ Discussion: American culture has made extroversion a virtue, and in the ultra-competitive meritocracy of medical education, extroversion can be a highly visible advantage. Students compete for attention in busy clinical environments, and applicants do the same in social events that can impact ranking decisions. Is that by design or accident? Should it change? If so, how? In this session, we explore the introversion-extroversion spectrum. Starting with the use of the word ‘quiet’ as criticism, we’ll discuss examples of bias against introversion in medical education before contemplating the often invisible strengths of the introverted learner and teammate. After an informal presentation of introversion as a strength the group will embark on a series of guided discussions in which we’ll tackle questions related to introverts as leaders, the disadvantages of introversion on the interview trail, and practical interventions to even the playing field for introverts in medicine.


Topics: Faculty Development Seminar, 2023, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Residency Director, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Assessment,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Evan Austin, MD; Marneece Williams, MD

Additional Materials

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