One quality that is great in general internists is risk aversion. In my experience, general internists do not like to take chances. We play it safe. We measure twice and cut once. We are safe people.
In practice, that means we avoid risky behavior. We go with the established method. We recheck test results. We say things like, 'Don't trust the radiology reports. Look at the films yourself.' In reality, if the radiologist missed it, what chance do I have? We also preach from the rooftops about evidence based medicine. We know what we know. We are applied epistemologists.
But the problem with risk aversion is that I've taken it to another level in my personal life. I am totally gun shy. I like to gamble, but it's nickel slots. I like fine dining, but won't venture past five restaurants. I haven't asked a girl out in five years.
Regardless of the reward, I'm unwilling to take risks, and that is a quality that probably drew me to internal medicine in the first place. I'd be a terrible surgeon. But personally, my life is empty. Without risks, life is shallow and empty. I have no excitement, no joy. It is strange that a quality that helps so much with my professional life can be such a limitation in my personal life...