A collection of visual tools I made to help answer The Question!
Disclaimer: I created these tools for my specific situation. They may need some tweaking to be relevant to you. For example, they both assume that the end-goal of residency is to practice clinically. You may have other career goals that require completion of residency and board certification, so you can substitute that in.
Some of these questions can take months to answer. That’s okay. What’s important is that your answers are accurate, so you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Some boxes can lead to more questions, but you can always relate your discoveries back to this.
During my journey I experienced countless question-spirals and existential tornadoes. But I almost always ended up back here. The beauty of the scale is that it can you can put whatever is most relevant to YOU on either side, so it can work for anyone. It also illustrates that both sides are dynamic. Maybe you can shift your clinical career path to increase the left side. Or maybe you can find additional supports to decrease the right side.
In my situation, even after considering all clinical/research career options, the left side ended up being “eh, it would be OK at best, dreadful at worst.” The right side was “another year of terrible anxiety/sleep and the mental health treatment that comes along with it.” So the answer was easy. But it took me a long time to be honest enough with myself to admit that I didn’t really care about clinical practice.