2blowhards has a long post on his experiences in "Weirdos and Culture." [Hat tip: Reflections in d minor] Huge number of comments, a couple of which got me thinking. 1) I've met some of my sister's gay friends, and while they're considerably more left wing than I am, they aren't "weird." Own a house, have retail jobs, not particularly flamboyant although significantly more interested in clothes and skin care products than I am. My sister may be in the category of too weird to function well in the "real world." although I'm not sure. 2) Weirdos in medicine: that would be a fun thesis subject. At least in academic medicine, the only really successful oddballs are the extremely obsessive, low socialization type in obscure disciplines. The ones who are able to diagnose diseases that no one else has ever seen. Those types are much more useful in a tertiary care center. By the way, I'm ignoring the stereotypical surgical god complex, since it seemed to be an artifact of some old training - the attendings I came in contact with who acted as if they walked on water were much more likely to be older than average. 3) Weirdos in psychiatry: yeah, ok, there are some whose interest in psychiatry is partially due to a desire for increased self-knowledge, me included. Anyone who gets through American med school has some ability to work in our real world; foreign grads vary greatly by country. Residents who have significant emotional problems will have problems in residency. 4) The other part is, anyone in medicine doesn't have time or energy to get too extreme, and they have to be able to interact with the state and federal government, which also limits things.