In other specialties, you can work with the mainstream, rather than constantly swim against it. When it comes to choosing a medical specialty, it may seem to you like all the pre-med gunners around you in medical school have their future all buttoned up. Widely considered the exam with the greatest impact on your medical school career, the USMLE Step 1 exam will play a large part in determining your choice of medical specialty, the residency programs you match into, and more. 10 things to consider in choosing a medical residency in the Philippines Share Medical or surgical? But it’s important to listen to your head as well as your heart. My wife knew she wanted to practice family medicine from an early age. Their reply to you is a means of reassuring themselves. Note: I could probably have chosen IR or pathology using this list, but I would not be choosing between EM and anesthesia, which is a common dilemma that I see. I agree that income should be a consideration in choosing a specialty but exactly how much is up for debate. Entry is at core training level 1 (CT1), and training lasts for 2–3 years. The above dilemmas don't apply to the rest of medicine. You ask about psychiatry as opposed to another branch of medicine. Agree so much with your last statement. I love talking to pts right before cases. can pretty much do anything that a nurse can do. What's not to love? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty, by Brian S. Freeman, MD How to Choose a Medical Specialty, by Anita D. Taylor On Becoming a Doctor, by Tania Heller, MD Clinical Rotations • Talk in depth with your attending physicians and residents – ask the tough questions • Try to get a sense of the culture in each specialty in-Training is the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students, and is the premier publication dedicated to the medical student community and run entirely by volunteer medical students. I agree that income should be a consideration in choosing a specialty but exactly how much is up for debate. Each chapter is written by residents in that field and addresses the pro's and con's plus lifestyle and statistics. Medical Specialty Aptitude Test. It was pretty good for at least pointing me in the right direction. You can fight it. This mobility, free of the fetter of patient care, continues to drive radiologists salaries higher. With so many things to consider, making a final decision about your medical specialty can be tough. Anesthesia ftw. Those "simple" things in life aren't simply attained, nor are they even common. That's good work, and important. Please enter a Recipient Address and/or check the Send me a copy checkbox. Please use this form to submit your questions or comments on how to make this article more useful to clinicians. It may be through a tax bill, or a nasty next-door denizen, or a lawsuit, or an illness. I'm going to try give you the truth as I see it now, realizing that it isn't how I saw it 20 years ago when I entered this profession, and it may not be how I'll see it in 20 years when I leave. Audience: Medical students Junior doctors. Are you willing to let your entire career pass under its sway? To all pre-med students aiming for that MD, this could be a make or break decision. but rather "what does my daily life as an attending look like? These are some bad reasons why medical students choose a specialty. I did it several times throughout med school just to see how things changed as I gained more experience. Some prefer being on the medical faculty. Haha man, I love neuro. Medical students have many opportunities to explore how their desired specialty is practiced. One of the most significant ones is whether or not it fits your personality. Maybe you would have been a great oncologist. January 04, 2017. Are you willing to spend your entire career fighting the powers that be? Every fiber in your body tells you that you must do this work; you can't do any other. Which specialty is best suited to your interests, abilities, and personality? First, the science of each specialty is a key component to consider when choosing a medical specialty. I will admit however, that I really like meeting with patients. You should approach your decision systematically by answering the following questions: Do you want to do procedures or would you rather someone else did the procedure? Please note that this quiz is for entertainment purposes. Iserson’s Guide to Getting a Residency for a step-by-step guide to selecting a medical specialty. You will receive email when new content is published. Do you want to consult others or be a consultant? The match for the medical school should have no bearing on whether or not you apply to that medical school. Tips for choosing your medical specialty. And then where does OBGYN fit? As you explore specialties, we recommend that you take advantage of the various resources available to you. DO Match Day Yields More Than 500 Primary Care Residents, 6-Hour Intervention Prompts More Med Students to Consider Psychiatry as a Career, Racism in Med School May Keep Doctors From Areas of Need, Impairment Rating and Disability Determination, Repurposed Antidepressant Shows Early Promise in COVID-19, From Cradle to Grave, Alcohol Is Bad for the Brain, Psilocybin Delivers 'Remarkable' Relief in Severe Depression. Meet with student interest groups. Specialty program data can show the competitiveness of admissions to certain residencies. Naive medical students are excited about playing doctor. The awards go to those who maintain the status quo, not to those who change it. When you are called, you don't choose. You should know, first and foremost, that you are not alone; that gunner who's all in on neurosurgery from day one? Do you want to enter a field that engages in such deep self-deception, and doesn't mind? In order to remain passionate about a field and enjoy the day-to-day work, it’s essential to enjoy the science behind the medicine you will be practicing. So, I have reflected on your question carefully. With so many things to consider, making a final decision about your medical specialty can be tough. There are no DSMs as diagnostic straightjackets in any medical specialty except psychiatry. I'm not going to answer your question that way. Anesthesia, rads, psych. There are many different medical specialties. Each year, he advises 40 to 50 medical students about their residency program applications. Most radiologists decide to pursue the specialty during medical school—particularly during their clinical years. It's acceptable in a way, if by "medicine" we mean biological aspects of physical diagnosis and treatment, because psychiatry deals sometimes with the mostly physical and sometimes with the mostly psychological. Not to the point where they start up a blog like you and me, but enough so that they aren’t completely overwhelmed when coming out of med school. Sure money and lifestyle are important things as well, but remember you are most likely going to be working more than a full time job in your chosen specialty for the rest of your life. I did it several times throughout med school just to see how things changed as I gained more experience. You can make it your passion to try to raise psychiatry up and move it forward when all the influence of the status quo holds it back. Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape. Remember that while this quiz is designed to give you a good idea of the specialty that would suit you, remember that this quiz is only a fun indication! Do you have a target population that you care a lot about (ladies, peds, old folks, communists)? This process could easily continue for another generation or two at least. Choosing a particular specialty is sometimes difficult. Have no idea how OBGYN got in there. The Enneagram and Picking a Medical Specialty Doctors choose specialties depending on their “career strengths.” Posted Jan 12, 2011 . Social. The best place to start when you’re choosing a medical specialty to embark on your career as a doctor is to assess your personality: your interests, ambitions, abilities, inabilities, skills, likes, dislikes, limitations, talents to your true passions in life. Please confirm that you would like to log out of Medscape. While closing the door on some things you find interesting can be difficult, it’s easier to move forward when you’ve established a specific direction for yourself. Or just go in to Radiology, it's the best. Cite this: Choosing a Specialty: A Letter to a Medical Student - Medscape - Jan 04, 2017. I got nuclear med 1st, OBGYN 2nd, and Rads 3rd. Like standing? She never had to apply her formidable analytic skills to choosing the best medical specialty for her — a tough decision that most of her peers made far later. Like sitting for two seconds then standing up again? Tips for choosing your medical specialty. There are countless different types of doctors and specialties. As I write to you, I think about my own children, and how I would answer a similar question from them, knowing that in just a few years, I will have to do so. Choosing a specialty is an emotional decision — you have to do what you love and follow your passion. While people with certain traits may tend to gravitate toward specific specialties, that doesn’t mean you won’t excel if you don’t have the exact personality type common to doctors in your specialty. Some are called to heal, some to teach, others to preach, or to implement just laws. Making a living is not a dishonorable reason to decide to go into a line of work. Choosing a specialty is a big, life-altering decision. It matters perhaps more than any other consideration. Like sitting? When you ask me whether you should enter psychiatry, your question also becomes whether I would go into psychiatry once again, knowing what I know now. The DO’s Choosing a Specialty quiz for an entertaining way to determine which specialty might be the right fit … Welcome to /r/MedicalSchool: An international community for medical students. This is where, in the case of medicine, Osler said that it's a "calling." Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH. 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