Skip to main content
3 answers
4
Updated 775 views

How did you choose your specialty in medicine?

What did you do to get a feel for the different fields in medicine and settle for one specifically? #doctor #career #medicine #healthcare #pre-med

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

4

3 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Richard’s Answer

I am an interventional radiologist. The first time I saw an image guided procedure as a 3rd year medical student, I knew I had found my passion.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Rachel’s Answer

I am a colorectal surgeon. I enjoy operating on a patient and providing an almost immediate fix to what was previously a life-threatening problem. There is great satisfaction that comes with taking a person from "cancer patient" to "survivor".
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James’s Answer

hi amy,


i graduated from a Texas medical school in 1993. i've been a family medicine physician for 20 years.


prior to college i had really only known my family physician and my pediatrician. i knew a lot of nurses because that's what my mother was.


during college i visited with the health professions counselors on several occasions. in addition to the usual help with course selection and the admissions process they informed me about several summer programs for pre-med students.


one summer i did a preceptorship with my family doctor back home. i wore a white coat each day and followed him around the office and hospital. i also tagged along with another doc who worked in area emergency rooms.


another summer i attended a program for pre-med minorities. a big part of that was rotating through 3 different specialty areas of the hospital. i spent most of my time in pediatrics. that was a real eye-opener. it might sound odd to you but i hadn't realized until then that pediatricians took care of deathly ill children. i had assumed it was all well child checks, vaccinations, colds, and such.


another thing i did during college was take the opportunity to speak with a family practice resident in my hometown residency program.


at every medical school where you interview you'll meet professors of medicine in different specialties. if you ask nicely sometimes they'll take the time to answer your questions about their particular specialty.


during medical school you'll rotate through many different specialty areas. and you'll be able to select a few elective courses.


if you get to the final year of med school and still can't decide on a specialty you might choose a "transitional year" residency. it's sort of a smorgasbord of rotations in different specialties that gives you a bit more time to make a final decision.


and then there are some who start one residency program and change their mind at some point, switching to a different specialty residency program.


now for my opinion. most med students pick a residency by deciding which rotation felt most comfortable for them. in large part that means where they got along best with the residents, attendings, nurses, etc.


you'll find that every specialty has its own "personality."


in my particular case, i was drawn to family practice because i'm curious about all aspects of medicine. i relish variety.


i'm going to mention another avenue you might look into. one that i never attempted. you might ask your local librarian for books written by doctors about their experiences. nowadays there are also numerous docs writing their own blogs which might be very informative as well.


i would be remiss in not mentioning the financial factor in the specialty choice. you'll likely have thousands of dollars in loans to repay. and specialists generally make a lot more than generalists.


good luck!

0