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How does one begin to specialize in a medical area of study?

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I have a few medical topics that I'm more interested in studying than others. These might just be questions that I will have answered when I learn more in medical school, but topics like brain activity have a lot to offer in terms of research. If a person wants to begin specializing in a certain topic, should they pursue medical research over being a practicing doctor? Do certain medical careers lend themselves to specializations more than others do? #medicine #hospital-and-health-care #healthcare #neuroscience #career-counseling #career-choice

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Nick’s Answer

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So first-off, I'm a non-physician, however I have several colleagues and friends who are #physicians and based on my conversations with them. I think I can answer your question. I'd gladly defer to someone who might have a different perspective. First, in terms of starting down the path of specialty - I would encourage you to keep an open mind and be exposed to many different ideas. Obviously, its good to have a good specialty in mind when applying to medical school. However, be willing to venture outside of your comfort zone as well.

Second, your question seems to address an either or scenario, whether its ideal to go into clinical practice or research. Why not do both? Some #medicalschools offer combined MD/PhD programs in which you get trained as an MD, but also do research. Additionally, I'm sure many medical students and physicians on here can also comment on doing a #research experience, either with a mentor, through a university lab. I'm not sure your an undergraduate student yet or currently looking at schools - but I'd look for a program/school that offers an opportunity to do research. Also, most universities have a medical scholars program - a program for pre-med student where the undergrad school has an agreement with the medical school, if students meet certain requirements.
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