Now, you are in medical school, yet, you are still clueless about the medical specialty you should choose. One of the vital decisions you will make as a medical student is the medical specialty that you choose. These decisions will affect the whole of your career. Many medical students often ask this question; which medical specialty should I choose?
There is no special formula for how to choose a medical specialty, only you can make the perfect decision for yourself as there are various factors to consider. Ultimately, choosing a medical specialty will depend on your unique interests and desires.
However, this guide provides details on factors you should consider while choosing a medical specialty.
What Are Medical Specialty?
Medical specialties are branches of medical practice that concentrate on a specific group of patients, diseases, skills, or philosophy. Examples of medical specialties include Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Plastic Surgery, Anesthesiology, ENT, Dermatology, General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics, and gynecology, Pathology, Emergency medicine, Emergency medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, and Family medicine.
These medical specialties are differently skilled and each focuses on specific patients or diseases. For instance; Radiologists use X-rays and other high-energy radiation to diagnose and treat diseases within the bodies of humans and animals.
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What To Consider When Choosing A Medical Specialty?
Making decisions on your area of specializations during medical school could be challenging as you have several catchy options available.
Factors that may affect your decisions include; your area of scientific clinical interest, preference between medical and surgical specialty, types of activities you want to engage in, type of patient population who would like to work with, your ability to balance work and life, and your desired earnings or income.
Some medical students conclude early enough, even before medical school, on their desired medical specialty, while others are still contemplating – waiting to complete a session before deciding. Others are clueless about which medical specialty to choose.
To simplify the process, consider the following factors while choosing the medical specialty that suit you the most:
1. Your area of scientific interest:
Medical Specialty are broadly classified into surgical and non-surgical specialties.
Medical-Surgical specialists help improve bodily function and appearance; using operative manual and instrumental techniques to diagnose or treat diseases or injuries. Medical-Surgical specialties include; general surgery, neurological surgery, pediatric surgery. Non-surgical specialties are; radiology, pathology, family medicine.
If you would like to; get your hands dirty, work on bodily structures, and repair ruptures, then you may consider any of the surgical specialties. On the other hand, if your interest is to sit down, discuss with patients, and prescribe drugs, then you should consider a non-surgical specialty.
2. The type of activities you want to engage in:
If you would like to; use medical instruments to repair the body structure, deal with accident patients and carry out surgical operations on patients, surgical specialty could be perfect for you. However, if your desired activities include; assessing symptoms, diagnosing conditions, and prescribing treatment, then a non-surgical specialty should be your perfect match.
3. Types of patients you will like to work with:
Type of patients you will like to work with such as; Cancer, Malaria, Cough and Flu, Fever, Ebola, Diarrhea, Mononucleosis, Stroke, Diabetes or even Accidents patients will determine your medical specialty.
4. Your Desired Income or Earnings:
Different medical specialties earn differently. For example, a neurosurgeon may earn up to $600,000 annually while a family physician could earn up to $200000 annually. Therefore, your desired gross income can also affect your medical specialty.
5. Your desired working conditions:
Some medical specialties work together as a team while others work individually. Your preference; either teamwork or individual work may affect the medical specialty you should choose. Also, some medical specialties work under supervision while others work with little or no supervision.
6. Need To Balance Work and Life:
Many doctors work for long hours, sacrificing their family life and personal interests for their professions. Nevertheless, work-life balance is possible in medicine. If you would like to work for fewer hours, schedule time to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health, or even take breaks, then you may consider the following specialties; Dermatology, Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, or Psychiatry as research shows that doctors in these specialties do have a perfect work-life balance.
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Your decisions are crucial determiners along your journey to success. The decisions you make often determine the results or output. You know yourself better than anyone, you alone can make the best decision for yourself. But, at times, you may just be confused about the best decision for you. As a result, we compiled the guidelines that could enhance your decision making and make you choose the best medical specialty for you. Hopefully, you will choose the best medical specialty for you and get to the peak of your career.