As a Caribbean medical student doing rotations in the United States, my schedule wasn’t quite “fitting” well with my Drexel University colleagues rotating at the same hospital. To solve the dilemma, we took a “pre-clinical” elective which was randomly assigned. As luck would have it I was assigned radiology. I showed up the first day with a minty crisp white coat, badge clipped to my upper right pocket, 8 pens (see my previous post on holiday wish list), and my copy of Felson’s in hand. The medical coordinator greets us and brings us to the main reading room.
So you just realized you are interested in a medical specialty that you have heard is notoriously competitive. Now what? Speaking from personal experience and those of my friends and colleagues, there is a way to succeed and make it happen!
Choosing a specialty is one of the most challenging aspects of medical school. While it’s not an irreversible decision and many people do change their specialties after matching, the process in doing so can be complicated and is best avoided. Nevertheless, if you realize that your path through medical school is leading you to a different area in medicine than the one you had initially been considering, these tips can help you sort through the logistics of making the switch and readying your application.
Do I need to love the medical science or the work when I pick a specialty? Which matters more?
The search for a specialty during medical school is indeed a difficult one. Much like the newly engaged are constantly asked about wedding dates and venues, the freshly-minted medical student is grilled regarding their future career path. It seemed like the decision to become a doctor had some finality to it, but we quickly learn that other very important decisions lie ahead.
You will get lots of advice from lots of people along the way on your choice of specialty and while it’s important to listen to and factor in advice into your decision, ultimately this is YOUR decision. What worked (or didn’t work) for someone else might not apply to YOU. It’s necessary to put out that disclaimer because I encountered many physicians unhappy with their choice of career/specialty. It’s important to hear the bad as well as the good about specialties, but be wary of sour grapes masquerading as advice.
Are you a medical student having a tough time deciding which specialty to choose? With so many great options, it is often hard to figure out which one is your perfect fit. Here are 5 reasons you should consider choosing psychiatry as your career:
Picking a specialty is hard as hell. You thought that the big decision was made - you are in (or about to go to) medical school, ergo, you will be a doctor.
Growing up with two parents who were at the frontline of emergency medicine working as EMTs, I think I always knew in my heart that I wanted to become an emergency medicine physician. However, it wasn’t until halfway through my third year of medical school that I discovered that EM was truly my passion. Here are the top eight reasons why I chose a career as an emergency medicine physician: