Medicine is not just a profession, but is a way of life. So, it's really important to have a vision of how your choice of specialty will have an impact on your whole life.
Priorities & Prejudice
Three Highest Priorities when Choosing a Medical Specialty
- Job Satisfaction
- Lifestyle after Training
- Impact on Patient
Medical students in their first month of training have already considered their specialty preferences, despite limited exposure.
However, students are not fixed in their specialty preferences. Our findings further support previous results but expand what students consider when choosing their specialty early in their training.
Medical educators and administrators who recognize and understand the importance of these considerations may further enhance career counseling and medical education curricula
Medical specialty preferences in early medical school training in Canada - PubMed
Medical students in their first month of training have already considered their specialty preferences, despite limited exposure. However, students are not fixed in their specialty preference. Our findings further support previous results but expand what students consider when choosing their specialt ...
3 Ps: Purpose, Passion & Personality
First and foremost, you need to define these three things:
- Personality - Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you someone who enjoys research or someone who enjoys innovation?
- Purpose - It's the driving force that pushes you even when things go wrong.
- Passion - It's the way you follow to attain the purpose.
It doesn't matter what your purpose is, but it's important that you identify it and also write it down (including the pathway to achieve it).
What you write down as your purpose, passion, and personality is what you will be writing in your personal statement.
Another approach would be going for the middle ground of what makes you smarter, happier as well as helpful to others.
Framework in Deciding Wisely - Stepwise Approach
Step 1: Medical vs Physicians’ Physician vs Surgical
The first step is to decide between medical vs surgical vs Physicians' Physician. Physicians' Physician refers to those who do not communicate with the patients directly but with other physicians.
Step 2: Understanding Spectrum of Care
Care can be divided into multiple acuity levels and it's important to understand the spectrum of care.
Step 3: Spectrum Lies Within Specialty
Another important thing that you need to understand is that the spectrum can lie within the specialty or subspecialty of your choice.
- Acute/Critical Care
- Neurocritical Care
- Chronic Care
- End-of-Life Care
- Palliative Care
- Preventative/Primary Care
- Palliative Care
Step 4: Understanding Training Pathways
Have a long view of your training, as well as its implications because it's hard to do neurosurgery for eight years and then do another year of spine surgery.
- US (In most, IM to subspecialty training)
- US (Neurology, Psychiatry etc)
- Other Countries
Intern > Resident > Fellow
Intern > Psychiatry > Subspecialty
Also applicable to select surgical SS
Internal Medicine > Neurology > Subspecialty
Step 5: Plan Ahead - Life Evolves