Going to medical school is one decision to make. But a more difficult one is the area of specialty you want to choose within the medical field. This is one you will keep studying and practicing for many years.
With the knowledge that your choice of specialty has a lot of influence on your entire life, it isn’t something you should take with levity. Here are six top tips for choosing a medical specialty.
1. Do Your Research
There are many branches in the field of medicine. You don’t just want to dabble into one without actually finding out what it is about. You could be attracted to a few for various reasons, but is that all there is to it? What about the not-so-appealing aspects of the specialties? You can conduct your research by speaking to a practitioner already in the specialty; their experiences so far would help you know the actual state of things. This way, you will be able to make guided decisions.
Also, read up on the experiences of other postgraduate students in the field. This is your first step in making the best decision for your medical specialty. Find out here the top five happiest medical specialties.
2. Start Early
You can never be too early to start looking out which area you would love to specialize in after medical school. Doing this would help you open your mind as you rotate through different postings in your medical school.
You will go through each rotation, looking for key factors that will fuel your interest. At the end of your years in medical school, you would have been able to narrow down your possible choices to just a few.
3. Consider Options That Will Fit Into Your Lifestyle
Knowing that this is one of the decisions that will follow you for a long time, you have to consider which will fit into your lifestyle now and in the future. Take into account the on-call commitments of each specialty and how they would suit you.
Would you get the balance you want between home and career? Would this specialty enable you to pursue the dreams and ambitions you have always envisioned? These are some of the questions you must consider.
4. Think About Your Skills
It is time to look within yourself. Think of your performance so far in medical school. Which area of clinical posting did you enjoy the most and why? Which specialty piques your interest, and you don’t mind going into full-time practice? How well do you cope with stress? Do you enjoy the adrenaline rush of a particular area or the solemnity of the other? Do you prefer diagnostics over procedures? Some areas have more space for research than others. Are you a research lover? Then perhaps you need to consider an area with a vast research gap.
These questions should come even before you think of money or prestige. As you begin your career, you must enjoy what you are doing and feel fulfilled. Therefore, look within yourself before saying yes to a particular specialty.
5. Choose One With Long-Lasting Relevance
It is essential to look into the medical specialty’s lucrative prospects. To make headways faster, it is often to delve into areas with high demand and low supply. This would help fill up the spaces in medical practice while also flourishing in it. Consider the rise of advanced technology in medicine.
Would that area of your choice stay relevant even with the improvement of telemedicine? Or would it fade out in no time? Study the trends in each specialty and decide which would be profitable for you.
6. Consider Your Choice Of Patients
Remember that medicine is nothing without the patients. So the question is, what type of patients do you want to care for? For example, if you’re a lover of kids, would you consider specializing in Pediatrics? If you love to relate with patients deeply and personally, you could consider going into Family Medicine.
Suppose you do not appreciate constant contact with people; In that case, you could go into specialties requiring limited contact with patients like pathology. Considering this factor will give you a good and comfortable experience as you pursue your career.
Ultimately, your choice, comfort, fulfillment, and success are the most important. Ensure that the area of specialization you choose will allow you to become the person you envision in all areas of your life.
It is a decision that only you can make. Just consider important factors like how lucrative it is, patient choice, relevance, your skills, and your interest.