Choosing A Medical Specialty
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE LEAVING MEDICAL SCHOOL Episode II
Some medical students know exactly what kind of doctor they want to be long before applying or resuming medical school. For others, it takes years of lectures, coursework and clinical rotations for them to decide on what specialty they fancy the most. Even so, many more still have a hard time making up their minds long after graduation.
The decision could well prove to be a task! Asking one's self certain questions (starting with the questions in a first episode of the sequel ; "What You Must Know Before Leaving Med School") could help narrow down the choices.
The very first question to consider at this point involves your Personality.
1. What kind of Person am I?
Are you a people person? Do you genuinely enjoy listening to people? Are you interested in having a lot of patient contact? Or do you prefer as little as possible patient contact? There are certain specialties such as Family Medicine, Psychiatry and aspects of Internal Medicine offer a lot of patient contact while others like Radiology and Pathology offer less patient contact. You may also want to consider your personality type in terms of your love for routine or preference for variety as the case may be. You don't want to be bored in your choice of specialty! SO IT BASICALLY STARTS WITH KNOWING YOURSELF!
The next 2 really important questions you want to consider have do with your Time.
2. How much Time do I want to have for myself and my family down the years? & How many years would I like to put into training?
These are really crucial questions that may well determine how happy you would be in your choice of specialty. Even though you would love to be the "Benjamin Carson" of your generation, the time it will take you to go through a Neurosurgical residency in any part of the world and practice as a Neurosurgeon is worth considering, especially if raising a family with a working wife (perhaps an equally ambitious medical graduate also considering a surgical residency!) is important to you. You definitely have to be clear on how much time you want to give to the profession. COUNT THE COSTS!..
Along the same line as the previous 2 points involves considering the sort of lifestyle you wish to have outside the hospital doors!
3. What type of lifestyle do I want?...........