December 10, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Deciding on a medical specialty takes a lot of thought. It is important to consider what your career goals are and what area of medicine you find the most interesting. You should also think about what population of patients you prefer to care for. But just as there are good reasons to choose a specialty, there are also bad reasons, such as the following:
In some cases, family members may have influenced your decision to become a doctor. While encouragement from family is helpful, pressure to go into a certain specialty is not. If your family is trying to talk you into a certain area of medicine, don’t be afraid to discuss your wishes and stand up for yourself. Always keep in mind, you are the one who has to do the work and live with your choice.
It is not uncommon to consider salary when making a career choice, and certain medical specialties often pay higher than others. For example, surgeons often make more money than pediatricians. But going into a specialty solely based on salary is not the best move. Days are long as a doctor. If you are spending time doing something you do not enjoy, it can make you miserable. Besides, several factors play a part in how much you make as a doctor, including your location, experience and type of facility you work in.
If you think a certain medical specialty may have more prestige and that’s why you picked it, you may be disappointed. Going into any field for the recognition it may bring can leave you feeling empty, if you do not find the work rewarding.
There is nothing wrong with considering the lifestyle you hope to have when you become a doctor. Certain specialties may require more hours than others. But in some instances, the number of hours you work will vary based on your place of employment and whether you have your own practice. It is hard to predict how many hours you need to put in for each medical specialty.
Medical school training will be the same regardless of which area of medicine you decide to focus on. But as you move into your residency, training requirements will vary based on your specialty. You may have heard some specialties are more demanding than others. While this may be true, picking something based on whether it is easy or not, is not a good way to choose a specialty. Besides, if you were looking for an easy way out, you would not have picked medical school in the first place.
Once you decide to be a doctor, you have four years of college, followed by four years of medical school. But that is not all. You also have to complete a residency. Residency length varies depending on your specialty. Some specialties also require a post-residency fellowship. If you select an area of medicine to practice based on how quickly you can complete training, you may be sorry in the long run.