Choosing A Medical Specialty

Choosing a specialty in the medical field can be extremely difficult. And with a shortage of care physicians, it’s vital to find where you are supposed to be. Students experience so much during their time in medical school. Between studying different techniques and treatments and participating in residencies, they may find it difficult to narrow down their choices.

Most medical students are able to put off choosing a specialty until their third or fourth year of medical school, but some wait to choose until their post-graduate education begins. There are a lot of resources available to students to assist them in finding the career path meant for them.

Choosing a Specialty

Where to Start

The obvious start is medical school. During the time spent studying different sections of the body, students may want to choose a specialty in the field that interests them the most. Whether is cardiology, oncology, or pathology, knowing their interest early only helps narrow down the choices.

The preclinical years are the best way to lay the groundwork for a happy clerkships related to a specialty field. Knowing how to get there will only make transitioning from each step easier.

Questions to Ask

Planning is a huge step in the process of choosing the right specialty field to enter in medical school. One beneficial way to learn more about personal interests is to come up with a list of questions about yourself and for mentors. These questions help target areas of uncertainty and help define goals for the future. They include asking:

Personal Questions:

What are my future goals? Do they match the goals when I entered medical school?

Where do I see myself in 10 years? What is my lifestyle?

What specialties make me feel uncomfortable?

Where do I want to practice?

What are my greatest skills/weaknesses?

Practice Questions:

 How much do I want to interact with patients?

How can I benefit the specialty I choose/how can the specialty benefit me?

Is there job satisfaction within this field?

What do current practitioners say about this field?

What skills are required for this field?


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