Ali1302

2+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2015
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I'm a prospective medical student I just wanted to know if most students in general are rather pushed to the primary care route. I asked the medicine lecturers and doctors at an open day in Birmingham about how common it is for students to eventually become surgeon and specialists. Their answer was that 80% of students got into primary care i.e became GP's, family doctors,pediatricians etc..

I personally don't have anything against primary care doctors but it's kind of discouraging to me since I'm looking to specialize in surgery related fields(Neurological/Orthopedic surgery)

Are most medical schools geared to primary care and do most students feel pressure or are directed into those fields of medicine? Also how hard is it to specialize or become a surgeon in general are speciality training positions limited/more competitive? And finally are there less minorities going into these fields of medicine?
 

Medstart108

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Mar 24, 2012
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There is no pressure as far as i'm concerned. Most medical schools these days will have some sort of early family medicine/GP orientation which is supposed to encourage people to become family doctors, but there is no pressure per say. A lot of people choose primary care because they realize that primary care is important, or its their goal or they are attracted to the lifestyle.

Neurosurgery for example can often discourage people because first it can be quite competitive, also it requires working a lot of hours and you often have to do a PhD to get a job, which often means Neurosurgeons do not start earning significant income until they are in their mid to late 30s. If you factor that into consideration a lot of people decide against it, as financially the reward is not worth it or the lifestyle is not worth it or a combination of both. You essentially have to love the brain, be a workaholic and be willing to dedicate your life to neurosurgery in order to actually become a neurosurgeon. You also have to have a specific personality to survive neurosurgical training.

A lot of premeds know only the surface of neurosurgery and want to do it because of the prestige, the recognition or the perceived difficulty, but they fail to consider the other more negative aspects of it which are very very real.
 

medgirl20

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Mar 22, 2005
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I'm a prospective medical student I just wanted to know if most students in general are rather pushed to the primary care route. I asked the medicine lecturers and doctors at an open day in Birmingham about how common it is for students to eventually become surgeon and specialists. Their answer was that 80% of students got into primary care i.e became GP's, family doctors,pediatricians etc..

I personally don't have anything against primary care doctors but it's kind of discouraging to me since I'm looking to specialize in surgery related fields(Neurological/Orthopedic surgery)

Are most medical schools geared to primary care and do most students feel pressure or are directed into those fields of medicine? Also how hard is it to specialize or become a surgeon in general are speciality training positions limited/more competitive? And finally are there less minorities going into these fields of medicine?
I don't think med students are pushed towards primary care more that people see the advantages of GP training with regard to lifestyle and family, not to say that it's easy but there's a more defined career path than other specialities especially once you're accepted to the scheme.
 
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Ali1302

2+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2015
2
0
There is no pressure as far as i'm concerned. Most medical schools these days will have some sort of early family medicine/GP orientation which is supposed to encourage people to become family doctors, but there is no pressure per say. A lot of people choose primary care because they realize that primary care is important, or its their goal or they are attracted to the lifestyle.

Neurosurgery for example can often discourage people because first it can be quite competitive, also it requires working a lot of hours and you often have to do a PhD to get a job, which often means Neurosurgeons do not start earning significant income until they are in their mid to late 30s. If you factor that into consideration a lot of people decide against it, as financially the reward is not worth it or the lifestyle is not worth it or a combination of both. You essentially have to love the brain, be a workaholic and be willing to dedicate your life to neurosurgery in order to actually become a neurosurgeon. You also have to have a specific personality to survive neurosurgical training.

A lot of premeds know only the surface of neurosurgery and want to do it because of the prestige, the recognition or the perceived difficulty, but they fail to consider the other more negative aspects of it which are very very real.
Does this mean becoming a Neurosurgeon or a specialist in general is perceived as less rewarding? Wouldn't Neurosurgeons have similar working hours in comparison to other surgeons? Why would the lifestyle of a Neurosurgeon be hard to cope with? If your a specialist your more likely to make the top 1% of your state in income and potentially become a millionaire. Wouldn't that serve as a motivating factor to do the work? Your not only doing something you love but making a lot of money in the process as well. Although I have to admit dermatologists probably have the best lifestyles and pay per hour.

At a lot of medical schools it feels like everyone is doing primary care which I do understand is very important but aren't specialists as important as primary care doctors? You can feel the peer pressure around you and the medical school guiding you towards that path. Also in terms of it being super competitive isn't the match rate 78% for neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons in the United States and Canada? Is that considered super competitive for most students? Anyways I was discussing the UK that has a 25% acceptance rate for applicants to neurosurgeon which could be considered very competitive.