ResIpsa

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Hi there,

My younger brother is finishing his 3rd of medical school in Texas. He seems very confused about what specialty to consider. I wanted to help him out by buying a good book on this subject for him. Can any of you medical students recommend one? I've come across one called "The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty" by Brian Freeman. It seems pretty good -- should I get it for him?

Thanks!
 

kco248

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Iserson's Getting Into a Residency has lots of good information about specialties as well as some good advice when it comes to application time.
 

jwin

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ResIpsa said:
Hi there,

My younger brother is finishing his 3rd of medical school in Texas. He seems very confused about what specialty to consider. I wanted to help him out by buying a good book on this subject for him. Can any of you medical students recommend one? I've come across one called "The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty" by Brian Freeman. It seems pretty good -- should I get it for him?

Thanks!
I am a 2nd year and a lot of people in my class really like this book, myself included. Iserson's is much more of a practical guide to the residency application process. The Freeman book contains a chapter about each specialty written by a resident or physician about their specialty. If he is a 3rd year, then he will have a good idea about what most of the specialties do, but there is still good data about salaries, hours worked, and competitiveness in the book that he might like.
 

powermd

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The most reliable way to choose a specialty is to spend as much time as possible with attendings in the various specialties and see where your personality fits best. Ask around about the different modes of practice available in the specialties you are most interested in. As a med student you see a very skewed population of doctors who affiliate with academic medical centers, and their style of practice (hours, pay, case mix) can be very different from community based colleagues. Understand that it's impossible to really "know" which specialty is right for you. Believe me- as a med student you can't even begin to "know" what it feels like to be a resident until you get there and are doing it, let alone what it feels like to have attending doctor responsibilities in a particular field. The best way is to let your heart be your guide. Try not to let your head get in the way too much and dissuade you from fields you might be very happy with. For example, just because you are fascinated with the heart doesn't mean you will be happy with the job of being a cardiologist, or the prolonged training period required to become one. I'm on the tail end of my internship in medicine headed for anesthesiology in July. It was tough choosing a field that doesn't really let you inside until you're actually doing it. My personality, interests, likes, and dislikes in medicine fit perfectly with the anesthesiologists I've met. One of my most frequent complaints during my surgery rotation as an M3 was that I love being in the OR, but I hate being scrubbed in. Well... I probably made a good choice!