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Entering medicine for the right reasons (specialty choices)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by totu22, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. totu22

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    If most people enter medicine for the right reasons (doing good, improving the community, developing strong connections with patients and being able to improve the lives of those you care about) then why is the competitiveness of specialties so heavily correlated with lifestyle/salary. To boot, the two most competitive specialties, derm and plastics, are the two specialties that can be geared most towards cosmetics (not that every derm/plastics does only cosmetics and not that cosmetics in its own right is evil).

    My question is, if most people come into med school with the right intentions, why is the competitiveness of specialties more dependent on money and lifestyle than on the content of that specialty?

    few things:
    I realize people still do choose specialties that they will genuinely enjoy and I'm sure people with good apps turn down more competitive specialties for less competitive specialties, but regardless, the correlation between $/lifestyle and step score seems so strong that it appears these are the main contributors to specialty choice.

    The only thing I can think of is that maybe most people still do pursue specialties that they will genuinely enjoy, and if that specialty happens to be plastics/derm/ortho/ENT they know they will just have to work harder to score well and match (as opposed to scoring really well and then simply choosing a specialty from the score).
     
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  3. type12

    5+ Year Member

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    People lie, but perception matters.

    The people who are pushing for this perception are in it for the money too. They want their pie, and this image of the doctor sells better than a selfish one.

    I'm glad more and more people are waking up to this. There's no harm in asking about motivations, because, even when people lie, you learn a lot.
     
  4. IgEdoc

    Physician 5+ Year Member

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    I know I entered med school with an altruistic mind, but the long, harsh hours of the clinical years and residency reshaped my focus towards lifestyle. Specialization not only offered better salary , but more importantly, it also allowed me to focus on real medical challenges with the option of referring back to the primary doctor all the "irrelevent" issues, especially the usual psychosocial complaints.
     
    Alfie99, SoonToBeDrG and type12 like this.
  5. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado On Sabbatical
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    Priorities change. You might come to med school bright eyed and bushy tailed thinking you're going to save the world or become the best neurosurgeon in the world but then realize that there's more to life than that and that you actually want to have some fun then have a family and live comfortably. A lot of people also enter med school either not knowing what being a doctor is like or unfamiliar with the intricacies of clinical medicine. You'll see tons of people entering med school having "decided" they want to do neurosurgery or trauma or peds surgery but then realize that neurology, EM, peds, anesthesia, etc is much more sane and in line with their actual priorities.
     
    Alfie99 likes this.
  6. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    When you're 22 and graduating college, you're in a substantially different place than you are at 26 when you graduate from medical school. A lot of maturing happens in that time, and most people "slow down" a bit and start thinking about things like having a family. In college, these are less pressing concerns, thus working your ass off for forever seems reasonable or possible. As your priorities change, other things become more important for many people - namely, doing more enjoyable things in life, spending time with family, etc.. There are certainly people for whom work and ambition are priority #1, and unsurprisingly you see these people in the specialties that demand more time. However, if you're equally interested in two fields, why wouldn't you choose the one that pays better and/or has better hours? Martyrdom gets yourself nowhere.
     
  7. totu22

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    I appreciate the insight from all. Makes sense.
     

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