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15+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2002
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Hey guys, i'm having a difficult time deciding on which field to pursue....I'm a first year med student at UCSD and they require us to complete a research project...problem is, i can't decide whether i love the penis or the ass. NO JOKE!!

Both are very procedural fields, and i would love to do either one, but I just can't decide. I know its premature to think about this, but if anyone could shed some light on how to come up with an answer, please help.

Patient contact and long term patient relationship is a factor too...do any of you guys know which of the 2 fields have that potential patient relationship?

Thanks guys


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Jul 11, 2002
New England
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It's pretty early to think about this stuff, but I don't blame you. I did the same thing. Honestly I thought I was destined to become an ophthalmologist in my first year of med school. Then rads, then pm&r, even fp got considered. Now I'm hopefully matching in anesthesia.

Anyways, I think of urologists as surgeons first. Obviously GI docs are internists first. Granted they do a lot of scope time, it's just that...scope time. Urologists do surgery, big parts of kidney transplants to bladder ca to scopes. It's hard to figure out if you're more IM or surgery, but trust me you will! People tend to be pretty polarized into one personality or the other from my experience.

One more quick thought...GI is a long road, and M1 research probably won't be as helpful as research you do later and your performance as a resident. Urology is a tough field to match, one of the tougher actually. Research you do now will really help you match in urology. Just food for thought.

beyond all hope

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Dec 18, 2003
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Gastroenterology is a subspeciality of medicine, Urology is surgery. Both are procedural, both make loads of money, and both are very competative fields as you probably already know.

GI requires 3 years of IM and later fellowship. Many people while doing their IM years change their mind about fellowships in that time, so you feel comfortable that IM is right for you. You start Urology straight from med school.

If you really thinks it's either GI or Uro for you. I recommend finding some procedure, skill or disease that they have in common (enterovesicular fistulas in Crohn's, for example) and do research on that.

Honestly, though, I'd just try to find something that interests you right now. As your knowledge of medicine grows, you may find your interests changing. (that being said, I wanted EM from 1rst year med school, and I'm EM now)
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