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How did you choose your specialty?

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by 123bbqueen, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. 123bbqueen

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    I'm a high school senior and I'm still unclear about how everything works. I was considering Radiology or Family medicine. However, I read bad things about going into Family medicine and radiology. What do you think is the better choice? Any other specialties included. Thanks .
     
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  3. Boolean

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    This is premedical allopathic. A majority of the posters here are not out of college, much less out of medical school. You have leagues of time to choose a specialty. Work on getting into undergrad first.
     
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  4. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-almost done!
    Administrator Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Moving to hSDN.

    Worry about getting into college first. Then worry about getting into med school. Most people don't solidify their desired specialty until 3rd or early 4th year of med school. You have at least 8 years until you have to deal with applying to residency.
     
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  5. 123bbqueen

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    Thank you
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I chose mine when I did the required Surgery rotation during 3rd year of medical school. Prior to that I'd envisioned Family Med or a subspecialty of Internal Med.

    If you ask enough people, you will hear negative things about EVERY specialty. What matters is what you think, when the time comes.
     
  7. bonedoc82

    bonedoc82 Orthopedic Surgery Resident| Author
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    I agree. Most of my classmates didnt pick their speciality until beginning of 4th year of medical school. Even if you think you may like a speciality now, im almost positive that will change by the time you apply for residency.

    Cheers,

    Dr. Webb
    Orthopaedic Surgery Resident
    ================
    www.fiverr.com/awebbster_1982
    Like my page at: facebook.com/awebbmd
    Follow me at: antoniowebbmd.com
     
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  8. future_dr

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    HURRY UP!! IF YOU DON'T PICK YOUR SPECIALTY SOON YOU WONT BE A DOCTOR!!!

    lol jk. Chill for now.
     
  9. styphon

    styphon Senior Member
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    I think lots of people do have something in mind when they med school....

    Problem is, most of them change their mind during rotations. It is one thing to shadow someone, read about a field, etc - and another thing to actually experience it.
     
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  10. Hillo

    Hillo I gotta stop
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    Family medicine for the locum tenens (more flexibility in when and where you work) and ability to meet and treat people of all ages :)

    I think the trick is to find the importance of how you're impacting your patients' life

    Become a CNA to see if tough/boring people faze you or not
    My CNA class has uni graduates looking to become a nurse or PA

    There's a reason why some high schools have CNA and EMT programs...
     
    #9 Hillo, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  11. DopaDO

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    First, love the use of med school as a verb.

    Second, I agree heavily with this. I'm a 4th year who decided on my specialty during 3rd year rotations. I spent waaayyyyy too much time debating several fields my first two years of med school and then realized all were awful when I got to rotations - then I found my field.

    It's natural to think about this stuff even in HS, but try to not spend too much time on it. You just won't know til your actually trying it.
     
  12. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    I actually shadowed an anesthesiologist who did a peds residency before entering anesthesiology. He basically could not decide even during 3rd year, since he liked all of his rotations. He decided on peds during his 4th year and then did his residency in the field, and then found he liked anesthesiology afterward. It could even happen during residency also. My dad was another example as well.
     
  13. NPI

    NPI

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    Shadow people. Volunteer where you can. Look into CME courses that can expose you to new specializations and fields. Once you're in a place where you've gotten enough extracurricular exposure (like others are saying, around 8 years from now) you can make that decision with a wealth of education at your back.
     
  14. tco

    tco
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    You won't figure it out until you're in medical school, probably. Just be sure to keep an open mind.

    Everyone is a little bit different. I had a friend that came into medical school and had wanted to be a neurosurgeon since his second year of undergrad. He is now a second year neurosurgery resident.

    I was way different. I came into medical school wanting to be a thoracic surgeon, but kept my mind open. I did a year of pathology after my second year of medical school. During my third year, I wanted to do internal medicine. Then, at the end of my third year, I was exposed to interventional radiology because a patient of mine had a bleed that needed embolized. I said, "WHAT WAS THAT?!" I looked into it more, and found out that they treat numerous ailments including cancer (thoracic, hepatic, and renal mainly) using "minimally invasive" (whatever that means!) techniques. Long story short, I'm now a transitional year resident and will go to Houston next year for radiology residency.

    If you would have asked me at the beginning of medical school if I was going to become a radiologist, I would have literally laughed in your face. Yes, literally.
     
  15. mckinsey

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    Yes, I would say worry about getting into med school first. Take a look at the Re-Applicants section of SDN if you need an extra kick of motivation during college.

    That being said, if/when you do get into med school make sure to use your third-year selective/electives to check out the nonrequired clerkships. Stuff like ENT, Derm, Ortho, Urology. I went into med school thinking I'd do cardiology or neurology. Hated internal medicine and found neurology boring in practice. Couldn't find anything I liked during third year. I loved the OR and got along with surgeons but couldn't get into the Gen Surg cases. Was going to settle for Radiology since I liked looking at MSK images. Then an upperclassman told me I should do an elective and check out Ortho. Boom. Love at first sight.
     
  16. bjb305

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    so i'll shed some light on radiology...
    i'm a first year radiology resident now
    i didn't even consider radiology before med school. going into med school i thought i wanted to do ER or trauma surgery or plastics. after going thru med school, i realize di didn't enjoy patient interaction nearly as much as i thought i would and i didn't like the OR all that much either. then i thought about why i wanted to go to med school... which was because i wanted to learn a lot about the human body and about disease. then in med school i absolutely fell in love with anatomy. so after thinking about it, i realized i wanted a specialty that was nothing but anatomy and pathology combined with little patient contact. i knew i wasn't interested in treating disease or knowing which medicine to give. i just wanted to diagnose or help figure out what's going on.. and once we know what's going on, i wanted to move on to the next problem. and that's basically what radiology is.. i get to see all the anatomy every single day and basically just figure out the puzzle and then move on to the next one. that's what i love about it, i love learning about all diseases and how to diagnose them and then move on. the treatment side just never caught my attention nearly as much.

    but once again, i didn't even consider radiology until 3rd year of med school.. so you have plenty of time!
     
  17. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery
    Rocket Scientist Physician 7+ Year Member

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    --Start of undergrad--
    Physicist
    EM Physician
    --Start of medical school--
    Neurosurgeon
    Trauma surgeon
    --Start of MS3--
    OBGyn (Gyn Onc)
    Internal Med (Oncology)
    Trauma surgeon
    Vascular surgeon

    Now a PGY3 Vascular surgery resident. Figure out if medical school is really right for you. Get into medical school. THEN start looking at specialties.
     
  18. DubVille

    DubVille Herd the gurd
    10+ Year Member

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    High school:
    No college, even though I took some classes as a senior to get out of school earlier.
    Last second decide to take a few classes, but want to be a golf pro (teacher).

    Undergrad: economy tanks, rethinking golf.
    PA school?
    Psychologist
    Neuroscientist- bench research was meh
    Doctor or dentist
    Doctor (thinking FP or Neurology)

    Year off: work at crime lab as autopsy assistant, maybe pathology

    Med school:
    FP, Neuro, neurosurgery

    Clinicals start: all surgeons are terrible humans (j/k......sorta)
    Neuro is boring, pathology residency is boring.
    End of 3rd year: discover PM&R


    Now 2nd year resident in pm&r. Very happy so far.

    Picked it because it involves a fair amount of neuro and lots of non-surgical ortho. Sort of a hybrid of sports, amputee/trauma (not acutely), injections/procedures, amazing lifestyle, ortho, pain, and neuro. You see a lot of disabled folks and help them function in life, not sexy lifesaving stuff, but it's awesome to see someone who was comatose a year ago get back to working, and enjoying hobbies. Or seeing the soldier with his leg blown off overseas come back, rehab, and fit him for a prosthesis so he can golf again, etc.

    You will almost certainly not do the specialty you think. You may even decide to not became a physician, just do what you like and have an interest in (as long as the degree will get you a real job)
     
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