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How does choosing a specialty work?

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jmedia

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Sorry I know this is a question that is probaably obvious to many of you, but I am still confused about it. How do fourth year medical students decide which programs to apply to? I know specialties like derm and opth are harder to get, can anyone apply to them or do only the top students? What stops a below average preforming student from applying to easier derm programs?
 

username456789

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What stops a below average preforming student from applying to easier derm programs?

There aren't "easier derm programs." Most people have figured out by 4th year whether they have a realistic shot at matching derm (or another very competitive residency). Some do not but still apply anyway, unfortunately.
 
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ProfMD

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You decide on a speciality you like based on a whole host of factors including your interests and experience.

Once you decide on a speciality, you speak with an advisor (faculty in they department, often the chair or PD).

Your advisor will help you decide what programs you should apply to. Factors to consider are the strength of your application, curriculum preferences, geographic preferences, etc.
 
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psychhopefull2016

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Have you had 3rd year yet? I hated things I thought I would like and liked things I thought I would hate. Most of my friends who are currently applying kinda decided based on

1: OR vs no OR. Took me 20 seconds into surgery rotation to know that I viscerally hated every single second in the OR. Some people walk in there and absolutely love it.

2. Patient population. Kids vs. Adults, Adults further broken down to general, women, geriatrics.

3. Find your people. When you are on a rotation do you just vibe with the people there(residents and attendings)? That says something

4. Are you competitive. Sucks but even if you live and breath for ortho but have a 205 step 1, no pubs, and mediocre grades you need to be realistic

5. Trust yourself. I LOVED every second of my psych rotation. I honestly can't see my life doing anything else. My mom tried to get me to pick something else because she thinks its too heart breaking. I've had attendings on other services give me eye roll and assume I'm a crappy student when I say I'm going into psych (I'm not, I just love it) but the thing is that I don't care about that crap because I LOVE psychiatry. It all I want to do with my life. If you find that spark run with it, other people's opinions on the specialty aren't you problem.
 
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psychhopefull2016

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check out "charting outcome in the match" to get an idea if you may be competitive.
 
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OnePunchBiopsy

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    It can be distilled into a 5 step method really.

    Step 1: Start 3rd year.

    Step 2: Find out if you prefer outpatient or inpatient.

    Step 3: Find out if you love the OR.

    Step 4: Find out if Pediatrics is your calling.

    Step 5: Narrow down your specialty based on the negatives, meaning what do you NOT like about a field, but could still see yourself tolerating it.

    This will narrow your choices down dramatically.
     
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    Milotic

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    Hey I like this game!

    It can be distilled into a 5 step method really.

    Step 1: Start 3rd year. Check

    Step 2: Find out if you prefer outpatient or inpatient. OUTPATIENT!!!!!!! I've hated inpatient so far.

    Step 3: Find out if you love the OR. Love it so far.

    Step 4: Find out if Pediatrics is your calling. Hate kids.

    Step 5: Narrow down your specialty based on the negatives, meaning what do you NOT like about a field, but could still see yourself tolerating it. Love the OR but hate the hours immensely.

    This will narrow your choices down dramatically.

    So what did I get?
     

    TBV

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    Hey I like this game!



    So what did I get?

    Something procedural i suppose. Urology after you get through intern year, derm if you specialize in mohs perhaps
     

    Milotic

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    Something procedural i suppose. Urology after you get through intern year, derm if you specialize in mohs perhaps

    PSH yeah I didn't break 240 though. Is there a General Surgery specialty with slightly better hours than the rest? Sorry to hijack the thread.
     

    DubVille

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    Hand surgery (good luck with residency and fellowships though.) If you specialize in onc or breast you will get more planned surgeries but will have patients admitted to hospital. But residency would be brutal based on preferences. Your description seems to fit ophtho.
     

    zhopv10

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    It can be distilled into a 5 step method really.

    Step 1: Start 3rd year.

    Step 2: Find out if you prefer outpatient or inpatient.

    Step 3: Find out if you love the OR.

    Step 4: Find out if Pediatrics is your calling.

    Step 5: Narrow down your specialty based on the negatives, meaning what do you NOT like about a field, but could still see yourself tolerating it.

    This will narrow your choices down dramatically.

    Ya ok I'll bite:

    1. Check
    2. Outpatient, do not like rounding...at all... Lol
    3. Don't like the OR I have back issues literally makes every day in the OR excruciating ugh
    4. Pediatrics: meh not really I actually like kids, especially since having my own but working with them in the clinic isn't my favorite
    5. No OR (or at least long cases I haven't minded some things like brachytherapy in Radonc). Don't like rounding. Like fairly technical things (current interest mostly Radonc), like working with cancer patients, working with patients all together not necessarily needed although I don't mind it. ambivalent about procedures. Thoughts?


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    Slack3r

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    Ya ok I'll bite:

    1. Check
    2. Outpatient, do not like rounding...at all... Lol
    3. Don't like the OR I have back issues literally makes every day in the OR excruciating ugh
    4. Pediatrics: meh not really I actually like kids, especially since having my own but working with them in the clinic isn't my favorite
    5. No OR (or at least long cases I haven't minded some things like brachytherapy in Radonc). Don't like rounding. Like fairly technical things (current interest mostly Radonc), like working with cancer patients, working with patients all together not necessarily needed although I don't mind it. ambivalent about procedures. Thoughts?


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    Radiology
     

    zhopv10

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    Radiology

    That's definitely in the mix, haven't had too much exposure, hoping to get some in my next rotation that tends to have a little more free time. I think I may miss having a treatment modality like in Radonc tho...idk


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    Sorry I know this is a question that is probaably obvious to many of you, but I am still confused about it. How do fourth year medical students decide which programs to apply to? I know specialties like derm and opth are harder to get, can anyone apply to them or do only the top students? What stops a below average preforming student from applying to easier derm programs?

    Pre-meds and pre-clinical med students often times think that every med student comes in "gunning" for "competitive specialties" then "settles" for IM/FM/peds/psych/etc if they don't do well. While this may be true for a small minority of US MDs it is the farthest thing from the truth for the vast majority. If you're picking your specialty based on anything other than your interests then you're doing it wrong.


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