Medics in medicine... what specialties?


7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2003
    It seems funny to me, I'm an MS2, and everyone assumes because I was a paramedic that I automatically am shooting for ER. lol. While ER is on my long list, it's probably not on my short list (I'll know more after 3rd year, I'm sure). It's down there a ways right now in terms of specialties. I just got burned out a bit on geriatrics and drug seekers/abusers.

    So what do you guys think? Some of you are in med school or pre-meds, but I'm interested to know what those who aren't planning on going to med school would choose, as well, if they had the opportunity.

    Also, I realize how often people change their minds as far as medical residency possibilities go, so I'm trying to keep an open mind.

    Here's mine....
    1. Urology (yeah, I know)
    2. CT surg
    3. Rads
    4. Trauma Surg
    5. Critical Care
    6. Gen Surg
    7. ER?... not sure what I would pick this low on the list.... Path?

    Of course, after Step I, my focus might shift a bit, lol.:p
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    1K Member
    7+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Aug 2, 2002
      I too saw way too much crap as a Houston medic, and as a combat medic. I have no desire to do that mess everyday, or even every week! EM is way overrated if you ask me. My perspective comes from being a PA in family medicine and watching how we would send every single slightly "sick" patient to the ER, and then we would watch them show back up the next morning with their "discharge instructions". ED's get dumped on by everyone in every other specialty when they don't feel like doing the easier thing of writing some damn admissions orders and consulting the appropriate specialists. "Oh, Mrs. Johnson, I think I am going to have to recommend that you head over to the ER because that headache could easily be a subdural hematoma...looking at my watch.....4:59 PM:D ". But I do want to continue to be involved with EMS, so the best way to do this is to do rural FP.

      1) Rural FP
      2) Small City FP
      3) Big City FP
      4) Small City Urgent Care (still FP)
      5) Med/Peds if I happen to decide I want a 3 year enema


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      Apr 6, 2000
      1. Attending Physician
        Appreciate your opinion PAC-DOC, but I definately don't think that EM is fact i think it is underrated.

        Just because a former med (like myself) says they want to do EM does NOT mean they want to do EM in a major, inner city ED.

        On the contrary, I see myself in suburbia to rural setting. Maybe working a couple of 24 hours shifts/week (sleeping most nights) like several docs I know.

        I agree after working as a medic and in both inner city and suburbian ED's I think that working forever in the ghetto would NOT be fun.

        however, EM is a very broad field with opportunities to be involved in tons of aspects of medicine. I also hope to be involved in EMS in some capacity.

        i personally think FP would be my own personal hell. After working in a large FP practice (my preceptor in school is also FP) made me want to jab my eye out with a pencil. I hated the monday-friday bit and the call they have to take. yuck.

        also, i find the astonishing low level acuity to be intensely boring and lacking in any sort of stimulation.

        At least in the ED you can run into some critical (QUICK) decision making cases now and then.



        EM/EMS nerd
        15+ Year Member
        Aug 12, 2000
        Salado, Texas
        1. Attending Physician
          EM all the way.

          I'm just about done with my third year and am in the final days of my elective EM month. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was EM for me long before this month but now I'm even more sure. This has been, by far, the best month of medical school for me in terms of sheer fun.

          While the fact that I've been a paramedic for 16 years and EM is all I know, here are a couple of other reasons I love EM:

          1. no rounding
          2. lots of variety
          3. doing the initial workup on undiagnosed patients
          4. no rounding
          5. no continuity of care
          6. great people to work with
          7. no rounding
          8. lots of procedures
          9. EMS as a subspecialty
          10. great income, good hours.

          Did I mention no rounding? I hate rounding.

          Actually, the whole reason I'm in medical school is to be an EMS medical director so EM is natural. It's just an added bonus that I love it so much. :)

          Take care,


          Pluck of all Plucks
          7+ Year Member
          15+ Year Member
          Oct 11, 2002
            I am a first year, and I still have my head open to anything (with the exception of orthopedics)...but for some reason a little birdie in the back of my head keeps drawing me back to (in no order) EM, peds, and family medicine. Kind of weird because EM and family med. are opposites in several ways but I like a lot of aspects about both (and both have good variety).

            EM Junkie

            SDN Donor
            15+ Year Member
            Apr 1, 2003
            1. Attending Physician
              I am an MS2 at UT-Houston. EMT for 5 years also (I still volunteer a couple of shifts/month). I am definitely leaning towards EM, but my Step 1 and third year may shake that up a bit. Also on the short list are Family Practice and Pediatrics. I think EMS definitely attracts the same breed that goes for EM once in medical school.


              Registered Banned User
              7+ Year Member
              15+ Year Member
              May 6, 2001
              1. Pre-Medical
                Well, seeing as I still have a long way to go before I'm in med school, I don't know if it would be right for me to say that right now I would go into EM. Of course, I'm gonna keep an open mind about anything else, and who knows, once I'm in, I may find something that I would like even more.
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