rads vs derm

Discussion in 'Radiology' started by drmoriarty, Aug 22, 2003.

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  1. drmoriarty

    drmoriarty New Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    All right, here I am, a fourth year med student, deciding which specialty to go into. Its going to be rads or derm--admittedly a win-win situation--but I am quite torn!

    Here are my personal pros and cons. Yes, I know some of these would be different for other people.

    Pros of radiology: lots of high-tech (math & physics & computer science), lots of interesting & potentially high-impact research opportunities, good lifestyle & salary. Summary of pros: mentally challenging & great income.

    Cons of radiology: cold dark gray-scale rooms, isolation, no patient contact. Summary of cons: I don't want to spend my life sitting alone in a cold room looking at b&w images.

    Pros of dermatology: good patient population, bright & colorful, many interesting disease processes, good lifestyle & salary. Summary of pros: lots of fun in general.

    Cons of dermatology: fewer high-tech opportunities, fewer "big-impact" research problems to solve, lower salary than radiology (though still plenty good). Summary of cons: I don't want to end up healing the already healthy.

    So: anyone have suggestions to help me make the choice between the two?? No flame wars please!
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  3. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    I don't know what to tell you but it seems like the only two things the fields have in common is a pretty decent salary. I couldn't imagine doing dermatology myself as it's nothing at all like radiology. For me, pathology would have been my backup if I wasn't in radiology. Another con for rads for ya is that most places are requiring 24 hour a day radiology coverage so you'll have to be doing night call (likely from home for small hospitals) the rest of your life and weekends also needs to be covered wheras for dermatology there really won't be that problem. Also, if you think looking at images all day in a dark room is dull and boring think about what you will feel like after 20-30 years of doing that.
  4. too

    too New Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    "cold dark gray-scale rooms, isolation, no patient contact"

    You will not be isolated. You will interact all day with clinicians, technologists and even patients. Also as I tell all the medical students who rotate with me, the lifestyle will only get worse as ER physicians order more studies in the middle of the night.

    On the other hand, I have never seen a Derm resident in the hospital at night, nor did I ever consult a dermatologist during my intern year at night. The lifestyle alone may be a reason to choose derm. Remember your priorities change as you advance in your career.

    "I don't want to spend my life sitting alone in a cold room looking at b&w images."

    Do you want to spend your life looking at acne, psoriasis and eczema 90%+ and in most cases only helping your patient's condition minimally. There is no field in medicine that is perfect. You are already smarter than most medical students as you have chosen two of the best fields in medicine.

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