U4iA

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I have a few uncertainties I am trying to clear up about making an educated choice of medical specialty and taking the right steps to match in that specialty.

Feel free to take a stab at any of these questions or share any other experiences.


When did you get a clear idea of the specialty you wanted to pursue?

Were you exposed to the field before your clinical years? (shadowing/research/etc?)

How do students typically expose themselves to different specialties during pre-clinical years? (mainly in a clinical sense to decide if this field is right for them)

If students wait until their clinical years to get an idea of what they want to do, how do they pick a field to research during pre-clinical years?


Thanks a lot!
 

doc05

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I suggest you do medicine and surgery as your 1st rotations of 3rd year. that will clear up the major question. Spend all of 3rd year figuring out what you want to do, rather than learn all that crap that's on the shelf exams ;)

if you can research a field during the preclinical years, I suggest you shadow several different docs in various specialties.
 

TommyGunn04

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U4iA said:
If students wait until their clinical years to get an idea of what they want to do, how do they pick a field to research during pre-clinical years?
A good number of people enter medical school with a decent idea about what field they'd like to pursue. Although you'll often hear that you can't possibly know this until you've been through your rotations, I've actually heard to the contrary from some of our deans that the majority of students who enter med school with a bent towards a particular specialty end up going into that very field when they graduate! They claim this is based on some sort of national data, but I haven't been able to find it.

But it sounds like you might be among those of us who are really unsure of what field we'd most enjoy...is that right? In that case, I'd suggest some selective shadowing early on in med school, to help give you a basic idea, with particular attention to the very competitive specialties like ortho, ENT, radiology, etc. If you happen to like one of these fields it's best to know EARLY, because you'll really want to rock the boards and ideally even do research in that particular field to help give you an application advantage (or to not be disadvantaged, as these things have pretty much become standard in very competitive fields like these). But also make sure you take a look at surgery vs. medicine vs. peds, as suggested above, and if you don't particularly like optho or dermatololgy or other such competitive specialties then you won't have to worry as much about the particulars of your research, if any.
 

SLUsagar

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U4iA said:
I have a few uncertainties I am trying to clear up about making an educated choice of medical specialty and taking the right steps to match in that specialty.

Feel free to take a stab at any of these questions or share any other experiences.


When did you get a clear idea of the specialty you wanted to pursue?

Were you exposed to the field before your clinical years? (shadowing/research/etc?)

How do students typically expose themselves to different specialties during pre-clinical years? (mainly in a clinical sense to decide if this field is right for them)

If students wait until their clinical years to get an idea of what they want to do, how do they pick a field to research during pre-clinical years?


Thanks a lot!

you can try this medical specialty quiz which might help...it's fun nevertheless!

http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/specialties/TestStructure.cfm