bkennedy

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Does anyone know the specialty that they would like to go in? I still have a couple years before I even apply, but I am thinking I would like emergency medicine.

I didn't know if most of the non-traditionals are going into primary care or pursuing specialties.
 

eteshoe

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I know what specialty I'm most likely going into (Hem/Onc, GI, or just IM). Non-trads go into various specialties not just primary care. Though I assume if one is 40 yrs when they start med school, they may not want to sub-specialize in a surgical field but I'd have to assume anything can happen.
 
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bkennedy

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If EM doesn't work then I may do Internal Medicine and be a Hospitalist.

I work as NP in a primary care office and miss the emergencies.
 

popopopop

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At the moment, I'm interested in neurology, infectious disease, but probably will end up in family medicine. Family med just suits my skillsets and personality so much. The former I mentioned are just interesting to me, but being in family med wouldn't limit my knowledge of them. A selfish reason is that I can't imagine going into IM and being on call every other weekend or something like that. I just don't think my body can handle it when I'm 50+.
 
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bkennedy

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At the moment, I'm interested in neurology, infectious disease, but probably will end up in family medicine. Family med just suits my skillsets and personality so much. The former I mentioned are just interesting to me, but being in family med wouldn't limit my knowledge of them. A selfish reason is that I can't imagine going into IM and being on call every other weekend or something like that. I just don't think my body can handle it when I'm 50+.
I completely understand. And 12 hours shifts are rough too. A specialty without long shifts or call would be ideal. I love EM. The shifts around here are 9 hrs and no call! Of course, I love EM for more reasons than the schedule.
 

Chimichica

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Pathology (would love to do 2 fellowships: heme and surgical path),but in case I don't do that I wouldn't mind infectious disease or heme/onc

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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Really interested in aerospace medicine and internal medicine or family practice (IM because I have a huge interest in heme/onc because of my research experience). I also have some interest in surgery, from being an OR tech for so long. But I find myself drawn to primary care and preventative medicine, and I am obsessed with aviation and space.
 
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NoTownPreMed

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Guess I'll chime in. IM (perhaps a subspecialty), EM, and Anesthesia. The majority of doc's I work with in this field love what they do.
 
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Chimichica

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Really interested in aerospace medicine and internal medicine or family practice (IM because I have a huge interest in heme/onc because of my research experience). I also have some interest in surgery, from being an OR tech for so long. But I find myself drawn to primary care and preventative medicine, and I am obsessed with aviation and space.
I took a bioastronautics course online from Baylor it was super interesting

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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I took a bioastronautics course online from Baylor it was super interesting

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Sounds super interesting. The human factors in space flight and aviation are interesting.
 

Law2Doc

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I completely understand. And 12 hours shifts are rough too. A specialty without long shifts or call would be ideal. I love EM. The shifts around here are 9 hrs and no call! Of course, I love EM for more reasons than the schedule.
Part of the reason EM shifts are short is because that specialty takes more of a toll. There's really no downtime and you'll be on your feet the whole shift, which might be all night. In many of the fields with longer shifts or call you'll have downtime, have time to sit down, BS, have a cup of coffee, get a meal etc. FWIW the burn out rate in EM seems to actually be fairly high compared to other specialties and anecdotally you rarely see a really old EM physician, like you might in the other non surgical specialties. There's a lot to like about EM, but the notion that it will be the specialty best for "a 50+ year old body" to handle might be off the mark.

Don't decide this far out. Get a better view as you get closer to that decision point. Sometime the promise of a shorter day just means they are going to milk you dry in that short window.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Part of the reason EM shifts are short is because that specialty takes more of a toll. There's really no downtime and you'll be on your feet the whole shift, which might be all night.
Sounds like my job now, except they made me work 38 hours in a row this past Sunday/Monday.
 

QofQuimica

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I would argue that if you know for sure you would not be happy in one of the less competitive, widely available primary care-oriented specialties (FM, IM, peds, or psych), then you should not go to medical school at all, particularly if you are a nontrad with competing life priorities (read: family). Procedural specialties like EM, gen surg, OB/gyn, and anesthesia are not off the table for the energetic and motivated nontrad, but these are not specialties that typically allow one to "dabble," since you need to work a specific number of hours to keep your procedural skills up. As L2D alluded, procedural specialties do not tend to be family friendly either, since many of the hours worked by these specialties include nights, weekends, and holidays. Not that they can't be good choices for the right personalities (including the right nontrad personalities), but I would really think long and hard about undertaking these kinds of paths if you're a nontrad with a family or otherwise someone who is looking for "work-life balance."
 
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bkennedy

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Part of the reason EM shifts are short is because that specialty takes more of a toll. There's really no downtime and you'll be on your feet the whole shift, which might be all night. In many of the fields with longer shifts or call you'll have downtime, have time to sit down, BS, have a cup of coffee, get a meal etc. FWIW the burn out rate in EM seems to actually be fairly high compared to other specialties and anecdotally you rarely see a really old EM physician, like you might in the other non surgical specialties. There's a lot to like about EM, but the notion that it will be the specialty best for "a 50+ year old body" to handle might be off the mark.

Don't decide this far out. Get a better view as you get closer to that decision point. Sometime the promise of a shorter day just means they are going to milk you dry in that short window.
I shadowed an ED physician for almost 300 hours. They definitely can have it rough. With that being said, they are many pods within the ED. Some of the older docs work fast track or intermediate. We have a few older docs too. The oldest works in the busiest part and does straight third shift. A lot of the younger physicians also have kids. By the time I get that far, my kids will be older and not need quite so much of my time.

Thank you for your input. Other specialties are not out. I am also interested in IM. Mostly the inpatient side.
 
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bkennedy

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I would argue that if you know for sure you would not be happy in one of the less competitive, widely available primary care-oriented specialties (FM, IM, peds, or psych), then you should not go to medical school at all, particularly if you are a nontrad with competing life priorities (read: family). Procedural specialties like EM, gen surg, OB/gyn, and anesthesia are not off the table for the energetic and motivated nontrad, but these are not specialties that typically allow one to "dabble," since you need to work a specific number of hours to keep your procedural skills up. As L2D alluded, procedural specialties do not tend to be family friendly either, since many of the hours worked by these specialties include nights, weekends, and holidays. Not that they can't be good choices for the right personalities (including the right nontrad personalities), but I would really think long and hard about undertaking these kinds of paths if you're a nontrad with a family or otherwise someone who is looking for "work-life balance."
I know it will be much more challenging since I am a non-trad. I also know I have worked and shadowed in several areas and EM is my favorite. I shadowed almost 300 ED hours. Will it work out? Maybe not. I am okay with that. I also like Internal Medicine, but mostly the inpatient side. I am still undecided and have a long time to decide, but if I had to pick a residency today it would be EM.
Lord, after my shift today, pediatrics does not seem right for me. I had to do catch up vaccines for a patient and it was a mess!
The most important goal right now is finishing my pre-requisites and get As.

Thank you for your input. I enjoy reading all the areas of interest.
 
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trev5150

I've eliminated specialities focusing on any particular orifice or protrusion. Other than that I've found myself concurring with results of the medical speciality selector (Meyers-Briggs overlay I'm sure).
 

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Law2Doc

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... I also know I have worked and shadowed in several areas and EM is my favorite... I am still undecided and have a long time to decide, but if I had to pick a residency today it would be EM...
You don't have to pick today, and really shouldn't. Most fields have positives and negatives that you really won't appreciate until you start doing rotations in med school, and the adage is that like 90% of all med students will change their minds about specialty at least once.

My only real objection was the notion expressed that shorter shifts were somehow going to be easier on ones "50 year old body". In fact, an intense, on your feet all the time, field working overnights regularly might be s lot harder on ones aging body than a more regular longer houred field with more downtime. The number of hours a week is only part of the picture so you shouldn't buy into premed notions that 40 hours of X must necessarily be easier than 60 hours of Y. I mean, there are guys in eg anesthesiology who work 65 hours a week, but much of it is done seated, and a huge percentage of it is down time, between cases -- is that really harder on your body than running around on your feet all night?

You guys have to put aside the hours and look at the big picture. Ultimately it's about what you enjoy, because if you enjoy it the hours fly by.
 
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I'm really open to the process and changing my mind (I haven't even applied), but right now I think IM or family. My research team collaborates with a team at NASA in the humans research program department and I spent a summer at JSC related to my masters project that was incredible, so I'm also interested in aerospace medicine (was really neat to see someone else mention it as well :)).
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I'm really open to the process and changing my mind (I haven't even applied), but right now I think IM or family. My research team collaborates with a team at NASA in the humans research program department and I spent a summer at JSC related to my masters project that was incredible, so I'm also interested in aerospace medicine (was really neat to see someone else mention it as well :)).
Future space doctors unite.