US MS-III and I still can't decide what field! Anesth/Ortho/Radio/Uro?

nitecrawler

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hey guys im a current MS-III at a US school and have no idea how to decide what field to pursue. I can see myself doing almost any field of medicine, but I have been able to narrow my interests down to a couple. These include:

Anesthesiology, Orthopedics, Interventional Radiology, Urology

My fathers an Anesthesiologist and a partner at a really good group, and enjoys his work
I enjoy the practicality of an Orthopedist, and the fact that the patient population is often healthy.
Radiology seems a good choice in that I would have the option to be an interventional radiologist while young and do diagnostic radiology if I get jaded and tired of patients or procedures
Urology for the reason that it is a surgical specialty with a relatively good lifestyle


I just got back Step 1 scores and the result was a 265/99. I want to go to a good program for whatever field i end up choosing. Does this mean that I should stick with something less comp like Anesth, over something like Radiology or ortho?? And how do i even begin to decide which to pursue?
 

WellWornLad

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I want to go to a good program for whatever field i end up choosing. Does this mean that I should stick with something less comp like Anesth, over something like Radiology or ortho??
I'm baffled that you would choose program "prestige" over the actual choice of specialty. I think you should start by really thinking about your priorities. Write them out and rank them if you have to.
 

gman33

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I want to go to a good program for whatever field i end up choosing. Does this mean that I should stick with something less comp like Anesth, over something like Radiology or ortho?? And how do i even begin to decide which to pursue?
Why would you want to go to a "good" program in a field you might find less attractive? Residency is only a few years of your life, while the work will last for many.

I also wonder how one is able to choose between fields in which you get minimal third year exposure. I would guess you should try to fit in a little shadowing if at all possible. Narrow it down to 2 fields and try to schedule an early elective in each during fourth year.
 

newdoc2013

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isn't 265 really super good?

sounds to me like you could do whatever you want at almost wherever you want. apply broadly. make a list of what matters to you and then compare the specialties; selecting the one that meets most of the criteria or the most important criteria to you.
 
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nitecrawler

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I'm baffled that you would choose program "prestige" over the actual choice of specialty. I think you should start by really thinking about your priorities. Write them out and rank them if you have to.
Well I do think it matters how well you're trained in whatever field you go into. I'm not saying If I want to do ortho I would pick anesthesiology simply because I'd get into a better program, but I'm saying that since I've been stuck between these options for so long, theres no way for me to differentiate at this point so should i just let the programs do the talking?

I agree that its about priorities and thats whats making it so difficult. For example, I like the practicality and simplicity of Orthopedics but I shadowed ortho all last summer and my back would really start to ache after a couple hours of standing. On the other hand, Lifestyle is also certainly a priority for most med students, and if they deny that then they're just being dishonest with themselves. I just don't know what trumps what.
 

LadyWolverine

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Why does everyone automatically call "troll" for threads like these? Isn't it entirely possible that a student with a good Step 1 score is having a lot of difficulty picking a specialty for one or more reasons (lifestyle considerations, limited exposure during years 1-3, personal goals/needs, level of interest in a particular subject, technicalities involved in a specific field of medicine, etc.) While I agree that these 4 particular specialties are not very closely related, I'm sure that I could come up with a dozen common threads that could link most of them. You can have more than one underlying interest which makes it difficult to choose (for example, liking procedures and excitement, but also enjoying the thinking/diagnosis thought process might make it difficult for someone to choose between something like surgery, EM, or IM).

I'm a 4th year and I'm still having trouble figuring out what I want to do. Lots of specialties are appealing for X reason, but unappealing for Y reason. I don't understand why this poster is a troll for verbalizing their internal debate.
 

synapse lapse

tokyo robotic
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I'm a 4th year and I'm still having trouble figuring out what I want to do. Lots of specialties are appealing for X reason, but unappealing for Y reason. I don't understand why this poster is a troll for verbalizing their internal debate.
Let me help you out here

OP said:
I just got back Step 1 scores and the result was a 265/99. I want to go to a good program for whatever field i end up choosing. Does this mean that I should stick with something less comp like Anesth, over something like Radiology or ortho?? And how do i even begin to decide which to pursue?
Just got back step 1? So he is in the first month of MS 3 and his list of possible careers is limited to ROADs. Of course, OP isn't actually interested in any of these particular specialties, or what his life will be like practicing them, but is instead concerned with "attending a good program in whatever." Then he trolls out a 265 like it's not good enough to get into any of these fields, despite likely being in the top 2-3% of test takers. That is why he's called a troll.
 

G-Man82

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Whatever. It doesn't sound to me like the OPs asking anything wrong. I just think OP is new to the clinical world and is basing his decision off E-ROAD based on his high board scores. After 1-2 months of clinicals, he still doesn't have the background to really know what he wants definitely. I'm MS IV right now, and coming into 3rd year, I wanted Emergency Medicine. I did a rotation in it as a 3rd year elective and hated it. Out of my rotations, medicine was the one that I liked best; I had yet to do Surg or Psych, but I eventually ruled those out in favor of Anesthesia after my Surgery rotation.

So OP: Board scores will get you to the door of whatever specialty you want, but not necessarily through the door. There's no real rush to choose something now. If you have electives during your 3rd year, use them to see if there's something you want to try. During your clinical rotations, see if you can follow an Attending/Fellow in any of the subspecialties you're considering (say Cards, GI, etc for medicine; Urology during Surgery). It's easier if you have a patient who you consult the subspecialty for. Then as the student you can follow the patient through. Then you have the first few months of 4th year to choose electives in the remaining fields you're considering.

Bottom line: Experiment a bit and see what you like first before choosing a specialty. The lifestyle specialties may allow more free time, but if you end up hating the specialty and still go into it, you're going to be miserable no matter what. Surgery residents chose surgery for a reason. They're the type that was not satisfied by anything else, no matter how hard some of them may have wanted to be, and so Surgery was a good fit (or for whatever other reason they had to choose it).
 

perilou

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Quick question about surgery:

Everyone keeps talking about how tough a life being a surgeon is. Can someone quantify this for me? I mean, how bad are we talking? Surgeons have families too, right? Surgeons go on vacation too right?

(No need to say "it varies")
 
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nitecrawler

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Let me help you out here



Just got back step 1? So he is in the first month of MS 3 and his list of possible careers is limited to ROADs. Of course, OP isn't actually interested in any of these particular specialties, or what his life will be like practicing them, but is instead concerned with "attending a good program in whatever." Then he trolls out a 265 like it's not good enough to get into any of these fields, despite likely being in the top 2-3% of test takers. That is why he's called a troll.
so let me get this straight? i'm expected to completely disregard my desire to have a more manageable lifestyle rather than use it as one of the criteria with which to help decide what field to pursue?

we complain about how the public expects doctors to be absolutely selfless when it comes to healthcare reform or reimbursement, but then if a peer of yours decides that spending time with his family and friends while still being able to pursue a field of medicine seems like a good option, we attack them for being a lazy money-minded sellout etc.? What person wouldn't take into consideration the type of life they'd be leading down the line in order to guide such a major life decision? It just so happens that I have relatives that include an Anesthesiologist, a Urologist and a Radiologist, and have been exposed to these fields more than others. If we're talking about personal experience, then I have absolutely none in any field, so what should i go by? obviously the only thing I have to go by is what would offer me a more sane lifestyle, or maybe what others say about the field.

You can go ahead and call me a troll, but actually I've been reading SDN forums since I was a premed, and used feedback here that serious posters gave to medschool applicants to guide my application process, and used pointers for med school interviews before i had mine. Just because someone doesn't post doesn't mean they haven't been reading these forums for years. And maybe I dont have 135098531 posts because I'd rather not post regarding something I have no knowledge about, or something that someone else already has, or some derogatory comment that serves no purpose in the discussion at hand
 

VincentAdultman

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so let me get this straight? i'm expected to completely disregard my desire to have a more manageable lifestyle rather than use it as one of the criteria with which to help decide what field to pursue?

we complain about how the public expects doctors to be absolutely selfless when it comes to healthcare reform or reimbursement, but then if a peer of yours decides that spending time with his family and friends while still being able to pursue a field of medicine seems like a good option, we attack them for being a lazy money-minded sellout etc.? What person wouldn't take into consideration the type of life they'd be leading down the line in order to guide such a major life decision? It just so happens that I have relatives that include an Anesthesiologist, a Urologist and a Radiologist, and have been exposed to these fields more than others. If we're talking about personal experience, then I have absolutely none in any field, so what should i go by? obviously the only thing I have to go by is what would offer me a more sane lifestyle, or maybe what others say about the field.
It's not unreasonable to use lifestyle as ONE OF the reasons to pick a specialty. It happens all the time. With that said, it's not a great lifestyle if you're working 40 hrs a week and miserable.

hey guys im a current MS-III at a US school and have no idea how to decide what field to pursue. I can see myself doing almost any field of medicine, but I have been able to narrow my interests down to a couple. These include:

Anesthesiology, Orthopedics, Interventional Radiology, Urology

My fathers an Anesthesiologist and a partner at a really good group, and enjoys his work
I enjoy the practicality of an Orthopedist, and the fact that the patient population is often healthy.
Radiology seems a good choice in that I would have the option to be an interventional radiologist while young and do diagnostic radiology if I get jaded and tired of patients or procedures
Urology for the reason that it is a surgical specialty with a relatively good lifestyle


I just got back Step 1 scores and the result was a 265/99. I want to go to a good program for whatever field i end up choosing. Does this mean that I should stick with something less comp like Anesth, over something like Radiology or ortho?? And how do i even begin to decide which to pursue?
Congrats on your score. You can pretty much do anything assuming the rest of your application is solid.

With all due respect, you didn't give any solid reasons as to why you want to do any of those specialties. It's awesome that you have family in those fields, but without more details, it's tough to gauge your level of exposure. My dad is a CPA and I know sh%t about tax. Just because yor Dad/Uncle are happy does not necessarily mean YOU will be. And I have no idea what you mean by the "practicality of an orthopedist."

You're a MS3, it's August. I think after you get a few more rotations done, you'll have a better idea of what you want out of medicine.