Ts1991

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So, I've always been interested in diet and exercise above all else, and I'm wondering what sort of medicine would best fit these interests? I mean I know once I get some exposure in medical school my mind could be totally changed, but I was wondering what type of doctor I could shadow right now to try and get a good idea. I always figured the best way to do this would be to go into primary care and focus on diet or something, because I've never heard of a strict dietician or anything, but I'm not sure. Thanks!
 

TheWeeIceMan

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Well, since I'm assuming doing those things without a medical degree has already been ruled out, the closest thing I can think of would be sports medicine or maybe PM&R. To be honest, I'm not sure if you'll be able to focus solely on either of those things with any medical specialty. I'm guessing dieticians, PTs, personal trainers, and the like are able to do much of what you're looking for, but obviously those don't need a medical degree.
 

mvenus929

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There is a specialty for preventative medicine, which might be what you're interested in.

But there are dietitians... They generally have a masters in nutrition and sit for their own board exams.
 
OP
Ts1991

Ts1991

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Primary care. CVD and DM especially need that motivation, as do the rest of your pts.
Thanks for the replies. Primary care is what I'm leaning toward. Honestly, I think would enjoy practicing internal or primary most, but am interested in doing research in either exercise or diet. I had looked, just making sure there wasn't some sort of medical specialty I had missed other than sports med that matched either of those.
 

sinombre

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Family med/Sports medicine
 

Cinclus

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I would also suggest primary care. These docs bear a lot of the responsibility for counseling patients on matters of diet, lifestyle, weight loss, etc.
 

Burla

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I shadowed an endocrinologist who saw multiple obese patients with diabetes and had to confront them about their dietary choices
 

karayaa

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Look into the field of health enhancement - not a speciality, but an approach to health that you could approach as a doctor, or a personal trainer, etc.

Or work as a doctor for a sports team, or events, or for individual athletes. Eg I just met a sports med doc who has gone to every continent as the doctor for utltra-endurance marathons. She's a PM&R doctor, but you can do sports med from FM, IM, EM, PMR, and ortho.

What do you mean by "interest in diets and exercise"? Are you interested in prescribing corrective ones, to respond to health problems (eg responding to heart problems, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure). Then maybe straight primary care would be good.
Or are you interested in "best/optimal" diets and exercise and human performance, discussing different options and tweaks, chasing arbitrary numbers and lab results, trying to increase health further and further beyond normal? Then maybe health enhancement would be better.
Or maybe you want to focus more on education programs, school programs, community wellness programs, and get an MPH or at least focus more on the public health side.
 
OP
Ts1991

Ts1991

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Medical Student
Look into the field of health enhancement - not a speciality, but an approach to health that you could approach as a doctor, or a personal trainer, etc.

Or work as a doctor for a sports team, or events, or for individual athletes. Eg I just met a sports med doc who has gone to every continent as the doctor for utltra-endurance marathons. She's a PM&R doctor, but you can do sports med from FM, IM, EM, PMR, and ortho.

What do you mean by "interest in diets and exercise"? Are you interested in prescribing corrective ones, to respond to health problems (eg responding to heart problems, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure). Then maybe straight primary care would be good.
Or are you interested in "best/optimal" diets and exercise and human performance, discussing different options and tweaks, chasing arbitrary numbers and lab results, trying to increase health further and further beyond normal? Then maybe health enhancement would be better.
Or maybe you want to focus more on education programs, school programs, community wellness programs, and get an MPH or at least focus more on the public health side.
Health enhancement sounds interesting. "Best/optimal" sounds exactly like the type of thing id like to research
 

Funke

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If you like research you might also consider a career in academics after medical school. But for now, the best thing by far is to shadow shadow shadow. See if you can shadow a few different family docs, and maybe a sports medicine doc and a physiatrist. If you have a local medical school, you might be able to shadow an academic physician with similar interests and talk to him about possible career paths. Pediatrics also needs doctors that focus on preventive measures if you like working with children.
Also, there are residencies that combine an MPH with the residency, which sometimes is like a FM/Preventive Medicine or IM/PM dual residency. But it doesn't necessarily have to be a dual residency. Some just have built in opportunities if you want to focus on public health nutrition.
 
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Ts1991

Ts1991

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If you like research you might also consider a career in academics after medical school. But for now, the best thing by far is to shadow shadow shadow. See if you can shadow a few different family docs, and maybe a sports medicine doc and a physiatrist. If you have a local medical school, you might be able to shadow an academic physician with similar interests and talk to him about possible career paths. Pediatrics also needs doctors that focus on preventive measures if you like working with children.
Also, there are residencies that combine an MPH with the residency, which sometimes is like a FM/Preventive Medicine or IM/PM dual residency. But it doesn't necessarily have to be a dual residency. Some just have built in opportunities if you want to focus on public health nutrition.
I'm definitely interested in research, I am already accepted and have shadowed a little, but need a lot more experience. So to go into the academic side of medicine, would one just follow the normal track to become a primary care physician/psychiatrist/etc and then apply to work at a university afterwards?
 

Darth Doc

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That would work but would be a longer route. You might want to look into the MD/PhD option that's available at a number of medical schools.
 

sinombre

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That would work but would be a longer route. You might want to look into the MD/PhD option that's available at a number of medical schools.
What do you mean "that would be a longer route"?
 

Darth Doc

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The MD/PhD route, at least at UMD, is a 5 year program, so in 5 years plus residency you could apply for research positions. (The MD/PhD route is also a full tuition program at some medical schools = free medical school.)

Straight MD is a 4 year but doesn't include the research training. It's debatable whether or not that would prevent a potential employer from hiring a MD straight out of residency, but when going up against MD/PhDs for a research position it would take more than just the MD to get a position.

When I said "longer route", I'm assuming that additional experience would be needed.
 

karayaa

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The MD/PhD route, at least at UMD, is a 5 year program, so in 5 years plus residency you could apply for research positions. (The MD/PhD route is also a full tuition program at some medical schools = free medical school.)

Straight MD is a 4 year but doesn't include the research training. It's debatable whether or not that would prevent a potential employer from hiring a MD straight out of residency, but when going up against MD/PhDs for a research position it would take more than just the MD to get a position.

When I said "longer route", I'm assuming that additional experience would be needed.
Are you saying that MD/PhDs at UMD graduate in 5 years, ie that they only spend 1 year on research? How can you get a PhD in 1 year?

You can get research training in residencies and fellowships, as well as in med school itself, either by doing research concurrently, or by doing a gap year for a research fellowship.

Agree that MDs without research experience are at a disadvantage vs MD/PhDs for research jobs.

OP, GI might be another good speciality, because they deal with the consequences of bad diets (ie gut problems), and might be the experts on diet-related problems like Crohns and Celiac and IBS and gluten intolerance.

If you want to be an expert on diets or exercise, medicine might not the best choice - dieticians, nutritionists, personal trainers, physical therapists, and researchers on exercise physiology/kinesiology/diet are the real professionals/experts in those fields, not doctors. But doctors can certainally contribute their unique expertise in identifying and treating health problems.
 
OP
Ts1991

Ts1991

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Thanks for all the replies, I understand a lot better now. I come from a family with no docs or anyone involved in healthcare really, so it's hard to figure out these kinds of things.
 

sinombre

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The MD/PhD route, at least at UMD, is a 5 year program, so in 5 years plus residency you could apply for research positions. (The MD/PhD route is also a full tuition program at some medical schools = free medical school.)

Straight MD is a 4 year but doesn't include the research training. It's debatable whether or not that would prevent a potential employer from hiring a MD straight out of residency, but when going up against MD/PhDs for a research position it would take more than just the MD to get a position.

When I said "longer route", I'm assuming that additional experience would be needed.
lol... there is no way someone can get a PhD in 1 year. Most MSTP people I've talked to have taken 3-4 years on top of the 4 years of medical school. It's possible in two years with an insane amount of work ethic and a lot of luck. But most people take 7-8 years total to finish (7-8 years before residency).

Most medical schools don't require students to do research, but it's very possible to do research as a medical student (some specialties require it).

MSTP spots are also insanely competitive.
 

karayaa

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Thanks for all the replies, I understand a lot better now. I come from a family with no docs or anyone involved in healthcare really, so it's hard to figure out these kinds of things.
Haha I totally feel you. For most of my life I had a very narrow, rigid, concept of medicine and what it meant to be a doctor, but there's sooo much more out there.

I would strongly second whoever recommended more shadowing. Check out all the docs that you're interested in, talk to them honestly about you like and don't like about what they do, and ask for suggestions for directions to explore.
 
OP
Ts1991

Ts1991

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Why not become a nutritionist?
Research and nutrition isn't the only thing I'm interested in, I want to treat people and deal with all aspects of medicine. Nutrition is just a specific interest I have. If I had to choose between primary medicine or anything nutrition related there wouldn't be any question. I've thought about it, but being a practicing doctor is my ultimate goal.
 

mcloaf

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Law2Doc

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As mentioned above, some endocrinologists do a lot of research into diabetes and obesity, and some cardiologists do a lot of research on cholesterols, so to a great extent this is where you would find the cutting edge research in terms of nutrition. If you are just looking to advise patients on diets and exercise, being a family med doctor or internist should work.
 

Pasmal

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I'll tell you what the Dean of Students told me Day 1:

"Right now, you know and understand about 1% of medicine." What he said after that was basically that it's fun to think about, but it's just about impossible for you to have a serious internal conversation about which specialty you're interested in when you know essentially nothing about the field.
 
OP
Ts1991

Ts1991

UKCOM 2018
Aug 23, 2012
420
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Status
Medical Student
I'll tell you what the Dean of Students told me Day 1:

"Right now, you know and understand about 1% of medicine." What he said after that was basically that it's fun to think about, but it's just about impossible for you to have a serious internal conversation about which specialty you're interested in when you know essentially nothing about the field.
Precisely the reason I was asking! I realize I have no idea, and still wont until med school, just wanted to get a better idea of who to shadow. Thanks again, all!
 

mvenus929

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Unrelated, but are you on the app too? Mine has done this a few times
Not the app, but the regular website on my iPad. Every once and a while, it will refresh the page with the post still hanging out at the bottom, not having added it to the thread. When I submit again, it ends up posting twice.