Saturday, July 27, 2013

How to pick a specialty

Funny but sometimes true!

From the moment we tell people that we want to be doctors we get bombarded with questions like  "What kind of doctor do you want to be?" or "What are you going to specialize in?" Most of us have never had a job let alone medical experience worthy of giving us this kind of insight into ourselves. So how do we decide? Well for me I remember thinking I really loved physiology but hated anatomy. So maybe surgery was out for me? I loved pathophysiology but hated biochemistry. I probably won't go into something involving laboratory research. We start forming opinions early in our medical education.

As we begin rotating through the different core disciplines: Family Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry we start to further discover likes and dislikes. Unless, you are a student that falls in love with every specialty that you experience, you start to mold your inner self. For me, I asked myself one key question. What can I see myself doing 20 years from now and still have the best personal job satisfaction and fulfillment? Throughout my rotations over the last year I've had conversations with some wonderful physicians and they all tell me the same thing. The rule to a successful career in medicine is loving what you do every day and the difference you are able to make in peoples lives. So when you choose a specialty it should be for this reason and not for financial reasons or glory. When you choose this way you will be happy and still reach the financial comfort that you desire.

Some people who know me or have read this blog from the beginning may know that I am fortunate enough to have vast amounts of experience first as a medical assistant and then as an RN prior to going to medical school. I have worked in numerous Internal Medicine subspecialties, Family Medicine, Peds, and Ob/Gyn. For me this is an advantage because I already knew what I loved and didn't love. But even I was still surprised when I started hitting the wards. For instance, I absolutely disliked Internal Medicine wards. So much so that I know without a doubt that it's not for me. I also didn't particularly care for psychiatry. However, I absolutely loved Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn. My top three favorites. I also have learned that I prefer office work instead of hospital work. I was literally becoming delirious in the hospital. So what does all this mean? Well, it means that I have to find a way to decide which of my likes I like best! Is it Family, Peds, or Ob/Gyn? In my case I can't decide but I have found a way to combine them all into one.

I have a deep passion for helping underserved communities and in my search for ways to incorporate this into my own practice someday I have discovered a specialty within Family Medicine known as Rural Medicine. It incorporates everything I want to do as a physician. So my top choice on my application to residency is a family medicine/rural medicine track residency program. I am certain that this is my path. I hope you find my kind of clarity in your own search. How did you choose a specialty?

Built just for me :) I can't wait

No comments: