Choosing a Medical Specialty: Everything You Need to Know

Before you finish your third year of medical school you should have some idea of the medical specialty you want to pursue. Choosing a medical specialty is one of the most important career decisions that you make as a medical professional.

The specialty you choose will dictate your earnings, working environment, and medical responsibilities. This article provides a crash-course guide on everything you need to know about choosing a medical specialty.

How to Begin Choosing a Medical Speciality

The place to start your inquiry is within yourself and your career aspirations. Decide on a general overview of what is important to you.

Do you want to be one of the highest paid physicians? Do you want to be a traveling doctor in developing countries? Or, do you want the adrenaline rush of emergency medicine?

If you are in your first year of medical school, you have some time to ruminate on the subject. But if you are nearing the end of your third year, now is the time to begin seriously considering your medical specialty.

Your fourth year of medical school is when you can take electives that are specific to your specialty of choice. If you are a fourth-year medical student, there’s no time to waste.

A Guide on How to Choose Your Medical Specialty

There is a wide range of career paths to go down in the medical profession. If you want satisfaction from your choice there are a few considerations to factor in:

Do you have a type A or type B personality? Knowing yourself, how you like to work, and what work is of interest to you makes all the difference in your career satisfaction.

Type A Medical Student

You are a hard worker and organized. You are early to rise, and early to bed. You keep your cool in the thick of it and rely on your diligent work ethic.

If this describes you, you are probably a type A personality. Type A personalities are common in medicine since medical education, training, and certification is so demanding.

Mellow Type A

If you are a positive and amiable person that likes other people, pediatrics and general medicine are a good fit. If you like kids more than adults try specializing in pediatrics. If you are not a fan of children, specialize in general medicine.

Type A personalities with an alternative flare or eccentricity will find satisfaction in a less repetitive specialty. If you have a strong attention span, you are well suited for psychiatry.

Many types A personalities get along fine with others but prefer a more individual working environment. Pathology and anesthesiology are good fits for those that value peer collaboration over patient interaction.

Intense Type A

The best surgeons and emergency room doctors often have an affinity for adrenaline. Sometimes type A personalities come with a bark or bites when things get fast-paced.

If bedside manner comes hard to you, consider specializing in a surgical field or emergency medicine.

If your passions are for neurosurgery, the annual salary averages around a half million dollars.

Type B Medical Student

Type B medical students are those who think outside the box. They might have a harder time with the pure academics of their medical studies but it doesn’t make them bad students. They have the ability to find creative and innovative solutions to medical problems, which leads to higher paying medical specialties.

Type A personalities find it easier to sink their teeth into medical school, which is why it is rarer to see type Bs in medicine. But, for those who succeed in their medical training, dermatology, ophthalmology, and radiology are the perfect fit.

Dermatologists and ophthalmologists earn around $350k a year, and radiologists average around $430k a year.   

Make Your Choice

Choosing a medical specialty is no easy choice, so take your time to explore the fields that interest you. By your fourth year of medical school, you can really delve into your study of passion, if you figure out what your passions are.

If you found this article on choosing a medical specialty helpful share it with a peer on social media. And check out the blog for more medical news and information. Thanks for reading!

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