In the past this kind of question didn’t use to disturb doctors or even medical students a lot, because there were mostly two general specialties; surgeons and the family doctors, but in this era, things have changed and technology started taking its place in everyday life which caused the diagnosis of more diseases at the right time, and a cure of many complicated types of them with better prognosis.
Since day one, medical students are asked, “Which specialty you want to choose?” So medical students start assuming their paths, but most of them aren’t interested in what they thought they would be in first year. Because as the years pass on they broaden their knowledge and get to know more about different other specialties and sub specialties.
The Myth of Wrong Choice
There is no myth of “wrong choice” in medicine. It’s just the reasons why you choose your specialty. For example if your first idea of a specialty was based on your medical school rotation, the fact that you loved the way you were supervised with, or even what your seniors used to tell you about how hard things are, all that will lead you to a choice which you will later think have been changed.
How to Choose and What to Do?
- While thinking of your medical school rotations think of which specialty you really learnt from and which one you had hard times with.
- Don’t choose a specialty based on one or two diseases your relatives, friends or loved ones have or are experiencing.
- Don’t choose a specialty because you think it was easy for your friends and will also work for you. Skills are different for everyone. So choose what you are comfortable with.
- Pay attention to the fellowships each specialty offers, to see if you can go through one of them. Because fellowships can get you some hard earned extra experience, wealth and authority in your specialty.
- Remember whatever specialty you will choose will change your lifestyle, the time you spend with your friends to the time you give to your children. So choose wisely. For example, if you aren’t comfortable working 80 hours a week then don’t choose surgery or Gyn/Obs.
- Everyone tries to find a job that pays-off good salary & privileges. But never ever choose a specialty because it pays-off more than the other one. For example never choose neurosurgery over general surgery only because neurosurgeons are paid better.
I will end up my article quoting words of Martin H. Fischer, “A doctor must work eighteen hours a day and seven days a week. If you cannot console yourself to this, get out of the profession.”