Choosing a Medical Specialty

Choosing a medical specialty is a challenge for most students who do not seriously consider the process. Beyond the desire to please parents and best friends, the selection will lead to a career that requires a tremendous financial investment. With this in mind, you should carefully consider which specialty is most suitable for your personality, skills and abilities.

Whether you are training to become a nurse, physician, or other healthcare professional, the decision is not always obvious when you begin medical training. Often, you are attempting to make a lifelong decision with minimal information. Perhaps the first step is to think about your desires and relative experience that might have sharpened those desires.

A commitment to a medical specialty involves selecting a long-term career path. Switching to a different field is not that easy without pursuing additional training. Therefore, try to consider which parts of medicine you love. The substance of the specialty should excite you, not simply take you through the motions.

Science and medicine continues to advance, so you will need to stay abreast of the latest trends, technologies and research. Identify an area where reading or patient care boosts your craving to learn more. This may help to prevent boredom or early burnout.

Perhaps you are interested in medicine, but not direct patient care. A career in medical research or pathology might be a more suitable choice.

There are certain specialties that seem to draw a particular personality. Look at different specialties but also observe people currently working in a particular field.

Students and residents may have a limited perspective during training. Talk with current healthcare professionals about the specialty and life after work. This will give you a better sense of what life is like after you complete medical training.

You will have several years of training for a medical specialty, but your life will continue long after training ends.