Choosing a Specialty
Choosing a path that's right for you
Students can begin to assess what specialty may be right for them by asking the following questions:
- What was my original reason for entering medical school?
- What type of lifestyle do I want after school?
- Where do I want to practice? (Geographic regions)
- What aspects of medicine do I find appealing?
- What types of patients or areas of medicine do I feel uncomfortable or find difficult to handle?
- Do my skills and interests match?
- What type of patients are encountered?
- How much direct patient contact is involved?
- What types of skills are required?
- What types of disease and patient problems present for treatment?
- Are there various practice options available within this specialty? (e.g. Urban, Rural, Academic, HMO, Private)
- What types of research are being done?
- What type of lifestyle is afforded in this specialty?
- Is there likely to be active recruitment to this specialty after residency?
- Are there physicians in this specialty in the area I want to practice?
- In what settings will there be openings when my training is complete?
- What do physicians inside this specialty say about the future outlook?
- Are there predictions from health care industry analysts about the future of this specialty?
- What is the length of training?
- What are the goals of training?
- How available are residency positions?
- How much competition is there for a training slot?
- Are programs in this specialty DO friendly?
- What are the requirements for subspecialty or fellowship training?