How To Pick The Right Medical Specialty For You

There are hundreds of areas of medical specialties, so deciding which to focus on can be a little overwhelming.  However, by evaluating your personal interests, strengths, and understanding the requirements of each specialty, you can find the perfect area of medicine for you.  To help you get through this difficult process, we put together a short quiz to help you narrow down your choices.

1.  Do you like working with people?

Yes:  If you love working with people, you should look at fields where you will develop patient relationships.  Areas like family medicine, psychiatry, and physical therapy will give you a lot of face to face time with your clients.

No:  If you are more of an introvert consider fields with less patient interaction like radiology, anesthesiology, and pathology.

2.  Do you want a lot of variety in your work?

Yes:  If you need variety to stay interested in your work consider a specialty that will provide different challenges everyday like emergency medicine, obstetrics, or infectious disease.

No:  If instead, you prefer the stability and structure of routine, consider a field in private practice like pediatrics, family medicine, or audiology.

3.  Do you thrive in stressful environments?

Yes:  If you perform great under stress or even enjoy the pressure, consider working in a field where you are treating patients in life-threatening circumstances like emergency medicine, oncology, or surgery.

No:  If you do better in low-pressure, relaxed environments consider working in fields like ophthalmology, dermatology, or podiatry.

4.  If a work/life balance important to you?

Yes:  If you have other aspirations beyond your career like starting a family or pursuing your hobbies, you should consider a field that will have more stable hours like ENT, psychiatry, or urology.

No:  However, if you are willing to give up your personal time in pursuit of your career consider working in a field that is more demanding like surgery, anesthesiology, or obstetrics.  

5.  Do you like school?

Yes:  Certain medical fields require more training than others.  If you enjoy school than you can focus on specialties that require a lot of training and lengthy residencies like surgery, obstetrics-gynecology, or radiation oncology.  

No:  On the other hand, if you’d like to get through your training quickly and get to work consider internal medicine, pediatrics, and emergency medicine that do not require lengthy residencies.

6.  Do you prefer diagnostics to procedure?

Yes:  If you love solving the mysteries and the challenge of diagnostics, you should pick a field with a lot of diagnostics like radiation, cardiology, or neurology.

No:  If you prefer the work of procedures, you should pick a field where you will do a lot of procedures like surgery, anesthesiology, or ophthalmology

7.  Do you have a “calling”?

Yes:  Perhaps you have a personal connection to a specific illness or want to work with a specific population.  Choose a field related to your calling because you will have more job satisfaction and perform better than choosing a field based on other factors.

No:  Choose a field that highlights your strengths and meets your needs.

Once you have an idea of what field of practice you would like to go into, you should consider trying it out with some practical work experience.  The best way to get work experience in any medical specialty is by becoming a medical scribe.  Proscribe works with physicians in every specialty and can help place you in your desired field so you can get the experience to make sure you picked the right area of expertise before committing.  So contact us today to see how we can help you narrow down your specialty!