Deciding on what path to take in the medical field can be a tough decision. It can almost feel a little daunting, as what you choose, will depend on what you’re doing for the foreseeable future. Some specialists will have been decided probably in your third year of medical school. But at the end of the day, the decision isn’t final. But having a clear vision of what you want to do after medical school, when it comes down to residency D-Day, knowing what you want to do will leave you with little regrets. So even if you’re not going to be finished with med school for a while, it is never too early to self-reflect, so that you can decide what is going to be best for you overall.
Think About Variety
We are all different and want to get something different out of our experience. Which is why you need to understand yourself and what you will thrive doing. Do you need a lot of variety to keep you engaged and interested, or do you much prefer to stick to a routine? That can be the difference to choosing the emergency room or something like ophthalmology, for example.
Think About Stress-Level
In a similar vein, some people really thrive on stressful situations and find that they get most of their best work done during that time. The risk and decision-making that can come from life or death situations in a unit like trauma surgery might be too much for you. If you’re more sensitive and find it hard to switch off after seeing extreme situations, then something more steady like x-ray or dermatology could be for you. Again, think about how you would react in certain situations and if you would dread it or love it.
Think About Your Future
There is no getting away from the fact that this whole medical school journey is going to be costing you a lot of money, and making you rack up quite a bit of student debt. All of that is very well, as long as you’re going to be working to pay it off. So you want to choose something that you can do well in and enjoy so that you’ll be working in that sector for a long time. However, unexpected things can and do happen. So it might be worth looking at something like physician disability insurance in case of emergency. You don’t want to be left unable to afford to live or pay off your loans.
Think About The Competition
There is no doubt that there will be competition for certain residencies; let’s face it, some are more popular than others. So getting a good idea of where you’re ranked among your classmates is a good idea, as you can give yourself an indicator of how likely you are to be accepted onto a certain program. Do extra reading and get in touch with people at your favorite residency programs, so that they can get to know you and your name.
The world is your oyster! Just choose wisely.