For Pre-Meds and Medical Students: Choose Your Medical Specialty ASAP.

Choosing your specialty early will motivate you to start chasing down the right leads to increase opportunities for success.

If you are a pre-med, you are probably thinking, “Getting into Medical School is stressful enough… And now you’re telling me I should already start considering a specific field in medicine?” And if you are a medical student, you are either too swamped by lectures and exams or recovering from your hangover to devote extra brain space to contemplating about your future medical career.

But hear me out, I promise this quick read below will be worth the 10–15 minutes you spend away from Reddit.

Choosing a medical specialty of initial interest now will improve your chances of eventually matching to the field of your choosing. This is especially true for extremely competitive specialties in medicine such as Dermatology or Plastic Surgery.

Eventually a residency Program Director will be judging your future application so you may want to give this some thought now, even if you are not in medical school but especially if you are a current medical student. There is nothing more impressive to a Program Director who is perusing your application to find evidence that you took initiative to explore their field early in your career path.

That leads us to our next step once you have chosen a potential field of interest — find mentors and opportunities to start being involved with the field. For most of us, our reasons for choosing a particular field in medicine is like our initial attraction to our current or future significant others — sort of shallow and superficial at first (probably based on physical appearances). But that is how most great relationships start!

Find ways to get involved in your field of interest early. Find physicians who are willing to meet with you to talk candidly about why they dedicated themselves to the field. Ask them simple questions about what they love about their practice and what challenges them the most about their chosen profession. Google search their contacts or look them up through your school’s directory. If you have not networked like this in the past and feel too shy, do not fret. The worst that can happen is you do not get a response or you get turned down. But that leaves you in the same place as you were before, right? So get back on it until you exhaust all available leads.

You will be surprised by how willing a busy professional will be to meet with you to talk about him or herself. Be curious and be hungry. Be honest and be willing to learn. Be courteous and genuinely curious with your questions. Be grateful and always follow up with a thank you email. Make sure you ask them what could be your best next step to learn more about the field. This opens doors to further advice and potential leads to opportunities. If the meeting went exceptionally well, end the conversation with, “May I email you again if I have further questions in the future?”

That leaves room for a future mentor. You are going to grow further and get ahead of your competition with great mentors so search for them early on. In addition, you may find preceptorship or volunteering opportunities through the mentor or through his or her networks.

I will end by saying most Pre-meds are scared of the question, “Why Medicine?” In addition, most medical students dread the same question asking them why they chose a particular field in medicine. One of the strongest ways to answer this question is to talk about your mentors in the field and your experiences from getting involved with opportunities that you have sought out to mature your initial interests in your field of choice. Best wishes on your career path!

--

--

Medical Doc in primary care, hubby & dad. Recovering from chronic unwellness and addictions. Healing from ego driven suffering. Inspiring others to self-heal

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Doctors R Us

Doctors R Us

38 Followers

Medical Doc in primary care, hubby & dad. Recovering from chronic unwellness and addictions. Healing from ego driven suffering. Inspiring others to self-heal