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How to pick a medical specialty - finances vs interest vs lifestyle

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  • jz
    replied
    How to prioritize  interest/income/lifestyle:

    1st 10 years: chose what interests you.

    2nd 10 years:  chose highest  paying specialty

    3rd 10 years:  chose the best lifestyle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Drsan1
    replied
    You may want to listen to this podcast called "doc outside the box". It's a doc named Darko and he interviews docs that do things outside of medicine. WCI was on there also. Some of the people on his podcast talk about home no areas in traditional medicine fit them so they found their niche in other things. There may be a reason no specialty stands out for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied
    Without a doubt, lifestyle/hours/call is the most important factor. From what I'm told, derm is the most competitive residency now. There is a good reason for that.

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  • DoubleMDs
    replied
    First off ortho doesn't make a "bazillion" dollars. More then peds, yes, but don't believe it will immediately be raining millions because you can do a knee scope. If that's what you want there are a lot of other fields that make a lot more money then medicine. I suggest you consider whatever else that route might be for you, although you may be committed with three plus years down already. Second, if you "think" you like ortho or any other surgical sub specialty it's probably not for you. The residencies are long, arduous, physically demanding and just generally painful and if there isn't something involved that you know you actually like doing it will be pretty tough to get through.

    Fwiw most people I've known that "like most everything" but don't love anything typically go into anesthesia, EM or radiology because lifestyle, ease and overall variety end up winning out most. That sounds like the boat you may be in but it's up to you to decide what you value most. Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • AO
    replied
    I was in a similar place, lots of interests but nothing grabbing me hard. For me I also was older with a family in tow... There is a book called  "choosing a medical specialty" which I found and made myself read all the way through even though I had some ideas.  Made me consider anesthesia (hadn't even thought about it before) and it turned out to be my best match in terms of temperament and skills...check the book out and read it all the way through.

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  • Zaphod
    replied
    I think its really important. As you get older you wont care about being passionate about things and realize everyone does something that you'd probably be just as happy or bored with doing as well. I wish I would have chosen a specialty with a shorter residency and more opportunity for shift/locums/extra money.

    I always fell asleep in rads but now would be great. Call, etc...is what you make it, you could be ortho and have a niche practice its not that hard. I know lots of people in my specialty getting killed on call and hours at their academic practices, while I do none of the sort. They act as if anything else is impossible, its not.

    The other thing you dont think of as a young strapping person is the surgical specialties are inherently very physical and thats just another issue and risk as you age.

    Nothings perfect, and I think you'll find later on it was more stressful than necessary.

    Leave a comment:


  • DarrVao777
    replied
    Interest > lifestyle > salary IMO

    It took all that effort to get into medical school and assuming you apply for something competitive, it will take a ton of time and money to get into the residency of your choice. Why not try and make it something you are interested in?

    Assuming nothing draws your interest, I would go with lifestyle. You can always increase your earning potential by working more in a lifestyle friendly field. There are other fields out there (surgical ones come to mind) where there may not be an option to scale your work.

    I'd leave salary or income potential last. Yes, it's important. But it also changes very quickly based on factors we often cannot control. Assuming you find a field that you like and is lifestyle friendly, I can't imagine being too unhappy or even being destitute (especially if you are already reading these forums as a student). Conversely, the most miserable people in medicine are often driven by money and locked into a demanding field that they hate.

     

    tl;dr = pick derm. win all 3.

    Leave a comment:


  • How to pick a medical specialty - finances vs interest vs lifestyle

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a med student currently in a research year (after MS3) trying to decide what the heck to do with my life specialty-wise. I have competitive grades, board scores, and research so I think I can swing most any specialty, but no particular specialty has stuck out for me despite rotating in pretty much every field at some point or another. Not afraid to work hard but I do have a family so lifestyle factors in somewhat too.

    Looking back, how would you rate the importance of salary, interest, and lifestyle for someone who literally hasn't found a field they are passionate about? For instance, I think I would like ortho, they make a bazillion dollars so I could save/give more, but I don't love it and it's a tough life with a lot of call. Another example - I think radiology is interesting, could have a good lifestyle depending on the job, but I'm worried about working in a dark room long-term (yes I have rotated in these specialties). I have ruled out many specialties including anesthesia, FM, IM, psych, OB, derm, ophtho, path, rad onc.... but can't get much further than that. Peds, EM, ENT, rads or IR, ortho, urology I think I could do but, again, I don't wake up beaming going into any of these rotations. Some people choose work hours over all else, others say interest is all that matters even if you work stupid hours, others say pick a high salary. Ugh.

    I'm rambling at this point. I hope my question makes sense, thanks.
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