Your specialty defines your medical journey and your career as a doctor afterwards. Thus, the task of selecting the field of medicine to focus on can be daunting, with countless options to choose from. From family medicine, to neurology, to cardiology, each specialty has a niche set of skills you will hone in on during your residency and practice.

To help aid your selection, here are a few things you should take into consideration:

  1. Be realistic. As you go through the process of selecting a specialty, it is important that you are realistic. Properly evaluate your CV, USMLE Step Scores, Personal Statement, and the medical education you have received, including your academic history. Some residency programs are significantly more competitive than others, therefore, you may have better odds Matching into one specialty rather than another. Only the top tier of all medical students have the most options to select from.
  2. Picture your life after medical school. Do you want to work a normal 9-5 or can you adapt to long shifts? Do you work well in high stress situations? Do you work well with children? Do you work well with patients with special needs? Do you work well with the elderly? While these questions may seem obvious, they are easy to overlook when examining and evaluating the medicine component of the specialty. It is important to choose a specialty that fits your personality and lifestyle. Be sure to look into a specialty that agrees with your passions outside of work.
  3. Choose your passion. It would be wise to pursue a specialty that you are passionate about. Your passion will bring with it the innovation for you to become a master of your craft. True passion should not be underestimated, as it will radiate through all facets of your medical practice. Above all, it is important to love the field that you specialize in as you are setting out to be an expert.

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