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Date: 2021 10 05

The Essential Guide To Choosing The Right Medical Specialty


Medical studies include more than 30 specialities that you can choose from. How will you determine which specialisation is best for you?

Choosing a speciality is one of the most significant decisions you will make while in medical school. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to select a medical specialisation. This decision is influenced by a number of criterions including your personal background, clinical interests, training, finance and lifestyle considerations. Some students know which specialty they want to choose before starting medical school, while others decide after completing a rotation. Many change their mind multiple times before selecting the best option.

The following tips to select a medical specialisation will walk you through the various considerations that most medical students put weightage upon while deciding on a speciality:

Take Advice From The Professionals

A builder certainly knows how to build a wall more than you do. It is always a good idea to take advice from the experts when you want to learn more about a particular domain. It's easy to romanticise a specific idea of your future and ignore important considerations in the process. Speaking with someone experienced will allow you to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of the field.

Consider Every Option

On a psychological level, we continue to evolve; our perceptions and thought processes change dramatically. Remember when you didn't like a certain dish, music, or person that you now genuinely love? Although some specialties may not appear to be very fascinating at first, there are chances that you might want to consider them in the future. It is important to keep an open mind while considering these specialisations, especially if you are just entering medical school. 

Know What You Are Good at

Though there isn't enough time in medical school to acquire a solid sense of what it's like to work in a certain specialty, you may still obtain some sense of your personal strengths and shortcomings. A psychiatrist must have a lot of patience and good listening skills to be good at psychiatry. A pediatrician's ability to engage with children and their parents should come naturally. For the hundreds of CT scans and X-rays they see, a radiologist should have the sight of an eagle. Determine what you excel at, what you struggle with, and what you couldn't accomplish even if your life depended on it.

Things To Consider While Selecting the Speciality:

The following are the basic things that one must consider while selecting a medical speciality:

Location Plays an Important Role

In terms of your career, location is a critical factor. The majority of physicians work in their own communities. Certain specialties may be over-represented in one market while under-represented in another. For example, urban and rural areas are vastly different. If you have specific geographic needs, such as a desire to be near family, it's critical to know how popular the specialty you're considering is in that area. In general, the more specialised you become, the more likely you will be required to be geographically flexible, and the more likely you will be required to work in a large metropolis.

Time Taken

It takes much longer to become a brain surgeon than it does to become a general physician. Some people may find the extra time and effort valuable, while others wish to start practising on their own as soon as possible. For some, the length of your training can be a major component in their decision-making process, while for others, it is less important.


Medical colleges are undoubtedly expensive, therefore students have high expectations for their future earnings; they want a strong return on their investment. The pay of the doctors depends entirely upon the speciality they pick. While most medical students aren't interested in becoming doctors purely for financial benefits, money does play a big factor in the process of decision-making. Students must consider their financial aspirations alongwith the other factors while deciding upon a medical specialty.

Impact On Your Lifestyle

Each medical specialty will have a different impact on your lifestyle. While some specialties involve working on an emergency basis, others include a more regular schedule and some specialties need you to work shifts. Aside from the time commitments that different professions require, there is also stress and emotional burnout that different specialties cause. A paediatrician who is continuously caring for ill babies, faces different emotional challenges than a typical dermatologist.


Finding the correct speciality is a time-consuming and difficult task. Pay attention to what your chosen specialisation requires of you. It's one of those crucial life decisions, but if you're careful and honest with yourself, you'll do just fine.