Cake or pie?

Monday, September 21, 2009


I haven't given much thought to what specialty(ies?) I am most interested in at this point. I know some pre-meds, both traditional and non-traditional, are gung ho about a particular field. One of my lab partners in the second half of general chemistry last year was gung ho about obstetrics & gynecology. She talked a lot about shadowing in L&D and seeing some really bad lacs. I wonder if she told her boyfriend all about it. He probably loved hearing about it.

For me, I'd like to think I'm being open-minded about specialty choice. Besides, it's kind of a moot point until I am an actual medical student, and I start getting exposure to the specialties, especially in the clinical years. There are certain stereotypes for most of the specialties, but I am sure there are exceptions to them as well. I don't mean to say I don't care what kind of doctor I become, I do care. I am pretty interested in the different surgical specialties. However, the fact that I'm 29 now, but a "young" and unattached 29 (I have a lot of energy, stay fit and I'm not married & I have no kids) and most likely 31 or 32 when I matriculate if everything goes as planned, that the length of residency may be a factor as far as what specialty I pick to pursue in the match. If I graduate around 35 or 36, I don't know if I'm really going to want to do say five years of general surgery (and potentially fellowship on top of that), you know? That won't be the only deciding factor.. if not much changes at that point, the main things being my chronological age and my education of course, then I may still be looking at surgical specialties. If I'm married at that point, plans may change. It's good to have a plan but life often throws you curveballs. I think without a plan at all though, you're essentially like a ship without a sail and you drift to wherever the currents take you. So I have some semblance of a plan. :)

I know there is a 130-ish question test on the University of Virginia medical school's website somewhere that ranks the specialties based on your response to questions, like "I tend to ...." with the answers being "Agree" through to "Disagree" with "Neutral" in the middle on the scale (5 options to pick from total). I think I started taking it before but I didn't finish because something shiny distracted me. Maybe I'd be good in emergency medicine? Totally kidding. I read a lot of different blogs and there are definitely some ED attendings' blogs in there.

I dated an ob/gyn resident a year or so ago, and when I told her I was going to do the postbac thing, it became a game where she would guess what she saw as my specialty. I think the most common ones she guessed were emergency, ortho, and general surgery. She said I didn't "seem like" an internist. Whatever that means.

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