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Friday, July 16, 2010

Specialty Assessment

This is definitely putting the cart WAY ahead of the horse, but I took one of those specialty assessments. There are a few online, and after reading the thread on SDN, I took the assessment after weighting different factors about what I prefer and do not prefer. The assessment takes into account the factors that you adjust via a sliding scale, I'll have to find the link for it, but essentially a "low number" in the results is good, and a "high number" in the results is bad as far as matching your chosen preferences. The factors include the following, and this list isn't all-inclusive:

  1. caring for patients
  2. continuity of care
  3. autonomy
  4. diversity
  5. personal time
  6. expertise
  7. income satisfaction
  8. creativity
  9. certainty of outcomes
  10. clinical decision-making
  11. patient decision-making
  12. (several others)
The most important things to me were diversity, autonomy, creativity, clinical decision-making, interacting with other physicians/members of health-care team and sense of accomplishment. I noticed that my results tended to skew towards a bunch of surgical fields. I'm not really sure how else to interpret the results, and some of my top results were specialties I had not really thought about, for instance my number one, pulmonary/critical care medicine I hadn't really considered. As I've mentioned before, this is mainly a thought exercise since I have not even applied yet, and I'll have a much more solid idea of what specialty to pursue if and when a) I get accepted somewhere and b) once I start clinical rotations and get more exposure to them.

Here are my top 10:
  1. Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine (16.85)
  2. Radiation Oncology (19.04)
  3. Vascular and Interventional Radiology (21.31)
  4. Otolaryngology (21.39)
  5. Neurological Surgery (21.62)
  6. Emergency Medicine (22.16)
  7. Gastroenterology (22.93)
  8. Orthopaedic Surgery (23.4)
  9. Urology (24.76)
  10. Sports Medicine (24.88)
I wasn't really thinking much about #1, #2, #3, #5, #7. To be fair, I hadn't given much thought to specialty choice in general, other than knowing a particular specialty I'm not particularly interested in, due to dating a woman during her intern year in that field.

My bottom 10 (worst to least-worst for me according to my preferences, I suppose?):
  1. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (134.53)
  2. Psychiatry (117.45)
  3. Radiology - Diagnostic (84.63)
  4. Pathology (79.89)
  5. Obstetrics & Gynecology (78.87)
  6. Medical Genetics (77.64)
  7. Preventive Medicine (76.74)
  8. Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (74.11)
  9. Geriatric Medicine (68.18)
  10. Infectious Diseases (67.52)
I guess psychiatry is just not a good match for me. If I matched into psychiatry I must be wearing Bad Idea Jeans. I didn't think it would be that wide a discrepancy, but damn those are some big ass numbers™. I didn't have a high preference for schedule, or continuity of care, or certainty of outcomes. I'm okay with ambiguity (kind of like the ending of Inception, lol).

I have a wide band of specialties that seem like good matches outside of the top 10, from the low 20s to 40, including vascular surgery, plastic surgery, cardiology, neonatal-perinatal medicine, general surgery, nephrology, anesthesiology, thoracic surgery, ophthalmology, family practice and physical medicine & rehabilitation. After that it gets more spread out from 40 to to "bottom 10."

What does this all mean anyway? Hell if I know. While I was dating the intern, it was a game to guess what specialty I would end up in. I guess if I get in, we'll find out, a few years from now!

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