Tips for medical graduates for choosing specialities

Tips for medical graduates for choosing specialities

Depending on your interests, capabilities, and motivations, there are many different careers for  who choose to study medicine. Some have clear vision about what they want to become, but for others  the decision on which specialty to choose is not an easy one. Becoming a certain type of doctor because you think it will make you rich or holds a certain amount or status may not be good reasons to choose a specialty.

Getting along with the people

Most doctors have some contact with patients unless they are involved exclusively in research, and even then they may deal with patients. But certain medical specialties involve more patient contact than others. For example, if you enjoy a lot of patient contact, there are many specialties you may do well in. From psychiatry to family practice, you have the opportunity to spend time with your patients. If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and consider yourself an introvert, you may do better in radiology or pathology.

Not all doctors have a certain population they want to treat. For others, they have an interest in working with children, the elderly or patients with mental health issues. If you have a strong interest in caring for a certain population, it may help lead you to a certain specialty.

Life – work balance

There is nothing wrong with wanting a life outside of your career. Physicians spend a lot of time at work. You may want to consider how that will affect your personal life. Consider how much free time is important to you. Some medical specialties tend to be more time consuming than others. Although the specialty you choose is not the only factor that determines the number of hours you work, it can play a role. For example, surgeons may be on call and spend very long hours in the operating room. The nature of surgery may lend itself to unpredictable hours.

Coping with Stress

Some people like a lot of variety on the job while others prefer a routine. If enjoy the unpredictable, you may want to consider a medical specialty, such as emergency medicine. ER doctors never know what will come through the door next. For those who like more of a structured workday, they may prefer to work in private practice in a specialty, such as pediatrics or family practice.

It is difficult to predict what specialty will be the most stressful. Lots of factors can contribute to stress, such as operating your own practice, long hours or supervising your staff. But there are certain areas of medicine, which tend to involve treating patients with life-threatening conditions.  When the stakes are life and death, the pressure is on. If you do well under pressure, working in critical care or the emergency room may be a good fit. If you prefer a low-key specialty, consider ophthalmology or dermatology.

Preference on Setting

The responsibilities of a doctor may vary based on their specialty. Certain types of doctors are more likely to perform procedures while other medical specialties involve doing more diagnostics. For instance, surgeons and emergency room doctors perform a variety of procedures from surgery to inserting chest tubes.

Some doctors want to work in a large teaching hospital while others prefer to start their own practice. Maybe you hope to work in an underserved community or a clinic. The type of environment you are most comfortable in may play a role in which specialty you choose.

Not every doctor has a strong stomach. Keep in mind, you may get used to some of the gross stuff during med school, but you may still have a limit on what you can tolerate. Some people do not mind all the sights and smells that can be found in a hospital. But there are some doctors who prefer to steer clear of all the blood and guts. If you are easily grossed out, consider a specialty, such as psychiatry.

The above points may help you to make up your mind. Also if possible take  medical specialty aptitude test- it may not give you a definitive answer to which specialty to choose, but it is an additional tool to help you make the decision.


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL UNIVERSITY (AIM-U) is an institutional partner of Washington Medical Science institute and Government of Saint Lucia. AIM-U’s US Campus /Clinical Admin is centrally located at the Washington Adventist University and Hospital Campus, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA.

AIMU offers prerequisites and support programs at the above mentioned campus. AIM-U is one of the new generation medical schools, which offers residency focused on USMLE centred programs and a 4 Year accelerated MD program with high standards. This MD program is fully accredited and widely recognized in the USA

AIMU’s pre-medicals and clinical rotations are offered in both the campuses. Clinical Rotations are also offered though AIMU’s affiliate hospitals in Atlanta, Chicago, London, Ireland and in India for Electives.

Likewise at this Caribbean university, students can enjoy excellent education with higher acceptance rates and a reasonable tuition. The medical school features a program based on the US model and offers education using the latest technology and teaching methods. A major part of their curriculum includes extensive preparation for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

We also offer many opportunities for students to learn through experiences close to the actual practice. As early as their first semester, students will begin interacting with patients through supervised activities at local hospitals.

We have Partnerships and affiliations with various renowned institutions and organizations such as:

Washington Adventist University, USA
The Ministry of Health – Government of Saint Lucia

We are also widely listed and recognized by many organizations including:

ECFMG (listed with FAIMER’s IMED)
World Health Organization
Medical Council of India
Medical Council of Canada

After their basic science semesters at the St. Lucian Campus, students spend the remaining semesters in affiliate teaching hospitals located mainly in the US.

Upon completion of post-graduate residency training, graduates become eligible for a license in many countries including the United States and Canada