After having spent a bit of time in every rotation, I am beginning to have a better idea of what career paths interest me. This is important as the fourth year elective selection process begins.
What once was not a major consideration for me, psychiatry has peaked my interest. There was something very enjoyable about the slow methodical pace and the time spent helping an individual. I will look into this more.
Surgery, though I leave on the list, is fading in my aspirations. It just is not offering the balance that I am looking for though I enjoy the procedural aspect of its craft.
I find myself further and further exploring the life of a general practice. I will need to spend more time in each to have a better impression. But my, how things change!
Disclaimer: The specialties in parenthesis and italicized are those that I have not had experience with. To that end, I cannot comment if these specialties will appeal to me and will not cross them out just yet. The full list is a representation of all Canadian medical residency programs.
That really is a personal discovery and everyone decides at different times. Some people have their hearts set before going into medical school; others while they are in it. Most commonly, people decide in their third year. This is when students are exposed to every specialty and given an opportunity to, for a lack of better words, “test drive” each one.
Some people find their top choices reaffirmed, but others also find that third year has a tendency to expose a side of themselves or of the specialty that pushes them to change their minds. Thus, usually it is in third year where people dig in their heels.
Having said that, applying for a a residency position in a specialty does not happen until fourth year, and I know of a few students who have changed their minds weeks leading up to the application deadline. People change and circumstances change. What is important at the end of the day though is you keep an open mind and pursue what interests you.
Choosing a specialization is something that we do later on in our education and training. At the moment, I have not yet settled on any particular specialty though I am interested in internal medicine at the moment.
I am not quite at the stage yet but from what I have gathered, a residency placement is not guaranteed. When you are nearing graduation, you apply for various residency positions in specialties that interest you. These placements have limited seating. You rank your preferences before matching. It is therefore possible that you are accepted to your first choice, or second choice and so on. However, depending on what specialties you have chosen, especially if you narrowed your focus and chose highly competitive specialties, you may be left without a spot. You would have to take some time off and reapply at the next matching.
Well anonymous, I am a little confused by your questions. You say you would like to work in the ER for the fast pace but also say you would like to work in oncology. They are both specialties in their own right. If you specialize in emergency medicine, you eventually become an emergency medicine doctor and vice versa. I suppose you could study both at some point but you cannot specialize in both at the same time I do not think, only one after the other. There is no subspecialty in either one that covers each other.
For me, I have four years of school, two of them academic and two of them practical. During those practical years, you get a chance to experience all the specialties and come up with a better idea of what you want to be. In your fourth year, you begin applying to specialties you are interested in. After you graduate, you enter the residency that you were matched with. There are two residency programs that I know of here for emergency medicine: one is combined with family practice for two years; the other is a very comprehensive program of five years. That is how specializing works.
If you are talking about majoring before entering medicine, then that is of your own choosing. All paths can potentially lead to medicine as long as you complete all of the pre-requisites required to apply. A science background gives you a better understanding in your academic years.
EDIT: A kind reader has suggested orthopedic surgery as a specialty. This is a specialty dealing surgery to conditions involving the musculoskeletal systems. Things such as tumours, musculoskeletal traumas, sports injuries etc can be operated on. In some ways, this straddles both specialties but it is definitely a little bit more limited in scope in both oncology and the emergency medicine department.