career banter

April 22, 2006

last night at the reunion*, i got to practice telling people that i was “one year away from finishing medical school” and that i am planning on going into “pediatrics or psychiatry.” the pediatrics part people often ignore, or they say something like “ewww, all those parents”, but psych always gets some sort of . . . comment. more and more, i am thinking that it is where i will end up, although really i won’t make my final decision until the end of my two sub-internships (july & august). i’ve been thinking about this decision a lot, recently. i like people whose lives stretch before them with lots of possibility. i want to work with my patients on a long-term basis and i hope i will play a part in helping them enjoy their lives. i think that this could be accomplished in psychiatry (child or adult) or pediatric endocrinology, but the former might be more interesting and the people more in need of help. we’ll see.

in high school, i wanted to be a psychiatrist, like jason seaver on growing pains. seriously. although, at one point or another, i also wanted to be:

– lawyer (defense, because this sounded ‘better’)
– dentist/orthodontist (mostly because i was impressed that my orthodontist worked out of his very own large house)

and there was always the musical careers sort of flitting in the back of my mind. i never really wanted to be a violinist or singer, but people often thought that i did. but i digress. back to psychiatry and pediatrics.

i found this ‘specialty compatibiility’ survey that i took at the end of 2nd year of med school (so, about 2 years ago). the results, i believe, are based on what clinicians in each specialty said about themselves and their own line of work.

top 10 medical specialties:
(out of a list of 42 possiblities)

1. allergy and immunology
2. rheumatology
3. psychiatry
4. physical medicine and rehabilitation
5. child and adolescent psychiatry
6. endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism
7. geriatric medicine
8. child neurology
9. neurology
10. infectious disease
(12). pediatrics

bottom 11 specialties:

32. general surgery
33. OB/GYN
34. neurosurgery
35. vascular surgery
36. thoracic surgery
37. vascular and interventional radiology
38. pediatric surgery
39. pathology
40. anesthesiology
41. radiology – diagnostic
42. emergency medicine

i’d say they pretty much had me pegged.

* where they sadly did not play ace of base, which i now remember was my 4th acquired CD, after (#1) mariah carey’s “music box”, (#2) the gin blossoms, and (#3) blind melon


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