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Medical Student Resources: Choosing Specialty

  • To begin your search, find the top programs for the specialty or specialties of your interest.
Medical Student

There are many residency programs across the United States, but which will be the best fit for you? There are many things to consider when applying for residency programs and choosing which specialty you want to pursue.

Know your Strengths

Know your strengths and understand what your weaknesses are before making any decisions. Find out what your career goals are and go from there. Are you someone who enjoys working with patients directly? Then consider Internal Medicine or Family Medicine to build lasting relationships with your patients. Looking for something with less contact? Radiology & Pathology have the least patient contact!

Desired Lifestyle

Another thing to consider is what your desired lifestyle looks like. Certain specialties require around the clock care while others have the availability to clock in and clock out. like Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Many physicians are hesitant to admit that salary is important to them, but it is something to keep in mind. Lastly, find out how competitive your potential specialty is. PracticeMatch publishes a Physician Compensation Survey each year, provided by Physicians Thrive.

Keep Your Options Open

Medical students should start thinking about which specialty they might want to pursue in the last two years of medical school after doing rounds of each of the fundamental specialties. Once decided, students will apply to residencies based on several criteria. If you have not already determined which specialty is best for you, you may be looking at multiple specialties. To begin your search, find the top programs for the specialty or specialties of your interest. If a specialty is very competitive, it is important to apply to as many programs as possible in an effort to keep your options open.

  • Join the Physician Ambassador Program to earn additional income during training;
  • Create your free PracticeMatch profile so you can apply for jobs with a click of a button;
  • Download the Career Fair List so you can save the dates.