For some medical students, they know off the bat what they want to go into. For the rest of us, the conundrum continues to go on …. in fact, I feel like I only have a general idea of what I want but not definitely for sure. There are things that I like and dislike of various fields I’m interested but I have yet to figure out what exactly will be the dealbreaker to make me stay in that field.

For instance, I’ve always found cardiology a very interesting field. And throughout my internal medicine rotation, I don’t know if it’s because I had a great teacher, but I really came to love how I could really grasp how to read EKG’s and understand the various physiology behind ischemia and other heart issues. Yet my beef with this field is that, the physiology can get really complicating despite how straightforward it may be at first and there are a lot of emergencies, you are to work at the hospital for long hours …. not exactly something I look forward to doing by the time I’m in fellowship.

And then there’s heme/onc … today I attended a tumor board meeting at the cancer center and realized there was an aspect of oncology that I will definitely not like … looking at biopsy images. Yawn!!! Histology was not my favorite subject and I have to say, I was heavily turned off and annoyed after hopes of this session being exciting. Yet when I weighed out the cons with the other fields that I was interested in, this possibly could just be a small bump in the road, I may actually really like this field more than I expect to.

Finally, neurology … I really enjoyed my rotation. However, I didn’t really enjoy the psychiatry portion of my third year. No offense to those who love this field, it just wasn’t my cup of tea … I didn’t feel like I was contributing anything, the exams just weren’t tangible enough for me to handle. And I’m aware, in neurology residency, I will be dealing with a good number of psychiatry patients as well.

So what’s the dealbreaker here for me?

I’ve had plenty of cardiology exposure since year 1 and still find it very interesting … but now I know the specifics of it enough to be able to say, it’s just too rough of a lifestyle for me. I’m still waiting to learn more about heme/onc … despite my mini freakout episode today at the board meeting.

I’m not one who likes to live with regrets and I’m also not excruciatingly picky either …. gack, hence, I think it’s even harder to figure out my meaning for pursuing something. Heck, it took me four years of college to figure out why I wanted to be a doctor.


One thought on “

  1. I feel you are setting your standards so high…don’t let boring biopsy images sway you from an entire specialty….in the end, it’s not always something that “clicks” or fits like a glove: it is an educated decision that, when summed up, the pros outweigh the cons, and the lifestyle is desireable, and so is the compensation for the work.

    Having high standards is a GOOD thing, just don’t let it keep you from choosing a great specialty. (and this goes for cardiology/neuro/anything else you may like too!)


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