Okay, so if you are new to the discussion about medical specialties a lot of this post may sound like Greek to you, so be sure to check out the part 1 first!
A great resource to explore the different kinds of medical specialties is to use the AAMC and AMA websites which list more detailed specifics about the specialties. Personally, my go-to source to is the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine webpage, which I will link in this post!
It lists a brief description of the specialty, the length of training required for the specialty, the possible fellowships available for the specialty, and the current match statistics for the specialty as well. I would definitely recommend this to aspiring physicians in high school and college who want to learn more about a specific specialty they are interested in!
How are medical specialties categorized?
Generally, specialties are divided into surgical vs. non-surgical, however this also leaves the specialties that are not really surgical, but more procedural in the middle like anesthesiology, or the diagnostic specialties like radiology, so take these with a grain of salt!
Surgical: neurosurgery, vascular surgery, general surgery, urology
Clinical: internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, allergy/immunology
**please note that the general lists that I have included and non-inclusive, so I have not listed every specialty known to medicine in this post, please see the links above and do your own research to learn more about anything that interests you that I have not listed 🙂
What specialties are considered lifestyle specialties?
Medicine as a profession is known to have long hours of hard labor involved in a day to day practice. Specialties that have 8 to 5 hours or more controlled schedules like 12 hour shifts are considered to be lifestyle friendly. Obviously, what you want in a lifestyle will vary from person to person, but these schedules are among the most highly regarded. The traditional acronym for the lifestyle specialties is “ROAD” which more currently has been adjusted to “E-ROAD” to include emergency medicine.
I like to group radiology and anesthesiology together because they are both specialties that aren’t really considered strictly surgical/non-surgical. Traditionally, they are both associated with doctors who are shy or indifferent to patient contact (obviously, this is just a stereotype, not every doctor is like that, just a common trend/joke). However, both of these specialties have really interesting fellowships in my opinion that are really great for doctors looking to do something more specific in the specialty. Radiology also involves a lot of physics and anatomy, so is really cool for all my physics nerds out there!
Dermatology and Ophthalmology go together because they are both highly competitive and have a good mix of clinics/surgery. These are the types of specialties I prefer myself because I love the balance between medicine and surgery and would hate to completely cut either out of my practice. Also, I am a little shy of blood, so these specialties both have really interesting procedures that can be done in office or out of the OR. So for all my sightly squeamish med friends who love surgery but cannot physically stand it, we gotcha covered!
There is so much more to discuss in regards to medical specialties so I will have many more posts about this discussion topic! As always, thanks for reading, and PLEASE let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns! Thanks guys!