Popular Specialty Areas – and What Med Students Should Know About Them

popular specialty areas

For medical school students, perhaps one of the most difficult choices to be made in the course of their education is what area of medicine to specialize in—or whether to go into general practice. Part of this problem is the wide variety of specialties to choose from: the AMA lists around 200 medical specialties and sub-specialties.

Part of it also may be that there are a variety of factors–from expected income to the demand for certain specialties to the personalities and preferences of the individual medical student–to be taken into consideration before a decision can be made. Understanding all of these factors can take some time, but it can also make this very important decision a little easier.

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A Med Student’s Guide to Becoming a Physician-Scientist

physician scientist

When medical students start to think about areas of practice to specialize in once they graduate, the area of medical research can sometimes be overlooked in favor of more traditional practice areas such as internal medicine or surgery. However, for some doctors-to-be, the pull towards such research is strong and it is an important part of the healthcare system, as the discoveries that such scientists make can have an impact on techniques used to improve patient care and outcomes.
This article covers the work and scope of physician-scientists as well as educational pathways these professionals pursue in order to undertake their important work.

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Drug Use Among Medical Students

Substance abuse is not too high on the list of worries for many American medical students. However, recent studies have shown that the misuse of both prescription and street drugs and alcohol might be more widespread in medical school than previously recognized.
This article looks at the phenomenon of drug use in medical school, what medical schools are doing to combat this issue, and what more needs to be done in the future to ensure that schools are matriculating physicians who are unimpaired by substance abuse disorders.
Examining the Phenomenon of Drug Use in Medical School
Before taking steps to solve substance abuse in medical school, it is important understand why it has so many people concerned, how widespread this issue is and the risk factors that make abuse more likely.

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Residency Caps: What Medical Students Should Know

residency cap

Due to their complexity, residency caps don’t make for scintillating news. Outside the medical field – where the debate rages on – not many people are aware of the issue. But nonetheless, these caps on the number of residencies available to US medical students are incredibly important, not only to aspiring doctors but to the health of the nation as a whole.

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What You Should Know: Understanding Immunotherapy Techniques for Cancer Treatment

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2015, there were 1,658,370 new cases of cancer diagnosed in this country and some 589,430 deaths. These widespread numbers mean that whether a new doctor enters into general practice, oncology or some other specialty, they are likely to have to work with cancer patients. Because of this, a good understanding of new developments in cancer treatment is important in order to inform and educate patients fully about their potential options.

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What You Should Know: Exploring Techniques for Nonpharmacological Pain Control

What You Should Know is an ongoing series covering a range of informational topics relevant to current and future healthcare professionals.
Pain assessment and control is something which every doctor going into practice will have to face, regardless of his or her specialty. Pain is the number one reason why Americans seek out medical treatment in the first place and is estimated that some 50 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain – at a cost to the US health system of $100 billion a year. It is the leading cause of disability for Americans over the age of 45 and carries with it tremendous health and social costs to patients, their families and society as a whole.

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Medical Students and Mental Health

Mental health is a topic which is discussed more openly in our society in recent decades and is, slowly, become less stigmatized. This, ironically, does not seem to be the case when it comes to the issue of mental health problems among medical students. The nature of medical school, and attitudes of medical students themselves, can set up barriers between students who need help and the programs that can help them. This article looks at the widespread nature of this problem in American and overseas medical schools, and also what can be done to help solve it.

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Scary Smart: The Widespread Use of “Study Drugs” on American Campuses

stimulant use

While the American college experience can be a time of great discovery and learning, the pressure to achieve academically is also great—especially for those bound for medical school, law schools or other highly competitive career tracks. This pressure has led to high levels of stress to perform well in school—and to the increased use of “study drugs” to help students live up to these expectations. However, while there are short-term advantages to be had with the use of stimulants in regards to study, these medications are dangerous when used out of context, and studies have shown that they actually are correlated to lower grade point averages. This article looks at the problem of stimulant use on college campuses, and also at what colleges can do to help mitigate the issue.

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Humanitarian Opportunities for Medical and Pre-Med Students

Although repeated to the point of being cliche, “to help people” is one of the most popular answers would-be doctors give when asked why they want to go into medicine. The great news is that there are many humanitarian work opportunities for pre-med students, med students and even new doctors to undertake that will not only hone their clinical skills and make them more culturally competent physicians, but also allow them to give medical care to those who might not otherwise receive it.

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Post-Bacc Program Guide

post-bacc program

Post-baccalaureate or “post-bacc” programs, for short, are often discussed among pre-med students. While post-bacc programs can benefit students with many types of backgrounds, they are not for everyone–and knowing this ahead of time is important, as the cost for these programs is anywhere between $20,000-$40,000. This article covers just what post-baccs are, as well as important information on who should consider such a program and what students should ask about before actually signing on the dotted line.

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Diversity in Med School: Why It’s Important and What Minority Applicants Need to Know

While getting accepted into medical school is more difficult than ever in America, there are some particular challenges facing would-be medical students from certain ethnic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented on medical school campuses across the country. For many reasons, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) is heading a multi-faceted campaign to increase racial diversity among would-be doctors.

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Sleep Deprivation and Residents: Are We on the Right Track?

sleep deprivation

The tradition of long hours on the floor is an old one in American medical training. And criticism of this tradition is of long standing too. The controversy over the grueling residency schedules is not a new one, but neither is it one that has been successfully resolved. It can still spark off strong feelings in both the proponents and opponents of cutting back on the length of residency shifts and/or the time off between shifts for professionals engaged in this important stage in their medical education. What’s more, it is a topic which has pitted respected healthcare institutions such as the Harvard School for Public Health and the American Academy of Family Physicians against one another, so much so that this issue is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.

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Who Makes a Good Doctor? How Medical Schools Around the World Try to Find the Best Candidates

around the world

One of the continuing challenges for medical schools both here in the United States and around the world is to find ways to select the students who will have the best chance of successfully completing their education. The goal of a good medical education, after all, is to train students who go on to become doctors, helping to fill the enormous global demand for well-trained, competent physicians. What might surprise many students, however, is how many different ways medical colleges around the world have come up with to find these ideal candidates–and how widely medical education varies from one country to another.

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Should Medical Students be Sued for Malpractice?

An Ongoing Dialogue Between Medicine and Law
It is no wonder why medical schools across the country are teaching their students more and more about medical malpractice suits and how best to protect themselves against them. As of 2014, in most states, liability for medical malpractice does extend to medical students at an important phase in their medical education, when they are getting hands-on clinical experience for the first time. And although in most cases, settlements are covered under the malpractice insurance that medical schools purchase for their students, it is theoretically possible, at least, that a student could be sued personally for amounts exceeding that malpractice coverage.

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Choosing a Residency That’s Right for You

choosing a residency

If you are in medical school, you have been making choices for a long time now, from what to major in as an undergraduate to what volunteer work during your gap year will give you the best chances at getting a coveted med school slot. But now that you are in medical school, one of the most important decisions still lies ahead: what kind of residency should you choose? This is an incredibly important choice that will shape the rest of your career. A good decision now will make it more likely that you will be satisfied with your professional life down the road.
The choice can be a difficult one. What things should you consider before you decide? Read on to find out more about the steps you should take in order to match to a residency that will leave you both personally and professionally satisfied.

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Staying Healthy During Medical School

staying healthy

Medical students and health professional know the importance of teaching others to stay healthy, especially when it comes to the prevention of many chronic conditions like heart disease or obesity. But knowledge is not always enough and doesn’t always result in self-care. The long hours, massive amounts of studying and high levels of stress that are the norm for medical school can make it difficult to start or maintain the good habits that will keep you healthy during your med school years. However, there are important reasons for doing this–and many simple habits that can make it happen.

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Marriage and Medical School: The Pros and Cons of Balancing Education and Married Life

marriage and medical school

With the increasing age of students attending medical school (the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates that 10% of students beginning medical school are 27 years old or older) comes an increasing rate of medical students who are married or who get married while they are still in training. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to balancing marriage and medical school–and important considerations to keep in mind for married medical students.

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Challenges Remain for Female Medical Students

female medical students

It might actually come as a surprise to many would-be medical students that gender is an issue that still affects those who are training for a career as a doctor. After all, there are more women in medicine than ever before–and certain areas of practice have become largely female-dominated. Despite this, however, gender attitudes can color nearly every aspect of medical education.
Women in Medicine: Close to Parity – at Least In Numbers
Statistically, if you just look at the numbers, the participation of women in medicine has indeed come a long way. According to the AAMC, as of 2013, of the 20,055 students who were accepted into medical schools across the country, the split between men and women was almost evenly divided: 53% male and 47% female. It is important to look at these stats in terms of their historical context in order to truly appreciate them.

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