Life as a Resident: Choosing Your Medical Field of Specialty

doctors working

Building a medical career from scratch is hard work. Some people are lucky enough to know what they want to be at a young age, but others struggle to make big decisions like that when it comes to their future. Fortunately, you’re already past that stage because you’re on the path to becoming a physician.

However, the biggest obstacle you have yet to face is choosing your field of specialty. Since there are so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming, especially if you have different interests or none at all. To help you make the right decision, here are five specializations that you can consider taking:

Allergy and Immunology

When the human body reacts abnormally to an otherwise harmless substance, like dust, pollen, insect stings, latex, animal dander, specific types of food, and mold, it can lead to an allergic reaction. It is a common health condition that has no cure, but it can be treated and managed through medication.

You can choose to work as an allergy testing specialist and help people of all ages by diagnosing their conditions to find out what they should try to avoid moving forwards. Or if you prefer treating diseases involving the respiratory tract or immune system, you can choose to specialize in immunology.


If you want to treat children aged zero to 18 years old, you should consider specializing in pediatrics. This will give you the chance to help patients deal with their inborn health conditions and common childhood diseases. Aside from those, you can also help children and their parents get into doing preventive healthcare for their well-being.

Almost all fields of medical specialties have a counterpart in pediatrics, particularly because infants and children are not just tiny humans. Their bodies are physiologically different from that of fully grown adults, so they require a different method of care, type of medication, and form of treatment, even if you’re dealing with the same condition.

pediatric doctor


The field of surgery is further divided into subspecialties such as cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, and general surgery, to name a few. Working as a surgeon can open a lot of doors for you, should you choose to take it. But understandably, it’s not a medical field that’s suitable for everyone.

For instance, if you choose cardiothoracic surgery, you’ll be working with conditions and procedures involving the lungs, heart, and other large blood vessels. As for neurosurgery, you’ll be dealing with anything that involves the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, peripheral nerves, and the entire nervous system.

General surgery, on the contrary, deals directly with conditions that involve the stomach, liver, small and large intestine, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix, bile ducts, esophagus, and thyroid gland. There are many surgical subspecialties, so going with this specialty will give you a lot of choices in the long run.


If you don’t enjoy dealing with external and internal parts of the body, you might be interested in solving intangible conditions, like emotional, mental, or addictive disorders. Choosing to specialize in psychiatry will allow you to help people figure out the complex thoughts and emotions they have.

You can also help people diagnosed with these disorders manage and treat their conditions through medication, counseling, or therapy. In this field of specialty, you will be dealing with disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental health conditions.

Emergency Medicine

Not everyone can stay level-headed in emergencies, especially since these medical specialists need to make life-or-death decisions every day. So if you want to save as many lives as you can and prevent permanently debilitating injuries, you might want to consider specializing in emergency medicine.

Of course, being in the emergency room is not for the fainthearted. There is a big possibility that you’ll be faced with patients involved in catastrophic and freak accidents since the emergency room is the first place most people go to when they need help. If you enjoy the adrenaline rush of being able to save lives, then this might be the right choice for you.

No matter what branch of medicine you choose to specialize in, what matters is that you’ll be saving lives at the end of the day. It’s not really a discussion of how you want to help others so much as it is what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. That is why you have to weigh your options carefully because the future of your career depends on the decision you’re going to make.

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