The decision to apply to medical college is a big one, and for most students it is a decision that has been years in the making. Not only must you have met all the educational requirements, including the satisfactory completion of a baccalaureate degree program from an accredited university, you must also have passed the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) within five years of your application. While these requirements take time, discipline and a serious financial investment to complete, students who choose to become doctors are willing to make these sacrifices in order to practice in their chosen medical field.
Sometimes, however, choosing the right specialty is the biggest obstacle of all for aspiring medical students. If you are undecided about what specialty you should choose, maybe one of these will offer the unique challenges you seek.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, then the specialty of wilderness medicine may be just what you need. Doctors who specialize in wilderness medicine can customize their focus to include:
If you are fascinated by the study of genetics, then the specialty of predictive medicine may be just right for you. Specialists in this field use specific scientific research to prevent or limit the impact of a disease that the patient may be predisposed to contract. Proteomics, a detailed study of proteins and cytomics, a study of how cells function at the individual level, are used in conjunction with in-depth genetic study to form a reasonable prediction of what diseases a particular patient or biologically-related group of people are likely to contract. Some studies suggest that this specialty could find ways to cure diseases and conditions that a patient is likely to contract even before they occur through changes in lifestyle and nutrition or by allowing the patient to have preventative surgery to eliminate risk of later disease.
According to the United States Department of Justice – Bureau of Justice Statistics for the year 2013, the number of prisoners incarcerated in the United States numbered nearly 1.6 million. Most of these prisoners spend their entire confinement with thousands of other prisoners in the relatively small physical space of the prison, sharing common hygiene and eating facilities. This level of interaction creates optimal conditions for the transmission of illness and disease throughout all the prisoners housed there. Doctors who specialize in correctional medicine are specially trained to diagnose and treat these illnesses, as well as help find ways to limit transmission risks and make prisons healthier.
No matter which you choose, exploring the challenges of any medical specialty will require you to have built a solid foundation through education, training and internship experience. To accomplish this, take time to choose the best possible medical school for your individual needs. Ask for more information regarding scholarships, financial aid, campus life and graduate placement statistics. Many medical schools can provide you with a recruitment specialist who will work with you to answer detailed questions about the school, the staff, and the general area where the campus is located so that you can make the best possible decision.