One of the many options you have as a healthcare professional is choosing a medical specialty in which to practice. Whether you’re a nurse, a physician, or allied health professional, choosing a medical specialty will help focus your educational goals, job search efforts, and career choices.
The sooner you identify your true passion in medicine, the more successful you may become, by working in a field you love. For example, is your passion working with kids, pregnant moms, cancer patients, or the elderly? Do you want to ease the pain of the dying, or bring new life into the world? Consider the various specialties:
1. Allergy and ImmunologyThe medical specialty of Allergy and Immunology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of allergies.
Anesthesiology is the medical specialty focusing on administering pain-killing drugs during surgery in the operating room. Anesthesiology also includes the field of Pain Management, a sub-specialty which helps manage chronic (ongoing) pain in patients with prescription medication, injections, or other therapeutic methods.
3. DermatologyThe field of dermatology focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the skin.
4. Emergency MedicineEmergency Medicine is the field which focuses on emergent, or acute medical care of patients who need immediate medical attention due to trauma, accident, or a major medical event.
5. Family MedicineFamily medicine is a primary care field overseeing the basic healthcare needs of patients of all ages, from infant to geriatric.
6. Internal Medicine
Internal medicine is similar to family medicine in that it includes primary care and basic healthcare management of all areas of a patient's health. However, internal medicine typically does not include pediatrics or obstetrics, whereas family medicine often does. Additionally, internal medicine includes more in-depth training and patient care in a hospital setting and acute care. Finally, internal medicine includes many more sub-specialties such as:
Neurology is the medical specialty focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the brain and nervous system. Patients who have suffered a stroke, or who battle ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's are a few examples of some of the patients who are treated by neurologists.
8. NeurosurgeryNeurosurgery is a surgical specialty of medicine devoted solely to surgery of the brain.
9. OB/GYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)Obstetrics is healthcare for pregnant women, including labor and childbirth and providing a safe delivery of the baby. Gynecology entails the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the female reproductive system.
10. OphthalmologyOphthalmology is the medical specialty focusing on treatment of the eyes, and retina. Not to be confused with an optometrist, ophthalmologists can also do eye surgery and prescribe medication unlike optometrists, who typically focus on eyesight correction and enhancement and prescription lenses.