How to become a Doctor

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How to become a Doctor

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Does your child want to be a doctor?

  • Do your child want to learn how to become a doctor?
    • What does the journey look like?
    • What high school classes to take?
    • What under graduate major to pick?
    • Which schools to apply to?
  • Wondering how is professional life as a doctor?
  • How do your child’s talents and interests translate to medical field?
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We match you to doctors, med school and pre-med students

  • Learn from them how is life is as a doctor? What does a typical day look like?
  • Learn from them what is the path to become a doctor
  • What steps you can take in middle school / high school / college to prepare to be a doctor
    • Which classes to pick in high school?
    • Which extra curricular activities or internships to pursue to stand out?
    • Which major to pick in under grad?
    • Which colleges are a good fit?

Who might want to become a doctor:

  • You like biology and in general sciences
  • You like to help others and earn a respectable living
  • You have good communication and interpersonal skills
  • You want a career with significant financial reward
  • You have stamina for a long training career

Types of Physicians and Typical Salaries

Median annual salary for physicians is around $206,500. This makes becoming a doctor one of the most lucrative professions. Typically the specialists earn much more than primary care physicians. Also typically surgery oriented specializations earn more than medicine only specializations. Surgery oriented specializations are orthopedic surgery, cardiac surgery, plastic surgery, nuero surgery etc.

Physician Salary by Speciality

Cost of Medical School and Pay Back on Investment

how much does medical school cost

The median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) was $278,455 for private schools, and $207,866 for public schools in 2013 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. While grants and scholarships account for some of this total, lowering eventual debt to an average of $170,000.

Also there is opportunity cost of going to medical school (4 years) and residency (3 years) and fellowship (2 years) potentially which could amount to opportunity cost of $250k-$300k assuming $50k salary after a science undergrad.

Excess wages from being a physician can allow for recovering for cost of medical school and opportunity cost for lost wages while pursuing medical education in 2-3 years for specialized fields like orthopedic or thoracic surgery and 4-5 years for primary care physicians

Steps to Become a Doctor

How to be a doctor

Step 1: High School with STEM Focus

high school pre med

Doing well in high school with STEM focus and getting a high GPA are essential beginning goals for those who want to get on the path to becoming a physician. High SAT scores are also very helpful for university admissions. Having some internships related to medicine also shows interest in the medical field and elevates your chance to getting accepted at a Pre-Med program.

a. STEM Focused Classes:

Doing well in your high school classes is important because, not only will it help you get accepted to your top colleges and their pre-med programs, it will also help give you the discipline and knowledge necessary to do well in college, when your grades really do matter for med school. If you have a pattern of getting high grades in high school, that will make it much easier to get high grades in college.

Science Classes

AP Biology

In pre-med and med school, you’ll definitely be taking a lot of science classes, so it’s important to have a strong foundation in this subject by the time you enter college.

If your school offers them, taking AP Biology and/or AP Chemistry are two of the best classes you can take to help you be prepared, since you’ll be taking multiple biology and chemistry classes in college. AP Physics is also useful since pretty much all med schools have a physics requirement as well.

Also, pay particular attention during labs. It can be tempting to zone out and let your lab partners take over every now and then, but lab work is something you’ll be doing throughout college and med school.

Math Classes

In addition to science, math is the other subject you should be focusing on in high school if you want to be pre-med. Like science, take advanced math classes, and the higher the level (i.e. AP Calculus BC over AB), the better.

You’ll be taking multiple math classes as a pre-med, and, as your science classes become more advanced, they’ll begin to incorporate more higher-level math as well.

The best classes to take to be prepared for Pre-Med are pre-calculus and calculus, but if those aren’t offered, a statistics class will also be useful to take since statistics is used in many areas of medicine.

In your math classes, pay particular attention to how to analyze graphs and data tables.

Other Subjects

Even though math and science are the two most important subjects to focus on to prepare yourself for pre-med, you shouldn’t let your other classes suffer. Aim for solid grades across the board

In particular, you should also work to do well in your English classes. Strong writing and communication skills are important for both college and med school, and many med schools have an English requirement for their applicants.

You may also want to consider social science classes in psychology and/or sociology. The MCAT has multiple questions on both of these subjects.

Stand out as Exceptional Student

Particularly your STEM classes, talk to your teacher if there is a concept you are struggling with

Get strong letters of recommendation 

Step 2: Bachelor’s Degree (Pre-Med)

Pre Med

bachelor’s degree is required to get into medical school. Medical schools seek applicants who have a strong foundation in the natural sciences, and some experience in healthcare. While a specific major is not required, all medical school applicants need to complete undergraduate coursework in biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Students can gain healthcare experience while in school by volunteering in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare environments. This is a good way for students to make sure they want to become doctors before committing to medical school.

Top Pre-Med Programs

RANKCOLLEGE NAMEAVG. SAT SCOREAVG. ACT SCOREOVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE
1
1460
33
5%
2
1466
32
5%
3
1476
34
6%
4
1449
33
9%
5
1525
32
8%
6
1469
33
11%
7
1468
33
17%
8
1466
33
11%
9
1427
33
13%
10
1481
34
15%

What Percentage Of Pre-Med Students Eventually Become Doctors?

Due to the competitive nature of medicine it’s no surprise that less pre-med students eventually become doctors. Only about 17% of US Freshman pre meds earn admission to med school. About 140,000 start out. Half drop the program before completion. Of those who “stick it out” and take the MCAT (~70,000), half do not do well enough on the MCAT even to apply. Of the ~ 35,000 who apply, a little under half get in. Among the ~18,000–20,000 applicants who are rejected (and some of those who didn’t apply after their first MCAT), about 6,000 will eventually earn admission on subsequent attempts.

Step 3: Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

MCAT

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you will have to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). These performance scores are required by almost all medical schools in the nation. Content areas that are tested on the MCAT include biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. The MCAT is a standardized examination that is also designed to assess problem solving, verbal reasoning, and writing skills.

Each year, more than 85,000 students sit for the exam. The MCAT exam tests examinees on the skills and knowledge that medical educators, physicians, medical students, and residents have identified as key prerequisites for success in medical school and practicing medicine. The content is divided into four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The AAMC develops the MCAT exam and administers it multiple times each year, from late January through September, at hundreds of test sites throughout the United States and Canada and in select locations throughout the world.

It is important for those taking the steps to medical school to start working on studying for the MCAT while still in an undergraduate program in order to have the best possible chance of passing the exam. The Association of American Medical Colleges provides online support for students wishing to take the MCAT.

Step 4: Medical School

There are several points of consideration for those wishing to apply to med school. Which schools have a good reputation for medical programs? Which specializations does each program allow for? What cities or towns are appealing for the student in question to study in? What kinds of financial options are available to mitigate student debt? AAMC has resources for students who want to compare university requirements and specialization options.

Top Medical Schools:

Top 10 Best Medical Schools
US News Ranking
Location
Degree
Year Est.
Annual Tuition & Fees
Avg. GPA
Avg. MCAT
Interview Rate
First-Year Class Size
Harvard Medical School
1
Boston
MD
1967
$65,203
3.94
520
18.3% 
165 
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
2
Baltimore
MD
1893
$56,837
3.95
521
11.8% 
120 
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
3
Philadelphia
MD
1765
$65,343  
3.92
521
11.4% 
150 
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
4
New York
MD
1841
NA
3.93
522
18.7% 
101
Stanford University School of Medicine
4
Stanford
MD
1908
$59,271
3.89
519
6.5%
90
Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
6
New York
MD
1767
$65,425
3.91
521
12.3%
138 
Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
6
Rochester
MD
1972
$57,170
3.92
520
NA
50
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine*
6
Los Angeles
MD
1951
$36,752
3.85
517
9.0% 
180 
UCSF School of Medicine*
6
San Francisco
MD
1864
$35,384
3.85
518
7.7%
171 
Washington University in St. Louis
6
St. Louis
MD
1891
$64,164
3.93
522
26.4%
101

*Public medical schools

If you do well on the MCAT, you could be accepted into medical school. Medical school programs generally last four years. The first two years usually entail classroom and laboratory work, while the last two years allow students to work directly with patients under the supervision of experienced doctors. Medical school coursework generally covers topics in pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. Students also study the practice of medicine and legal issues related to healthcare.

The clinical experiences that students participate in (usually in their third year) cover a variety of specialty areas, including neurology, radiology, and medicine. The clinical experiences also give the student a chance to find out what type of residency he or she would prefer to pursue after graduation.

There are many different kinds of doctors: general practitioners, OB/GYNs, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and many more. Something to consider during your time in medical school is what kind of specialization appeals to you. Making this decision may be necessary during medical school itself, but it will definitely be necessary before embarking on a residency program. Think about the kinds of work that you want to do and the areas of medicine that you find particularly interesting or rewarding. Consider also what kinds of doctors are in high demand where you live or where you eventually want to live.

Step 2a: Combined BS/MD Programs

With these combined programs, you apply as a high school student and get guaranteed admission to medical school. To keep the offer valid, you’ll have to take required courses and maintain a certain GPA.

In the table below, we list how long each program is and the estimated annual tuition for first-year students. We’ve also bolded the programs that accept international students.

Most of these programs are available only to US citizens or permanent residents.

SchoolProgram Length (Yrs)Est. Freshman Tuition
Albany Medical College/RPI, Union College, Siena College7 or 8$54,000 (RPI), $56,853 (Union), $39,200 (Siena)
Baylor College of Medicine8$44,544
Boston University School of Medicine7$56,854
Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine8$59,254
California Northstate University College of Medicine6, 7, or 8$46,902
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine8$52,448
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University7$11,704**
CUNY Medical School (Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education)/City College of New York7$6,930**
Drexel University College of Medicine8$53,868
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine/Florida A&M University*7 or 8$28,111
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences7 or 8$47,340
Hofstra/Northwell School of Medicine8$48,315
Howard University College of Medicine6$46,610
Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville/University of Evansville8$37,500
Medical College of Georgia/Augusta University*7$8,864**
Mercer University School of Medicine8$37,508
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine7 or 8$56,232
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences-Newark/New Jersey Medical School7$12,230**
Saint Louis University School of Medicine8$46,400
Stony Brook University School of Medicine8$7,070**
SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Brooklyn College8$7,070**
Temple University School of Medicine8$16,080**
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine*8$24,880**
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine*8$11,600**
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College/Pennsylvania State University7$18,454**
University of Alabama School of Medicine8$10,104**
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine8$16,034**
University of Colorado School of Medicine/University of Colorado Denver*8$10,176**
University of Connecticut School of Medicine*8$14,406**
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine*8$15,458**
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine6$12,172**
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine*8$7,268**
University of New Mexico School of Medicine*8$5,586**
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine7 or 8$4,788**
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine8$23,452**
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry8$57,188
University of South Alabama College of Medicine*8$7,896**
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine7$5,069**
University of Toledo College of Medicine7, 8, or 9$10,556**
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine8$14,710**
Wayne State University School of Medicine8Covered by college

*In-state residents only, or in-state residents given preference
**Tuition for in-state residents
US and Canada students only

Step 5: Licensure

Licensure is a process that starts before a residency program and ends after. Prospective doctors will need to take the first two parts of a major licensure examination before beginning a residency program in order to ensure that they are prepared to work with patients. Further information about the medical licensing examination, as well as practice exams and study guides, can be found on the United States Medical Licensing Examination website (USMLE).

Step 6: Complete a Residency Program

After graduating from medical school, you’ll start a residency program. Residency programs offer aspiring doctors the opportunity to work directly with patients in a specialty area of medicine. Some specialty areas include internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and anesthesiology.

Residents may be responsible for a number of patient care activities, including developing problem lists, performing physical exams, and compiling medical histories. Depending on the specialty area, a residency can last anywhere from three to seven years. Most residents usually complete their programs in hospitals.

Typical Number of Open Residency Positions

 

  1. Internal medicine –11,515 first-year residency positions
  2.  Family medicine – 4,890 first-year residency positions
  3.  Pediatrics – 3,226 first-year residency positions
  4.  Surgery-general – 2,868 first-year residency positions
  5.  Emergency medicine – 2,739 first-year residency positions  
  6.  Psychiatry – 1,906 first-year residency positions 
  7.  Anesthesiology – 1,679 first-year residency positions 
  8.  Transitional year – 1,635 first-year residency positions 
  9.  Obstetrics and gynecology – 1,512 first-year residency positions 
  10.  Radiology-diagnostic – 1,187 first-year residency positions

Step 7: Complete Your Licensure

Becoming a physician requires licensing in all states prior to being able to practice medicine. Graduation from an accredited medical school is required before qualifying for full licensure. Candidates must also complete a residency training program and pass exams. The U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination that is required for M.D.s., the third of which is taken upon completion of a residency The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) must be taken by D.O.s. For specific state information about licensing, individuals should contact their state’s medical board.

Licenses must be renewed periodically. Doctors applying for license renewal must typically complete a minimum number of hours in continuing education before taking the renewal exam. Each state has different licensing requirements, so it may be beneficial to learn what those are as soon as possible.

Step 8: Get Certified to Advance Your Career

Certification is not required, but it may increase employment opportunities. A professional designation can demonstrate that a doctor is an expert in a specific area of medicine. Certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) involves a thorough process of evaluations and assessments. Continuing education is often required for recertification.

Step 9: Fellowship

Fellowship is pathway to specialize in a certain field like orthopedic surgery or plastic surgery. They typically last 2 years or so but are paid. Also earning potential increases significantly after fellowships.

Medical Specialties

Every medical specialist shares one common goal: to help patients get healthy or stay healthy. But each one has very specific skills and competencies that make them an integral member of the medical field. Learn more about each specialty and the subspecialties that fall underneath them.

1. ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY

Specialists in allergy and immunology work with both adult and pediatric patients suffering from allergies and diseases of the respiratory tract or immune system. They may help patients suffering from common diseases such as asthma, food and drug allergies, immune deficiencies, and diseases of the lung. Specialists in allergy and immunology can pursue opportunities in research, education, or clinical practice.

2. ANESTHESIOLOGY

Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine dedicated to pain relief for patients before, during, and after surgery. The American Board of Anesthesiology outlines the following subspecialties within the field in the following areas of care:

• Critical care medicine
• Hospice and palliative care
• Pain medicine
• Pediatric anesthesiology
• Sleep medicine

3. DERMATOLOGY

Dermatologists are physicians who treat adult and pediatric patients with disorders of the skin, hair, nails, and adjacent mucous membranes. They diagnose everything from skin cancer, tumors, inflammatory diseases of the skin, and infectious diseases. They also perform skin biopsies and dermatological surgical procedures.

Subspecialties within the dermatology field include the following:

• Dermatopathology
• Pediatric dermatology
• Procedural dermatology

4. DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY

Physicians specializing in diagnostic radiology are trained to diagnose illnesses in patients through the use of x-rays, radioactive substances, sound waves in ultrasounds, or the body’s natural magnetism in magnetic resonance images (MRIs).

They can also pursue a subspecialty in the following areas:

• Abdominal radiology
• Breast imaging
• Cardiothoracic radiology
• Cardiovascular radiology
• Chest radiology
• Emergency radiology
• Endovascular surgical neuroradiology
• Gastrointestinal radiology
• Genitourinary radiology
• Head and neck radiology
• Interventional radiology
• Musculoskeletal radiology
• Neuroradiology
• Nuclear radiology
• Pediatric radiology
• Radiation oncology
• Vascular and interventional radiology

5. EMERGENCY MEDICINE

Physicians specializing in emergency medicine provide care for adult and pediatric patients in emergency situations. These specialists provide immediate decision making and action to save lives and prevent further injury. They help patients in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and assisting patients once they arrive in the emergency department.

Emergency medicine is also home to several subspecialties, including the following:

• Anesthesiology critical care medicine
• Emergency medical services
• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Internal medicine / Critical care medicine
• Medical toxicology
• Pain medicine
• Pediatric emergency medicine
• Sports medicine
• Undersea and hyperbaric medicine

6. FAMILY MEDICINE

While many medical specialties focus on a certain function of the body or particular organ, family medicine focuses on integrated care and treating the patient as a whole. Physicians who specialize in family medicine treat patients of all ages. They are extensively trained to provide comprehensive health care and treat most ailments.

There are family medicine subspecialties as well, including the following:

• Adolescent medicine
• Geriatric medicine
• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Pain medicine
• Sleep medicine
• Sports medicine

7. INTERNAL MEDICINE

An internist is a physician who treats diseases of the heart, blood, kidneys, joints, digestive, respiratory, and vascular systems of adolescent, adult, and elderly patients. These physicians provide long-term and comprehensive care in hospitals and offices. Because they undergo primary care training on internal medicine, these physicians also address disease prevention, wellness, substance abuse, and mental health.

Internal medicine subspecialties including the following:

• Advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology
• Cardiovascular disease
• Clinical cardiac electrophysiology
• Critical care medicine
• Endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism
• Gastroenterology
• Geriatric medicine
• Hematology
• Hematology and oncology
• Infectious disease
• Internal medicine
• Interventional cardiology
• Nephrology
• Oncology
• Pediatric internal medicine
• Pulmonary disease
• Pulmonary disease and critical care medicine
• Rheumatology
• Sleep medicine
• Sports medicine
• Transplant hepatology

8. MEDICAL GENETICS

medical geneticist is a physician who treats hereditary disorders and diagnoses diseases that are caused by genetic defects. Medical geneticists may provide patients with therapeutic interventions and specialized counseling. They also educate patients and their families on their diagnoses and how to cope with their genetic disorder. Medical geneticists conduct cytogenetic, radiologic, and biochemical testing and scientific research in the field.

Medical geneticists house several subspecialties within the field, including the following:

• Biochemical genetics
• Clinical cytogenetics
• Clinical genetics
• Molecular genetic pathology

9. NEUROLOGY

Neurology is the specialty within the medical field pertaining to nerves and the nervous system. Neurologists diagnose and treat diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles, autonomic nervous system, and blood vessels. Much of neurology is consultative, as neurologists treat patients suffering from strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, seizure disorders, and spinal cord disorders.

Neurology offers several subspecialties, including the following:

• Brain injury medicine
• Child neurology
• Clinical neurophysiology
• Endovascular surgical neuroradiology
• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Neurodevelopmental disabilities
• Neuromuscular medicine
• Pain medicine
• Sleep medicine
• Vascular neurology

10. NUCLEAR MEDICINE

Physicians who practice nuclear medicine are called nuclear radiologists or nuclear medicine radiologists. They use radioactive materials to diagnose and treat diseases. Utilizing techniques such as scintigraphy, these physicians analyze images of the body’s organs to visualize certain diseases. They may also use radiopharmaceuticals to treat hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, tumors, and bone cancer.

11. OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY

Obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) care for the female reproductive system and associated disorders. This field of medicine encompasses a wide array of care, including the care of pregnant women, gynecologic care, oncology, surgery, and primary health care for women.

Several subspecialties within obstetrics and gynecology include the following:

• Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery
• Gynecologic oncology
• Maternal-fetal medicine
• Reproductive endocrinologists and infertilit

12. OPHTHALMOLOGY

Physicians specializing in ophthalmology develop comprehensive medical and surgical care of the eyes. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat vision problems. They may treat strabismus, diabetic retinopathy, or perform surgeries on cataracts or corneal transplantation.

There are several subspecialties within the ophthalmology field, including the following:

• Anterior segment/cornea ophthalmology
• Glaucoma ophthalmology
• Neuro-ophthalmology
• Ocular oncology
• Oculoplastics/orbit
• Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
• Retina/uveitis
• Strabismus/pediatric ophthalmology

13. PATHOLOGY

A physician specializing in pathology studies the causes and nature of diseases. Through microscopic examination and clinical lab tests, pathologists work to diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases. They examine tissues, cells, and body fluids, applying biological, chemical, and physical sciences within the laboratory. They may examine tissues to determine whether an organ transplant is needed, or they may examine the blood of a pregnant woman to ensure the health of the fetus.

Pathology umbrellas several areas of subspecialty within the field, including the following:

• Anatomical pathology
• Blood banking and transfusion medicine
• Chemical pathology
• Clinical pathology
• Cytopathology
• Forensic pathology
• Genetic pathology
• Hematology
• Immunopathology
• Medical microbiology
• Molecular pathology
• Neuropathology
• Pediatric pathology

14. PEDIATRICS

Physicians specializing in pediatrics work to diagnose and treat patients from infancy through adolescence. Pediatricians practice preventative medicine and also diagnose common childhood diseases, such as asthma, allergies, and croup.

They may work as a primary care pediatrician treating an array of ailments, or narrowing their scope of practice in one of the following subspecialties:

• Adolescent medicine
• Child abuse pediatrics
• Developmental-behavioral pediatrics
• Neonatal-perinatal medicine
• Pediatric cardiology
• Pediatric critical care medicine
• Pediatric endocrinology
• Pediatric gastroenterology
• Pediatric hematology-oncology
• Pediatric infectious diseases
• Pediatric nephrology
• Pediatric pulmonology
• Pediatric rheumatology
• Pediatric sports medicine
• Pediatric transplant hepatology

15. PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION

Physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation work to help patients with disabilities of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Physiatrists work with patients of all ages and design care plans for conditions, such as spinal cord or brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and musculoskeletal and pediatric rehabilitation. Unlike many other medical specialties, physiatrists work to improve patient quality of life, rather than seek medical cures.

Subspecialties in this field include the following:

• Brain injury medicine
• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Neuromuscular medicine
• Pain medicine
• Pediatric rehabilitation medicine
• Spinal cord injury medicine
• Sports medicine

16. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

Physicians specializing in preventative medicine work to prevent disease by promoting patient health and well-being. Their expertise goes far beyond preventative practices in clinical medicine, covering elements of biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational medicine, and even the evaluation and management of health services and healthcare organizations. The field combines interdisciplinary elements of medical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences to understand the causes of disease and injury in population groups.

Subspecialties within preventative medicine include the following:

• Aerospace medicine
• Medical toxicology
• Occupational medicine
• Public health medicine

17. PSYCHIATRY

Physicians specializing in psychiatry devote their careers to mental health and its associated mental and physical ramifications. Understanding the connections between genetics, emotion, and mental illness, is important while psychiatrists also conduct medical laboratory and psychological tests to diagnose and treat patients.

Subspecialties within psychiatry include the following:

• Addiction psychiatry
• Administrative psychiatry
• Child and adolescent psychiatry
• Community psychiatry
• Consultation/liaison psychiatry
• Emergency psychiatry
• Forensic psychiatry
• Geriatric psychiatry
• Mental retardation psychiatry
• Military psychiatry
• Pain medicine
• Psychiatric research
• Psychosomatic medicine

18. RADIATION ONCOLOGY

Physicians specializing in radiation oncology treat cancer with the use of high-energy radiation therapy. By targeting radiation doses in small areas of the body, radiation oncologists damage the DNA of cancer cells, preventing further growth. Radiation oncologists work with cancer patients, prescribing and implementing treatment plans while monitoring their progress throughout.

Radiation oncology houses a few subspecialties, including the following:

• Hospice and palliative medicine
• Pain medicine

19. SURGERY

Physicians specializing in surgery can choose to become general surgeons or pursue a subspecialty in a specific area of the body, type of patient, or type of surgery. General surgeons provide a wide variety of life-saving surgeries, such as appendectomies and splenectomies. They receive broad training on human anatomy, physiology, intensive care, and wound healing.

The Association of American Medical Colleges and American College of Surgeons outline a number of surgical subspecialties and areas of practice, including the following:

• Colon and rectal surgery
• General surgery
o Surgical critical care
• Gynecologic oncology
• Plastic surgery
o Craniofacial surgery
o Hand surgery
• Neurological surgery
o Endovascular surgical neuroradiology
• Ophthalmic surgery
• Oral and maxillofacial surgery
• Orthopaedic surgery
o Adult reconstructive orthopaedics
o Foot and ankle orthopaedics
o Musculoskeletal oncology
o Orthopaedic sports medicine
o Orthopaedic surgery of the spine
o Orthopaedic trauma
o Pediatric orthopaedics
• Otolaryngology
o Pediatric otolaryngology
• Otology neurotology
• Pediatric surgery
o Neonatal
o Prenatal
o Trauma
o Pediatric oncology
• Surgical Intensivists, specializing in critical care patients
• Thoracic Surgery
o Congenital cardiac surgery
o Thoracic surgery-integrated
• Vascular surgery

20. UROLOGY

Urology is the health care segment that cares for the male and female urinary tract, including kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It also deals with the male sex organs. Urologists have knowledge of surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and more.

Within urology, there are several areas of subspecialty, including the following:

• Pediatric urology
• Urologic oncology
• Renal transplant
• Male infertility
• Calculi
• Female urology
• Neurourology

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