How in the world am I going to decide this huge, life-altering question? Do I channel a slacker and pull out a bulletin board and darts? Do I reach into my inner Rory Gilmore and make Pro/Con lists? Do I choose the easiest, the hardest, the most fun, the most aggravating, or the rotation that gave me the biggest headache on the first day?? Seriously, the last one was an actual suggestion from an attending.

There are so many factors to consider. Just quickly, I need to consider, long term career happiness, day-to-day responsibilities, residency requirements, what the people/culture are like, the scope of practice, the long-term lifestyle, etc.

But unfortunately, there is no one perfect specialty. It seems to be a collection of “its great, but…”

So here goes with the Pro/Con lists, specialty-by-specialty.

Internal Medicine:


Wide variety of information, good career potential, will be “great” when done with residency, very intellectual specialty, lots of pathophysiology to know and have fun with, can narrow my scope of practice to my interests once I am established, good life style, could do a mixture of inpatient and outpatient, two good programs in Seattle to apply to, can be as good as I try to be. Can incorporate as much non-surgical gyn as I would like. Good potential for further subspecialization after residency, should I so desire, can work with a patient as a whole and be their medical home. Will get to work in an office type setting


No surgery, will see all kinds of adults, will have to punt patients once they become too difficult                              




Very fun surgeries , working with women for women, focused on my special interest in women’s issues, the rock-star feeling I had while doing the clerkship                                                       


Limited scope of practice, Harsh residency. Don’t like the OB part as much as GYN and not as much as I thought I would have liked




Interesting subject material                                   


Not enough work to do, No medicine – always calling consults, the unsafe feeling around uninhibited patients


Family Practice:


Wide range of material, patients, and activities


Too much variety to be great at any one thing, not impressed with residency in Seattle, poor clerkship experience


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