“What masters degree should I get?” Medical students face a similar dilemma when picking which specialisation to pursue among the several sub-fields of medicine. Some have an easier time knowing from the get-go which branch of medicine they want to specialize in. Nevertheless, others have a hard time finding a specialty that appeals to them.
One thing is sure, though, if you are a medical student. If you are asking yourself, “What master’s degree should I get,” that means you have set high goals for yourself and are not afraid to reach them. Your best bet to attain these lofty goals you have set for yourself is to opt for a master’s degree in the field of medicine. How, though, can you choose a medical specialty? Here are some tips:
- Know the extent of work that you want to do every day.
Medical students are having second thoughts between medicine and surgery. Many medical specializations are overlapping. Being a surgeon does not mean that you will always be in the operating room. You can also have several clinics for patients’ follow-up. The intensive care unit is also another work area. Fields that deal with procedures are anesthesiology, interventional radiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, and emergency medicine.
If this is frightening to you, look into the non-invasive line, internal medicine. If you want to know the kind of work a particular field of medicine does, get out there and immerse yourself. Do this during the first two years of medical study, even if it is not the clerkship year yet. Then, most likely, you would know where you can fit and what is highly competitive.
- Know your personality.
Take a personality check to confirm which specialty you fall under. Look for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and take it to see how your personality type correlates to a medical specialty. For example, being an introvert is not being shy, just energizing internally. You are just aware that frequent socializing can drain you.
They can effectively work by themselves, no distraction from others, and do not panic. Consider a specialization that can provide you that space so that you do not get burnt out. Extroverts, in contrast, must pursue a field that fulfills them in the personality area.
- Know the people you want to work with.
Various medical fields draw in certain personality types, and such can influence your choice of specialization. If you think you do not fit with the people in a particular area, that does not mean you will not enjoy working. Consider working with people who are different from you.
Medicine is not a solitary profession, after all, but one that requires teamwork. If you are a surgeon, specialists from other areas will be with you in the operating room, such as anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, and even ICU staff. Please find time to talk to them to get a glimpse of their experiences.
- Know what you want for your lifestyle.
So much is involved in being a part of the medical field than being stuck in the hospital. It would help if you also thought of your life outside the confines of the emergency room, outside of being a doctor. Make plans outside of work. As it is, you will be spending so much time at work as a medical professional. Make time for your family by traveling with them, or make time for yourself by engaging in a sport.
- Have a foresight about technology.
One crucial medical profession preparation to do is being aware of the new technologies used in medicine. The medical industry is quick in incorporating the technology in their processes, lessening the risk of medical interventions, and improving the safety of patients and the working environment. Indeed, you cannot overlook the influence of technology. An example is an open-heart surgery that some patients go through.
Cardiac surgeons and interventional radiologists can now learn new technologies to make heart surgeries less complicated, faster, and safer. Find out and conduct research in your field of medicine about the future or changing direction it is leading to so that you can prepare for it and be part of a developing process.
These are essential medical profession preparations that can make or break you in your specialization. Take time off to research what you care about and what interests you. Once you do, then you will know the answer to the question, “What masters degree should I get?”
Emergency Medicine Physician can be the Best Medical Profession
Earlier, we mentioned emergency medicine as being one of the medical specialties gaining traction these days. Emergency medicine has evolved to treat conditions that are life-threatening or have a significant danger of morbidity.
The International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) defines emergency medicine as a specialized medical field. It requires knowledge and skills to prevent, diagnose and manage severe medical conditions or injuries on patients of any age with a broad scope of indistinct ailment, physical or behavioral.
Scope of Knowledge and Skills
The emergency doctor provides general medicine and surgery counting his surgical sub-areas of specialty. He attends to numerous patients, treats their disorders, and refers them for admission to the hospital or discharges them after treatment.
The emergency physician possesses a broad field of know-how and advanced procedural expertise. It includes surgical procedures, advanced cardiac life support, and advanced airway management, and trauma resuscitation.
A combination of the skills of many specialists is expected of the emergency physician. Such includes:
- Critical care medicine for his ability to resuscitate a patient
- Anesthesia to manage a problematic air passage
- Orthopedic surgery to set a fractured bone or dislocated joint
- Plastic surgery to suture a complicated laceration
- Cardiology to treat a heart attack
- Obstetrics and Gynecology to work up a pregnant patient with bleeding
- ENT to stop a bad nosebleed
- Cardiothoracic surgery to perform a procedure to place a chest tube
- Radiology to perform ultrasounds
A Relatively Young Field of Medicine
Emergency medicine is relatively young to regard it as one of the best medical professions to get into. Before the 1960s to 1970s, a hospital emergency department had doctors on rotating schedules. Thus, it is a venue for doctors to meet the time required of them for specialization. The physicians on duty are general surgeons, psychiatrists, internists, and dermatologists. Sometimes it is staffed by interns and residents, foreign medical graduates, and nurses.
Emergency Medicine is Recognized as a Medical Specialty
It set off a group of physicians to leave their respective practices and devote their work totally to the Emergency Department. It came up with the “Alexandria Plan” about 24/7 year-round emergency care. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) was established. The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) recognized emergency medicine as a training program.
The American Board of Medical Specialties acknowledged emergency medicine as a medical specialty in 1979. However, in 1970, at the University of Cincinnati, the first emergency residency program was started. In the following year, 1971, the first Department of Emergency Medicine at a US medical school was founded at the University of Southern California.
How to Become Board Certified in Emergency Medicine in the US and Canada:
- Membership of Doctors of Medicine (MDs) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) to the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), which is under the authority of the American Board of Specialties
- Certification of emergency physicians with a DO degree to the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine (AOBEM), which is under the authority of the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS)
- Membership to Canada’s Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Membership to Canada’s College of Family Physicians – Emergency Medicine Certification Examination
- The fifth designation is the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM) outside of the examinations given by the ABEM, AOBEM, RCPSC, or CFPC-EMCE.
The BCEM is the only organization in America that grants board certification in emergency medicine to a doctor who has not completed his emergency medicine residency but has experience in another field. Such include anesthesiologists, internists, family practitioners, general surgeons, and pediatricians.
To become a board-certified member, MDs and DOs have to comply with the following requirements:
- Five-year full-time emergency medicine practice
- Submission of case reports for review by the board
- Passing the written and oral exams
Emergency physicians handle a wide area of medical, surgical, and other emergencies. They practically have learned all facets of medical services and attend to everyone in a state of emergency. Therefore, being an emergency physician can be the best medical profession one can have. It is also one of the best masters degrees you can aspire for.
If you wonder how long does it take to get a masters degree in emergency medicine, you will need to add two to three years to the more than ten years you will spend in medical school. Yes, that is how long it takes to become a full-fledged emergency medicine physician.
Nevertheless, there is a workaround so you will not have to spend those many years in school. You can find out here how the process works, but essentially, it involves purchasing a degree from a reputable and world-renowned university through a legitimate online degree provider. Also, read more relevant articles on The Tech Diary.