As a doctor there are multiple career pathways open to you through specialities, ranging from general practice to anaesthesia. Choosing your medical speciality is an important but dauting decision, with a wide range of factors influencing your choice. From assessing the skills your already possess to the areas that capture your interest, there are numerous different areas to consider. If you’re unsure, the first step is to take a look at the specialities that are open to you.
The British Medical Association lists 15 specialities that are embedded within the NHS:
Academic medicine – For doctors that have a stoning interest in research, academic medicine can be incredibly rewarding. As well as undertaking research, you’ll also typically be responsible for providing patient care, teaching students, and working to create a collaborative, inquiry culture.
Anaesthesia – Anaesthetists should be able to provide services relating to pain management and resuscitation problems, as well as administering anaesthetic. It gives a choice to specialise in a particular area too, such as intensive care or obstetric anaesthesia.
Emergency medicine – Doctors specialising in emergency medicine can expect a fast-paced work environment and huge variety in the people they see. From treating people with minor illnesses through to major trauma, you’ll be responsible for handling new cases as they arrive at hospital.
General medicine specialities – There are more than 30 specialities that fall under general medicine, giving you plenty of choice. It covers from prevention right through to managing disease. Among the specialities are neurology, cardiology, and topical medicine.
General practice – GPs are the first place that many patients turn to when they have a health concern. As a result, if you were to specialise in general practice, you’re likely to work with and see a wide range of people face-to-face, it’s an excellent option for doctors that enjoy patient interaction.
Obstetrics and gynaecology – Within this speciality concerned with the healthcare of women, there are several other disciplines to choose from. Typically, trainees choose to train as generalists before undertaking further training in a particular area.
Occupational medicine – Occupational medicine practitioners work within organisations to improve the overall health and wellbeing of a workforce and reduce potential risks.
Ophthalmology – Focussed on the preservation of sight, ophthalmology blends medicine and surgery. Usually, you’ll be responsible for diagnosis, treatment, and on-going assessment of the patients that are registered to you.
Paediatrics and child health – As general physicians that work with children from birth to adulthood, paediatricians need to be able to communicate well with both young children and their parents. Much of you time would be spend on preventive medicine and assessing development, growth and future potential for children.
Pathology – Pathology encompasses several specialities the link basic science with clinical medicine to study disease and their manifestation. There are three core specialities within pathology – chemical pathology, histopathology, and medical microbiology and virology – as well as other smaller disciplines.
Psychiatry – This speciality focuses on mental illnesses, behavioural disorders, and emotional disorders in both adults and children. There’s plenty of scope when it comes to work location within psychiatry, from hospitals to patient homes to meet demand where it’s needed.
Public health medicine – Public health medicine is concerned with the prevention of infectious and non-infectious diseases within the population to improve overall. Generally public health teams are made up of professionals from across multi-disciplines.
Radiology – oncology – Divided into two specialities both radiology and oncology are essential medical areas. While radiology focuses on the study of images to make or confirm a diagnosis, oncology is the non-surgical management of malignant disease. Within both areas you’ll need to work with patients and have a broad understanding of medicine.
Sports and exercise medicine – If you want to combine medicine with sports and exercise, this could be the speciality for you. It can include a wide range of areas from the prevention of sports injuries to the nutrition needs to maintain peak performance.
Surgical specialities – Surgery specialities require a balance between intellect and physical interaction. Through this choice you can play a key role throughout the journey of a patient, from diagnosis through to treatment. There are nine specialities that fall under surgery, giving trainees plenty of scope.