Specialty Info

 

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General Comments

It seems that it is almost impossible for anyone to give you a straight answer about some of the most important questions that every medical student has concerning specialties (competitiveness, salaries, work hours, satisfaction, etc).  Plus, it can be somewhat awkward just asking people about those details.  With that in mind, we've scoured websites, journals, and other publications to find answers to our (and probably your) most burning specialty questions.  We hope you'll find the information as useful (and interesting) as we have.

Important Specialty Considerations

Choosing a specialty is probably the biggest and most important decision a medical student will make in their entire career.  Below you will find data to help you make an informed and educated choice.

Job Satisfaction by Specialty

Hours Worked by Specialty

Salary by Specialty

Match Statistics (advanced statistics, including step 1 scores, publications, number of applicants, etc. for each specialty)

Most Competitive Specialties

These are the absolute most competitive specialties and generally have many more US medical school graduate applicants than residency spots.  In recent years these specialties generally have required 240+ Step 1 scores, at least 4 Honors or Outstandings (depending on your school's grading system) grades during the clerkship years and AOA status for entry (successful match).

Dermatology Orthopedic Surgery Plastic Surgery
Urology Radiation Oncology ENT
Neurosurgery    

Competitive Specialties

These specialties, while certainly competitive, are not as competitive as the ones mentioned above.  These specialties generally have about an equal number of residency spots as US medical school graduate applicants.  In recent years these specialties have generally required 220+ Step 1 scores and at least 2 Honors or Outstandings (depending on your school's grading system) grades during the clerkship years for entry (successful match).  AOA status is not absolutely required, but it will get you interviews at some of the better residency programs.

Anesthesiology Forensic Pathology General Surgery
Ophthalmology Emergency Medicine Radiology (Diagnostic)

Non-competitive Specialties

If you haven't seen your desired specialty in the previous two sections, you are lucky as it is probably not highly competitive.  These specialties have many more residency spots than available US medical school graduate applicants.  They offer a wide variety of opportunities and experiences and residencies generally look more at the "big picture" when evaluating an applicant rather than just the numbers.  If you are interested in one of these specialties, you should have very little trouble gaining entry (successful match).

 

 

     

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