- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Saunders; 4 edition (June 3, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0721601227
- ISBN-13: 978-0721601229
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,945,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Choose a Medical Specialty, 4e 4th Edition
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This book is a hodgepodge of trite quotes and whatever the author found during a 15-minute search on Medline-- I know because I tried it myself, and I got the same handful of articles that she cites. The information she presents is often outdated or taken out of context, and is generally too vague and/or superficial to be of use in any case.
I cannot imagine how anyone other than the author herself would rate this book highly. Save your money.
I wish I could recommend some more useful resource, but I still haven't found it.
As an occupational physician and having been involved with impaired physicians--those doctors and surgeons that abuse substances, have neurological and/or psychiatric illness, and other problems that impair their ability to practice--carefully choosing a "calling" can have a profound impact on the life of the physician! Multiple studies have shown that enjoying one's vocation protects against a myriad of illnesses, e.g. substance abuse, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and many others.
To this end Anita Taylor's book "How to Choose a Medical Specialty" is the most thorough insofar as Ms Taylor is an educator and does not bring any biases into which career path the reader should choose. All other comparable books like Iserson's or Freeman's skip or give short-shrift to the fundamental assumption of "Do you really want to be an X?..." Other commentators note that Ms Taylor's data discriminators are psychosocial, e.g. "time off", "pay attention to details", "be optimistic", and yet time-and-time again psychosocial factors are far more reliable as predictors to whether a worker will enjoy their vocation.
For REAL DATA on the specialties go to the source! I suggest the website of the American Board of Medical Specialties <[...]> and the AMA GME Green Book. The Green Book is a little dense but it contains ALL THE RULES on what it takes to become a Board Certified X.
Also, remember that only the common specialties are going to receive attention. I very rarely see Occupational Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Medical Genetics, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Nuclear Medicine, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reviewed. You might just like one of these specialties if you had only known about them before you got **trapped in a specialty that conflicts with your personality**. Remember, once you go into a specialty via a residency you must do ANOTHER RESIDENCY to change and get Board Certified in another specialty... OUCH! Try doing this at age 45 with kids! This is one reason some physicians have substance abuse and/or marital problems.
Finally, think carefully about what are the **essential functions** of the specialty you choose. Do you need color vision to be a Pathologist? Generally, YES... a Pathologist looks at COLORED SLIDES under a microscope. I have had to tell a Pathologist that this is a problem! Do you need depth perception to be a Surgeon? Hmmm... YES (just try cutting with one eye shut). Believe it or not many physicians go into specialties where they would have difficulty performing the essential functions of the specialty from the very beginning.
To steal a line from the Knight in Indiana Jones "...choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."