"What do you want to specialise in?"
A question posed by many...from the stranger on the street to the supervising consultant. As a medical student, everyone wants to know where our interests lie.
At this point in our lives as a medical student, the answer to that question is going to be either clear and stated or, as is the case of the majority, "I'm still not sure but I'm considering -X-, -Y- and -Z-." Many individuals in my class are well aware of my interest in pursuing 'alternative medicine'. But in an environment where alternative practices are considered phony, I choose not to tell most people what I really intend to do with my preferred practice and, so, my medical student answer to the big specialty question falls with the majority's.
I just completed my elective at home in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, chosen because of all the clerkships I've completed, it was the only one that could capture my attention the past year. It also had the advantage of exposing me to many things that I would encounter during my final year without imposing a great demand of my time during my elective period. Turns out that my choice in doing it was a good one! So good in fact, that if I were to continue in conventional medicine, it would be in this specialty. Interesting, too, because it's got a lot of focus on the use of drugs but I prefer the ICU setting where the drugs are really just emergency short-term drugs. If there's anything I can appreciate in allopathic medicine, it is the appropriate use of drugs and their short-term effects that help save lives in emergency situations. The long-term use of many drugs, I don't really like.
So, my new reply has been formulated by the impression of my time in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care:
"I'm really interested in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care."
I wouldn't really be doing it but it's no lie that my interest is in it.
What I want to study: Naturopathic Medicine.
What I intend to do: Integrative Medicine...a practice binding 'conventional' with 'alternative'.
If I got a buck for every time I've been asked the specialty question, I'd probably be able to purchase a Music Factory, Spring Edition 2012 ticket...with a couple dollars to spare...for AnimeKon? =)
Choose what grasps your heart and mind most. That way, you can enjoy it.