How I wish there were a Sorting Hat for medical specialties  

Adapted from an entry I wrote as a medical student:

I put the frayed, rumpled hat on my head. A voice, almost coming from inside my brain itself, murmurs pensively to itself:

“I see real thoughtfulness here! You could be a great internist…”
“…but you also adore children and believe in the importance of caring across generations. What about general peds? Or family medicine? You do seem to have a penchant for the outpatient setting. And you always remember vaccine schedules!”
“Ah, but I sense the ambition and impatience of a surgeon, and a fondness for the stainless steel of the OR. There’s more than a smidgeon of neuroticism to you, too; you’d fit right in. Your relish for an intense practice suggests hospital-based medicine might be a fit for you. Your obsession for detail–might pathology be in your future? Ah, but you cannot imagine a life without counseling patients!”
“And what about women’s care? It seems that in your past you had a real interest in Ob/Gyn, but as we all know, you can care for women in any specialty–depends how you feel about babies and blood, doesn’t it?”
“Perhaps a subspecialty within medicine would be more to your taste, hm? One of the more procedural niches like cardiology or GI…what’s that? You cannot distinguish aortic stenosis from tricuspid regurg? Oh. Well, maybe not cards, then…what’s this? You have a great concern for patients’ mental health and well-being! We do need more good psychiatrists…ah, but here’s your fundamental love for physiology and the physical…and we’re back at general medicine? Hm??”

And then the hat screeches, “I GIVE UP!” And falls off my head, having finally met its match: a medical student so confuddled, with so many random interests and existential angst at choosing a specialty that not even it can save her.

That pretty much sums up my career planning at the moment. Some days, I just wish someone would tell me what I should do, or maybe spin a wheel and pick out something for me. It would probably be more effective than sitting here, agonizing over what I’m going to do with the rest of my life on a Friday night. Because that’s how awesome my life has become.


About the friendly intern

Ask a question: The Friendly Intern My personal blog: Pathos and Pathology
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