If your dream is all about becoming a doctor, one day, when you’ll be an adult, you’ll want to check out our list of most respected medical specialties among doctors, to make sure you choose the right specialty in which you’ll thrive and be recognized.
Being a doctor, is now, a distant dream for you. You still must go through your high school, universities degrees or just your residency. Wherever you’re at in your education, it’s always good to think about what kind of doctor you want to be. Do you see yourself as a surgeon, operating on patients for hours to end? As a private practitioner, where you learn to know everything about your patients? As a pediatrician?
There are many specialties to choose from in the health industry and while wanting to be a doctor is nice, knowing what kind you want to practice is best as it will help you go through the worst of your studying and residency years. Know that there are some silver linings though: first, say you’re a doctor at a party and you’ll become the center of the attention for a while; second, this profession, as a whole, pays well. If you want to know how much money you can make by specialty, check our article about the 20 Medical Specialties that Make the Most Money.
On top of making enough money to be able to repay your student debt and still afford to live, it is nice to know that medical specialists are well respected, in general. Doctors do tend to respect the professional opinion of other doctors but there are some medical specialties that they will regard with higher respect – even though they make fun of each other most of the time behind each other’s back. And of course, they consider their own specialty as being the best there is. But some specialties rank higher on the respect scale than others.
In order to reveal to you what medical specialties rank best among doctors, we read various studies about med students specialties’ choices, about medical prestige specialties on National Library of Medicine and about doctor’s lifestyles in general on MedScape. We even checked on Quora and medical forums to see what they had to say on the subject.
By the way, there is apparently an R.O.A.D. where doctors can have a fulfilling job, be respected and still have a life (The R.O.A.D. explained: Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesia and Dermatology). And all four specialties rank fairly high in our own listing.
So, if you’re ready to discover which are the most respected medical specialties among doctors, read on!
Radiology is the specialty that everyone in their lives had to face one day, but what is radiology?
According to the American Board of Radiology, “a radiologist is a physician who uses imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options.”
There are three main subspecialties in radiology, each with their own set of tools: diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology or radiation oncology. Radiology is used in many ways so there are plenty of subspecialties to choose from.
Once you graduated from medical school, you’ll still need four years of radiology residency where you will learn the nuts and bolt of the job. Because technology evolves all the time, you will also need to regularly go back in training.
At number 9 on our list of most respected medical specialties among doctors we have dermatologists that are trained to diagnose and treat various skin-related problems. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologists treat conditions related to ”the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes (e.g., lining inside the mouth, nose and eyelids).”
They can treat up to 3,000 diseases which means there is never a dull moment in the office.
Once you finish medical school, as for radiology, you will need at least 3 to 4 year of residency.
According to the American Board of Pediatrics, “Pediatricians practice the specialty of medical science concerned with the physical, emotional, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services.”
A pediatrician, seen from the outside, looks like the fun part of being a doctor. You play with kids all day, allowing yourself to let your inner child out at all times.
It looks fun and easy but it is not so easy to take care of children. Because when diagnosing children, you also will have to deal with parents. Which isn’t easy, particularly when you have to deliver bad news.
After medical school, you will need at least three years of residency to complete general pediatrics residency, and if you want to specialize, you’ll need at least another two years of residency before being certified.
Ophthalmology may seem like the business of glasses and contact lenses only but there is much more to it than just selling varied brands of glasses.
Ophthalmologist, according to the American board of Ophthalmology, are “physicians who specialize in comprehensive eye and vision care. They are the only eye care practitioners medically trained to diagnose and treat the full range of eye and visual problems.”
After medical school, you will need a good four years before being certified, including three years of residency.
6. Obstetrics / Gynecology
Obstetrician and gynecologists take care of reproductive health and “specialize in the general medical care of women, as well as care related to pregnancy and the reproductive tract”, according to the American Board of Obstetrics + Gynecology.
After 4 years in medical school, you will need at least another 4 years of residency before becoming a fully-fledged obstetrician/gynecologist.
5. Emergency doctors
ER doctors, the number 5 on our list of most respected medical specialties among doctors are the most widely known, mainly because of drama series that popularized this particular specialty.
Being an ER doctor is hard, there is no denying it. ER doctors take care of all the emergencies that come through the doors and have to assess patient’s conditions on the spot. It really makes no surprise seeing them on this list of most respected medical specialties among doctors.
The positive side is that not one day resembles the next one. The negative side is that your stress levels usually go through the roof pretty quickly.
But the rewards of saving lives and helping saving lives compares to no other.
After the necessary 4 years of medical school, you will need to go through 4 years of residency before being able to practice as an ER doctor.
Anesthesiology may be the least understood specialty on this list. Their main duty lies in providing a safe anesthesia to patients during surgical operations, but that is far from their only role.
They care about patients before and after operations, but they increasingly take on managerial roles as well.
After the required four years of medical school, four years of residency will be necessary for you before pretending to the title of the anesthesiologist.
3. Intensive care
Intensive care, the next in line on our list of most respected medical specialties among doctors is different from ER (Emergency services). Those are two different specialties.
Intensive care doctors take care of patients who are seriously ill and require constant supervision. Patients in those cases are usually put in a dedicated department with specially trained staff.
In order to become an intensive care doctor, after the required four years of medical school, you will need three years of residency before being considered for a job in those units.
2. Internal medicine
We are continuing our list of most respected medical specialties among doctors with Internal medicine or general medicine are the doctors you go to see for any ailment you may have, from benign ones to more serious illnesses.
According to the American College of Physicians, “Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.”
For those who followed the drama series “Dr. House”, it is more or less what can be defined as an internal doctor.
After the required four years of medical school, you will need at least 3 years of residency and, if you wish to specialise, another 1 to 3 years of fellowship training.
Surgeons are perceived as being the top of the pack, not only because some surgeries can be long and very difficult but also because they literally have your life in their hands. And they also take longer to train.
It can be a very stressful job but on the other hand, when you have a free evening and go out, saying that you’re a surgeon will attract the attention of everyone.
After the four required years of medical school, a surgeon will spend at least 3 to 10 years (for the most pointed specialty) in residency before becoming a fully-fledged surgeon.
We hope this list gave you a better understanding of the most respected medical specialties among doctors.