Rheumatology, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Oncology, Hematology — the list of existing medical specialties is obviously quite extensive, but which are the 11 most intellectually challenging, cerebral medical specialties in the US, you may wonder?
Even though each of these medical residencies largely differs from each other, one major issue closely connects them — all of them are extremely demanding on so many different levels. Thus, ranking medical specialties by difficulty not as easy as it may seem. Persistence, life-long self-improvement in the chosen medical area and the ultimate combo of both theory and practice are the major components of the “how-to-become-a-good-doctor” formula. According to a number of esteemed US Medical Universities, the most difficult medical profession is considered to be a Neurosurgeon, while a Neurologist is depicted to be the most cerebral medical specialty. There is also a belief that the most prestigious surgical specialty is more related to clinical specialties, which are seen as more respected than sub-clinical and non-clinical specialties in the US. However, some like to think (IM) some like to do (Surgery) and some like a combination of two (ENT).
According to the Medical University of Michigan, the most competitive medical specialties in 2015 are more closely defined in three categories: competitive (the hardest), moderately competitive and less competitive. These categories are meant to provide a general guideline, which means that the boundaries between them are not strictly fixed. Regardless of the category of competitiveness, any medical specialization program can be considered more competitive depending on other variables such as program location, prestige, etc. You can find more interesting info related to this topic by checking 10 Most Competitive Residency Programs in US and 10 Most Competitive Medical Fellowships in America.
When it comes to the relation between one’s intellectual capacity and the very difficulty of medical residency, there is an unwritten rule that one specialty may seem easy or go easy for someone while on the same time is enormously difficult for somebody else. Because of this, it was pretty tricky for us to establish one main criterion for our final rank. Therefore, we took into account the difficulty of training residency requirements, amount of other medical sub-specialty expertise and skills. Our team consulted the study titled “Assessment of Junior Doctors’ Perceptions of Difficulty of Medical Specialty Training Programs” published in the Journal of Vocational Education & Training. Even though this research paper was maintained in Australian Medical Universities, the methodology and resources are mainly from the US medical field, and the eventual results of this research are more of global than of local nature. We also consulted the AAMC Report on Residents and compared some distinguished analysis on question-answer forums, such as LetsRun and StudentDoctor in other to provide you up-to-date info about studying medicine in the US. Thus we ranked the specialties in that manner, with the most challenging on the top. So, without much delay, here it is — our list of most intellectually challenging, cerebral medical specialties in the US may start with the final countdown.
11. Family medicine
A family physician has to provide comprehensive and preventive care to the patients, regardless of their gender, age or type of disease. Medical treatment can also be preventive and carried out in a personalized manner. They engage in a broad range of clinical activities that occur in the office. Medical procedures like sigmoidoscopy, colposcopy and skin biopsy are all included in their basic medical capability. What makes this medical specialty so intellectually challenging is the fact that they need to know a great deal of something about every specialty as well as to know when and how to treat patients. Acute or chronic, preventive or specific – all of these medical services are identically important for a family physician. On our list of the most intellectually challenging, cerebral medical specialties in the US, family physicians rank on the 11th place because, after finishing medical school, residency training requirements last no more than three years for this medical residency. However, a great amount of basic knowledge from other medical specialty fields such as pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, emergency medicine, etc., in order to become a family physician.