Gathering Information

Choosing a specialty is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your career, so it's important to gather information that might impact your choice.

Everything you do during medical school can have an influence on your decision. Whether you're just starting coursework in your first year, planning your clerkships, or researching specialties, there are a number of opportunities for you to learn and grow. Explore the articles below to find some strategies for getting the most out of your experiences.

Doctor using a laptop
  • Doctor checking watch

    I’m only a first year and still in my basic sciences coursework, but I feel pressure to start thinking about specialties. Why do I need to worry now about choosing a specialty?

    Read more
  • Hand holding a pen over a piece of paper labeled positives and negatives.

    I’m more than halfway through my third year, and none of the specialties I’ve rotated through have really excited (or dissuaded) me. Is there a specialty that’s right for me, and how do I find it?

    Read more
  • Woman using a laptop

    You may have entered medical school with a specialty already in mind, completely undecided, or somewhere in between. Regardless of where you find yourself on the continuum of this decision, here are seven steps you can take to learn about, evaluate, and validate your options.

    Read more
  • Meeting at a cafe

    Conducting informational interviews is a networking strategy to help you obtain more detailed and nuanced specialty and residency information. Learn about the benefits and how to conduct an information interview.

    Read more
  • Question mark and FAQs

    Use this list of questions to learn more about specialties, residencies, and physician careers as you conduct informational interviews.

    Read more
  • Characteristics of entering residents chart

    To help you understand the competitiveness of many of the major medical specialties, CiM provides data about the most recent cohort of residency applicants to 26 specialties. We examine how to interpret the data, why it’s helpful, and how to use it for determining your competitiveness and making good decisions.

    Read more
  • Medical class

    What are the advantages of getting a joint degree such as an M.P.H. or M.B.A., and how can a physician use these in their career paths?

    Read more
  • Stethoscope wrapped around a jar of coins

    Many claim few physicians choose primary care because of prohibitive debt levels, but surprisingly little evidence supports this assertion. In fact, a thorough review of the academic literature shows little to no connection between economic factors such as debt or income potential and specialty choice.

    Read more