Where you want to be in your professional and personal life in the future should influence the decision you make about your medical specialty. How you make the decision will depend on your personality and skills, how much responsibility and commitment you want to take on and what you can imagine yourself doing in years to come.
Research your options carefully and use all sources of career advice available
- speak to a practitioner in the field
- consult postgraduate deaneries for advice
- contact the BMA or browse the rest of the website
- contact the appropriate royal college
- read up on the various specialties
Think about options that will suit your lifestyle
- use flexible training and working options
- consider the on-call commitment for different specialties
- Think about life experiences and ambitions and where these might lead
- Does the job provide the balance you want between home and work life?
Don't rush into making a decision
- consider undertaking 'taster' sessions to gain experience of different specialties during Foundation years 1 and 2
- consider taking a break between FY2 and specialty training to work abroad, or get more experience
When considering posts ensure that the contract and the conditions of service are fully understood
- BMA members can contact us for employment advice on contracts, pay or conditions
- Does the job fit with your own ethics, inner values and boundaries?
Think about your future and how the specialty will change over time
- Will you gain sufficient job satisfaction and be interested in the work?
- Are you sufficiently motivated to work effectively in the post, during training and beyond?
- How might this specialty change over the next 30 years and will it suit you?
Get help with making an informed choice about your specialty. Specialty explorer is a tool for BMA members that supports your research into medical specialties.
Getting further career advice
For general career advice the relevant royal college or postgraduate dean can be contacted.
Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans - contact details for UK deaneries.
Health Careers - information service for careers in the NHS in England.