POPULAR SPECIALTIES IN MEDICINE
There are many specialties medical graduates can pursue for their postgraduate studies. Here are some of the popular specialties in the medical field.
In Malaysia, medical graduates have the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies in a medical specialty of their choice after completing two years of internship or “housemanship” and a mandatory three-year government service in local hospitals. Postgraduate studies in medicine can take up to ten years to complete.
Surgery is the treatment of a variety of medical illnesses through the cutting, removing and changing of body parts and internal organs. Some surgery sub-specialisations are cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery and plastic surgery. A surgeon has to ensure that the operating room is prepared with the correct medical equipment so that the surgery will go smoothly. They are also in charge of postoperative care and have to follow up with their patients. Surgery is a challenging specialisation as it is high risk for life threatening surgeries and requires demanding training and unpredictable working hours. Individuals need to be emotionally strong, have good stamina and perform well under pressure in order to become surgeons.
Family medicine involves taking care of the total health and well-being of a patient, from children to the elderly. Family doctors provide comprehensive medical services, order and execute medical tests, administer vaccinations and record medical history of patients. They are also qualified to perform minor surgical procedures, remove sutures and bandaging, and reduce simple fractures. Those who want to have fixed working hours and love to interact with people should consider pursuing family medicine as family doctors usually run their own practices.
The diagnosis and medical treatment of adults is called internal medicine. Those who practice internal medicine are called internists, general doctors and attending physicians. Internal medicine is important in areas such as allergy and immunology, endocrinology (hormone disorders), haematology (blood disorders), infectious diseases and gastroenterology (diseases of the gut). Daily tasks of a general doctor include treating internal disorders, prescribing medication, advising surgeons and conducting a variety of medical tests. Internal medicine is a non-surgical specialisation, suitable for those who are analytical, have good problem-solving skills and can communicate well with others.
Paediatrics is the treatment of specific diseases and health issues related to the growth and development of infants and children. Some sub-specialisations in this medical field are general paediatrics, neonatal medicine and paediatric intensive care medicine. A typical day of a paediatrician involves diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses affecting children. They also have to administer vaccinations to prevent diseases such as Hepatitis, polio and measles. Other than that, paediatricians monitor their patient’s development and advise their parents on taking care of their children’s health. Paediatrics is the perfect specialisation for individuals who are approachable, empathic and passionate about helping children.
Studying for a medical specialty requires plenty of hard work and dedication as graduates are required to work and study at the same time. However, being a specialist in a medical field is the pinnacle of any doctor’s career and is extremely rewarding and validating.