This week, the third week of our YSP career tips for success is focused on science, moving on from the Mentorship theme. Tip 3 Choosing your field with Dr. Monica Saini from the Changi General Hospital and National University in Singapore.
3. Choosing your field
Choosing a specialty needs serious thought as it will have a significant impact on your future life. The decision involves a fine act of balancing personal preferences with available options. You may like to ask yourself whether a specialty fits your work ethics and values, ignites your interest in a sustained manner, and provides requisite amount of flexibility that you desire in your work.
Recent innovations in the field of acute stroke medicine have made this an exciting discipline.
As a specialty, stroke has the distinct advantages of providing an opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary set-up, and ensure abundant patient contact. But stroke has much to offer beyond the obvious glamour and excitement of acute stroke medicine, like teaching, research and advocacy. Stroke medicine combines the "brainy" skills of neurology, excitement of acute stroke intervention, patience of rehabilitation medicine, curiosity and perseverance of research, and the satisfaction of working in a field with tremendous growth potential.
Ask yourself some simple questions:
- Do you find stroke medicine exciting?
- Does it fit your expectations of what you want to do in the future?
- Do you think you would fit in and excel in this field?
If you like a fast-paced and flexible working schedule, you may choose to be an acute stroke physician. For individuals who like answering questions and are focused on advancing science, stroke research may be the best fit. The field itself is flexible enough for you to design a mix of activities, once you have attained the core knowledge and skills in the areas of diagnosis, investigation and treatment of stroke.
You may want to look for opportunities to work in this filed before making a decision. It will be useful to look around and identify individuals, who you think you would like to be someday, as trusted mentors. Such mentors will provide unbiased answers to your questions (ask away) regarding the specialty, may help identify your strengths and guide your choice of field in stroke medicine.