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5 In-Demand Healthcare Specialties That Medical Students Should Consider

With the demand for healthcare professionals is higher than ever, there are several specializations that medical students should consider for their career. Ranging from focus areas like pediatrics to psychiatry, there are plenty of in-demand options for medical students to begin their career in the right direction.

Some specializations require additional study or residency, and some pay more than others, but at the end of the day what matters most is that you are enjoying what you do!

How to Become a Doctor

Anybody who wants to become a doctor will need to earn a high score on the MCAT before they start applying for medical school. The MCAT is a rigorous exam that tests your knowledge of physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, and biology. Since this exam covers so many different topics, test-takers will frequently enroll in prep courses.

Online prep courses are one of the best ways to guarantee a higher score on the MCAT. Princeton Review and Kaplan are two companies that provide excellent all-around MCAT courses to help students get ready. Earning a high score is important for getting accepted into the best medical schools and getting scholarship money to help you cover the costs of your education.


Psychiatry is one of the most rapidly growing medical fields in the Covid-19 pandemic. With more and more people in need of psychiatric assistance, now is the perfect time to consider beginning a career as a psychiatrist. As a psychiatrist, you would be able to provide therapy and medication, and you would work with other mental health professionals to help administer treatment plans. Becoming a psychiatrist is a great option for you to consider if you are interested by mental health, and if you want to work closely with patients in therapy to improve their mental health.

In order to become a psychiatrist, you must pass the MCAT, complete a psychiatric residency, and (optionally) earn certification through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Getting certified is not required, but it is a great way to give yourself some further credibility and expertise.

Psychiatrists can expect to earn around $220,000/year, and as an added benefit, psychiatrists are amongst the happiest medical professionals (at work). Unfortunately, psychiatrists report being a bit unhappier at home after work than most other medical professionals, but the ability to work closely with the same patient for years more than makes up for it for many psychiatrists.


As our medical capabilities increase, so does the need for experienced radiologists to help take images to treat internal health problems. Since so much of our medicine relies on digital imagery, radiology is the perfect way to enter the healthcare field as a valuable asset to any hospital or healthcare facility.

In order to become a radiologist, you must pass a state exam to earn a license, complete a radiology residency program and pass exams to become board certified. Radiologists have the option to complete a specialization fellowship to gain additional knowledge in radiology. A fellowship is a great way to boost your career by giving you more experience in your field.

An added benefit of becoming a radiologist is the salary. Radiologists are amongst the highest paid healthcare professionals — in fact, radiology is the highest paid specialization on this list. While money might not always equal happiness, a big house and a new car might do the trick!

Internal Medicine

Sometimes confused with family medicine, internal medicine is the study and treatment of multi-system diseases. Internal medicine doctors (internists) often deal with critically ill patients and are vital in discovering new things about the human body.

Since being an internist requires knowledge of so many different systems of the body, they often choose to specialize further into a specific disease. These types of specialists are extremely knowledgeable about the body, and they need to satisfy high standards to even begin working as an internist.

To become an internist, you must complete a 3-year residency and work in several different posts. After this, you will need to work in a hospital or private practice and begin the process of earning your license. While the requirements to earn, your license can vary by state, you will need to pass an exam in the state where you want to practice. In addition to these requirements, you need to pass the American Board for Internal Medicine (ABIN) exam to become board certified and pass frequent tests to maintain your certification.

Family Medicine

While family doctors also study many different parts of the body, family medicine is concerned with an entire family unit rather than multi-system diseases like internists. Since family medicine doctors work with families, they often work as primary care doctors who can refer patients to other specialists.

In order to become a family medicine doctor, you must complete a 3–4-year residency, earn a license in the state in which you want to practice and earn a certification in family medicine. Family medicine doctors generally earn less money than other specializations, but they also need much less time in school to begin practicing.

Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine is one of the most exciting (and amongst the highest compensated) specializations in the medical field. While working in emergency medicine, you will work with patients in hospitals or other healthcare facilities who need immediate care.

Becoming an emergency medicine doctor requires a lot of training and education. You will need to earn your state license to practice, complete a 3-4-year residency program and earn an emergency medicine certification. This certification requires a written and an oral exam, and you must be recertified every 10 years.

Since emergency medicine deals with patients requiring critical care, you will need to be trained in advanced life support. You will specialize in trauma care and cardiac life support, and you will be expected to work and think quickly on your feet. One of the most important traits of an emergency medicine doctor is confidence — a few seconds spent doubting a decision about a patient’s treatment could make the difference between life and death.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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