Coronavirus has had a significant effect on the healthcare sectors of every country around the world while also impacting which physician specialists healthcare professionals are opting to pursue. The US economy continued to grow in 2019 and the unemployment rate across the country hit a downward trajectory. Following the pandemic, job opportunities saw a sharp rise in the healthcare sector. According to a US physician employment report, over 4,02,000 jobs were increased in the last year itself. And the shortage of physicians is predicted to reach 120,000 by the year 2032 as per the association of American Medical colleges.
The last decade or so has also seen more professionals training in psychiatry as a result of increased awareness surrounding mental health issues. More specifically looking at the United States’ aging population and diminishing workforce of physicians, the country is likely to see a rise in demand for doctors and medical health professionals.
There are many types of doctors and specialties medical students can follow. Below is a list of the seven most in-demand medical specialties.
Primary care physicians specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics and are often the first point of contact for patients. The primary health care they provide include routine physical tests, prescription of medicines, and treating and managing minor to acute illnesses. Primary care physicians therefore often act as the bridge for patients and other specialists. Primary care is also one of the highest paid specialist options.
Physicians trained in internal medicine primarily treat adults. They are often also known as internists, and are medical professionals who treat a wide range of diseases and perform non-surgical treatment. They primarily tend to conditions or diseases of the internal organs like heart disease or conditions like diabetes. They have expertise on health conditions affecting any part of the body and help patients maintain healthy lifestyles. They also help people with preventive intervention. The best specialists in medicine make a substantial amount of money owing to the complexity of the job and the diverse patient background they deal with.
Physicians who specialize in providing emergency medical care are typically quick thinkers who are able to stay calm and provide a diagnosis during an emergency. They work in a more fast-paced environment than other physicians, having to think on the spot in order to stabilize their patients. More than all other practitioners, emergency physicians work with an array of patients.
A psychiatrist is a physician (D.O or M.D) who specializes in mental health. They diagnose and treat mental as well as behavioral and emotional disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified physicians who assess the mental as well as physical well-being of the patients. They often also address substance use and its related health problems or mental issues. Usually, it takes more than one consultation to get a proper diagnosis. They often conduct psychological tests as well as lab tests to rule out different causes that may cause certain illnesses. Upon reaching the diagnosis, psychiatrists work with the patient to develop a treatment plan, which may include several things such as psychotherapy (talk therapy), light therapy, medication, brain stimulation therapies like VNS, TMS and more. Psychiatry is one of the top paying medical specialities.
Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in female reproductive health. They diagnose and also treat health issues that are related to the female reproductive system - including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tube, and breasts. Some gynecologists also perform obstetrics, providing care during pregnancy and childbirth. These physicians also provide sexual health services -- testing of vaginal infections, pelvic exams, pap tests and cancer screenings. They also diagnose and treat disorders of the reproductive system such as cysts, infertility and endometriosis.
Neurologists are physicians who specialize in the treatment of the brain and the spinal cord. Some major neurological conditions that are potentially life-threatening are epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, etc. They provide care and treatment of the peripheral nerves and muscles as well. Neurologists are one of the highest paid medical specialities given the gravity of their tasks and the immense knowledge and experience it takes to treat them.
Radiologists are doctors with a speciality in diagnosing diseases or injuries using medical imaging, commonly referred to as radiology procedures. These procedures are usually performed by various tests such as MRI, CT scan, X-rays, ultrasound and PETs, that enable medical professionals to get a closer look inside the human body.
There is no age limit for studying medicine. You can be a medical student in your 30s or even your 50s. Medical schools look for students who will become excellent physicians, and age is not a factor. Instead, it’s all about your competence in doing the job at hand.