Becoming a physician is no easy task. Medical school is rigorous, exhausting, and extremely costly. If you’ll be spending a significant amount of time, resources, and money to become your own M.D. or D.O.

When you become a physician, you will spend the majority of your time in a clinical setting performing which includes diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases. As a medical student, you will learn how to take vital signs, work with diagnosticians, perform imaging tests such as x-rays, blood tests, and PET scans, operate in a hospital setting, and write reports for your patients. After completing medical school, you will be required to pass state licensing exams and complete post-licensing residency studies. At the completion of these requirements, you will be certified as a medical doctor and will have the title, “MD.” While these titles may seem insignificant, they are one of the most important credentials you can possess. If you choose a career path that involves assisting doctors in their various tasks, you will have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be part of the best medical team.

To advance to the next level in your medical profession, you will need to complete a fellowship in a particular specialty. A residency is where you will complete an advanced residency training. This may be achieved through an accredited college or university, a registered internship program, or through a period of teaching and experience in a specialty area at a medical school or university.

A few of the most common specialties in medicine include cardiothoracic, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, internal medicine, neurologist, pulmonologist, pediatrician, transplant surgeon, thoracic surgeon, vascular surgeon, pediatrician/pediatric specialist, adult practice, and surgical technologist. While many of these specialties require similar skills and qualifications, there are some that require slightly different qualifications. For example, a cardiologist must be a graduate of an R.N. degree from an accredited college. A gastroenterologist must be a graduate of an R.N. degree from an accredited college as well.

Just as all medical specialties are divided into subspecialties, the medical field also has a variety of types of doctors. These include family practitioners, internal medicine specialists, pediatrics doctors, mental health professionals, and surgery doctors. Family practitioners diagnose and treat illness in families while pediatric doctors provide healthcare for children. An internal medicine specialist deals with the body’s organs, skin, nerves, blood, bones, and muscles. Pediatricians treat young patients including babies, children, adolescents, and teens.

Doctors who specialize in a certain area of medicine are called specialty doctors. While these doctors usually perform the same tasks, specialty doctors have completed a specific set of training to focus on a certain area of medicine. The most common specialties are internal medicine, pediatrics, and plastic surgery. Most specialists continue their education after obtaining their medical license. To be accepted to medical school, specialists must successfully pass the Medical College Admission Test (M.C.A.)

The next-closest specialty to medicine is surgery. Surgeons perform operations to fix broken or damaged body parts. Most people are familiar with major surgery like heart surgery or lung surgery. However, there are also a variety of smaller surgeries such as breast augmentation and liposuction. Surgery specialists are also able to do more complicated surgeries such as brain surgery and kidney surgery.

As you can see, working to become a specialist is a worthwhile goal for those seeking increased pay and better working hours. Whether you’re willing to spend four years getting an associate’s degree in a particular specialty or you want to get into medicine because you have a particular illness that requires specialized attention, a specialty doctor program can be the right choice for you. Make sure to check out all of your options so that you can choose a program that suits your needs best. You’ll be glad you did!