Specialty refers to the branch of medical practice that doctors pick in their residency years. They can pick an internal medicine or surgical specialty. When they have completed their residency, they achieve attending status. They can then complete a fellowship where they can sub-specialise.
The idea of a specialty is to practice and gain a deeper understanding of a particular branch of medicine. They are made up of several choices for the doctor such as the age range of the patients they will be treating, whether they prefer diagnostic or therapeutic medicine, organ based or technique based, and importantly, internal or surgical.
An internal specialty would mean the doctor would never diagnose or perform major surgery, while surgical specialty would require a range of surgical techniques. The doctor is expected to state their specialty by their 5th year of residency.
Having practiced supervised medicine in their internship and part of their residency, where they receive a wide range of experience in many branches of medicine, the doctor is expected to undertake their residency in that branch of medicine for the required amount of time.
At the end of their residency, it would be an advantage for future job prospects, to undertake a fellowship even though it is optional. However, the authority to practice certain medicine branches will require a fellowship at the completed of the surgical residency program.
The doctor can sub-specialise in a branch of medicine in the fellowship stage, pertaining that sub-specialty is allowed by their main specialism, such as obstetrics and gynecology with fetal surgery, when they have completed their residency. For example, since cardiothoracic surgery is a sub-specialism of general surgery, the doctor needs to complete their general surgery residency before they start.
Having completed their residency, it would be an advantage for the doctor to become board-certified in general surgery or the subject of their choice. The certification is an advantage for the doctor because as seen with the case of April Kepner, hospitals prefer board-certified surgeons.
Types of Specialties Edit
Surgical Specialties Edit
- General Surgery
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Colorectal Surgery
- Pediatric Surgery
- Fetal Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Craniofacial Surgery
- Surgical Oncology
- Transplant Surgery
- Trauma Surgery
- Vascular Surgery
- Obstrectics and Gynecology
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine
- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
- Fetal Surgery
- Vitreo-Retinal Surgery
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Orthopedic Sports Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialties Edit
- Emergency Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Critical Care Medicine
- Geriatic Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Medical Genetics
- Pediatrics Hematology-Oncology
Behind the Scenes Edit
- Grey's Anatomy has made a few mistakes in how they portray the process of studying a specialty. For example, neurosurgery is not a real sub-specialty of general surgery. It is separate and has it's own surgical residency program. The same is for urology, which is portrayed in the same way when it has it's surgical residency program.
- It is possible to become board-certified in a range of subjects. Addison Forbes Montgomery is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Her sub-specialty in maternal-fetal medicine, she is board certified in neonatal surgery, and she has completed a fellowship in medical genetics, specialising in cystic fibrosis.