As a parent, you must be immensely proud that your daughter/son aced their exams and are on the path to commence higher education in medicine and healthcare. It is one of the most defining decisions of their life, and you would want to help them to the best of your abilities. Nonetheless, you must first understand that many factors contribute to this choice and not just the sound or popularity of a specific specialty. For example, their intellectual capabilities, preferences, areas of interest, experience, duration, finances, and the ideal lifestyle they aim to achieve.
All of these factors play a crucial role in your youngster’s journey toward selecting the best-suited specialty. However, how these considerations rank in your decision will depend upon you and your daughter/son’s judgment. For instance, some students are aware of their interests and skill set before they start medical school. Some decide after they finish, while some switch specialties until they find one that resonates with them. Undoubtedly, you and your young adult have the right to change your mind multiple times before settling for anything. However, to help you in this process, we will give a resourceful guideline of steps to make the decision easier.
Research the areas of interest
Undeniably, it can be mentally exhausting and arduous to decide upon a particular health sub-career. In such instances, it’s viable to make efficient use of the internet and eliminate any confusion you or your daughter/son face. For example, many medical students aspiring to enter the public health field get mind-boggled about its similarities and differences with community health. So, it’s best to look up questions like “what is the difference between public health and community health?” and “What is the scope of this specialty?”
Eliciting answers to such questions can help learn more about the areas of interest and what it entails to enter the field. You can determine the admission requirements, finances to study the particular specialty, and the duration it takes to complete the program.
Once you have answers to your questions, you can consider or strike out some options according to your youngster’s preferences.
Understand what kind of skills each specialty needs
Primary medical education and work experience highlight a person’s skills, capabilities, and strengths. Apart from that, your youngster might be well aware of their weaknesses as well. These skills, qualifications, and weaknesses will play an essential role in whether or not they can pursue a specific specialty. Therefore, as a parent, you can aid your kid by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Help them understand the type of skills and intellect each specialty requires. For example, a therapist must possess exceptional people skills. A pediatric doctor must be good at handling and working with children. Moreover, each profession has its unique demands. You can assist them in identifying the most suitable specialty for them by identifying their skills and strengths. Furthermore, suppose you think there is some room for improvement. In that case, you can help your youngsters polish their skills before they make a definitive choice and pursue a specialty.
Eliminate the choices that are not their forte
Every student excels in some areas and subjects while lagging in others. You can use this mindset to understand your youngster’s likes and dislikes and help them narrow down their options accordingly. For example, if they have had a bad experience in administrative tasks or despise a specific aspect of a job. Talk to them about the times they struggled with an activity/work or about situations they usually avoid. This way, you can help them narrow down their areas of interest by striking out unnecessary options. Once they are down to a few options, it will get easier to choose.
The actual job matters too
It is tempting to push your daughter/son towards a specialty that pays exceptionally well. After all, you want them to have a sustainable and luxurious future. But you have to consider all the essential aspects. For example, if your kid has to take up a student loan, repaying the loan can take several years. Needless to mention that many specialties take years to complete, which releases them into the professional world way after their peers.
When considering these aspects, money may seem like an integral part of the whole prospect. But you must also understand that almost every healthcare professional has to work gruelingly long hours. Therefore, you must help them choose a profession that they are passionate about eventually. Help them discover a specialty that guarantees an enjoyable working environment along with a satisfactory payscale. If you have to make a tough choice, then choose the former.
Consider their long-term goals
Just the way you think and worry about your kid’s future all the time, they do too. That means that they may have some long-term goals of their own. Maybe they want to travel to different countries and help the marginalized communities. Perhaps they want a lavish lifestyle in the city and enough money to fulfill their desires. Or maybe they want to dedicatedly work for something they are passionate about and make a name for themselves.
While it is tempting to make decisions based on current conditions, you must always consider your kid’s plans. However, if their long-term goals are unrealistic, your duty as a parent is to help them see the reality. In such cases, you have to mellow out their ambitions and give them a more practical approach that can satisfy them. Apart from that, you must also make them consider the impact and possible results of their decisions.
Choosing a specialty is a complex and challenging task. It might take ample time and research on your part, and the same goes for your daughter or son. But remember not to impose your ideas, aspirations, or dreams on your kid during this process. Let them choose their path, as they will have to study and work in that particular field for life. What you can do is assist them through this process and provide any support they need. Alongside this, you can also help them see some career counselors or let them shadow work under a professional.