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The Top 10 Most Popular Residencies

Graduating from medical school is no doubt a big milestone on a dreamer’s pursuit to become a doctor; however, it is not the last stage. After medical school, graduates must apply and enter a residency program where they will specialize in a particular field in medicine. This is where they apply all their knowledge from medical school and train to become fully board-certified doctors in their respective specialty. Arguably the most important decision graduates face is what type of residency they should enter because this choice will have an enduring impact on their medical career. Below is a compiled list of the ten most popular residencies. The data was gathered from a survey done by AAMC.

  1. Residency: Internal Medicine
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 7,656
    Description: Internal medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention and treatment of a variety of adult diseases. Residency for internal medicine typically lasts three years. Doctors who specialize in internal medicine are called internists.
  2. Residency: General Surgery
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 2,702
    Description: General Surgery is a branch of medicine that treats diseases through surgical methods. General surgeons are trained to perform surgery on a variety of diseases related to different areas of the body. Residency for general surgery usually lasts five or more years.
  3. Residency: Pediatrics
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 2,308
    Description: Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases related to infants, children, and adolescents. To become a pediatrician, one must complete a pediatrics residency that typically lasts three years.
  4. Residency: Family Medicine
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 2,291
    Description: Doctors who specialize in family medicine are often considered primary health care providers due to the nature of their work. They are trained in providing comprehensive healthcare to people of all ages and make referrals to see specialists if needed. The residency program for family medicine is typically three years.
  5. Residency: Emergency Medicine
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 1,880
    Description: Doctors who specialize in emergency medicine are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases in an emergency setting. They work in conjunction with nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals to provide emergency care. The residency for emergency medicine lasts about three years.
  6. Residency: Anesthesiology
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 1,728
    Description: Anesthesiologists are specialized doctors who provide the necessary healthcare for patients before and after a surgical or medical procedure. They are responsible for administering anesthesia and monitoring the patient for any complications. Anesthesiology residency typically lasts about four years.
  7. Residency: Diagnostic Radiology
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 1,383
    Description: Physicians who specialize in diagnostic radiology are trained to diagnose and treat diseases using medical imaging systems. The residency length for diagnostic radiology is about four years.
  8. Residency: Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 1,166
    Description: Doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology are referred to as obstetrician and gynecologist, or OB/GYN for short. OB/GYNs are trained professionals who deal with medical issues related to the female reproductive organs, in both pregnant and non-pregnant stages. Residency for OB/GYN lasts approximately four years.
  9. Residency: Orthopedic Surgery
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 1,074
    Description: Orthopedic surgery is a branch of surgical medicine that deals with issues regarding the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons are trained to treat conditions both surgically and non-surgically. Residency for orthopedic surgery typically lasts five years.
  10. Residency: Psychiatry
    Number of applicants from US medical school graduates in 2011: 998
    Description: Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with mental conditions. Psychiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat mental disorders. The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that the former are trained to treat mental illnesses with medicine if necessary. The residency length to become a psychiatrist is usually about four years.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor. Follow ProspectiveDoctor on Twitter @ProspectiveDr

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