The specialization in a medical field and further training are prerequisites in the USA to be able to practice the healthcare professional. We would like to put together the most important facts on the subject of specialist training so that young medical professionals can quickly get an overview of their possible professional future.
Why Pursue Specialization?
In the USA, every doctor who wants to practice the healthcare profession has to specialize. This is the only way to obtain authorization to practice as a contract doctor or work in a medical facility. Anyone who decides against specialist training remains a doctor in training. If you want to improve your knowledge, there are opportunities to take good courses, for more information visit online ucat course.
When Do I have to Specialize?
The specialization in a subject area only takes place after completing a medical degree. The students are not forced to make a momentous decision before they have an in-depth look at the medical profession. The medical course usually lasts 12 semesters, followed by the license to practice medicine and only then can you choose a specialty.
This decision should be made carefully and well-founded, but if necessary, you can also change specialist training if it turns out that a chosen specialization was not the right one. Most of the time, you can even have your previous training periods counted towards you, because a change of subject is actually completely normal.
The Specialist Training – Hard Facts
Specialist training is to be equated with an internship in a medical institution. This advanced training takes five to six years, depending on the subject, and ends with the specialist examination. It is hard to summarize since the training is mandatory to become a specialist. On the other hand, it is not the same and standardized nationwide. The state medical associations of the individual federal states determine the further training regulations autonomously. Although these are closely based on the module, further training regulations are different in detail. Accordingly, it makes sense to inquire about the contents of the respective additional training regulations at the relevant state medical association before starting the specialist training.
In general, it corresponds to the federal states’ guidelines that the specialist training may only be completed after completing the medical training and only at a registered training facility. The latter means that a medical institution must have a further training license from the Medical Association in order to train young doctors to become specialists. Information on this can also be obtained from medical associations.
Avoid Stumbling Blocks on the Way to the Specialist Examination
As a young medical professional, when it is time to make a decision on a specialty, other points should be considered at personal preferences. The size of the clinic and the duration of stay also play a role. Because not every clinic and not every chief physician is allowed to train assistant doctors without restrictions.
The medical association determines which doctor is allowed to train for how long and how long the internship lasts in individual subjects. It is extremely important to find out how long a chief physician has been authorized to train at an early stage. If you cannot stay in the clinic until the specialist examination, it must also be clarified where the training can be continued.
It is helpful that many clinics operate a fixed rotation system with other clinics. This makes it possible to complete the entire training course without complicated job changes.
The Requirements for an Assistant Doctor
The life of an assistant doctor is not comfortable because the training regulations require a lot of effort in the form of diagnostic and surgical interventions. There are also visits to special events.
To gain detailed and comprehensive knowledge in a certain specialist area, it is advisable to complete the training period with as many different head physicians as possible. The doctor authorized to undertake further training should always be asked to put together a structured program for his assistant doctors before the start of additional training. This makes it much easier to get an overview of the requirements. In case of doubt, the annual meetings provided for in the further training regulations can be used to discuss progress and possible deficits in further training.
Definite skills in terms of teamwork, organizational skills and resilience are specifically encouraged and expected. On the other hand, medical knowledge is imparted from the bottom up, i.e., a doctor at the beginning of his internship will not be allowed to operate on open-heart surgery. However, it is mandatory first to master easier tasks and prove himself with regard to the basics before he is given riskier tasks.
An End is in Sight – the Specialist Examination
Once an assistant doctor has passed his training, he faces another hurdle: the specialist examination. Of course, nobody is allowed to take this final exam just like that, a few requirements have to be met and some documents have to be submitted. In general, this includes a minimum of certain, independently performed examinations and, in some specialties, also operations. Besides, the training doctor must certify the prospective specialist’s qualification as a specialist. Last but not least, the examinee himself must belong to the State Medical Association.
If these requirements are met, the resident doctor to be examined can register for the examination. He has time to do so at least two months before the exam. For registration, all training centers’ job references, including the number of examinations and the logbook of the training content, must be submitted at a personal appointment. Finally, the invitation to the examination is sent by post.
The assistant doctor is examined orally by a committee of mostly three specialists and an examination chairman. The specialist examination usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes. There is no grade. The only thing that matters here is whether the test item passed or not.
If you fail, you can also repeat the exam. For this purpose, you fill an application and the examiners set certain requirements that must be met before you appear in the exam again.