A nephrologist treats diseases and infections of the kidneys and urinary system. Medscape asked doctors to rate their happiness on a five-point scale, with 5 being as happy as possible. By having the right information about medical specialties and subspecialties, students who are still deciding in their medical field can choose medical specialties with the best lifestyle and make the right choice for the career path they want. So why is there such a discrepancy between happiness at work and outside of work? First, let's talk about the elephant in the room: why are doctors much happier outside of work than at work? Well, despite what most social media influencers highlight on their Instagram or YouTube channels, medicine isn't just fun and games.
From medical school or applying for residency to shredding your MCAT or USMLE, we stand behind it. Much of this volunteering means putting your white coat back on and offering free medical services in local areas. At the other end of the spectrum, medical specialties stand out to a large extent, and general medicine, cardiology and geriatrics have the worst satisfaction and workload ratings across the board. According to Medscape's Happiness Report, the most recent report that included in — work happiness as a measure — doctors less happy outside of work were still happier than medical specialties happier at work.
There are many reasons why people choose careers in medicine, such as the desire to give back, the drive to advance science, and the appeal of financial security. Dermatology is one of the two most competitive specialties, alternating the number one place with plastic surgery, depending on the year. When it comes to work-life balance, 30% of physicians report that they feel conflicting, or very conflicting, balancing childcare and time with family along with their medical duties. But when choosing a medical specialty, your overall happiness should be at the top of your list of things to consider.
More specifically, the happiest specialties, that is, those with the highest proportion of happy doctors, were rheumatology in number one, otolaryngology in number two, endocrinology in number three, followed by pediatrics and general surgery. Having an application for residency or stellar medical school and crushing interviews is no different, even if you don't consider yourself a “people person”. At the lower end, the five least happy specialties were oncology, pathology, cardiology, infectious diseases, and neurology.