You can use your self-assessment information
to gain a clear understanding of yourself, and your own personal
view of the world. You can then use this understanding when
considering future specialties. However, remember you’re still
taking in a great deal of information as an undergraduate and
during your foundation programme, and your values and aspirations
may change. It’s important to be flexible, and not assume the
results of self-assessments are absolute.
“Early in their medical training, medical
students should be disabused
of the idea that
there is one perfect specialty choice for each person.
Instead, they should be helped to understand how they could use
specialties to construct satisfying and successful careers.”
Looking for a ‘match’
When you have completed a particular
self-assessment tool, the results will be added to your personal
profile. Some of the tools also generate suggestions about specific
or broad groups of specialties that might suit you. However,
matching specialties directly to assessment results isn’t
advisable, and it’s unlikely a simple computer based ‘choose your
specialty’ test will ever be developed.
People are complex, and medicine is a diverse
and constantly changing area. You should therefore avoid relying
entirely on computer-generated suggestions to choose your
post-foundation specialty. Instead, use the self-assessment tools
to point you towards specialties you should consider investigating
further. In other words, the results of the self-assessment tools
will generate questions you should consider when moving onto the
stage where you explore your options.
Consider each assessment result in your
personal profile individually, then step back and weigh up all the
information together. Look for patterns, pictures or themes that
may suggest which specialties are a good fit for you. Your
self-assessment results should give you ideas about where to begin
exploring, or confirm ideas about specialties you’re already
considering. For instance, perhaps your profile shows the
- Your values questionnaire suggests working at tasks requiring
manual precision is important to you.
- You know you don’t want a high degree of patient contact.
- You enjoy lab-based subjects at medical school.
With this profile, you might want to consider
a lab-based diagnostic specialty.
Advisers, Mentors and Educational Supervisors
Remember, you can discuss your results with
your educational supervisor, director of medical education or
perhaps your university or foundation school careers specialist –
anyone you think may help.
You’re certainly not alone during the career
choosing process, and we would suggest that you also talk through
your personal profile with friends, family etc. as this may help
indicate underlying patterns or themes that point towards the best
specialty for you.
1 Borges et al, 2004