A majority of postgraduate medical students are opting for non-risky and non-emergency specializations, a trend that has been unfolding for over five years has settled now. The shift of PG medical aspirants towards non-risky fields had begun around five years ago but covid has only made it obvious.
“Why not? After all that has been going around with doctors this seems like a very feasible and smart option,” says Dr HM Prasanna, president, Karnataka Association of private hospitals and nursing homes.
Radiology tops the demand list and dermatology is the second most opted for choice. These specializations rarely have late-night duty calls and the career is also very lucrative. The demand for cosmetic surgeons and interventional radiologists has only increased manifold over a period of time, he adds.
Dr S Sachidananda, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences says he has noticed this trend. “There are around 2500 postgraduate medical seats in RGUHS and non-emergency courses are definitely in demand. Radiology and dermatology fetch good income to the specialists comparatively. Students think about their career opportunities and choose as per their interests.”
Postgraduate student Shruthi Sinha was initially interested in studying neonatology as her specialization. “But, after I saw my seniors working nonstop especially during covid times, I changed my mind. I love my profession, I am also ready to invest time and effort. But when there is a choice, why should I take a subject that would want me to toil the rest of my life rather than enjoying my work? I have now taken cosmetic surgery and I am happy about it," she says.
Many who have completed their specializations in cardiology, nephrology, transplant, and similar fields have good job opportunities given the dire shortage of medical professionals in the country. But, due to hectic working schedules, risks involved in the job many are choosing a rather safer subject.
Those who by passion or any other reason choose the ‘emergency subjects’ as they are called hop on to superspeciality, research or migrate abroad. A prominent group also get into MBA- Hospital management. It’s better to manage the specialists than be one and toil, they say.
Adding to this are the various instances of assault on doctors. Such instances are making medical professionals a less safe career option. The medico-legal cases is another pain that several medicos are forced to keep running to courts than treat the patients.
Every profession has its pros and cons. But dealing with life of another person, and being held responsible for things that are not in one’s control are the weak points of the medical profession.