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Mallory-Wilson Center
for Healthcare Education at Miami University

Alumni Video: Choosing a Specialty

Featuring D. Kyle Hogarth (Miami 1994), MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago


Text Transcript

(In this video Kyle Hogarth talks about the process of deciding on a specialty while in medical school. Dr. Hogarth was a team physician with the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and is a member of the Mallory-Wilson Center's Board of Directors.)

"There are so many aspects of medicine and how to do medicine. And my particular interests, both from a research perspective, a clinical perspective — in other words, the type of doctor I want to be, the type of patients I will take care of — and then also from an education perspective, how I got there was, to be honest with you, a series of a lot of self-exploration of what it is you like.

"I spent my time in med school, when I was doing my various rotations, where you spend two months being a pediatrician; you spend two months being an obstetrician, etc. I went in with the notion that, all right, well, this will be the only two months that I may ever deliver babies, and if I like it, I'm going to go do it for a career. But, if I don't like it, I don't plan on ever delivering another baby again in my life. So, I'm going to make the most of it so I can also see if it's a field that I want to pursue or not pursue. So, for example, I delivered 15 babies and that's 15 enough. I don't need to do it again. I guess, if you're on the airplane with me, I can help you out.

"But the flip side was I had a great time, learned a ton, and also then learned it wasn't a field I wanted to pursue. And so, by constantly just always exploring another option, I was able to come to the conclusion of what I enjoy and what I needed for my future.

"Flat out make sure you really want to be a physician. It is a long and arduous pathway. And the problem that I've seen with people is that once you start down it, it's hard to leave because now you've suddenly accumulated med school debt or you say, gosh, I've spent a lot of time. So, first, make sure that you want to do it. And if while you're in med school you truly find that you don't love this, get out. You're not a failure. Don't put yourself down a pathway that you don't like.

"And then ultimately, whatever field you pick, make sure you're picking it because you enjoy it and that's it."

[April 2011]


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