Careers in the Health & Medicine Field
Students have many different reasons for pursuing a career in a medical field. A health career enables a professional to help patients in a variety of situations. Employment in this field also has some lucrative advantages, including competitive salaries, job security, and advancement potential. Whether you are interested in becoming a nurse, a dentist, or a physician, working in the medical industry can be rewarding and enriching.
The field of nursing is growing exponentially. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that nursing will be the occupation with the highest projected growth through the year 2022. Anyone entering this field may enjoy a variety of professional benefits, including high employment rates, excellent opportunities for advancement, and competitive salaries. Many employers prefer hiring candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Tips for Succeeding in Your Nursing Program and Career: Succeeding in a nursing career involves setting goals, instituting a backup plan, and having a support system in place.
- Six Tips to Succeed at Your First Nursing Job: Even after graduating from nursing school, a nurse must remain teachable to ensure continued learning and thriving within this field.
- Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Early in My Nursing Career: A nursing career involves collaboration between nursing and other disciplines to ensure comprehensive patient care.
- Ten Tips for Getting Your BSN to Become a Nurse Educator: Earning a BSN in nursing enables a professional to become a nurse educator.
A surgical career is one medical specialty for doctors. To become a surgeon, you would need to earn a medical degree first. Some people choose to practice as a general practitioner for a few years before continuing on with specialized training in a surgical program. The training to become a surgeon requires hard work and long hours possibly spanning 10 years or more.
- Advice and a Four-Year Plan for Students Interested in Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties (PDF): Students seeking to pursue a surgical specialty must focus on learning about anatomy and embryology during their first and second years of study.
- Medical Student Guide to Surgery: Medical students rotate through surgery to learn about this career specialty.
- What it Takes to Get Into a General Surgery Residency (PDF): Medical students need to work hard to be accepted into a surgical program. Many institutions prefer to accept honors students.
- Learning Surgery: Tips for Residents and Medical Students: Surgical training involves taking information learned as a medical student and resident and applying it to surgical procedures.
Becoming a dentist would enable you to provide comprehensive oral care for patients of different ages. A student wishing to pursue this career would need to attend a dental school that has been accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Education to become a dentist takes at least four years, plus additional time for a professional wishing to pursue a specialty such as pediatric dentistry. Professionals in the dental field earn a competitive salary, and job security is high.
- Is Dental School for Me? Dentists focus their practices on caring for people’s teeth, gums, and mouths.
- Find the Right Fit: 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Dental School for You (PDF): Choosing a school is an important decision for anyone wishing to pursue a career in dentistry.
- Blue Bell Cosmetic Dentists: Cosmetic dentistry involves resolving dental issues such as misalignment or stains on teeth.
- Blue Bell Dentists: A family might choose a general dentistry practice to provide care for patients of all ages.
- Blue Bell Periodontist: Periodontics involves the treatment of gum issues and diseases.
Students in medical school might begin focusing their education on pediatrics to pursue this specialty. Providing medical care for children is demanding yet rewarding. The educational process to become a pediatrician involves medical school, internship, and residency. After graduating, the final step is taking the medical licensing examination.
- Launching Your Career in Pediatrics: Getting Started (PDF): A pediatrician has a number of decisions to make regarding their practice, including joining a team or opening a solo office.
- Pediatrics: Medical Specialties: Pediatricians care for children’s health needs from birth until they grow into young adulthood.
- Why Should You Become a Pediatrician? Pediatricians must genuinely enjoy children because this practice involves treating them.
- What Is a Pediatrician: Keeping children healthy with preventative medicine is one facet of a pediatrician’s practice.
A general practitioner is a medical doctor who provides care for patients of a variety of ages, treating general illnesses and ailments. A medical doctor in the general practice field is often the primary care doctor who sees patients in a clinic setting. Many general practitioners enjoy this type of practice because it enables them to build relationships with their patients over the long term. In some situations, patients may need to be referred to other physicians for specialized care.
- Requirements for Becoming a Physician: Becoming a physician involves undergraduate education, medical school, residency, and then an additional fellowship that provides specialized training in a specific field.
- Family and General Practitioners: A general practitioner can monitor patients’ conditions, treat ailments, and perform surgeries.
Anyone who wants to help patients with pain management and physical movement might consider a career in physical therapy. After an illness or injury, a patient may be referred to a physical therapist during the recovery stage. A physical therapist would assist a patient with assessment of their physical condition and a plan for managing pain, building strength, and restoring healthy range of motion. A student must complete a physical therapy degree program to prepare for this career.
- Tips for Physical Therapy Applicants: A physical therapist student often has some sort of medical background prior to entering a physical therapy program.
- Considering a Career as a Physical Therapist? (PDF): Patients with medical issues impeding their ability to perform physical movements might seek care from a physical therapist.
- The Physical Therapist Scope of Practice: A physical therapist works to improve or maintain patients’ activity or physical function.
Becoming a doctor is not the only option for students who wish to pursue a medical career. Working as a clinical pharmacist involves a variety of medical situations. Some pharmacists assist patients with post-operative care, while other professionals consult with patients needing assistance with drug therapy to manage various illnesses. Students must complete four years of undergraduate study before attending pharmacy school to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree.
- Common Interview Questions: Pharmacy Career (PDF): Anyone considering a career in pharmaceutical care will need to reflect on their motivations and experiences to land a job in the field.
- Internship Tips Every Pharmacy Student Should Know: The demand for pharmacists is growing due to increased numbers of medications being prescribed for an aging population.
A veterinarian must have a strong interest in and compassion for animals. While veterinarians often care for domestic animals such as dogs and cats, they might also specialize in other types of care: A veterinarian might provide health care for farm animals, wildlife, or exotic animals. After completing four years of undergraduate work, a student wishing to pursue veterinary medicine will need to attend veterinary school.
- Steps to Becoming a Veterinarian: Preparation for a career in veterinary medicine begins as early as possible by taking math and science classes in high school.
- Pre-Veterinary Advising Guide (PDF): Veterinarians may work with wildlife or with domesticated animals, treating illnesses or researching medical data.
- Getting to Veterinary School: A Reflection (PDF): Pre-veterinary students must work diligently to prepare for the admissions process to enter into a veterinary program.
- Six Things No One Tells You About Being a Vet Tech: A veterinary technician works alongside a veterinarian to provide medical care for animals.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Anyone interested in nutrition and diet might explore a career in this field. A number of different job titles are possible within this specialty, including registered dietitian nutritionist, registered dietetic technician, and nutritionist. To earn specific credentials, a student must attend a school with an accredited program in dietetics. Students might work to earn a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
- Non-R.D. Options: Careers With a Degree in Nutrition: A nutritionist with a degree in nutrition can work as a community worker, a chef, or a food service director.
- Tips for Dietetics Students: Dietetics students often shadow a professional or perform volunteering work to gain experience in this field.