Medical studies make up some of the most popular programs in any university or career college, with options ranging from physicians and surgeons to nursing, support care workers, and medical administrative assistants. For those interested in a career in health care, the educational field reflects the vast opportunities available in the modern medical workforce.
Medical Career Options
Medical jobs comprise some of the most reliable careers in today’s workforce. With an aging baby boomer population and long waiting lists for virtually every kind of health care specialization, it’s easy to see why medical jobs are considered a growth field.
In addition to gaining career stability, health care workers know that they are making a real difference by relieving suffering, helping people heal, and performing valuable research that can prolong and save lives.
An education in health sciences and medicine is essential if you’re interested in any of the following positions:
– Doctor, nurse, or nursing assistant
– Pharmacist or medical researcher
– Medical administrative assistant
– Physical therapist
– Nutritionist or preventive health care specialist
– Palliative and hospice care specialist
These types of positions–and many more–are available in abundance as demand increases for quality health care.
Degree Programs in Health Care and the Medical Field
Before a doctor, nurse, or researcher can provide care to patients and tackle medical problems, they must have a certain level of specialized training, skills, and experience. The length of required studies varies from one role to the next.
Doctors spend 4 years in an undergraduate program, followed by 4 years of medical school.
Surgeons and other specialists may spend an additional 2 to 4 years in school before moving into an internship position.
Nurses can graduate in 2 or 3 years from various nursing programs, or complete a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Nursing assistants can complete their education and obtain an internship or job in less than a year.
Research, therapy, rehab, and hospice positions vary as well. Some are available to Bachelor’s students and graduates, while others require a Master’s or PhD. The amount of education is usually proportionate to the salary and level of responsibility. Virtually all medical professionals study a wide spectrum of science courses (math, biology, biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, and physiology) with some specialization in their area of interest.
Internships and Real World Training
Most, but not all, medical jobs require some form of internship, either during education or after a degree is completed. With people’s health and lives in the balance, hands-on training is an essential part of the preparation for any job in the health care field.
Like education, the amount of time spent in internships varies.
Doctors may spend 3 to 8 years interning.
Nurses can complete their internships in 6 months to 2 years.
Medical administrative staff may not go through any internship, or they may be expected to intern or possess other qualifications (such as a nursing degree or other experience) to land a high-level admin position.
The length of internships and types of educational qualifications vary widely across different medical careers. Take the time to investigate the details of the jobs and programs that interest you to find the best match for your skills, interests, qualifications, and the length of time you’re willing to devote to your studies.