Medical and Health Professions
Medical and health professions make up part of a growing industry with many career opportunities. Read on to learn if a career or education path in the medical and health fields is right for you.
Inside Medical and Health Professions
In the medical and health fields, professional occupations require the most training, a bachelor's degree at the minimum. However, a graduate degree in a specific medical field is often required. For example, according to the American Medical Association, in order to become a physician, one must complete a bachelor's degree program that includes courses in the biological sciences (www.ama-assn.org). Aspring doctors then complete four years of medical school and graduate with an MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree.
After completing medical school, graduates enter into a residency program, which is typically 3-5 years in length and during which time they select an area of medicine in which to specialize, such as pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics or geriatrics. After completing a residency program, MDs can earn their medical license; some MDs, especially those interested in pursuing a highly specialized area of medicine, such as a speciality in psychiatry, may complete a fellowship.
Students interested in becoming nurses may enroll in a 4-year bachelor's degree program in nursing. They may take courses in clinical nursing, nursing care management and leadership, adult nursing and assessment skills. Those interested in becoming nurse practitioners will have to complete a master's degree program in nursing with a concentration in a specialty of advanced practice nursing, such as pediatric, psychiatric or family nursing.
A medical professional's duties are complex and generally have a great deal of associated responsibility, including overseeing other health care workers. Professional careers include physicians, nurses, surgeons, counselors, optometrists, chiropractors and physical therapists.
Another branch of medical and health professions is allied health. Some of these professionals may have six months to two years of training after high school, while others may have bachelor's and master's degrees. Examples of careers this group include EMTs (emergency medical technicians), paramedics, technicians, technologists, sonographers, health educators, dietitians, medical librarians and dental hygienists.
Other allied health workers, such as nursing aides and home care aides, may have either little or no specific training, or certificates and associate degrees - some may even be trained on the job. Individuals with associate's degrese may advance by earning bachelor's degrees. A large segment of health and medical professions consists of administrative and office occupations, such as receptionists, medical records technicians and information clerks.
Medical and health positions are found in hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities, offices of physicians, offices of dentists, ambulatory services centers and health practitioner offices (not physician offices). The length of training varies from six months to years of schooling. The Stanford School of Medicine reports that most jobs offer competitive pay and benefits (www.stanford.edu). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care employment was expected to grow by 22% between 2008-2018, and the health care industry was expected to add 3.24 million new jobs during the same decade (www.bls.gov).
Learn More About Medical and Health Professions
There are careers at every level and across many specialties in the medical and health care fields. Whether you are looking for an entry-level position or you would like to pursue a degree, Education-Portal.com has information on both on campus and online degree programs, courses and careers that may help you discover the next step in your career path.
There are many programs available to individuals interested in health professions. Below are just a few of the options available to students.
- Health Psychology Graduate Degree
- Health Records Technician Diploma
- Physician Assistant Degree
- Bachelor of Nursing
- Oncologist Degree
There are dozens of career paths in the health care industry. Click on the following Education-Portal.com articles to find a career path that is right for you.
- Health Technologist
- Certified Medical Technician
- Registered Nurse
- Medical Receptionist
- Sport Medicine Physician
Distance Learning Options
Many online and hybrid programs are available to individuals interested in pursuing a medical or health profession. Explore the following articles for more information.
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