There are few life choices more rewarding than a career in medicine. Working each day to save or improve people’s lives, you’ll feel fulfilled in a way that goes beyond what pay and benefits can do for you – though those can be very pleasing as well. How can you find your way into a career like this? What are the first steps you should take?
Unless you’re satisfied with being a hospital porter or cleaner or a home health aide (still roles that enable you to make a contribution), you’ll need a degree or specialized training to embark on a medical career. That means you’ll normally need to start by graduating high school. If, however, you fail to do so, there are still options open to you. You can study and take your high school diploma later in life, or you can join the military and train as a battlefield medic. Either of those options can put you in a position to qualify to undertake further training.
Administrative careers in medicine might not sound as glamorous as hands-on work but they’re every bit as important – managing information properly is vital to ensuring that patients get the right treatment in a timely manner and resources are sensibly allocated. Many people working in this field start out in technical colleges, developing IT or management skills, then take a medical module to give them a basic understanding of the issues they’ll be dealing with and how to prioritize them.
All in all, the nursing career path offers numerous benefits including salaries, advancement opportunities, professional versatility and most importantly feeling professional fulfillment. Nursing specialties are fastly growing and there is a relevant position depending on your own interest and preferences. While one might choose to become a nurse anesthetist or work in the ICUs as a critical nurse, others might fit better in a travel nurse position where it gives you an opportunity to pick and choose where your next adventure is and work at different facilities and gain unique experience.
Becoming a doctor
Because it requires lengthy college study, becoming a doctor is sometimes thought of as a career that’s out of reach unless you’re rich, but in fact, there are a good number of scholarships available. To win one, you’ll need not only an excellent school record but also something else that makes you stand out. Volunteering with a health-related charity, becoming a first-aider or gaining medical experience by working as an orderly are all practical options that demonstrate the passion and dedication funders are looking for.
There are numerous other specialist medical careers out there, from physiotherapy to dentistry, phlebotomy, radiology or occupational therapy. Take your time to read about them and consider which options you might be best suited to, as well as which seem most attractive. With skills in this field, you’ll find that there’s always work available and that the work you do always feels worthwhile.