If you’re interested in entering the medical industry, you may have heard about the shortage of qualified healthcare professionals across the medical profession, a state of affairs that is slated to worsen over the next five to ten years. The problems here are multiple. First, there were older doctors who didn’t retire because of the recession and resultant hits to retirement accounts. Now that the economy is improving, these professionals are likely to start looking towards retirement. On top of that, however, it seems there are fewer students willing to take on the burden of debt and the years of college associated with becoming a medical professional. And then there are the millions of formerly uninsured citizens now covered by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) seeking medical services that they previously would have foregone. The result is a looming gap in healthcare services that could spell disaster. And students like you can take advantage of this shortage by entering a variety of healthcare professions. Here are a few majors that could lead to fulfilling careers.
It’s no secret that there’s a growing demand for qualified professionals in all areas of nursing. As the medical industry prepares to deal with a shortage of primary care physicians, nurses are taking on the role traditionally held by primary/family doctors. With chatter about requiring nurses to hold four-year degrees, those looking to enter nursing professions may soon be given a lot more latitude where their duties to patients are concerned. And with many nurse practitioners starting their own practices, you might just want to shoot for the autonomy a higher degree in nursing will gain you (although you’ll have to check with the laws of your state to find out if there is an option to operate as a nurse practitioner without the aid of a supervising physician).
Health Information Technology
Health informatics are quickly making their mark as the way of the future, thanks to the confluence of diagnostic tools and programming that allow for in-home monitoring of patients, allowing people to play a much more substantial role in the healthcare process (and reducing the burden on medical staff and facilities). Students trained in such technology are going to prove invaluable in the medical industry in the coming years.
You’ll have to earn a master’s degree to enter this growing field, but with more and more people suffering injuries related to modern working conditions, you may find the prospect of helping patients to regain job skills, life skills, and so on following an accident or injury both challenging and satisfying. Occupational therapy goes far beyond what the average physical therapist might undertake, but if you are interested in medicine because you want to help patients regain their lives, this could be the right career path for you.
Some people are interested in becoming top neurosurgeons or cardiologists. Others prefer to work in pediatric oncology. But if you find that you’re drawn to the administrative side of the medical field, the good news is that the coming years will provide plenty of health careers that never require you to see the inside of an OR. With help from your college advisor you can find the program that best suits your talents and sensibilities. And a source like Challenger Corporation can offer the test prep you need to pass exams and obtain board certifications. Whether you want to work in an ER, help patients in a home setting, or manage a hospital, there are exciting careers in health and medicine waiting for you, and all you have to do is choose the field you find most compelling.