35 Types of Careers In Medicine You May Consider
Medicine is the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (concise oxford English dictionary).
There are lots of careers you can choose from in medicine, from the ones you are quite familiar with to others that are not so popular. While some are old, some are newly introduced and have a promising future.
You may be under the impression that careers in medicine, medical sciences and research are just about becoming a Doctor or Nurse.
However, this isn’t the case.
You have probably jumped straight to thinking about the noise of the ambulance and the busy ER from the programs you see on TV. You may have also heard that you will be doing the same thing day in and out as a dental practitioner.
Yes, a career in medicine can and will involve some of these elements but most definitely not all the time.
Every career role in this sector of work can be complex and challenging. Nevertheless, careers in medicine have a huge influence on the lives of other people.
There is an abundance of career options available, many you may not have known existed.
So before you make the decision to start a career in medicine, medical sciences or research, it’s a good idea to have a little understanding of what it’s all about.
Well, it’s no secret that medicine is all about helping people and understanding their problems with their physical health.
It’s about saving lives, improving people’s lives, treatments, new cures, medicine, and research into finding new and creative ways to do all of the above.
Everybody will need the help of a medical professional at some point and they are highly reliant on a high skillset so a lot of education is needed to get you where you need to be.
It may seem a little obvious, but without doctors, nurses and medical science experts, people nowadays would find it very difficult to survive.
We are not living in the caveman era. Therefore, having this luxury is one of the reasons we now have longer life expectancies. You can most definitely expect any job role in this sector to be demanding in some way.
What are your career options?
There is a large array of careers in the medical sector. It’s just a case of finding one that suits you:
I know you must have heard about paediatric doctors. You got it! They are the doctors of children. So if you are good with children and you also like medicine, this career path is the best option for you.
You will have direct contact with kids and have a good knowledge of illness and sickness peculiar to them. Your career will specialize in treating illnesses and sicknesses of infants and children.
This is the specialist that works on the lower limbs. If you would like to work on the legs, ankles, down to the toes, I will recommend this career path for you.
It deals with how the limb works, the ailment peculiar to the lower limbs and how to treat those kinds of ailments.
3. Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors
These are doctors that treat, inflammations, pains or other forms of abnormalities in the ear, nose or throat also known as Otolaryngology (ENT) specialists. They are well known to handle cases like swimmer’s ears, sleep apnea and breathing problems.
They also perform extremely delicate operations to restore the hearing of the middle ear, open blocked airways, remove head, neck, and throat cancers, and rebuild these essential structures.
Here is where you will likely find doctors using smart visual ear cleaners to clean the ears in order to avoid ear wax buildups.
4. Dental Hygienists
Before, during or after the work of the dentists, dental hygienists cater for the cleaning of the patient’s teeth and mouth.
The dental hygienist works hand in hand with the dentist by ensuring the patients’ mouth is in the proper state before the work of the dentist. He also cleans the mouth after the work of the dentist.
5. Dental Assistant or Technicians
Your job would be to help the work of a dentist by performing rudimentary patient care.
You will prepare the patient visiting the dentist, create, retrieve and update the patient’s file as administrative personnel.
You will also perform basic oral tests and upkeep.
6. Public Health
Public health deals with the protection of the general populace from disease.
This career has the widest scope in medicine because it involves the provision of medical services to the general public.
The medical services include sensitization on what could cause a health hazard, how to prevent disease, promotion of sound health, vaccination and health talks. You may consider this field if you want to reach a large number of people.
7. Doctors and Surgeons
As a surgeon, you will be operating on patients to surgically treat a particular disorder. This might be treating the affected organ or tissue or removal of the sick part in the case of a tumour.
Specializations in this field are plastic surgeons, oral surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, General surgeons, neurosurgeons, and Paediatric Surgery.
Considered to be one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers is that as a doctor or surgeon. These amazing people examine patients’ symptoms, diagnose the issues, provide appropriate treatments, and provide support to their patients.
As a dentist, you will have the opportunity to take care of patients’ dentition as well as tell them how to promote good oral health.
You will inspect, prescribe and advise patients to stay healthy by giving oral health advice.
This plays a huge role in the fact that so many of us have exposed our healthy teeth and gums to a lot of sugary junk. As a dental professional, you might work in general practice or in a dental hospital.
However, it is also possible to practice as self-employed, where you can offer private services within your own practice. This is a brilliant idea if you’re looking to make a fair bit of money.
9. Crowd doctor
This should not be confused with public health. They look alike but they are not the same.
Crowd doctors attend to the public attending outdoor activities. An example is the doctors on duty at the NYSC parade ground.
This can be an opportunity to practice medicine without working in the hospital because crowd doctors need not work in hospitals before they practice.
When another specialist in the medical sector prescribes medications, all patients still have to come in contact with the pharmacist to get the medications.
The pharmacist dispenses prescriptions and gives advice on the use of those prescriptions tailored to a particular patient.
11. Pharmacy technicians
Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist in his or her duties. They can dispense medicine as well & advise on the dosage to use but they are not qualified to prescribe medication.
If you choose to be a pharmacy technician, you will also be responsible for some of the technology used in the pharmacy like the scale for weight measurement.
12. Medical Transcriptionist
This medical career path does not need much medical training for you to work. If you are a good listener and you are a good typist, this career option is for you.
Medical transcriptionist transcribes the word of the doctor either as at when it is been said or from a recorded tape.
MT provides the medical sectors with the paper and ink type of record for future use.
13. Health Journalist
One key difference between a regular journalist and a health journalist is that the health journalist has been trained in the medical field and therefore has more experience to report health news accurately.
Health journalists are health workers with training in journalism.
If you like to bring health information to people, a health journalist is the right career for you.
14. Forensic Medicine
This deals with the application of medical knowledge to an investigation, especially of crimes.
Forensic pathologist carries out examinations on the dead while forensic medical examiners examine the living.
Either dead or living, if you have a keen eye for medical examinations, forensics is the career path for you.
15. Medical Researcher
Just as the name implies, Medical researchers are tasked with experiments by observing, analyzing and noting facts about medicine.
A Medical Researcher specializes in different medical fields. If you want to study something further or you want to make new findings of your own in the medical field, medical research is the career path you should take.
As an MR, you will work both in laboratories and in the field depending on your medical research needs.
16. Medical-legal advisors
What’s great as combining two great careers – medicine and law? The duty of a medical-legal advisor is to provide legal advice to medical cases.
It means you are to see into legal actions taken in the medical field, attend and defend court trials if need be.
Generally, a physician is a medical practitioner that specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment as distinct from surgery. They take and observe medical histories and prescribe medications to patients.
Occupational physician trains individual or group of individuals on how to ensure safety, improve health while reducing or eliminating health hazards. This is perfect for practitioners that want to help patients return to their workplace.
18. Physician Assistant
A physician assistant assists the physician to perform diagnosis and treatment.
You will practice medicine under the supervision of a physician while undergoing further studies in the field. You will need to work in the physician’s office, hospital or in the field.
A nutritionist, also called a dietician, helps people to plan and execute a good nutrition plan.
If you choose this career path, you will be concerned with what balanced a diet is and what is needed to make it balance.
You will advise people on what, when and how they should eat to live a healthy life. For instance, the consumption of low carb or food with less sugar for diabetic patients.
20. Transplant Coordinator
If you like to be the man that bridges the gap between the donor and the recipient of organs, go for Transplant coordination.
You will coordinate the donation and planting of the donated organs to the recipient. You will need both medical and administrative skills to function properly.
Therapists are specialists that treat people in order to relieve or heal a disorder.
If you are an occupational therapist, you would treat patients through their daily routine whereas as a physical therapist, you would treat patients by physical exercise.
Physical therapist prefers a less invasive procedure to help the patient heal.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that has received training and specializes in all aspects of eye care.
As an Ophthalmologist, you will diagnose, manage and prescribe medication for disorders and diseases of the eye.
If you would like to take care of people’s eyes by examining the eye and prescribing medical advice on eye treatment, you can be an Optometrist.
You will be responsible for recommending the right glasses or medication to treat eye problems.
An Optometrist differs from an Ophthalmologist in the level of training and eye care service they can perform.
As the last variant of the eye care specialist, an optician, or dispensing optician, designs, fits and dispenses remedial lenses for the correction of the patients’ vision.
You will need to be familiar with the variances in the eye care products and make a precise judgment on what eye gear is suitable for each situation.
25. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Would you like to utilize your technical skill in the medical line?
If so, diagnostic medical sonography is the best career for you. You will be in charge of the sonogram, echocardiogram, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound machine.
Your job will be to handle machines and equipment relating to medical imaging.
26. Radiologic Technologist
RT assist the radiologist in running the diagnostics imaging test.
They help in x-ray scanning, CT and MRI scanning. You, as an RT, wouldn’t make inferences from the scanned image, you just pass it along to the physicians.
27. Cardiovascular Technologist
This deals with heart and blood vessel imaging technology. CT runs the machines used to assess the function of the cardiovascular system.
As a cardiovascular technologist, you wouldn’t diagnose the patient but you will use machines to map out the image of the heart and the circulatory system.
A psychiatrist attends to mentally ill patients. As a psychiatrist, you will be looking forward to assessing the state of the mind of the patient, treat and prevent further degradation of the mental state.
You will also work with other specialists to treat the patient.
29. Psychiatric aide
If you would like to assist a psychiatrist as he or she assesses patients with a psychological disorder, then this is a good catch for you.
Your job will include physical restraint and leading of patients, evaluation of the conditions of the patients and record-keeping.
This concerns the care of pregnant women. As a gynaecologist, also called an obstetrician, you will be in charge of monitoring the pregnancy before birth to after birth.
You are also responsible for pre-natal, ante-natal and post-natal care provided to both the mother and the baby.
31. Nursing assistant
As the name implies, if you are a nurse assistant, you will be assisting the nurses to arrange medical equipment. You will take the vitals of patients and file them in the record.
You need not have deep formal or medical education to start this career path in a few cases but you must just be ready to learn.
A phlebotomist is specialized in the surgical opening of a vein to introduce fluid or draw blood.
You can work in the hospital or in most cases medical laboratories where the blood sample is collected for test.
You may also be involved in the collection of blood for storage (in blood banks) and transfusion to the recipients.
33. Medical Assistant
A medical assistant career is an avenue for you to both practice clinical and administrative duties.
The clinical aspect is the assistance of a physician and taking of patient vital signs. You will also have some administrative duties such as scheduling appointments and recording patient information.
You may be required to work in hospitals, physician’s offices, specialist offices, and other medical institutions.
34. Medical Research and Development
Not one that’s thought about as much but it’s the backbone of medicine today. You will find high-level expertise being used in this profession where they will use equipment such as DNA isolation to develop and improve medical supplies and treatments.
35. Nurse and Midwives
The most general definition for a nurse is “a person trained to care for the sick”.
If your passion is just to take care of the sick or provide assistance to the weak, you can opt-in for nursing.
You will then be one of the backbones of the health sector (nurses are regarded to as the mainstay). This comes with a diverse location for work ranging from a hospital to private homes.
Both are considered to be the real working of the medical world. You will find that in these careers you are truly hard working and will complete tasks such as administering medicine, diagnosing, delivering babies. This is one of the most rewarding job roles in medicine.
You must have heard fascinating things about medicine but you are currently not studying or practising medicine and you wonder if you can have a career in medicine?
Are you interested in any of the careers listed above or do you like to put yourself up to any of the career options? If so, set it as a goal you want to achieve and I see you attaining it.
I am sure this article has helped you to decide which one to go for.
Whatever direction you choose to go, careers in medicine can be rewarding, challenging. It can be a real eye-opener.
Do you have any other information about medical professions to share?
Please, comment in the section below.