Fields within the Medical Path (Part 6)

Fields within the Medical Path (Part 6)

Do you want aA medical field career, but aren’t sure what you want to do or where you will fit in? Thankfully, there are plenty of career options from which to choose, and not all of them require years of schooling and long residencies.

Perhaps you are interested in dealing directly with people and providing high quality customer service; if so, you might find working as a medical receptionist or hospital intake coordinator appealing. Medical assistants, nurse’s aides, and dental hygienists are just some of the careers that might appeal to those interested in medical field careers without investing years in school. If the idea of long-term training does not deter you, then any number of medical careers exists: physician, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapist. Many of these upper level vocations require a minimum of four years in college, with most requiring graduate level work with clinical practice. These careers are challenging in both classroom and real life, but those who have the determination and discipline necessary to succeed in these areas will discover a lifelong, rewarding medical career.

Medical Researcher

Do you enjoy puzzles? Did you have fun swabbing petri dishes with germ-soaked Q-tips, then following a set of clues to determine the offending organism in microbiology? If so, medical research could be the field for you. Medical researchers work in many different settings: in hospitals, medical labs, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and universities. Their main focus is to improve life for the rest of us. Thanks to medical researchers, we have numerous vaccines that prevent deadly diseases, a better understanding of disease pathology and how to prevent and avoid fatal illnesses. We live longer, healthier lives thanks to the invention of prostheses and devices like the cardiac pacemaker. Medical researchers have discovered that animals have many illnesses in common with humans. Highly regulated medical research performed on animals (although considered controversial by some) helps both humans and the animals themselves. Medical researchers have used primate hearts to study transplantation and heart disease in humans. These researchers are also the ones who’ve discovered the beneficial aspects of stem cells (another controversial area) over the last fifteen years. Thanks to years spent in medical laboratories by these inquisitive individuals our lives have been prolonged and enriched.

Most medical researchers hold a PhD in one of the biological sciences; many also hold a medical degree. Those with both better their chances for employment. Anyone currently in an undergraduate program who wishes to become a medical researcher should pursue a degree in biology or one of the other biological sciences. If a researcher interacts medically with a study participant (gives medication, draws blood, etc.), he or she must already be a licensed physician. According to the BLS, medical researchers occupied 109,400 jobs in 2008 (BLS, 2009), the majority of which worked in scientific research and development firms. As with the upper level medical occupations, the BLS estimates that the job outlook for medical researchers over the next ten years is expected to grow faster than that of other jobs. Again, this can be attributed to the fact that we’re living longer and will continue to need medical assistance as we age. The BLS also points out that research jobs should be plentiful in coming years because of expanded opportunities in areas such as AIDS research and the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. It is also expected that the federal government will continue its funding of medical research to improve the health of its citizens. Knowing that funding is readily available from the government means increased job security for these researchers. These scientists are protected from problems like economic recessions because they are usually involved in long-term research projects. The BLS (2009) states median salaries for researchers in the medical field were $72,590 with those in scientific research and development earning $79,210. For those who excel in math and science and enjoy the challenge of unearthing new technologies and the intricacies of the human condition, medical research is an exciting field rife with job security.

As always, you can count on EresumeX as your free job portal.

~Dawn Krovicka