Medicine is your passion, but perhaps you’re not sure if you want to be a physician. There are a lot of roles you can take in the field of medicine, so it’s important to understand the required education as well as what each role involves. Below are four positions in the medical field you should consider to jumpstart your career.
A nurse practitioner is someone who holds at least a Bachelors of Science. Many NPs go on to earn their Masters of Science as well. They can be found in both hospital settings and in doctor’s offices. Nurse practitioners work under the supervision of a licensed physician who specializes in their division of medicine.
They perform the same tasks as a physician, including filling prescriptions. Depending on their field of interest, you can even find nurse practitioners in the OR as well. Note, that becoming an OR nurse practitioner does require additional training in that specific field.
Medical assistants are also integral parts of any medical team. They are the medical professionals that take your medical history, record your vitals, and explain your doctor’s orders. To become a certified medical assistant, you do need certification. Medical assistant programs can be completed in person or online.
The curriculum is focused on patient care, anatomy, and phlebotomy. There is usually in-person lab work as well. Programs typically range between nine months to two years, depending on the program.
A medical secretary can be found in both the hospital setting and private practices. Duties include patient registration, insurance claims, and scheduling of patients. Some medical secretaries also transcribe medical dictation, which means they also need extensive knowledge of medical terminology. Most medical secretaries hold college degrees, but many also learn on the job.
Physicians must complete college and medical school. In all, it can take up to 10 years to become licensed. Physicians who choose to open their practices need to complete their residency in a hospital, which takes four years. Those who choose to specialize in one sector or medicine must also complete additional training as well. This includes gastroenterology, hepatology, oncology, and nephrology to name a few.
As the need for qualified medical professionals continues to increase, there’s never been a better time to get started. Whether you’re new to the workforce or wanting to make a career change, the medical field has a lot to offer.