When we talk about medical jobs, we often focus on the big three: Doctors, nurses, and dentists. Those with an interest in health and medicine have hundreds of additional career choices beyond the big three: in biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies, core research, medical administration, mental health, and many others. Every person working in a medical job shares a common goal—to improve human health across the spectrum. Rewarding careers await you!
Med school admissions are tough. As you plan to get your masters degree or PhD in health, request information from several schools before narrowing your choices down. Not all graduate programs are created equal. Pay close attention to all courses offered in the degree program and compare descriptions so you're learning what you really need to know. For some types of medical graduate programs all coursework may be delivered through online colleges, which frees the student to pursue job opportunities both now and after graduation. In addition, many traditional medical universities offer non-laboratory courses via distance learning to increase flexibility for busy students.
An MS (Master of Science) degree in health and medical fields leads to a great job. Nursing, health care management, health informatics, sports medicine, or education master's degree programs all offer great learning opportunities. The MD (Medical Degree) allows clinical doctors to prescribe medication, perform procedures, and work toward licensing and certification. It's interesting that the NIH (National Institutes of Health) funds a graduate program called MSTP (Medical Science Training Programs). This aims med students toward a dual degree as an MD and a PhD upon graduation. Talk to admissions counselors at each med school you're considering to find out if they participate in this grant program. For those who would like to get dual degrees but want to avoid the long road to a PhD, consider master's degree programs in subjects like public health, bioethics, or mental health.
Employment for all health and medicine careers is projected to grow significantly in the next decade. In fact, demand for trained workers is outstripping the number of graduates in some fields, especially mental health. Most dentists, ophthalmologists, and chiropractors are solo professionals running their own private practices, so business sense along with medical training makes the future of these practitioners very bright. By far, the best opportunities in medical jobs go to those who hold an MD degree and a PhD. This dual degree track lets graduate students work with patients and conduct research, which is highly valued by biomedical science. For any medical professional, dual degrees (even without the MD) are in high demand.
Coursework for those entering healthcare administration or public health fields will certainly cover ethics, disease populations, and the latest research in working with people. Nursing, dental, and med school coursework covers almost every topic imaginable depending on the graduate degree you're working toward. It's best to talk to the admissions department at several schools to find out what's involved in their degree programs, and talk to tenured faculty at each medical university to learn about internships, predoc and postdoc fellowships, and research opportunities. This is especially important for PhD and MD level students: apply for every appropriate predoctoral or postdoctoral fellowship available while you're still in med school—competition for postdoc grants is very, very tight.