Is Health Care Right for You? Are You Right for Health Care?

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, EIGHT of the Top 20 fastest growing professions are in the Healthcare Industry! What does this mean for you? It means that as a Healthcare professional, you will enjoy job security and stability. However, a decision to pursue a career in the health professions requires careful preparation and self-evaluation. It involves assessing your strengths, interests, and values. It is crucial to give this thought now, before you begin to invest energy, time, and money towards obtaining a career in the healthcare field. The MedOpp Advising Office program outlines the health career planning process by breaking it down into steps:

  • Self-Assessment. Who am I? What are my strengths and interests?
  • Investigate. What’s out there?
  • Gain experience. Use your time to learn about your future career.
  • Apply. How do I get there?

1. What is your Motivation to Pursue a Healthcare Career?

What are you hoping to gain? Do you want to help others? Do you love math and science? One of the first questions you should ask yourself is how much you want to deal with people. For instance, it is important for dentist, pediatricians, and optometrists to have a warm and caring personality. Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a healthcare professional is that you will make a difference in people’s lives.

2. Are your Abilities and Strengths a Fit for Healthcare Career?

There are a few common attributes which most healthcare careers require. Most roles require excellent interpersonal and communication skills, some level of technical or mathematic capacity, and a strong work ethic. Are you prepared to deal with a wide variety of people? In many (but not all) health careers, you may spend much of your time in the company of sick, disabled, or dying people. Additionally, most medical jobs entail a great deal of responsibility and maturity. Your patient’s well-being, and even their lives could depend on the quality of your work. If you are a person who has intellectual curiosity you might be a good fit because the healthcare field changes constantly and in order to keep up with the latest developments in your field, you’ll need to continue studying and learning throughout your career. Many health careers require you to be a strong science student. All health careers involve some laboratory science and many demand intensive work in the hard sciences.

3. What Profession within Medicine is the Best Fit for You?

Within each medical specialty, jobs are available for any level of education or experience. In which type of environment would you be most comfortable, and most successful?

4. How Will Your Healthcare Career Impact Your Lifestyle Long-term?

Be sure to consider how your life, and your family will be impacted while you are in school, completing training, and after you get the job. For example, if you want to be a doctor, you may be required to work nights or weekends while you are on call. How much time do you hope to spend at work, versus at home? How will the financial constraints impact your family as well?

We hope that you find this webpage useful as you progress toward your goal of obtaining a seat in the professional school of your choice. Please keep in mind that this webpage is meant only as a guide and is not intended to provide a definitive source of information about the health professions and the process of applying to a professional school. You are encouraged to use other sources of information to aid in your evaluation. We recommend the following sites: