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Friday, September 14, 2012

Choosing A Medical Career

To choose a career in medicine is one of the most honorable choices you can make in your lifetime. Questions arise as to what might motivate you to make such a decision. Maybe you have been personally affected by the tragic illness of a loved one. Or maybe it is just part of your personality to want to fix things. You may have a deep concern for the well-being of others. You might be attracted to the higher incomes that these types of careers have to offer.

If you are contemplating a medical career, you should seriously consider the reasons for your choice because the answers to these questions can play a large part in determining the success or failure of your career venture. When times get tough and as any medical student will tell you, times do get tough, the heartfelt motivations behind your decision to become a medical professional are what keep you going.

There are truthfully many things to consider before making the decision to pursue a medical career. Are you interested in illness management, crisis intervention or preventive medicine? Do you wish to practice general medicine or specialize in a specific area of medicine? What are the financial and educational requirements of the specific field of choice? Determining the answers to these and other questions before beginning a medical career will help ensure success and help you to decide which of the many fields of medicine you should strive for. Self-assessment, good planning and preparation are the key ingredients involved in attaining to your goal of becoming a medical professional.

With those thoughts in mind, let’s consider some of the possibilities. If you are thinking about becoming a doctor, hopefully you have applied yourself well in your primary education of grades K-12. From there four years of undergraduate schooling to obtain your bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school and then three to eight years of internship and residency are required depending on the field of expertise chosen. To be licensed as a doctor you must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass a licensing exam, and complete one to seven years of graduate medical education. The average income for a doctor can range anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000 depending on region and field. The highest paid doctor is an anesthesiologist. Doctors work long hours usually averaging 60 hours or more a week.

If your interest is in nursing, you are not alone. You keep company with 2.3 million nursing positions that exist in the world. There are three different educational requirements for nursing jobs. If you wish to be a registered nurse, then you will need a bachelor’s degree taking about four years to complete. If your goal is to be a licensed practical nurse, then you will be acquiring an associate’s degree in two years. A diploma nursing position can be obtained in three years administered through a hospital, but only a few hospitals continue to offer these programs. Nurses average about $45,000 to $55,000 a year in income but are worth their weight in gold. Good nurses are sympathetic, caring and responsible.

Alternative therapies are continuing to gain popularity as preventive medicine takes a firm hold in the medical profession. If this is your passion for healthcare, becoming a chiropractor might suit you. Chiropractors are required to complete four years of undergraduate schooling. Then they must also complete four years of chiropractic college courses. Chiropractors are required to pass a national and state examination. The chiropractor’s approach to healthcare is holistic or treating the entire body. They believe that spinal dysfunctions attribute to illness and so they treat illness by adjusting the spine. They usually are against pharmaceutical drugs, surgery and other unnatural remedies. Concentration is on nutrition, rest, exercise and environment.

There are a wide range of medical careers to choose from and not all of them require eight to ten years of education. A medical assistant position can be obtained with only a one or two program at a vocational or technical school. The pay for a medical assistant position averages about $24,000 a year. An EMT or emergency medical technician must have a formal education and pass state exams, but many vocational schools offer a four month program to obtain these. EMT will be trained in virtually every type of emergency situation. This can be a very demanding and stressful position and the pay averages about $27,000 to $32,000. Many EMT continue their training at night and go on to become a paramedic.

Financial concerns are always at the top of the list when considering the educational needs of pursuing a medical career. Grants, student loans, scholarships and other funding programs are always available for any type of education. The suggestion is to apply for every possible financial assistance program available in order to reach your goal. Students.gov offers a wide variety of information in obtaining financial aid for higher education. Whichever field of medicine you decide to enter, rest assured that your choice will be accompanied with a good quality of education, life-saving value and a rewarding sense of accomplishment.

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