The medical field is a broad industry offering many rewarding and fulfilling career opportunities. If one assumes that only physicians and surgeons are in demand, then they must reassess their perspective.
From DNA analysts, therapists, dietitians, and nutritionists to orthotic and prosthetic professionals, there are professions that are making an impact in the industry. Experts in the field are equipping themselves with the latest technologies, getting a relevant degree, and contributing to society.
In this article, we will discuss five lucrative and in-demand medical field careers to consider in 2023.
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DNA Analysts are trained professionals with expertise in DNA examination to help find or prove the identity of an individual. Their usual workplace is crime labs where potential suspects are identified using DNA. DNA analysts conduct testing on different DNA samples, compare them with known DNA samples, and provide results when a match is found.
DNA analysts also have the option to specialize in serology, chemistry, molecular genetics, or molecular biology. These certifications comprise mandatory laboratory hours and supervised internships. Before working independently, they’re required to complete a certain number of on-the-job training. DNA analysts typically work in forensic labs, police station crime labs, private forensic labs, hospitals, or government agencies.
A forensic science, criminalistics, or laboratory science degree is the first step for students interested in this career path. The curriculum focuses on the development of critical skills and analytical thinking and equips individuals with the knowledge of evidence analysis and its importance in the criminal justice system. These experts are then responsible for providing reliable and objective forensic DNA information that is used as evidence at trials.
An associate or bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy will enable you to start your career as a radiation therapist. Graduates are required to take the national certification exam through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). This certification requires annual renewal.
The curriculum is devised in such a way that it provides an opportunity to have hands-on learning, clinical experiences, and direct application. It includes courses and hands-on experience in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiosurgery (SBRT), volume-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), and related technologies.
Radiation therapists work in cancer treatment centers, non-profit organizations, public and private hospitals, and outpatient clinics. They can also work in specialized radiation therapy centers and advanced private laboratories.
Behavioral Health Technician
Becoming a behavioral health technician may be a good fit for you if you’re interested in working with patients with special needs. Special needs include developmental disorders, behavioral issues, and psychological issues. Behavioral health technicians help doctors, clinical staff, and mental health professionals and assist patients with self-care and day-to-day activities. A bachelor’s degree will help you advance your career. Graduates can work in a variety of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, non-profit organizations, and clinics.
The education focuses on competency-based applied learning, reasoning, and problem-solving skills, including but not limited to community, health, safety, and environmental issues. Clinical and work-based learning experiences are critical parts of the curriculum. Effective communication and interpersonal skills, safety and security, and response to emergency situations are equally important.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals providing primary vision care that includes eyesight testing, diagnosis, treatment planning, and management of vision changes. While optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians are all eye-care professionals, there is a difference between each job role.
- Ophthalmologists are healthcare professionals with specializations in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders and diseases.
- An optometrist prescribes corrective lenses, diagnoses certain eye abnormalities, and prescribes medications for eye diseases.
- Opticians focus on fitting and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Optometrists have a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree, and most of them opt for one after completing a bachelor’s degree. The OD degree is a 4-year program that focuses on neuroanatomy, microbiology, visual neurophysiology, optometry, clinical reasoning and case analysis, and hands-on experience through internships.
Optometrists may choose to work in a public or private hospital, retail optical stores, universities, and research institutes, or they can opt for a private practice. A career as an optometrist is in demand and pays off well.
A physician assistant (PA) has the opportunity to start a career in virtually any specialty area of medicine. PAs can excel and specialize in anesthesia, cardiology, dermatology, family medicine, and more. After completing a bachelor’s degree, graduates are required to complete a physician assistant program accredited by Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant and complete licensure requirements. Licensure requirements include clearing PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination) from NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants).
Physician assistants typically work at hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. Their regular day is spent working with patients and making rounds. PAs may be required to assist in administrative duties such as maintaining EHR (electronic health record) by entering and updating patient data, taking notes, and interacting online with patients.
Typically, the curriculum provides a systematic approach to clinical medicine, pharmacology, and diagnostic methods. The contents include but are not limited to, infectious diseases, neurology, psychiatry, hematology, oncology, ophthalmology, ENT, and pathophysiology. Some courses that focus on women’s health include gynecology, normal/abnormal delivery, and labor. PAs are also equipped with essential diagnostic skills by including contents such as diagnosis and treatments of diseases, ECG, advanced evaluation of heat sounds, and comprehensive radiology.
Aside from the financial benefits, graduates pursue careers in the medical field for intrinsic rewards such as satisfaction in helping save and prolonging patients’ lives. A career in the medical field is likely to be secured as there is more and more demand for healthcare professionals. Excellent salary plans and benefits such as dental insurance, life, and health insurance, and paid time off are just a few. So, choose a career in the medical field that fits your interests and aspirations, and make a positive difference in people’s lives.