- Top Careers in Medicine
- You Have Your Map — What Now?
- Your Future Awaits: Find Your Next Learning Opportunity
- Kick-start Your Future Today
Whether you’re in your final days of high school or starting your freshman year, charting a course through your future career can be a little scary. Of course, it’s always a journey worth taking — especially if you have a great map.
That’s particularly true if you’re pursuing medical education. Any career path in this industry, from sports medicine to biomedical science, takes a lot of careful planning, plenty of research and just a bit of opportunity.
And we’ve got all three.
Read on to start exploring careers in medicine and how one special program can help map your journey to becoming a medical professional.
Top Careers in Medicine
The medical field is full of possibilities — and because career options are always changing, you might feel like you’re on a road that forks in a million different ways. Although the ultimate choice is always yours, it doesn’t hurt to see some of the most popular paths.
Primary Care Physician
Sometimes called general or family physicians, these experts can handle everything from checkups to broken bones. They generally have to complete at least 11 years of medical education and can be responsible for lifelong patient care. Their average annual wage is $224,460.
Registered nurses and nurse practitioners work with other health care experts to educate, support and treat patients. If you enjoy caring for others (and helping them care for themselves), this may be the perfect career for you. After earning a bachelor’s degree, registered nurses can make an average annual wage of $81,220.
A physical therapist helps manage pain, improve mobility and more, working with patients to overcome injuries, illnesses or other conditions that impact their physical comfort. Physical therapy may be part of a larger plan for patient care, so these experts may collaborate with practitioners in other disciplines to provide preventative and rehabilitative services. They can make an average annual salary of $97,960 after six or more years of continuing medical education.
There’s no single path to becoming a surgeon. You could go into different kinds of surgery — such as oral, neurological or pediatric — and have unique experiences. Generally speaking, a surgeon can make an average of $229,300 per year; just keep in mind that the salary and required schooling depend on the specific discipline.
Dental assistants, nursing assistants, even physician assistants — the medical jobs in this category are incredibly varied. While you may see lower salaries in these positions than for their more tenured counterparts, you’ll likely have to spend less time in medical school before you’re able to get hands-on with your career.
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of telling your family you’re studying to become a surgeon or primary care physician — or maybe you have a passion for health care but don’t know what to do with it yet. Either way, it’s smart to see what other roles are out there, such as:
● Occupational therapist.
● Home health aide.
You Have Your Map — What Now?
Knowing your options for a medical career is like picking up a roadmap for the first time. You haven’t necessarily chosen your path, but at least you know that you’re in the right area. Now that you have this map, though, you’re free to start reviewing the available options. Here are just a few things to consider before beginning your journey:
- Preferences: Public health is about making connections. Think about what comes naturally to you and how that can be used to help patients.
- Education: How much time do you want to spend in medical school? How comfortable are you with the requirements for your ideal career?
- Research: What do you already know about each option and what do you need to know? (Hint: This can include everything from future employment trends and progression opportunities to daily responsibilities and ethical considerations).
- Conversations: Do you know anyone who works in medical care? Even if they’re in a different discipline, it can help to get their perspectives and advice.
- Questions: You don’t have to be sure about anything at this stage in your career journey. Take notes as you learn and write down any questions you still have; this will help you keep track of your decision-making process.
- Opportunities: If you have a chance to see what health care looks like outside the classroom, take it. These experiences aren’t just valuable learning opportunities — they’re also a chance to decide if you like a particular role and medical setting.
As you progress on your educational and professional journey, keep one thing in mind: You’re still just a student. The world has plenty to teach you if you know where to look — and sometimes, that means going beyond what’s familiar.
Your Future Awaits: Find Your Next Learning Opportunity
Hands-on experience in a real medical environment is invaluable, but not always easy to come by. Fortunately, the National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine & Health Care program puts this opportunity right at your fingertips. You’ll have a chance to immerse yourself in learning outside the classroom — and beyond your hometown. Choose from campuses in seven exciting locations across the country and practice clinical skills, meet graduate students and faculty, experience realistic medical scenarios and more.
This engaging summer program combines different teaching styles, from seminars to simulated procedures, so you can immerse yourself in an interactive curriculum. You won’t just learn about the medical field; you’ll also find out where you excel, what interests you and where you fit into the rich world of medicine.
Kick-start Your Future Today
Choosing a medical career is a journey, and you’re still taking your first steps. Along the way, don’t forget to have real experiences, go beyond your comfort zone and learn in different ways.
The NYLF Medicine & Health Care program offers all of this and more. Experience real health care and get help planning your career — all while exploring a new part of the country.
Ready to kickstart your future? Learn more about the program here.