With the world’s ever-growing population and the increase in the aged population, the demand for healthcare professionals is only increasing. A career in healthcare is also extremely well-paying and offers excellent job stability. If you want to pursue it, you might think getting an MD degree is necessary; however, many jobs don’t require you to do so. Keep reading this article to learn more about 3 common job options in the healthcare industry that don’t require an MD degree.
1. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants work directly with doctors in clinics, hospitals, or medical offices. Their duties vary from medical practice to medical practice depending on specialty, size, location, etc., and they are generally trained to carry out clinical and administrative tasks. Their clinical duties may include taking medical histories, explaining treatment procedures or medications to a patient, collecting laboratory specimens, assisting physicians in examinations, performing basic laboratory tests, and dressing wounds. Their administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, handling billing and bookkeeping, updating or filing patients’ medical records, and answering telephones.
To become a medical assistant, you must earn a high school diploma or equivalent, graduate from an accredited medical assistant program, apply for a medical assistant certification, and pass the CMA exam. You can also advance your career through continued education, specializing in family practice, ophthalmology, geriatrics, and cardiology.
2. Registered Nurse (RN)
RNs are licensed professionals providing hands-on medical care in various medical and community settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, etc. They work directly with doctors, other healthcare professionals, and patients to perform various health-related tasks depending on the type of facility and specialty. These include providing basic patient care and comfort, promoting and maintaining health, controlling safety and infection, etc.
Getting a degree from an accredited institution is the first step to becoming an RN. You can opt for either an ADN or a BSN degree, though employers in most states prefer BSN graduates due to their more excellent experience and knowledge.
To earn a BSN, you can go for the traditional four-year BSN program or complete RN-BSN completion programs if you are already an ADN holder. Those with a bachelor’s in non-nursing fields can also shift to a nursing career by completing accelerated BSN programs. To find a suitable course, you can browse popular accelerated nursing programs Illinois has. After obtaining a degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain licensure in the state you want to work in.
Pharmacists are highly skilled medication experts who gain extensive education about the genetic makeup of different drugs and how it impacts their use, side effects, interactions, and effectiveness. Their role revolves around administering prescriptions to patients, advising on the safe usage of medicine, giving immunizations, and conducting health screenings.
To become a pharmacist, you must complete a four-year-long Pharm.D. degree, followed by internships to learn hands-on skills and get an in-depth look at pharmaceutical services. After gaining a Pharm.D. degree, you must complete a year-long postgraduate residency, enabling you to work as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital. Pharmacists can further advance their careers by completing the postgraduate year two residency, allowing them to focus on a specialty like critical care, pediatrics, or oncology.
Jobs in the healthcare industry can be gratifying. Along with allowing you to help and comfort people in pain, they are high in demand, well-paying, and offer excellent job stability. Getting an MD degree might seem like the most obvious choice to enter the healthcare field, but various other options that will take comparatively much less time also exist. You must carefully analyze the time, money, and degree each option would require and weigh each career option’s advantages and disadvantages before choosing.