The healthcare industry is arguably among the most prolific sectors all over the world. In fact, in 2018, the global healthcare industry earned $8.45 trillion, and experts believe it could reach over $10 trillion by 2022. Even in the United States alone, healthcare is considered the largest employer, with over 20 million employees and over $1 trillion in annual payroll.
Accordingly, it’s no surprise that so many young people want to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.
Unfortunately, becoming a health professional is not exactly a walk in the park. First you need to complete pre-med, then med school, and then years of residency and licensure exams before you become a proper health professional.
But fortunately for you, the following tips can get you started on making your dream come true — even when you’re still an undergraduate.
Plan Early for a Career in the Healthcare Industry
One of the best things you can do as a college student who wants to go to med school is plan early. The sooner you determine what you want your career trajectory to be, the better equipped you’ll be to pursue it.
As an undergrad, you’re still studying the general subjects required for a degree in medicine. This is the best time to explore different medical fields and decided which field is right for you.
The healthcare industry is teeming with a great number of professions and vocations. These professions can be divided into 15 broad categories.
Here’s a quick look at those 15 categories and the types of jobs they include:
|Profession Category||Job Examples|
|Administration||Clinical administrator, medical secretary, etc.|
|Allied Health Specializations||Audiologist, optometrist, etc.|
|Animal Health||Veterinarian, veterinary nurse|
|Complementary Health Therapy||Acupuncturist, naturopath, etc.|
|Dentistry||Dental assistant, dentist, dental hygienist|
|Medical Practice||Physician, physician assistant, etc.|
|Medical Research||Medical research scientist, research assistant, etc.|
|Mental Health||Psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.|
|Nursing||Registered nurse, mental health nurse, midwife, etc.|
|Nutrition||Dietitian, nutritionist, etc.|
|Pharmacy||Hospital pharmacist, community pharmacist, etc.|
|Physical Therapy||Chiropractor, occupational therapist, etc.|
|Safety||Occupational health and safety advisor, etc.|
|Technologist||Anesthetic technologist, medical imaging technologist, etc.|
Once you decide on your preferred field of study, you can begin working towards completing application requirements. Most importantly at this stage will be preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT is a required test that you’ll need to take your junior year of undergrad.
There’s a lot to do, but if you start planning early, you’ll be able to stay on top of everything as you pursue your dream career in the healthcare industry.
Get Extra Help Outside the Classroom
To get into a distinguished med school, you need to have an outstanding GPA. This means acing not only your undergrad classes, but also receiving a high mark on your MCAT.
If you want extra study help outside the classroom there are several options available.
First, take advantage of your professors’ office hours. These are dedicated hours professors set aside for students. You can use this one-on-one time with your professor to review class discussions, further explore problem areas, and request additional reading materials to aid in your individual studies.
Another great way to get extra help outside the classroom is by forming a study group. Simply reach out to fellow undergrad students in your classes to see who is interested. Then come up with a schedule to meet regularly. It can be as often as once a week or as limited as once a month.
Study groups can be especially helpful before big exams like finals or your MCAT. By pooling your knowledge and testing each other, study groups offer an interactive way to stay on top of your grades.
A final option you might consider is taking additional classes online. There are several websites, like Lecturio, that offer medicine-related classes. These classes can help reinforce topics covered in your undergrad classes. They can also prove helpful when prepping for the MCAT and other medical exams including the NCLEX-RN.
If you’re interested in online medical classes, get more info here.
Volunteer at Local Hospitals & Clinics
Med schools don’t just require you to get good grades and a remarkable MCAT score. You also need to show that you’re passionate about serving the community. The best way you can show this is by doing some volunteering work.
Not only will volunteer work help strengthen your med school application, but it also gives you real world experience in the healthcare industry. This experience can prove invaluable as you progress through your career.
Start by searching for volunteering opportunities in your region. Good places to start looking include animal shelters, crisis centers, nursing homes, local clinics, and hospitals.
This type of volunteer work will also looks great on future resumes.
Conclusion: Be Ready to Work Hard
Becoming a healthcare professional is a dream for many students. That said, the road to becoming a healthcare professional is not an easy one. You’ll need to plan early, study often, and work hard to achieve your goals.
As an undergrad, you’ve still got years of study and practice ahead of you. But the tips mentioned above should help get you started on the right path for success.
About Ashley Lipman: Ashley is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.