Industry Insights

Tips And Tricks For Starting Your Career In Medicine

By: Guest Author
Mar 23, 2021 • 6 min read

Tips And Tricks For Starting Your Career In Medicine

Starting a career in medicine can be complicated. Not only is there a complex landscape of education and experience to navigate, but you have to choose a position you want to focus on. With a large maze of specialties, prerequisites, and even exams, you’ll need to go through a few steps before you can begin your career.

While using helpful online Usmle Study Materials can certainly help, starting a medical career is still challenging. However, choosing a career in medicine is a smart move. Not only are medicine jobs on the rise, but you’ll feel confident you’re helping people live healthy lives, and this can feel very rewarding. In this guide, we will share the best tips for getting started in healthcare, from learning about different specialties to taking the right classes to switch to the industry later in life.

woman in white tank top and blue denim jeans holding woman in blue long sleeve shirt

Find Your Specialty and What You Are Interested In

While much of your decision-making in this field will involve hands-on learning and experience, you should start with some research. There are many different parts of the medical field, and some you might not have considered a career path. First, ask if you want to have personal interactions with patients and their health. Or, would you rather be in management or administration? Both are valuable parts of healthcare, but they’ll require different paths. 

While changing from one to another is possible in some cases, it’s better to do all of the research-related heavy lifting beforehand instead of later on in the process. This way, you know which option you prefer ahead of time and not feeling rushed.

A good idea to see what careers are active in your area is to browse online. This will show you a high demand for supportive careers like therapist aides, dental assistants, or medical transcriptionists. Practice-based careers will include roles like doctors, specialists, pharmacists, and nurses. Once you know where you want to focus your energy, start looking into education options and how you can reach your goals.

While many jobs in the space will require incredibly specialized education, some will have different precursors and might be easier to get into. For example, some of these options include home health assistants, certified nursing assistants, and other medical staff. They are still very impactful jobs but will generally require a less strenuous process to secure them than other positions.

Ask The Right Questions

Another way to narrow down just what you want to do in health care is to ask yourself some important questions. Jumping into any major decision without a little bit of thought and planning first generally isn’t a good idea. These questions will take into consideration your long-term goals and your life plans. Be honest with your answers to these 3 questions for the best results:

  1. How long do you want to go to school? Health education can take anywhere from an associate’s degree (which may only take a year or two) to ten years or more. There are also increasingly more and more courses offered that may only take a few months or less. How much time and work are you willing or wanting to put in? Your previous experience can also dictate what type of schooling makes sense.
  2. Where do you want to live? If you want to live in a big city, you’ll have more options than in a small town as there will be more companies and places to work and a greater need for medical professionals. Some positions will allow you to live almost anywhere and potentially move, while others may keep you in the same place.
  3. How much do you want to make? While most people assume all medicine jobs are high-paying, this isn’t always the case. There’s a wide range of salaries for those in healthcare. On the other hand, being a physician isn’t the only high-paying job in healthcare, either, so there are certainly many good options to aim for. Of course, there are plenty of other options with medium-to-low salaries that can often be less competitive, as well.

woman inside laboratory

Consider Alternative Education Options

It’s no secret that university is expensive. This cost can scare many people away from the medical field because they’re not sure how they’ll be able to afford a lengthy degree. Thanks to the digital age, there are more options than ever before if you’re willing to think outside the box. 

While the traditional Bachelor’s Degree is likely the best choice for those looking to achieve positions like a physician or surgeon, many other roles only need specialized certifications or an Associate’s Degree. You can start at a Junior College or Community College for many core classes. This will be an easy way to save money while progressing in your program. 

You can also find online programs with diverse offerings. We expect to see the options offered online continue to improve and become more plentiful. This is especially beneficial if you are looking to pivot into working in healthcare, have a lot of relevant experience, and simply look for a little boost from some online certifications or training.

Some education may take people years! However, there are much shorter courses that can be as little as a couple of weeks. The medical field is incredibly vast and varied. You will discover various course and education options to prepare you for several different career paths during your research. So if you think getting started or transitioning into the healthcare field will be a multi-year ordeal, this isn’t always the case.

Gain Experience

Going to school for your degree isn’t enough. You also need real-life experience. This is what makes getting a job easier when you graduate from your program. Luckily, many programs actually require you to complete clinical or lab hours as part of your degree. If not, reach out to your school about options in your local community or other areas.

Hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers are always looking for qualified volunteers to help with events, patients, and more. Just learning how to interact with patients and network with other professionals will go a long way towards progressing your career both in school and beyond. This is key to setting yourself up for a successful career in medicine. 

This experience is crucial in helping you also learn what you do and don’t like. While reading about things is beneficial, going to do them can help ensure you have made the right decision. Your first experience in the medical field might not be exactly what you’ve always dreamed of. However, getting a foot in the door can be crucial to help you climb the ladder in the future.

career in medicine

Identify Your Transferable Skills

While many of these tips have focused on helping students get their start in healthcare, they aren’t the only individuals looking to get involved in the space. Plenty of professionals and experienced workers from other industries decide to start fresh working in healthcare. If you want to begin your healthcare career, one of the first and most important things to do is identify your transferable skills.

Depending on what sort of work experience you have, there is a good chance some of your skills will carry over into healthcare and still have value. This could be experienced working with others, working on tight deadlines, communication skills, and more. Also, there are careers in healthcare closer to your previous positions than you might have thought. This can make for an easier or quicker switch.

For example, hospitals and other medical facilities will still need an IT department or professional, which might be perfect for you depending on your history. Other departments like HR and others are also required in many healthcare clinics and offices, so even if your experience isn’t directly medical-related, making the switch is still possible.

Of course, healthcare is a skill-heavy field. While you might have transferable skills, be prepared to learn more and arm yourself with even more education and experience. However, no matter what past experience you have, some of it will likely be valuable in your pursuit of a position in healthcare.

Consider Enlisting The Help of Others

Trying to get started in healthcare is all about dedicating yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you need to handle everything alone. If you are looking for some great insight or tips on starting off in healthcare, consider finding a mentor. This should be someone in or familiar with the space you are interested in. They can also potentially help you with connections and simply show you the ropes in general and answer any pressing questions.

Of course, meeting one of these individuals can be done in several different ways. You could reach out to them via their public contact information, ask someone you know to put in a good word, or even meet them at a conference or some other kind of networking event.

Be sure to show passion and a true interest in who they are. Someone isn’t often going to help you for no reason. They want to see that you are passionate and try to provide some value to them if at all possible.

Even heading online and looking at the tips, information, and guidelines provided by those who have done what you’re attempting can help. Also, using social media can be a great way to learn more about this field! Plus, you might make important connections that could help you out later in life.

career in medicine

Aim For a Career in Medicine and Land Your Dream Job

Medicine is an exciting place to start your career. Whether you’ve always wanted to help people or you’ve stumbled into this rewarding career because of a passion for health, there are a lot of ways to succeed today and get your career off on the right foot.

As long as you’re willing to put the time and energy into gaining your education and experience, you’re sure to land your dream job in no time. The world always needs more helping hands with a passion for others.

Are you considering a career in medicine? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.

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