Many people are pursuing a career in the medical field. It may be because they enjoy helping others, or it may be that their family has been in the medical profession for generations and they want to follow suit.
But pursuing a career in medicine is not easy. The medical field is a competitive one, and pursuing a career in it requires careful consideration of your options. If you want to be successful, you need more than just the willingness to work hard — you need an understanding of what’s required.
To help with this process, here are eight factors that should be considered when pursuing a medical career:
Table of Contents
1. The Educational Requirements
If you have always wanted to be a doctor, you need to know what type of education is necessary. The educational requirements for different medical jobs vary greatly.
For example, pursuing a degree in medicine requires extensive training at the university level. Also, there are many years spent attending medical school and residency programs that prepare students for their actual jobs as doctors.
On the other hand, becoming a registered nurse requires less time. The minimum requirement is typically an associate degree in nursing, which takes about two years to complete.
If pursuing a career in the medical field is your goal, it is important to know what type of education you will need.
Once that has been determined, you can start pursuing the necessary training.
2. The Licensing Requirements
After pursuing and completing the necessary education, you must be licensed. To become a medical doctor, for example, you must be able to pass two national licensing exams: one on science and another on clinical skills. This can take years of preparation.
The same is true in most other areas of medicine as well; it becomes increasingly difficult with more advanced degrees (such as an M.D.). It also requires rigorous testing that tests your knowledge and expertise in the field.
Pursuing a career in any aspect of medicine means preparing yourself for passing multiple types of licensing examinations first. And then keeping those licenses current by continuing your training throughout your working life.
3. Medical Career Salaries
Most people pursuing a career in the medical field do so because they enjoy helping others. They want to help sick or injured patients get better, and they find great satisfaction in that work.
But pursuing your passion is not always enough; you will also need to consider what kind of income you can expect from such a job. For example, here are some things to think about:
Be realistic when thinking about salaries for different careers in medicine (especially if pursuing education beyond an associate degree). You may love nursing but be aware of the incomes associated with it before committing yourself fully.
The salary potential for doctors varies greatly based on their specialty and experience level. It’s no secret that some students pursuing medical degrees are pursuing them because they want to get rich. But you will need to consider that there is a lot of pressure on doctors, and many feel overworked and underpaid in their jobs.
You should consider whether pursuing your passion for helping others makes financial sense. If the cost of education required is too high for what you can expect to make, pursuing a medical career may not be right for you.
4. The Job Outlook
The job outlook for pursuing a career in any medical field is good. This is especially true if you are pursuing an education beyond just getting your basic degree and license.
However, there’s no guarantee that it will be easy to find such jobs when looking for them right out of school. So consider the following:
Not all areas require or desire physicians with higher levels of training. Sometimes, they prefer less-educated doctors who can work cheaper.
Also, pursuing a career as an RN does not always mean that you will be able to find such work easily. Job outlook and available positions vary greatly from state to state.
5. The Potential for Advancement or Promotion
While pursuing a career in medicine can be very rewarding, it is important to know that you will not necessarily have the opportunity for advancement or promotion.
You may love your job as a nurse but realize how limited your options are if pursuing such a path alone. In fact, about 17.5% of nurses leave their jobs in the first year because they do not feel satisfied with them.
Also, pursuing any medical career means focusing on one particular area and becoming an expert at what you do there. It usually does not include management opportunities.
So pursuing your passion for helping others may not always be enough to provide you with all the career satisfaction that you are seeking.
6. Time Commitment
The time commitment for pursuing a career in medicine is very high. This means that you must be prepared to make it your priority above all else, at least temporarily while pursuing your education and licenses.
You will need to get into the habit of completing assignments on time, even if there are extenuating circumstances outside of school or work. It’s also important to budget your time accordingly so that you can have enough flexibility with any other obligations you may have.
Be prepared mentally before pursuing a medical career because of how taxing it can become when trying to balance everything else involved in life.
7. The Demands of Specialization
If pursuing a career in medicine, you will need to consider whether specializing is necessary. The demands of specialization can be very high because it means that your focus and time commitment becomes even more intense.
You may love the idea of being an ER doctor or surgeon but find out later why pursuing such specializations alone would not be worth it for someone who also wants a life outside work hours.
It’s important to know upfront what kinds of commitments and sacrifices pursuing any medical role requires so that you do not get yourself into something unexpected or regretful.
8. Other Life Goals
It can be tempting to want to pursue a career in medicine because of the money and prestige that such work provides. But it is important to consider whether medical job training will affect your ability to pursue other life goals.
You may love pursuing a career in medicine because it combines your interests and passions. However, if you also want to start a family or move up in the ranks of business leadership, pursuing such goals while pursuing this path can be difficult.
Before pursuing any medical career, take some time to think about what other ambitions or dreams you have for your life. Having personal goals is not selfish and pursuing them is important for your own well-being.
Is Pursuing a Medical Career Worth It?
If pursuing a medical career is something that you think would be right for you, the above factors can help guide your decision. It is important to consider all of your options, even if pursuing a medical career seems like something you have always wanted to do.
It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing such work before making any final decisions about what path you want for yourself.
We hope you have enjoyed our helpful guide on pursuing a medical career and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. For more informative guides, check out the other posts on this site.