Careers in Medicine

Information Last Verified: September 14, 2021 by Jordan Fabel

When you want to enter the medical field, you have many options. While nursing and becoming a doctor are common careers in medicine, there are many others to choose from.

Before you decide to enter a specific medical career, knowing your options is a good idea. Let’s look at some of the many careers in medicine and what they might entail.

Careers in Medicine

Top Careers in Medicine to Consider

Physician

A very common choice when it comes to careers in medicine is becoming a physician. This means you’re a doctor dealing with diagnosis and treatment. You will look at medical histories, symptoms, and other factors to prescribe medications and refer patients to specialists.

You can also become an occupational physician and train groups about health hazards and eliminating them in the workplace.

Forensic Medicine

A unique career in medicine, forensic medicine is an investigative type of career. To become a forensic pathologist, you need extensive medical training, including a residency in pathology and a fellowship in forensic pathology. As a forensic pathologist, you will become an expert in determining the cause and manner of death, working to evaluate evidence of poisoning, violent acts, and more.

On the other hand, a medical examiner performs autopsies, writes death certificates, evaluates the presence of disease, and communicates with public health officials.

Dental Hygienists

Sometimes, dental careers don’t get the recognition they should in the medical industry. Dental hygienists are one of the top careers in medicine, and you will work for a dentist.

As a dental hygienist, you will help with teeth cleaning and work directly with a dentist to help ensure the patient’s mouths are healthy. You will also perform any x-rays that might be needed.

Public Health

Public health careers allow you to deal with the protection of the general population from disease. This type of career includes service to the general public, including dealing with health hazards, promoting good health, prevention of disease, and more.

Pharmacists

If you want to specialize in the dispensing of prescriptions and provide advice about the prescription, you want to become a pharmacist. This is a specialty found in the medical industry that will deal with all types of patients.

Pediatrician

Pediatricians help diagnose illnesses in children, complete well visits, discuss any concerns a parent may have, and provide vaccines. You will be working with children of all ages, ranging from newborns to 18-year-olds.

Health Journalist

While this type of career crosses over both Journalism and the medical field, health journalists typically write about health-related topics.

Ophthalmologist

As an Ophthalmologist, you will be a medical doctor with a specialty in eye care. You will diagnose and treat issues with the eyes, from disease to disorders.

Optometrist

A more common type of eye doctor and optometrist will examine a patient’s eyes and prescribe contacts and glasses if needed.

Transplant Coordinator

You can become the person that bridges the gap between the donor of an organ and the recipient as a transplant coordinator. This is a very specialized and important job in the medical field. You will need administrative and medical skills to handle this job correctly.

Dentists

When you become a dentist, you will work with patients on their oral health. You will provide teeth cleanings, fillings, and many other dental procedures. Dentists tend to make a nice salary and can work in a general practice or dental hospital.

Medical Researcher

If you love the idea of researching, you can become a medical researcher and go into many different specialties. Depending on the type of medical researcher you become, you can work in a lab or in the field.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

You can use technical skills in the medical field by becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer. This position allows you to be in charge of MRIs, sonograms, echocardiograms, and ultrasounds. You will handle many different types of medical imaging with the right training for this field.

Podiatrist

Another specialty you can choose as your career in medicine is to become a podiatrist. This type of doctor works on the body’s lower limbs, including the legs, ankles, feet, and toes.

Medical Transcriptionist

Another career in medicine that gets overlooked is the career of a medical transcriptionist. This person will transcribe the words from a doctor that have been said or have been recorded. You will need to be a good typist and have good listening skills.

Gynecologist

A type of doctor working specifically with women, a Gynecologist works with pregnant women to monitor the pregnancy before and after birth. They are also responsible for prenatal, ante-natal, and post-natal care for the baby and the mother. They will also provide information on birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and any other female reproductive issues. Along with performing yearly well-women checkups to catch anything that might be concerning early.

Physician’s Assistant

This person will help a physician with the treatment and diagnosis of patients. Often, a PA (Physician’s Assistant) will perform the treatment or diagnosis under the supervision of a physician. They may also be studying to go into a more advanced medical career.

Pharmacy Technicians

An assistant to the pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, will help dispense medicine and advise on dosage. However, they cannot prescribe medication. This position is also responsible for the technology used in a pharmacy.

Nursing Assistant

As one of the common careers in medicine, a nursing assistant will assist the nurse with many tasks, including arranging medical equipment. This position may also include taking vitals from patients. You will need the right medical education to take on this type of medical career.

Medical Assistant

Someone that can practice both administrative duties and clinical duties can enter into a career as a medical assistant. You might work in a physician’s office, the office of a specialist, or in a hospital. You will assist the physician with patient vital signs, scheduling appointments, recording patient information, and more.

Nurse

A very common career in medicine, a nurse is someone that cares for the sick. You can choose many different types of nursing positions, and you might work in a private practice or a hospital. Many people going into nursing become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or an RN (Registered Nurse), which can come with a wide range of duties.

Home Health Aide

If you prefer to work with patients in their homes, a home health aide career might be a good option for you. This type of medical career includes helping to administer medications, overseeing the physical therapy of a patient, and handling their dietary needs in their home.

Nutritionist

As a nutritionist, you will assist clients with planning their diet to meet specific needs, such as losing weight or gaining muscle. You may also have a website to maintain to help your clients form better nutritional habits.

Physical Therapist

Your main duties if you go into this career in medicine will be to help patients with their physical therapy. A physical therapist will work with patients as they are recovering from an injury. This field is all about treatment and care plans.

Radiologic Technologist

An RT (Radiologic Technologist) will assist the radiologist with diagnostic imaging tests. They may help with MRI scanning, CT scanning, and x-ray scanning.

Neonatal Nurse

A very specialized type of nursing, a neonatal nurse works with infants in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). They will work directly with physicians to administer the proper treatment and plan of care for infants, usually prematurely born.

Surgeon

As a surgeon, you will perform surgery on patients and help with postoperative treatment and medications. Surgeons can specialize in many different areas and work directly with nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals.

Psychiatrist

Someone trained to work with mentally ill patients is known as a psychiatrist. This type of medical career works with the mind of the patient. You will be able to treat and diagnose the mental state of a patient and work with other specialists when treating your patients.

Anesthesiologist

An anesthesiologist works with patients to sedate them before surgery and helps with pain-controlling medications. They will monitor the vital signs of a patient during surgery to avoid complications. An anesthesiologist may also have other medical specializations and may work as a nurse or a doctor.

Phlebotomist

A person deciding to become a phlebotomist will be someone that specializes in opening a vein to draw blood or introduce fluid. You may work in a medical lab, a hospital, or in another facility to help collect blood and handle transfusions.

Which Career in Medicine is Right For You?

There are many careers in medicine to choose from. Whether you want to go into nursing, become a doctor, or work on the administrative side, you have several options. These are just a few of the dozens upon dozens of different medical careers you can choose from.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story takes more time. Coming soon!