How To Choose The Right Health Care Career For You

Making the right career choices ranks among one of the most important life choices, and compared to other important life decisions, you do have the chance to make a well-informed choice because there is plenty of information available on any career.

Female doctor using a tablet

Choosing a Health Care Career

A health care career offers many intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. The intrinsic benefit is that you get the satisfaction of making a positive difference in people’s lives. This can range from relieving people of discomfort or pain to saving their lives. The extrinsic reward is that health care offers some of the most prestigious and well-paying jobs available today.

When it comes to health care, you have two choices – conventional medicine or alternative medicine.

Let’s take a look at both these choices.

Conventional Medicine

This is the career choice you would make if you want to be a physician, medical assistant, therapist, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, pharmacy technician, and so on.

Becoming a doctor of medicine, for instance, is one of the most prestigious career choices you could make. Nursing is also an honorary profession, which requires you get education from a reputed college like Our Lady of the Lake. Find out What Makes Our Lady of the Lake Online RN-BSN Nursing Unique?

You can also become a specialist, including becoming a surgeon or a psychiatrist. However, it’s not easy to become a physician – you are competing with hard-working pre-med students with high GPAs for medical school admission. The exam, called MCAT, is so difficult that studying on your own is rarely enough to pass. The reason it’s difficult is because there are more students than medical schools to accept them. Consequently, medical schools want only to admit students who have the highest chance of becoming excellent physicians. Since it’s a grueling exam, your best chance of success if you are determined to become a doctor is to enroll in a structured tutoring program like the Next Step Test Prep MCAT Class.

Alternative Medicine

This is the career choice you would make if you are interested in Acupuncture, Chiropractic Medicine, Energy Therapies, Magnetic Field Therapy, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Herbal Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine. Again, intensive specialized training is necessary to qualify for any of these careers.

These therapeutic models are often referred to as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) because they can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine. CAM therapies are often used by patients who want to manage a disease or reduce side effects and symptoms. Many CAM therapies focus on reducing stress, increasing well-being, and preventing illness. These include herbs, vitamins, yoga, massage therapy, and other practices that improve well-being.

The Difference between Conventional Medicine and Complementary Medicine

One question that frequently comes up when people are trying to decide between conventional medicine and CAM is which is better? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. However, here is an excellent answer from UnitedHealthcare about the difference in emphasis between the two choices: “There are several fundamental differences between CAM and conventional medicine. Unlike conventional medicine, CAM is built on the philosophy that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. CAM practitioners often search for emotional, physiological, psychological and spiritual conditions that could be affecting a person’s health.”

Don’t Make an Impulsive Decision

There are so many nuances involved in making a good career choice that most people choose to just make an impulsive decision based on their feelings or what someone has suggested.

When choosing a career, it’s not all about listing the pros and cons of various careers. For instance, choosing a career because it offers social status and pays well is not going to work out for you if you choose something that you don’t enjoy doing. Chances are you will not do as well as others in that line of work and may even think of ways you can start over.

So, choosing a career is a fine balance between interests, natural talents, and opportunities. In addition, some careers may not look promising but because you pursue them with so much enthusiasm, you can do exceptionally well at it. Most parents, for example, are seldom pleased when their child decides to become an artist or an entrepreneur, but if you’re talented and persistent enough, you can create a fortune.

How to Make a Good Career Decision

Here is a four step process you can use to decide on the right career.

  1. Make a list of all the careers or specialties you admire and why you admire them. In the health field, for example, are you particularly impressed with one healing modality over another or one type of specialist over another?
  2. Make a list of your interests. For example, are you more interested in mastering technology rather than going to a party and meeting your friends? This will tell you if you are a people person or not.
  3. Try to match up any commonalities between a career you admire and your own personal interests. For instance, if you admire people in the health care industry but are more analytical than people-oriented, you could choose to become a medical technologist.
  4. Research the ideas you came up with about possible career choices to see if the reality of the career matches up with your ideas about it.

Take the Time to Make Your Best Choice

While you can always change your mind and change careers, it’s a little like turning around a huge ocean liner that’s heading in the wrong direction. Yes, it’s possible, but it does involve quite a bit of effort to correct course. So, if possible, choose your career slowly and carefully to increase your probability of making the right decision for the long run.