When people talk about “medical careers” it’s natural for us to automatically start thinking of doctors and nurses. We all know that any hospital or even small regional GP’s office requires both doctors and nurses on the staff, but that’s far from all there is to the world of medical careers. There are actually dozens of wonderful and rewarding career paths that one can take in the medical field.
If you’ve ever wondered what the alternatives to being a general doctor or ward nurse were, then here are some examples. For some of these examples, you may not even need a full medical degree or Ph.D.
To become a pathologist in Australia requires about the same level of rigour and education that general practitioners go through, but with one major difference. As a pathologist, you perform a critical role within the public health service, but it’s much more of a “behind the scenes” kind of role, which the more introverted person interested in a medical career might enjoy.
Pathologists are those who work mostly in hospital laboratories studying body tissue and performing various lab tests to determine what exactly it is that is troubling a patient. Much of their work and research also pertains to identifying diseases and pathogens, how to treat them under different circumstances, how they work, and more. The fight against disease is impossible without top pathologists.
2. Nurse Anaesthetists
Anaesthesia is one of the most important medical advancements ever made alongside things like antibiotics. It’s unimaginable to people now just how much one had to suffer to even endure the simplest surgical and dental procedures. Now we take for granted that administering the right kind of anaesthetic drugs takes away all pain and fear of pain.
Anaesthetists are therefore one of the most important and valued roles in the medical field. It’s not a one-size-fits-all science, and you have to be able to look at each patient’s individual circumstances to be able to then create a safe and effective anaesthetic plan.
3. Nurse Practitioner
If you want to work in a financially and spiritually rewarding frontline role without the same grief that it can take to become a full practising physician, then working as a nurse practitioner could be for you. These nurses tend to specialise in paediatric, geriatric, or psychiatric health, but their main goal is to collaborate with physicians to come up with treatment and health management plans. For those who want to help people with the “bigger picture” of their healthcare, then this role is ideal.
4. Genetic Counsellors
You might not have heard of this type of medical role before, but it’s a well-paid and much-valued position with a lot of projected job growth in the wider medical field. These counsellors look at a family’s genetic makeup and assess potential risks of genetically inherited conditions or defects. In a world where many parents take such counsel very seriously, they may feel they are unable to care for a child with significant defects, or they might feel their high-risk genetic disorder problem should prompt them to seek an alternative route to starting a family, such as adoption.
5. Radiation Therapists
In mankind’s ongoing war against the scourge of cancer, radiation therapists are among its frontline medical officers. A radiation therapist’s job is to operate the machinery that is designed to send a concentrated burst of radiation to attack a cancer patient’s malignant tumour. They are also integral in forming the overall treatment plan for each cancer patient.
Just remember that these are merely a few of the many possibilities when it comes to rewarding medical careers. Not every medical man/woman is a nurse or doctor.
Written by Lara Harper