Most people would probably think of a physician (or doctor) as the most common profession in healthcare. In medicine, a doctor is an individual who has been thoroughly trained, educated, and qualified to practice medicine. Doctors are some of the most needed individuals in healthcare, but they’re not the only ones.
There are a variety of different career paths to choose from in healthcare, with some being very notable, and others that many people may not have heard of. Here are some of the most common careers in healthcare, along with some lesser-known careers.
Most Common Healthcare Professions
It should be noted that there are a variety of different types of doctors, so “doctor” won’t be listed among the most common types, but specific types of doctors will be.
Nurses are just as common as doctors in the medical field, and there are also many different types of nurses. The majority of nurses perform the same duties, with those with more training performing more complex duties. Here are the most common types of nurses in healthcare:
- Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are assistants to RNs and LPNs, and attend to patients when RNs or LPNs cannot.
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) perform patient care and administrative tasks. They work closely alongside RNs and physicians.
- Registered Nurses (RNs) are more skilled than LPNs and CNAs. They assist physicians with patient care, administer medication, and can even provide emergency care.
- Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are qualified to perform many of the same tasks as physicians (examining, diagnosing, and treating patients).
Pharmacists are the medical professionals that fill prescriptions and inform patients on how to properly take them and educate them on possible side effects. They also let patients know of possible drug interactions.
Phlebotomists are healthcare providers that draw and document blood samples. They work in doctor’s offices and other facilities, drawing blood from donors and patients.
Physical therapists work to help patients recover physically. They can help injured athletes and also those who’ve sustained more serious injuries. They come up with treatment plans to help their patients with rehabilitation.
Physician Assistants (PAs)
Physician assistants are similar to nurse practitioners, performing many of the same tasks that physicians do. The only difference is that they must work under the supervision of physicians, whereas nurse practitioners do not.
Psychiatrists are often confused with psychologists and therapists. All three of these professionals help those dealing with mental health issues, but psychiatrists are actual medical professionals (hold a doctoral degree), and treat those with more severe mental health issues. Psychiatrists are also able to prescribe medication to their patients, and can be employed in hospitals or private practices.
Lesser-Known Healthcare Professions
There are many people who want to enter the field of medicine, but they want to follow a more nontraditional path. Some of these career paths allow them to be more creative, travel, and even combine another profession. Here are some of the least common jobs in healthcare, but are still worth considering.
Concierge physicians can be considered “freelance physicians”. This is the career path for you if you want more freedom, but still have the desire to help patients. Concierge physicians don’t have to deal with health insurance countries, and their patients pay them on a monthly or annual basis.
Future physicians need to be taught by someone, and the most qualified individuals are those who have practiced medicine themselves. This profession allows you to teach in universities, and even tutor medical students.
Can’t decide between becoming a doctor or a lawyer? Study both medicine and the law, and you’ll be qualified to become a healthcare attorney.
Locums tenens is a fancy term for traveling doctors. These types of physicians can travel the world, travel within their own country, or even travel within their own city, filling in vacancies temporarily.
Are you a great physician and also a great writer? You can write medical articles or even books as a medical writer. This can become a full-time (even freelance) career, or a side gig in addition to practicing medicine.
Physicians can take their knowledge and expertise of the medical field and turn it into a profitable idea that can make them money. If you’re a physician who’s tired of the repetitiveness of the job and you have an idea you can market, you may be able to become a successful entrepreneur.
There are a variety of career options in the healthcare industry. This is one of the most necessary industries, so job security is pretty high for the majority of these professions. Keep in mind that you may have to search harder for job openings in the lesser-known category, but these jobs do exist.