Are you interested in learning about the hottest medical careers? There are many opportunities to work in the healthcare field, some of which require many years of higher education and others that you can enter after completing only a short term occupational training program.
Hottest Medical Careers: Clinical
Many of the hottest medical careers involve providing care directly to patients. Depending on specialty, medical professionals can provide a variety of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive medical treatments and services to patients.
Licensed Medical Doctors (MDs) tend to be the most highly compensated workers in the healthcare industry, with earnings varying greatly by specialty. If you're planning to pursue career as a medical doctor, at a minimum you'll need to earn a Bachelor's degree in a science related field and graduate from medical school. Many medical specialties require additional post graduate study beyond completion of an M.D. program. Typically, physicians spend between eight and twelve years in training prior to going into private practice or joining the staff of a hospital or other healthcare facility.
Demand for nurses is high, and is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. There are plentiful job opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs). Becoming a nurse requires completion of a formal training program that can last anywhere from 18 month to four years, depending on the type of license you are seeking. Nurses must become licensed in the state where they want to work.
Advanced practice nursing (APN) professionals, such as such as Certified Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, and Certified Nurse Midwifes, are also in high demand. To become an APN, you must first earn your RN credential, and then complete postgraduate education and certification in the particular specialty of advanced practice nursing in which you want to work.
The field of Physician Assisting (PA) is a rapidly growing occupation. Physician's assistants work directly under the supervision of medical doctors and provide a wide variety of clinical medical tasks, as delegated by the doctor responsible for overseeing their work.
Many doctors are adding professional PAs to their office staff, as a means of providing the best quality customer service and patient care without the need to add additional physicians to the practice. Doing so allows medical practices to keep healthcare costs under control, as well as providing faster service to patients with fairly routine needs.
In order to become licensed to work in this field, it is necessary to graduate from an accredited PA program and pass a national certification exam.
The advances in diagnostic imaging technology, have led to an increase in demand for skilled radiology technicians and technologists. In order to work in this field, completion of a formal field-related certificate or degree training program is required. Individuals who work in this field typically work in hospitals and outpatient diagnostic facilities, operating X-ray, CT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.
Growing Healthcare Occupations: Administrative
Not all of the hottest medical careers require clinical patient contact. In order for clinicians to meet the healthcare needs of their patients, skilled administrative professionals must be working behind the scenes to manage and market medical facilities and the services they provide.
Most medical facilities, including physicians' practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and others are not overseen by clinicians. Instead, they are overseen by individuals who are skilled managers and who are also knowledgeable about the healthcare profession. Individuals who hold these positions often have job titles like operations manager, administrator, or practice manager.
There are many formal education programs in healthcare administration designed to prepare people to pursue this type of career. However, many people move into an operations management after gaining on-the-job experience working in different administrative or clinical functions in a healthcare environment.
Medical Billing and Coding
There is an increasing demand for skilled and certified medical billing professionals to work for healthcare providers and medical billing services.. These individuals are responsible for accurately processing patient care invoices and handling the process of filing and collecting from insurance companies and patients. Health insurance companies also hire medical coding professionals to process claims.
Most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed formal training in medical insurance billing and coding or who have earned a recognized certification in the field. However, there is not a specific licensure requirement to work in this field. In some cases, people are promoted to medical billing and coding jobs from positions in admitting, medical records, health information technology, or other related jobs.
Working in the Medical Field
These are just a few of the many outstanding career opportunities in the medical profession. If you're interested in working in healthcare, spend some time thinking about what type of work you enjoy doing as well as investigating the likely future demand for specific occupations. You'll find your career most satisfying if you strike the right balance between selecting a lucrative profession and choosing work that you are likely to enjoy doing and that you will find to be rewarding.