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Are too many or too few entering this profession?

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Gulshan’s Answer

I take it you're pursuing a career in healthcare.

Simply put, there are too few people entering this industry.

According to a Census.gov press release from last year (https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/cb18-41-population-projections.html), the age demographics is going to change drastically - and many milestones will be reached for the first time - in the coming decades. That alone necessitates increased healthcare needs for the coming years and decades.

Add to that the fact that pathogens are mutating, are becoming more resistant to traditional methods of treatment, with increased possibility of cross pollination that makes possible new illnesses emerging more frequently.

There's no way we are prepared for that, either as a country or as a society.

On a less alarmist note, look here for more industry trends and news: https://libguides.stanford.edu/healthcare-industry

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Lora’s Answer

In a recent article by the Society for HR Management's HR Magazine, the 10 top fastest-growing occupations were identified and their related median salary averages as of May, 2018 from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

There were several in the healthcare field that are fast-growing including:

Home Health Aides ($24,000 per year)
Personal Care Aides ($24,020 per year)
Occupational Therapy Assistant ($60,220 per year)
Physician Assistant ($108,610 per year)
Nurse Practitioner ($107,030 per year)

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Madison:

Healthcare is a fast growing profession. I have several immediate family members who have entered into healthcare ranging from pediatrics, psychiatry, dentistry to veterinarian.

Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services.

The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $66,440 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $38,640.
Healthcare support occupations (such as home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $29,740 in May 2018, lower than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy. This is according to the US Dept. of Labor & Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm).

I suggest that if you are interested in the healthcare field start your research now. Depending on the path you decide to take it could be a very long and expensive journey. You could start by visiting your local hospital and becoming a volunteer. Check to see if they have opportunities where you could shadow as a student explorer. I know when my son was in high school he was selected to participate in the schools' medical explorers program. This is a program where the students were selected to participate based on different criteria. These Explorers met once (1x) month for about 2 hours throughout each year and tag along side doctors in various areas of the hospital from emergency room, patient visits to the morgue. I can honestly say that my son had a great experience as a student medical explorer.

I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

Visit your local hospital. Ask them about volunteer opportunities and sign-up
Check with your school career counselor to see if there are any student explorer opportunities in your local community

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Richard’s Answer

There are not enough people entering health care. As the population ages, there may not be enough physicians to care for the increasingly ill population, particularly in the smaller cities and towns.