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What are some back up professions or careers?

I'm thinking about going into the medical field and I know that it's tough. Even though it'd be a dream to study medicine, I figured that I should be on the safe side and have a backup job I can fall back on if things don't work out. Any suggestions for those kinds of jobs? #job #medicine #healthcare #career #career-choice


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John’s Answer

Arisa, being a physician assistant (PA) is an emotionally rewarding career. PA training programs vary, but those who get admitted usually have a four-year college degree in science and experience working in a health-related profession. Although a physician assistant can be a very rewarding career it can also be a very demanding profession. Below are some very exciting career options to fall back on, remember employers will prefer a Bachelors Degree from an accredited school or university; and, often, licensure and professional certification is required before you'll be able to set sail.

CRUISE LINE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

Every cruise ship will have a trained medical staff onboard. This includes nurses and physicians who are on staff to attend to both passengers and crew members. As you might imagine with so many people in a concentrated space, a few injuries tend to pop up. Nurses working on a cruise ship must be registered, with at least three years of hospital experience. Nurses, just like the ship’s doctor, are on call 24 hours for walk-in treatment of passengers’ minor aches and pains. They also attend to the crew, accounting for the majority of emergency care that is required onboard. Because crew members are the ones working with the ship’s equipment, running on slippery decks, lifting heavy trays, and working around hot ovens, they are the ones who succumb to the most accidents. While on most occasions there aren’t serious injuries or issues, having a qualified medical staff onboard is not only logical for when such occasions arise, but it is also the law. Passengers and crew can rest easy knowing that trained medical staff members are onboard if something should happen. These travel nursing jobs represent a great way to enjoy the field of medicine while traveling the world. The pay isn’t bad either.

HOLLYWOOD HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

Medical healthcare professionals work side-by-side with TV and film creators to help them develop and fact-check stories by drawing from their medical knowledge and real-life experiences as script consultants. They might meet with a writer at the beginning of a story development to help provide context about the character or setting they are trying to create. Sometimes, they might be “on call” as questions come up during the writing process. Or, they might look at a near-final script to spot inaccuracies or add some suggestions. Some of the questions that come up might involve hospital procedures, medical terminology, how equipment is used, and even the relationship dynamics that exist within a doctors/hospital unit. In order to do well in this role, medical healthcare professionals must be able to appreciate and respect creative license, communicate well, and make themselves available when questions arise. Often, writers are working on a tight deadline, so being available to consult and share feedback in a timely manner will make it more likely that you’ll get repeat business.

DISNEY HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

According to DisneyCareers.com, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (including Walt Disney World in Florida) and the Walt Disney Studios hire professionals for their Medical/Nursing team that care for Disney staff, cast members and visitors alike. You’ll be a part of a global team that treats patients in the event of occupational injuries or illnesses, and promotes healthy living through the development and implementation of health fairs, wellness programs and flu vaccinations. Examples of the types of healthcare positions at Disney properties include registered nurses, health services managers, medical services technicians or medical assistants, Occupational Safety and Health Administration directors, health care administrators and transitional duty assistants. Disney also has a college program, i.e. internships and educational opportunities, open to college students of any major.

Hope this was helpful Arisa

Thank you for your valuable support in my project Dexter. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick

Thank You Syed. I’ve learned that people will forget what we've said, but they'll never forget how we help them. John Frick

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Jennifer’s Answer

As someone who was very interested in working in the medical field, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do, I pursued Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical Engineering is very versatile in which I have seen people pursue med school, research, or industry after obtaining their degree. Beyond this, people have also gone into diverse roles, including medical device sales, marketing, R&D, quality assurance, manufacturing, management, etc. Most programs will allow you to tailor and/or select an elective focus area that aligns with your career path. However, even if the pre-med track doesn't work out, for example, you still have the education and skills necessary to be successful as an engineer in the medical device industry.

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Abhinav’s Answer

Hi Alisa I would really suggest looking into research. If you are a college student try to look around to see what research your professors are doing and find a project that interests you. You can volunteer at a lab and see how you like it. I would also suggest volunteering at a hospital. This will allow you to see the many other incredible opportunities there are besides being a physician.

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Diana’s Answer

It may help to shadow a healthcare worker or volunteer at a hospital to see what area of healthcare best fits you. There are number of positions within the healthcare industry that deal more with administration and business development within hospitals. Not to mention a number of state research jobs that require a medical education but the work is in a lab.

Diana recommends the following next steps:

Shadow a healthcare worker for a day or volunteer at a hospital.
Look for medical/research related jobs on state and federal websites.
Look into medical hospital administration careers

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Gloria’s Answer

Hello,
You have gotten some great feedback from others in this site. I think that you really need to be careful about trying to do too much, especially when it comes to the medical field. I would say first - explore exactly what you want to do. One of the best people I know, my sister in law, is a nurse. During her career, she has gone from being a nurse to training nurses. She is now a teacher, an educator. I also known EMTs, firemen, and even dental assistants. I think that there are a lot of "backup plans" within the medical field, with varying levels of education needed to get started. If you are truly passionate about the medical field, I would challenge you to determine what your passion is within that field. That passion will get you through the hard days in your studies.

The world needs passionate, knowledgeable medical professionals. It is a profession where you will be learning all your life. I would also encourage you to advantage of the core classes that you take along with getting a diploma. I would make sure that you take art, archeology, business, any other courses that allow you to see beyond your primary field. That will give you relief from the challenge of medical classes. It is good to have well rounded knowledge along with sometimes just being plain fun. I am an Instructional Designer and yet one of my favorite classes while getting my degree was Astronomy! It was so different from my English and Business classes, that it was almost like play.

Good luck with your medical studies.

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Adam’s Answer

if not looking to be a Physician Assistant, Pharmacist, or Nurse Practitioner; you can always look into the business side of medical industry. There is marketing/communications for medical provider companies or hospitals business staff. Sales/marketing roles for medical device, pharmacy, or even health products that hospitals/patients purchase. It would be great to learn some of the local companies to potentially shadow on the business side, or even with hospitals or pharmacies to shadow medical staff. Each of these have different day to day interactions that you would need to enjoy on a daily to continue to love the job that you're in. You really have multiple options to find which area can also be the best growth opportunities and job benefits; but it isn't until you go from studying to actually working every day to understand more about yourself and what you want to do.

Adam recommends the following next steps:

1- target which positions you may enjoy
2- contact departments to pursue internships or shadow sessions
3- learn more about the day to day roles to understand which positions fit best for your career

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Syed’s Answer

Hi Arisa,

If you want to stay in healthcare, you should think about training and/or majoring in things like EMT, Healthcare Administration, Health Informatics and athletic training/kinesiology.

Outside of healthcare, you can think about getting a major that will help you get employed soon after undergraduate like business administration or economics.

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Abby’s Answer

Hey Arisa! Business is always a good backup option if you decide the medical profession is not for you but engineering is also another great option. Most engineering curriculums are similar to the requirements you need for medical school. It is a great alternative if you are seriously considering med school but just aren't 100% sure. You take most of the same classes but if at the end you decided med school is not something you want to pursue then you still have a great degree to work with!

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Teresa’s Answer

I think one of the greatest gifts that anyone can give back to a person is education. You can try and explore what it means to be an educator. Whether that would be educating kids, preteens, high school students, or college students. I think that becoming a teacher would be a great plan B. Knowledge and Education are experiences, and it would be very meaningful to teach someone that knowledge is something that is worth pursuing.

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Mary’s Answer

Hi Arisa!

If you are really passionate about healthcare than I say stick to it! There are so many opportunities! If you are looking to get your foot in the door try scribing, companies are usually really flexible with student school schedules and you get to observe physicians in the real world.

I would also highly recommend shadowing different professions to get a better understanding. I had no medical connections but ultimately found some opportunities by just emailing offices.

I myself have just applied to PA schools this year (just submitted my applications!) so if you have any questions regarding the process let me know!

My backup plan if PA school fails is to pursue science, I have a B.S. in cell biology and biotechnology and would probably pursue a PhD.

Best of luck!

Mary

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Arisa,
Sales can be a very rewarding industry if you are an extrovert, can manage your time well, can handle some rejection, and are up for a challenge. In medical device sales/Surgical sales you have the benefit of impacting and improving the health of the general public while introducing new technologies and innovations to healthcare providers.

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Ariel’s Answer

Hi Arisa,

While studying healthcare and medicine is a hard field to break into, it is very rewarding. I studied Biochemistry and was pre-med in college and the best advice I can give you is to take all the internship and shadowing opportunities that come your way and be open minded. Be mindful of what jobs and situations you thrive in. Having a minor or experience unrelated to science/healthcare can broaden your horizons, making it easier to have a "back up plan" while also strengthening your resume.

Best of luck to you!

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Richard’s Answer

Two options I think you should consider:
1) Major in business. If you succeed in getting in to medical school you will need the business knowledge in your practice some day. If medical school doesn't work out you will have other career options.
2) Biomedical engineering. There will be overlap between your degree plan and the premed requirements. As with business you will be able to get a job right out of college

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Arisa,

First off, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I talked myself out of the medical field after one semester of college because I didn't think I could do it. Don't make that mistake. However, if you want a good backup, I would always recommend a business degree.

Thanks,
Blake

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Diana’s Answer

It may help to shadow a healthcare worker or volunteer at a hospital to see what area of healthcare best fits you. There are number of positions within the healthcare industry that deal more with administration and business development within hospitals. Not to mention a number of state research jobs that require a medical education but the work is in a lab.

Diana recommends the following next steps:

Shadow a healthcare worker for a day or volunteer at a hospital.
Look for medical/research related jobs on state and federal websites.
Look into medical hospital administration careers

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Matt’s Answer

Look into being a physician's assistant. Less additional schooling and still directly working in a medical field.

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Riley’s Answer

If you go to undergrad school as a pre-med student, you will be taking a lot of science courses right from the beginning. There are a lot of different jobs you could go into with this base of knowledge but one that I see commonly used as a backup career is teaching. You could easily transition this knowledge base into being a high school biology/anatomy/chemistry/etc teacher. Teaching is a great backup because it will only take you a few months to earn your teaching license and the job comes with a lot of benefits and it is pretty easy to be hired since there is always a demand.

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Nadia’s Answer

On one hand, I really understand your approach. Having a backup plan is very tempting and sounds reasonable, especially in times like these.
On the other hand, having too much on your plate and dispersing your energy on different things or roles can result in being exhausted and having the feeling of not progressing in any direction. It's really well described in the book called "Essentialism".
If you feel that having this plan B is the most comfortable option for you, think about something that is related to your hobby. Also, keep working on the networking piece. It's easier to switch from one career to another when you have someone that can recommend you and also brief about requirements etc.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Arisa,

The medical field is an amazing career I applaud you for considering that direction. My friend has been in a similar position, but has begun thinking about it further in his journey. From the beginning his goal was to become a PA, to him this meant picking an easy major to achieve a high GPA and take the required classes to get accepted to PA school. But half way through junior year he thought that he might not want to spend the extra three years going to PA school and he knew that most jobs with the degree he chose would require him going to graduate school as well.

With this all taken into consideration, in his reflection he felt that instead of choosing a major that would help his GPA he should have chosen one that would have given him a successful way out if his mind changed without having to take additional schooling. His logic made sense to me, I do believe that if you do decide to take a path similar to what he wished he had then it could come at a cost as well. Some that I can think of could be: that the require classes for PA school may only be offered to certain majors in your school, you may need to take more than the required credits for your degree if the required PA classes don’t count toward your major, and being a non-traditional major may weigh against you compared to the more common major applicants to PA school. I do suggest that if you are confident that being a PA is something you want to do it would be best to put all your focus into achieving that goal.

I hope this story helps!

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