Starting work in the medical health field has a variety of
options, with anything from being a doctor to working on
x-rays to being a physical therapist. The field is so broad
and has so many branches, there is no real glut of
people chasing after the same job in many of the
occupations as there is for lawyers, for example (doctors
are an exception).
With that said, you need to be prepared to work and love your work. Medical field careers are
demanding both physically and mentally. And with the surge of new patients expected as the Baby
Boomer generation migrates into retirement and older age, the demand will be even larger for
professional, skilled help.
Different options for medical careers
When people think of medical field careers, the one that most immediately comes to people’s minds
is that of a doctor. Nurses are usually a quick second. The physician career, while the most well-
known of medical careers thanks to Hollywood, it is also one of the most demanding for preparation
and getting into. It requires four years of college with a degree program (preferably in science), four
years of medical school study, and then almost just as long with three to seven years associated
with being a medical intern and physician resident. Only then can a medical student gain the title of
full doctor. And, if you want to be a doctor in a particular specialty, add another year or two for the
related finesse training.
To make matters harder, not everyone is allowed into the field. First, assuming you were accepted
into college and received good grades while studying, you still need to then be accepted into a
medical school. Demand is high, seats are limited, and the competition is fierce. You will need over
a 3.5 grade point average at a minimum in college to even consider applying (a bit higher is more
Then you will need to take an entrance exam. The standardized test for medical schools is the
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). A score above 30 is doing well. Because the screening is
so tight, there are very failures on average once students are accepted to a medical school. The
skill-set coming in is so developed only a small number of students are unable to succeed within the
programs once admitted.
In addition to all the practical work involved, a full-titled doctor will need to earn his medical doctor
(MD) via a government test. This is the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). There three phases
to the test taken after the second year, fourth year and as an intern to pass.