Inside Healthcare Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Healthcare Careers

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Healthcare Administrator

Career Background

  Healthcare Salaries

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:


"helping patients improve their health and their lives, and getting to know them well over the course of the years."


"filling out a myriad of forms - disability forms, absence from work forms, insurance forms, authorization forms for the insurance companies, medication approval forms and the like."

Career Overview

Allied HealthIndividuals interested in a healthcare career serve a vital role in the community by diagnosing, preventing, and treating illnesses and injuries. Occupations range from doctors and dentists to healthcare administrators and managers, with numerous areas of specialization for physicians such as internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Medical jobs tend to require many years of training and therefore require a considerable amount of commitment. Professionals may also perform other tasks such as researching treatments and diseases, or teaching students. With millions of people needing care, work may be found in private practices, clinics, hospitals, schools, and other health facilities such as nursing homes and residential care centers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.2 million jobs will be generated between 2008 and 2018, largely in response to the aging population. This is higher than any other industry, with healthcare representing ten of the twenty fastest growing occupations.

Career Skills

Medical careers are challenging and require individuals to be hard-working and highly dedicated to their chosen field. Although skills vary by profession, most individuals interested in this career path tend to be very caring and want to help people with their skills and knowledge. A strong interest in science and the human body are generally required, as well as strong math and analytical skills. Medical doctors should be ability to think quickly and make key decisions efficiently. Additionally, individuals should possess strong interpersonal skills to deal successfully with patients and their families. For those individuals in private practice or healthcare administration, business and accounting skills are also very important.


Educational requirements vary by profession, but most healthcare professionals are highly educated with at least a bachelorís or masterís degree in a specialized field. Training to become a medical doctor, dentist, or other health practitioner can take many years to complete, and requires medical school along with a period of training in the chosen specialty. In addition, doctors are required to be licensed by the State and maintain licensure through continuing education. Some professions may have other degree requirements, such as a Ph.D. or a masterís degree in a field such as public health or hospital administration.

Career Options

There are a variety of paths that an individual can take when choosing a medical career. Doctors are often grouped as either a primary care physician and provide general family medical care, or specialists, who focus on treating a certain part of the body or type of illness. The following are a few examples of healthcare career choices:

  • Anesthesiologists are physicians that focus on patients and pain relief before, during, and after surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists work with other physicians and surgeons to develop an appropriate plan prior to surgery, and are responsible for the delivery of anesthesia as well as the maintenance of a patientís vitals such as heart rate and blood pressure during surgery.
  • Family practitioners, also called general practitioners or primary care doctors, provide comprehensive medical care to a regular set of patients. Often the first contact point for patients, family practitioners see patients for all issues and treat many conditions such as colds and infections, as well as promoting good health and disease prevention. They also refer patients to specialists for more complex health issues and treatment.
  • Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in dental malocclusions, or improper bites, and dentofacial orthopedics. Orthodontists focus on straightening teeth or realigning jaws by using pressure with braces and retainers. The reason for treatment may be aesthetic to improve appearance or out of necessity because of health issues such as jaw pain.
  • Psychologists study human mind and human behavior through the observation and interpretation of people and relationships. The most popular specialization is clinical psychology, the focus on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Other specialties include social, school, or developmental psychologists.