August 22, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Are considering a career in healthcare but are not sure if this is the right choice for you? While it’s a great career choice from the altruistic point of view, not everyone is cut out for this field. This is a tough, challenging profession. People’s health and even their lives are in your hands. With so much at stake, this is definitely not a profession where you can ‘take it easy’ or be anything less than 100% dedicated. Before you embark on a career in healthcare, there are several factors that you should take into consideration and several questions you should ask yourself. These thoughts and questions force you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes and your capabilities so that you can make the best decision as to whether or not this career is a good fit for you.
Are You Truly Passionate about Healthcare?
Perhaps the single most crucial important aspect of embarking on a career in healthcare is your passion for medicine and health care. If you care about improving the health of others and caring for the sick and injured, you are more likely to gain job satisfaction while ignoring the hardships that are involved in this field. People who work in health care typically enjoy the knowledge that their work is benefiting the health of people in their country and perhaps around the world.
How Would You Rate Your People Skills?
At the most basic level, the most career paths within medicine involve some amount of interaction with other people. There are a few exceptions such as medical laboratory scientists or research personnel who work largely alone. However, most other health careers will involve working either directly with patients or colleagues. Even if you work in a behind-the-scenes job such as pathological testing, you still have to interact with other health professionals. Individuals who are effective communicators and who have strong interpersonal skills, have a good starting point for considering a career in healthcare. If you prefer work that is less interactive and more remote, this may not be the best fit for you.
Are You Looking For A Career That Offers Flexibility & Growth?
With the diverse range of specialties within medicine, no matter what your passion or preference with regards to working environment or working hours, you are sure to find a specialty that is the perfect fit for you. ‘A’ type personalities would thrive in a fast-paced environment of the emergency and trauma ward whereas those looking for something a little slower-paced may prefer a specialty such as geriatric care. Within each specialty, there are several sub-specialties that you can specialise in. Obtaining additional certifications in different sub-specialties will allow you to grow and expand your boundaries limitlessly.
Some health careers such as nursing also help develop your transferable skills in that you can apply your education, training and experience to work in other countries around the world. If you are looking for a career that offers flexibility and growth, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for both in healthcare.
Check out part 2 for more on how to decide if healthcare is the right career choice for you.