Shadowing a Doctor

May 8, 2015

Students after placement in the hospital If there is one industry that will continue to grow and expand notwithstanding the state of the economy, it is the healthcare industry. And although healthcare professionals will always be in great demand, there are some specialties that are seeing exponential growth in order to meet the demands of rapidly changing demographics. Interestingly, not all of these healthcare careers require advanced degrees. Some of them require only require an associate’s degree to be able to practice.

Physical and Occupational Therapists

Both physical and occupational therapists help patients recover and lead more functional lives after some kind of accident or illness leaves them disabled in some way. Physical therapists undergo specialised training that enables them to help patients manage pain better and regain movement after any kind of injury. Occupational therapists specialise in helping people adapt better to their living or working environments. They may also recommend and teach patients to use assistive equipment to help with their special needs. A doctoral degree is required to practice as a physical therapist, while occupational therapists are required to obtain a Master’s degree.


A psychiatrist treats illnesses of the mind. There are several specialties within psychiatry that focus on specific age groups or a specific type of mental behaviour.  To practice as a psychiatrist you will have to go through an extended training programme that includes four to five years in medical school and a four year residency. As a psychiatrist you may work in a hospital, school, university or residential treatment programs or you can open your own private practice.

Nutritionists and Dieticians

Nutritionists and dieticians have similar job roles. They work towards improving people’s health through their diets. This is done by meal planning. These professionals promote healthy eating and come up with individual plans for people in order to keep them healthy and fit. There are a number of employment opportunities for people in this field right from hospitals and nursing homes to gyms, schools and private clinics.

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers no longer only work with professional sportsmen. In fact, a number of schools and universities also employ these professionals to diagnose problems and treat injuries and keep their various teams in peak physical form. A bachelor’s degree is necessary in order to get into this field.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

A diagnostic medical sonographer use advanced equipment to take images of a patient’s body for diagnostic purposed. As a medical sonographer you will have to be familiar with using various kinds of technology and equipment for different purposes. An associate’s degree in the field is a mandatory requirement to work in this field. .

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists work alongside dentists in dental clinics. The primary responsibility of a hygienist is to promote dental health. Part of your responsibility as a dental hygienist would include cleaning teeth, conducting oral examinations and educating patients on the right way to floss and brush. You need to have an associate’s degree to practice in this specialty.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers work in all kinds of medical settings from hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and laboratories. These professionals help in the designing and engineering of medical devices and equipment. They also take part in research activities and often oversee manufacturing of products. The minimum qualification required to work in this field is a Bachelor’s degree in bio-medical engineering.

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.