Is Health Care Right for You? Are You Right for Health Care?

As a healthcare professional, you will enjoy job security and stability. However, a decision to pursue a career in the health professions requires careful preparation and self-evaluation of your strengths, interests, and values. Give this self-evaluation thought now before you begin to invest energy, time, and money toward preparing for a career in the healthcare field. The MedOpp Advising Office outlines the health career planning process by breaking it down into steps:

  • Assessing: Who are you? What are your strengths and interests?
  • Investigating: What sorts of healthcare opportunities are out there?
  • Gaining experience: How can you learn about your future career?
  • Applying: What steps do you need to take to get there?

1. What is Your Motivation to Pursue a Healthcare Career?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is how much you want to work with people. Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a healthcare professional is that you will make a difference in people’s lives. Are you capable in math and science? You will be working with both intensively throughout your education and practice. What are you hoping to gain in your career? Is healthcare the best fit for what you want to gain and contribute?

2. Are Your Abilities and Strengths a Fit for Healthcare Career?

Most healthcare careers require a few common attributes. Most roles require excellent interpersonal skills; some level of technical, scientific, and mathematic capacity; and a strong work ethic. Are you prepared to dedicate your time to serving a wide variety of people at varying stages of life and illness? Your patients’ well-being relies on your compassion and empathy and the quality of your work. Are you intellectually curious? The healthcare field changes constantly, and, in order to keep up with the latest developments in your field, you’ll need to continue studying and learning throughout your career.

3. What Profession within Medicine is the Best Fit for You?

Within each medical specialty, jobs are available for any level of education or experience. In which type of environment would you be most comfortable and most successful? How much time are you willing to dedicate toward your post-undergraduate education? Shadowing practitioners in different fields is one of the best ways to understand what you might – or might not – enjoy about the profession.

4. How Will Your Healthcare Career Impact Your Lifestyle Long-term?

Be sure to consider how your life and that of your family will be impacted while you are in school and after you get the job. For example, if you want to be a doctor, you may be required to work nights or weekends while you are on call. How much time do you hope to spend at work versus at home? How will the financial constraints of being a full-time professional school student impact your family, as well?

We hope that you find this webpage useful as you progress toward your goal of obtaining a seat in the professional school of your choice. Please keep in mind that this webpage is meant only as a guide and is not intended to provide a definitive source of information about the health professions and the process of applying to a professional school. You are encouraged to use other sources of information to aid in your evaluation.