How to Compare Medicine to Other Health Careers

"THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO work within the health care sector without being a doctor, so future health professionals should be aware that medical school is just one of many paths into the health field.

A job as a physician is not the only way to cure disease and promote well-being. The number of clinicians besides physicians is enormous, ranging from nurses and occupational therapists to dentists and veterinarians. Other types of health care providers include physician assistants, psychologists, podiatrists, clinical social workers, physical therapists, pharmacists, audiologists and speech language pathologists.

In addition, some health workers specialize in alternative or complementary health care, such as chiropractors, homeopaths, naturopaths, massage therapists and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. Plus, a variety of nonclinical health professions do not involve treating illness but nevertheless allow someone to improve health outcomes, including careers in medical research, health policy, health communications, hospital administration and public health." …