The field of medicine can be a very rewarding career. It’s no secret that healthcare professionals are some of the highest-paid people in the world, but the rewards go far beyond making money. Making a positive difference in the lives of others is one of the best things about working in the medical field.
Medical professionals also have immense job security, since virtually every community in the world needs healthcare. If you’re having trouble deciding which medical career to pursue, here are six of the most in-demand careers.
#1: Dentists, Hygienists, and Assistants
Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants may sound like they all perform the same tasks, but each one has a specific role. Dentists are the doctors who prevent, diagnose, and treat issues related to the teeth and mouth. They may also perform some oral surgical procedures. Dental hygienists clean patients’ teeth and work alongside dentists, while dental assistants primarily work on administrative tasks.
All three of these careers in dentistry are expected to grow over the next decade. Even orthodontists (dentists who specialize in the cosmetic care of teeth) can expect to see growth due to the number of people wanting to correct their smiles.
#2: Family Nurse Practitioners
A family nurse practitioner is a nurse practitioner that specializes in family medicine, providing care to patients of all ages. Even though they’re called “nurse” practitioners, they can provide the same level of care and services as a family medicine physician. Unlike physician assistants, they can work outside of the supervision of a physician, open their own practice, and some can even perform minor surgeries.
Nurse practitioners can do all of these same things that physicians do, but they don’t have to be in school as long— which makes this a very in-demand medical profession. Nurse practitioners need both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in nursing and tons of work experience.
Nursing is the largest profession in healthcare, as there are many different types of nurses. Nurses can do it all, from assisting people in their homes to caring for patients in hospitals and hospice care. Some of the many different types of nurses include:
- Registered Nurse (RN), including home care and emergency room
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Case Manager
- Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
- Labor and Delivery Nurse
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
All of these nursing careers are in high demand, and there are nursing careers available at any and every level of education.
#4: Occupational and Physical Therapists
Occupational therapists help restore one’s ability to perform daily activities or the activities required by their job (occupation) after an illness or injury, while physical therapists help restore one’s mobility after an injury or illness. Because both injuries and illnesses are common, and they can result in one losing their mobility or ability to perform daily activities, both occupational and physical therapists are in demand.
Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing and distributing prescribed medications to patients. They’re experts in effectiveness and drug interactions, so they’re usually the first ones that are contacted when someone has a question about their medication. More than half of all Americans use prescription medication, whether it’s for a chronic physical health condition or a chronic mental health condition. Because of this, pharmacists are currently in high demand and will likely continue to be in high demand.
#6: Urgent Care and Emergency Medicine
Urgent care and emergency medicine are arguably two of the most important sectors of medicine. An urgent care physician is a doctor that works in an urgent care facility and sees patients who are in need of immediate, but not necessarily emergency care. On the other hand, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) provide care for patients in emergency settings, such as emergency rooms and ambulances. These types of medical professionals can easily find jobs because there will always be a need for both urgent and emergency care.
Of course, these aren’t the only careers in medicine that will provide good job security, as there is a need for all types of healthcare professionals. However, these six medical professions are currently the most in demand. Healthcare and medicine are such broad career fields that those with even the slightest interest in them will be able to find a career that suits their interests and talents. If you have a passion for medicine and helping people, then take a look at all of the different careers in healthcare to find the one that best suits you.