Exploring Careers in Health
Health care is one of the largest growing industries in the country with over 600 different health careers and more emerging every day.
An assessment of your personal attitudes and values may lead to the decision that health care is best suited to your career objectives. In order to make an educated decision, be aware of the range of health care career choices.
While the requirements can be demanding, with careful planning you can meet the demands, study what you wish, and develop as a total human being. Taking time to explore a variety of healthcare careers will assist you in making a wise decision about your future.
The Medical Professions Advisory Committee and the Center for Work and Service recommend the following steps to explore and define your interests in a health career:
- Read literature, talk with people, and obtain practical experience to learn about different types of health careers. The Center for Work and Service Library provides information on health-related careers as well as graduate schools and training programs. The Medical Professions Advisory Committee (MPAC) has a series of good resources, notably on allopathic, osteopathic, dental, veterinary, podiatric, and optometric medicine. Read professional journals and periodicals in fields that interest you, and books that have been written about women in these areas.
- Attend lectures and workshops by professionals from various fields. During the academic year, the Medical Professions Advisory Committee and the Center for Work and Service hold career exploration meetings on a wide variety of topics at which alumnae and others discuss the nature of their work. Meetings sponsered by the MPAC will be announced through the Pre-Med Events and Opportunities contact list (sign up here) and posted to the MPAC calendar. For information about events hosted by the Center for Work and Service, visit their website.
- After such exploration, it is likely that you will still have questions about what people really "do" on the job. Initiate an information interview or a shadow experience using the Wellesley Network or health professionals you know. Further explore your field of interest through internships, term-time work, summer jobs, and extracurricular or volunteer activities. Such experiences provide insight into the nature of various kinds of health occupations and help you to develop specific interests; they also help you test your strengths and weaknesses. They give you experience that strengthens and differentiates your application to a graduate program. The Center for Work and Service Internship and Community Service Programs have information on a wide variety of opportunities available term-time, summer, and January in the local area and throughout the country. In addition, visit the websites of these programs research health careers and discover summer enrichment opportunities:
- Explore and discuss your interest with an adviser and receive guidance on preparing your professional training application. For those interested in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, or podiatry, an appointment to meet with the Chair of the Medical Professions Advisory Committee may be made via the MPAC Sakai site. Those interested in other health careers should make an appointment with Ellie Perkins, Director of Fellowships and Preprofessional Programs, in the Center for Work and Service.