Healthcare - Advancing In Your Career

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High-Demand, Highly Paid jobs

Medical and Healthcare comprise a high-demand employment field for the 21st century, including Space Medicine.

Some individuals hesitate to undertake the training required in medical and healthcare jobs, because of time and expense, but it is not as expensive to earn a medical education as one might think.

I had the pleasure of teaching some brilliant and hardworking students in GED class from the ages of 16 though their late 60s. Many of them graduated and went much further - forward into rewarding medical and health related careers. One lady in her 60s worked as a Home Health Aide, graduated with her GED, attended community college and earned her LPN (certificate of Licensed Practical Nursing). From there, she continued her education while working and became an RN (registered nurse). Just a few years before, she did not have a high school diploma, and now she was a Registered Nurse making between 40,000 - 50,000 a year.

This type of progress and success is possible for many people that want to pursue a medical career. There is a career path that you can follow that provides income while you are completing your studies. This path is enhanced by several different kinds of educational and work-and-learn opportunities at individual colleges and universities, along with federal and state grants for the underemployed, minority workers, people that are returning to the workforce after a layoff or raising a family, veterans, and other groups.

These successful students from my GED classes all had several things in common.

  • 1) They had a dream and a Dream Career. They made up their minds to succeed.
  • 2) They did not let naysayers talk them out of it. They did not let others drag them down and stopped hanging around with folks that did.
  • 3) They remained calm and worked steadily. They were organized.
  • 4) They learned how to navigate the educational system and mine it for all the financial and support services attached that they could find. They made solid personal contacts that they kept with instructors, other students, and the community health care organizations in the country. They networked in the healthcare field.
  • 5) They took advantage of work that offered educational opportunities in nursing and other medical careers and worked their way up the professional ladder.

These people came from all sorts of backgrounds and they were successful. Healthcare is a quickly expanding field that America needs to fill with workers throughout this century, so there is ample opportunity. You can be a nurse or a biomechanical engineer, a doctor or a medical social worker. The possibilities are expanding daily, like the universe.

Space Medicine at the Space Hotel
Space Medicine at the Space Hotel

From Nurses' Aide to Physician

Potential Career Path from Aide to Doctor

1. Volunteer Work in Hospitals and Clinics ("Candy Striper" or "Grey Lady" or other title)
2. Personal Care Aide/Home Health Aide
3. Nurse's Aide other Aide -- STNA = State Tested Nurse's Aide
4. Licensed Practice Nurse
5. Medical Assistant
6. Registered Nurse (RN)
7. BSN - Bachelor's of Nursing (RN with a 4-year degree)
8. Nurse Practitioner
9. MSN - Master's of Nursing; PhD In Nursing
10. M.D. or D.O. - intern, resident, other
11. Medical Specialties beyond the MD or DO.

There are additional occupations that can fall in several positions on this list. See the Department of Labor job descriptions:

  • http://www.bls.gov/oco

Specialty Examples for Physicians, Nurses, Assistants and Technicians:

  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • OB/GYN
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Ontology
  • Forensics

Family Medicine Needs Healthcare Workers

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Awards

Recent Top Ten Award recipients and percentage of graduates in family medicine are

  • University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City & Wichita campuses, 21.7 percent;
  • University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, 18.2 percent;
  • University of Arkansas College of Medicine, Little Rock, 17.9 percent;
  • University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks, 17.4 percent;
  • Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va., 17.2 percent;
  • University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, 16.8 percent;
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, 16.5 percent;
  • Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., 16.4 percent;
  • University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, 15.7 percent; and
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Calif., 15.6 percent.

In addition to an increasing number of older American patients that need healthcare and a larger total number of patients overall, retiring health care professionals themselves will become the patients of new healthcare workers. This results in still further opportunities in this important field. All of these individuals will need a "regular doctor," or the Family Physician. Family Medicine will continue to expand its need for physicians and other healthcare professionals, because there will be so many people alive that need a personal doctor, a professional known previously as General Practitioner and before that, Family Doctor.

Hispanic Speciality Schools

Recommended Top 10 Medical Schools for Hispanics

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HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine recommends the following medical schools.

1. Stanford University

  • School of Medicine. Stanford, CA (650) 723-6861
  • http://med.stanford.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 463: Hispanics 68 (15%)
  • Total M.D. degrees awarded 90: Hispanics M.D.s 12 (13%)

The Latino Medical Student Association and the Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance plan and present service evetns that target minority health issues.

2. Johns Hopkins University

  • School of Medicine. Baltimore, MD (410) 955-3182
  • http://www.jhmi.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 476: Hispanics 13 (3%)
  • Total M.D. degrees awarded 115 Hispanic M.D.s 1 (1%)

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine recruits via the National Boricua Latino Health Organization and the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science. Student organizations include the Student Alliance for Learning Success and Achievement (SALSA). The School of Medicine Diversity Council operates a mentoring program between Hispanic and other minority students and faculty.

3. University of New Mexico

  • School of Medicine. Albuquerque, NM (505) 272-4766
  • http://hsc.unm.edu/som
  • Total graduate enrollment 302: Hispanics 77 (25%)
  • Total M.D. degrees awarded 71: Hispanic M.D.s 19 (27%)

The university's Cultural and Ethnic Programs recruitment in middle school and high school. Its Dream Makers Health Careers Clubs offer after-school clubs for youth to explore health and medical professions, science, and mathematics. The Hispanic and Native American Center of Excellence promotes medical education and career development. The Association for the Advancement of Minorities in Medicine and Minority Women in Medicine are activist organization with strong memberships.

4. Texas A&M University Health Science Center

  • College of Medicine. College Station, TX (979) 845-7743
  • http://www.medicine.tamhsc.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 289: Hispanics 30 (10%)
  • Total M.D. degrees awarded 61: Hispanic M.D.s 1 (2%)

The Student National Medical Association is the largest medical student organization for people of color and underserved/disadvantaged communities. Other organizations are Minority Issues in Medicine and Empower and Students for Diversity and Social Justice. Classes are provided in medical Spanish.

5. University of North Texas Health Science Center

  • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Fort Worth, TX (817) 735-2204
  • http://www.hsc.unt.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 501; Hispanics 35 )7%)
  • Total D.O. degrees awarded 115; Hspanics 9 (8%)

The United Latin American Medical Students promote health in the Hispanic community. Federal grants make it possible for the school to recruit minorities and the disadvantaged.

6. University of Kansas

  • School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS (913) 588-5245
  • www.kumc.edu/som
  • Total graduate enrollment 719: Hispanic graduate enrollment 30 (4%)
  • Total M.D. degrees earned 156: Hispanic M.D.s 7 (4%)

UK received grants of $11.8 million to recruit and retain minority students and faculty over three years. The Office of Cultural Enhancement and Diversity recruits diverse students and supports training culturally and clinically competent physicians. Many scholarships are available for diverstity students. The Latino Midwest Medical Student Association and the Multicultural Health Information Resource Center offer additional diversity support and resources.

7. University of Arizona

College of Medicine. Tucson, AZ (520) 626-6214

The Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence helpts to increase the number of Hispanic applicants to the school, promote careers in research and academic medicine, and provide mentoring from Hispanic faculty. FACES (Fostering and Achieving Cultural Equity and Sensitivity) in Health Professions is a student organization for cultural competency in health with career services, including clinical practica in the Migrant Health Education Program. The vision of the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence is to be a become a national center for Hispanic medical training and health care expertise.

8. East Carolina University

  • Brody School of Medicine. Greenville, NC (252) 744-2202
  • www.ecu.edu/med
  • Total graduate enrollment 308: Hispanic graduate enrollment 8 (3%)
  • Total M.D. degrees earned 81: Hispanic M.D.s 3 (4%)

The Brody School has educated Hispanics, African Americans, and others in underrepresented groups to provide culturally competent medical care. There are 72 members in each entering class.. The school offers medical Spanish classes, and research and service opportunities in minority healthcare. There are vice-chairmen for diversity in every medical department, along with an associate dean for intercultural affairs.

9. Edward Via Virginia

  • College of Osteopathic Medicine. Blacksburg, VA (540) 231-6138
  • http://www.vcom.vt.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 304: Hispanic graduate enrollment 9 (3%)

The school recrutis a diversity of students to meet the medical needs of our metropolitan society. The Student National Medical Association supports underrepresented minority medical students; helps with the needs of underserved communities; and increases the number of clinically and culturally competent physicians in America. The Spanish Club provides a program in which students provide translation assistance at local hospitals.

10. The Ohio State University

  • College of Medicine & Public Health. Columbus, OH (614) 292-7137
  • http://medicine.osu.edu/
  • Total graduate enrollment 849: Hispanic graduate enrollment 20 (3%)
  • Total M.D. degrees earned 197: Hispanic M.D.s 3 (2%)

The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health is widely active in a diversity of research and clinical activities, including innovative joint replacement, cancer research/treatment, preventive medicine, public health issues, and many others. The National Institutes of Health has provided research funding at the $200,000,000 level. Hispanic students may join LANAMA (Latin American, Native American Medical Association) and receive financial support to attend the National Hispanic Medical Association annual conference.

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Comments 2 comments

alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

An excellent description of med schools. Thank you.


Healthexplorer 3 years ago

Health care industry is vast and making a career in this industry is good and people are earning very good amount. It requires hard-work and dedication and progress will surely come to you. Nursing is also a very good career option. We will need more nurses and doctors as there is shortage in many healthcare centers.

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