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There are a lot of reasons why people pursue a degree program in health and medicine. Whether it’s because they like to help people, they think got a calling or it’s because of financial gains, studying at a world top ranked university can help you achieve your dreams in this field. Health and science degrees have a wide range of career opportunities, but they also demand a lot of commitment and dedication. Here is what you need to start your degree in health and science.
What is Health and Medicine?
Health and medicine are the fields responsible for the practice, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases. Health is the state of complete physical well-being. Medicine is the broader category, consisting of deeper understanding of the human body, how different organs work, what causes these diseases, how to prevent them and how to treat them. Health and medicine are broad career fields, with dozens of sub-fields. If you are merely interested in helping people and animals, there are numerous programs you can pursue that suit your specific interests.
Why should you Study Health and Medicine?
There is a growing demand for health and science practitioners around the world. Whether you want to be a doctor or a nutritionist, jobs for health and medicine graduates are numerous and well-paying. They are also predicted to continue to rise. If those are not enough reasons to convince you to join the field, here are real benefits and reasons that only a career in health and medicine can offer you.
1- Numerous Career Opportunities
There are dozens of career opportunities for someone with a degree in health and science. You don’t have to be a nurse or doctor. You can be a health information expert, a nutritionists, work as a veterinary officer, a bio medical technician, a surgeon, a health and medicine professor among many others. In addition to the diversity, pursuing this field introduces you to skills you could use in any part of the world.
2- You get to opportunity to improve people’s lives
Working in the health and medicine fields mean that you interact with people and impact change in them. If you are a doctor, you advise them, treat them and improve their lives. Practically, almost all jobs related to health and medicine revolves around impacting positive change on the lives of people. Whether you decide to work in drug rehabilitation facilities, in nursing homes or paediatric facilities, you can be glad that you will be making a lot of people happy. And that will give you a lot of gratification as well.
3- You learn and work through Teamwork
Health and medicine are considered as tough fields. You must get straight A’s to pursue a purely medicine program. You also need high grades for most health related courses. But fortunately you never learn or work alone. Many universities divide students in small groups so that each member learns how to perfect their skills. At the work place, you’ll often have to work with nurses and other physicians. This makes the work of health and medicine easier and much more fulfilling because you get guidance from other members in every step of the way.
4- The world needs you
Right now, the demand for people with health and medicine skills outstrips supply. And since the skills gained in this field are globally recognized, you could work in any part of the world where your skills are needed. Besides that, people need healthcare and medical services every day. If you decide to specialize in veterinary services, your services are needed even more. In many countries where employment of foreigners is prohibited, doctors and other health experts are not.
5- High Graduation Prospects
Health and medicine graduates get employment mostly before graduation in any part of the world. Even where a country is facing recession, health and medicine graduates get well-paying jobs almost immediately after graduation. Additionally, these jobs are stable, with high pay packages that double or triple the average salaries in many other professionals.
6- Prestige and High Status in the Society
Doctors in many parts of the world are symbols of success. The words doctor, surgeon, dentist or even paediatrician is prestigious professions in almost every nation. People in the health fields are acknowledged for their hard work and dedication. The opinions and advice of health experts is greatly appreciated within and without the bounds of health facilities.
What Skills do you need?
There are certain skills every medical or health practitioner must have. A good grasp of both oral and written communication skills is one of them. A good health practitioner must be a good listener; empathize with the patient, speak to them calmly and explain the procedures to be followed in an open and honest manner. In addition to communication skills, here are other main skills that can impact the progress of your career in the health and medicine fields.
1- Ability to work under pressure
Many health and medical professionals work under great pressure. It’s part of the job, whether you’ll carrying out surgeries or attempting to rehabilitate drug addicts.
2- Work Ethics
Professionals in the health and medicine fields are expected follow strict work ethics. You may have to work late hours and during the weekends to help patients. When it comes to keeping patient records, professionals in the medical world are expected to be very confidential.
3- Positive attitude towards people
Your ability to work with others and to communicate with people is a crucial skill in this field. You’ll meet all sorts of people as a health and medical expert. You are expected to work with them. Having a positive attitude even when times are tough will help you overcome the numerous challenges in this profession.
4- Good Time Manager
Although most professionals demand good time management, your timeliness or lack of it could affect someone’s life. Doctors and other health experts are also held in high regard by the community, and it’s only expected of you that you be a good time keeper.
5- Team Player
In many health facilities, medical practitioners work in teams. Surgeons and nurses alike have to work together during operations. Doctors have to work together with lab technicians and other physicians in order to help patients accordingly. You are therefore expected to be good at working with people, whether at professional or social level.
6- Ability to handle criticism
The medical field keeps on changing. Different health machines are invented yearly, health information systems change and you could be criticised for a lot of things while practising your profession. You are expected to be good at handling this criticism in a respective and professional manner. You are expected to accept mistakes, to correct them and adapt to changes you probably didn’t know happened.
7- Technical Skills
Most jobs in the medical field require technical know-how in operating various tools, digital devices and apparatuses in the lab.
Admission-What are the Entry Requirements?
Admission into medical school varies a lot from pursuing a course in health sciences. With the former, the entry education requirements are much higher and tougher. The latter is more lenient with grades, but nonetheless, you must have passed in your high school studies. Below is a breakdown of the main entry requirements in the UK, US and most parts of Europe.
In the UK
In the US
Duration of Study
For many health degrees, the duration of study is 3 to 4 years. For medicine, students stay between 7 and 9 years depending on specialization and institution. The first four years are treated as the foundation of medical studies, where students learn the foundation of medicine and health issues. After the fourth year, medicine students are allowed to pursue an area of specialization, which takes another 3 to 5 years.
What are the Job Opportunities?
What is the Expected Salary?
The lowest starting salary for graduates in health and medicine degrees is $60,000. The median salary for the field is $90,000. Career satisfaction for most doctors and other health experts is often rated as “very high.” Even among sociologists and other jobs not practised in health facilities, the salary scale is often higher than that of other jobs
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