Healthcare Careers That Don’t Require a Medical Degree

Healthcare Careers That Don’t Require a Medical Degree

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People looking to start a career that has a lot of potential for growth in the next decade are turning to the medical field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs are projected to grow in demand at a much faster rate than most other jobs over the next ten years. This means that people looking for a new opportunity are much more likely to find work as a medical professional than, say, a truck driver.

You’re likely thinking “well, that’s great, but I don’t have a medical degree.” And, indeed, few people do! Medical school is an incredibly difficult institution to break into, before you even consider the long hours and demanding workload of a med student. However, not all jobs in the medical field require you to have a doctorate.

Here are some of the most popular jobs in the medical field that don’t require a medical degree.

Genetic Counselors

Believe it or not, genetic counselors actually make a competitive salary compared to non-medical professions. To pursue this career, you need to have a master’s degree in either genetics or genetic counseling.

Counselors in this field provide a unique medical service: they help screen patients for potential illnesses that could manifest as a result of their family history. By studying their patients’ DNA, genetic counselors can help determine the risks that a person could develop an illness, or pass one on to their children.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants, or PAs, require master’s degrees from accredited programs. However, they don’t require medical degrees, as they take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, which licenses them to serve the role of PA to a practicing physician.

PAs function as direct assistants to practicing physicians, often reading test results, consulting with patients and handling much of the workload of a practicing doctor. In some rural areas, they’re primary care physicians in clinics that only have a practicing physician present for a few days out of the week.

Nurse Anesthetists

Another in-demand job that pays shockingly well is that of nurse anesthetist. Anesthetists provide (surprise, surprise) anesthesia to patients before surgeries, primarily. Before any procedures, these types of nurses will review a patient’s medications and medical history to make sure there’s no mix-up with the doctors.

For instance, if a patient is allergic to a medication, then the nurse anesthetist will make sure the doctors know this. That way, the patient isn’t administered that medication while they’re unconscious. In this role, nurse anesthetists are extremely important, as their actions save lives!