Your Future Medical or Health Career

For those of you who are thinking of a medical or health career it is important to research occupations and related courses that you are considering as career possibilities and to find out what they are really like.


Several years ago my brother who had sustained horrific injuries and burns was on life support. While my family and I were with him at the hospital a Physiotherapist gave my brother a treatment to vary the amount of oxygen going into his body so that it simulated normal variation in breathing. After he passed away I wondered if the young people that I had worked with who aspired to a career in physiotherapy had ever imagined that they might treat people as badly injured and burned as my brother. I certainly had not. Medical and health practitioners at the hospital were a great support to us in our grief.

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For those of you who are thinking of a medical or health career, the point of this story is that it is important to research occupations and related courses that you are considering as career possibilities and to find out what they are really like. To make informed career decisions it is important to find out about the tasks involved in an occupation, the different specialisations in an occupation, the different settings in which a person in that occupation may work, the positive and negative aspects of an occupation, the courses leading to that occupation, the entry requirements for these courses, and more. This is important for all occupations, but particularly for medical and health careers because there are many different medical and health career options and generally the courses leading into them provide the education and training for a specific occupation.

I would strongly recommend that students who are interested in a medical or health career use a number of resources to gain as much authoritative information as possible about health and medicine career options of interest and related courses before applying for university courses for 2017. My Health Career, career information databases, work experience, careers expos and taster events are excellent ways to get sound career and course information to inform your career decisions.

My Health Career

My Health Career is a website developed by Amanda Griffiths, a health professional. It has authoritative and detailed information on a range of health and medical professions, including dentistry, dietetics, exercise science, medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy podiatry, physiotherapy, psychology, radiography, and more. A series of video clips provides a realistic and informative perspective presented by practicing health professionals. Pathway charts help current school students to plan their path to their preferred health career. Information provided on the website includes job prospects, salary information, links to related education and training courses, professional association career information, scholarship information, job vacancies, current research, contemporary practice, health business tips, and more.

Career and Course Information Databases

The myFuture and Good Universities Guide have career information about a wide range of occupations and courses, including health and medical professions and related courses. The blog post on the Grow Careers website on researching courses provides tips on how to do thorough research into courses you are considering.

Work Experience

Before applying for a course leading to a health profession you may wish to gain work experience to confirm your choice. In view of confidentiality issues it can be difficult to get work experience in some medical and health fields for any length of time. However, even a day or a few hours with a medical or health practitioner in your preferred field can improve your career decision-making confidence.

Career Expos, Open Days and Taster Events

Your school Career Practitioner will have information on career expos, university open days and course and career taster events. Attending events such as these is a good way to confirm your health career choice and get relevant course information.

UMAT

For entry into undergraduate medicine courses commencing in 2017, you will need to sit the UMAT (undergraduate medicine and health sciences test) in 2016. UMAT is also required for a small number of other health courses. Registrations for UMAT are now open. See the recent blog post on the Grow Careers site for information about UMAT.

Although you have only just returned to school, it is important to make an early start to researching and planning your medical or health career. Best wishes for your studies in 2016.


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