If are not sure if you want to be a medical doctor, but you want to stay in the health care field, here is a list of alternative health care professions you should explore.

 Dentist

Median Salary: $149,098

Degree Required: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.”

Podiatrist

Median Salary: $118,030

Degree Required: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people suffering from foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. They diagnose illnesses, treat injuries, and perform surgery. For example, podiatrists treat calluses, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, and arch problems. They also treat foot and leg problems associated with diabetes and other diseases; they may set fractures.”

Optometrist

Median Salary: $94,990

Degree Required: Doctor of Optometry (OD)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Optometrists perform eye exams to check for vision problems and diseases. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.”

Pharmacist

Median Salary: $111,570

Degree Required: Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and provide advice on their safe use.”

Physical Therapist

Median Salary: $76,310

Degree Required: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 3

Job Description:

“Physical therapists help people who have had debilitating injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.”

Veterinarian

Median Salary: $82,040

Degree Required: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Veterinarians care for the health of animals. They diagnose, treat, or research medical conditions and diseases for pets, livestock, and animals in zoos, racetracks, and laboratories.”

Occupational Therapist

Median Salary: $72,320

Degree Required: Master’s degree in occupational therapy

Year of Postgraduate Education: 2

Job Description:

“Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.”

Speech-Language Therapist

Median Salary: $66,920

Degree Required: Masters degree in speech therapy

Year of Postgraduate Education: 2

Job Description:

“Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in patients.”

Registered Nurse

Median Salary: $64,690

Degree Required: Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in nursing or diploma from approved nursing program

Year of Postgraduate Education: Varies

Job Description:

“Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.”

Chiropractor

Median Salary: $67,200

Degree Required: Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 4

Job Description:

“Chiropractors treat patients with health problems of the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal manipulation and other techniques to treat patients’ ailments, such as back or neck pain.”

Physician Assistant

Median Salary: $86,410

Degree Required: Master’s degrees in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), Health Science (MHS), or Medical Science (MMSc)

Year of Postgraduate Education: 2-3

Job Description:

“Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine under the direction of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.”

Source:

United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/home.htm

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ProspectiveDoctor. Follow ProspectiveDoctor on Twitter @ProspectiveDr

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Edward Chang

Edward Chang is the Co-founder and Director of Operations of ProspectiveDoctor.com. He graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is currently a urology resident at the University of Washington. He also attended UCLA as an undergraduate, graduating with a major in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. If you are interested in contributing to ProspectiveDoctor.com, please contact him at edwardchang@prospectivedoctor.com. Follow him on Twitter @EdwardChangMD and Prospective Doctor @ProspectiveDr.

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