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Medical Fields

Medicine, Dentistry, Podiatry, Optometry, Chiropracty, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine
See also Healthcare Sciences
What can I do with this major?

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  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Allergology
    • Anesthesiology
    • Cardiology
    • Dermatology
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Family and General Practice
    • Gastroenterology
    • Internal Medicine
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology
    • Orthopedics
    • Pathology
    • Pediatrics
    • Psychiatry
    • Radiology
    • Surgery
    • Research
    • Public Health
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private or group practice
  • Health networks
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Mental health institutions
  • Federal, state, & local health departments
  • Government agencies
  • Armed services
  • Correctional facilities
  • Colleges or universities
  • Medical schools
  • Large corporations


  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Endodontics
    • Oral Pathology
    • Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology
    • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
    • Orthodontics
    • Pediatric Dentistry
    • Periodontics
    • Prosthodontics
    • Public Health
    • Research
  • Private practice (80% of dentists)
  • Armed services
  • Federal, state, & local health departments
  • Correctional facilities


  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Surgery
    • Orthopedics
    • Primary Care
    • Sports Medicine
    • Pediatrics
    • Dermatology
    • Radiology
    • Geriatrics
    • Diabetic Foot Care
  • Private practice
  • Community health clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Residential and nursing homes
  • National Health Service
  • Sports clubs
  • Some specialty retail chains


  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Family Practice
    • Pediatric Optometry
    • Geriatric Optometry
    • Vision Therapy
    • Contact Lenses
    • Hospital-Based Optometry
    • Primary Care Optometry
    • Ocular Disease
    • Public Health
    • Research
  • Private practice
  • Vision care centers
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians' offices
  • Armed services
  • Government organizations

Chiropractic Medicine

  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Sports Injuries
    • Neurology
    • Orthopedics
    • Pediatrics
    • Nutrition
    • Internal Disorders
    • Diagnostic Imaging
    • Ergonomics
  • Solo and group practices
  • Hospitals or health clinics


  • Some Areas of Specialization
    • Clinical Pharmacy
    • Intravenous Nutrition Support
    • Oncology
    • Nuclear Pharmacy
    • Geriatric Pharmacy
    • Psychopharmacotherapy.
    • Research
    • Public Health
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health institutions
  • Health clinics
  • Retail chains
  • Government agencies including:
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Public Health Service
    • Department of Veteran's Affairs
    • Armed Services
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Health insurance firms
  • Universities

Veterinary Medicine

  • Areas of Specialization
    • Small Animal Care
    • Large Animal Care
    • Food Safety
    • Preventative Medicine
    • Surgery
    • Laboratory Animal Medicine
    • Research
  • Group or private practice
  • Federal government including:
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Health and Human Services
  • State and local government
  • Colleges of veterinarian medicine
  • Medical schools
  • Research laboratories
  • Animal food companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Zoos

Strategies For Gaining Admittance Into Professional Programs

  • Choose an appropriate undergraduate major and include prerequisite courses required by the professional program, e.g. biology, chemistry, and physics, if they are not a requirement of the chosen major.
  • Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically to discuss curricular decisions.
  • Maintain a high grade point average, particularly in the sciences, to improve chances of admission to graduate or professional school.
  • Develop strong computer, mathematics, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Build strong relationships with professors and/or employers in order to secure strong recommendations.
  • Join related student organizations, such as Alpha Epsilon Delta, and assume leadership roles.
  • Obtain summer jobs, volunteer positions, or internships to test fields of interest and gain valuable experience.
  • Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied.
  • Look at entrance requirements for desired institutions. Be aware of any standardized test requirements, minimum grade point averages, and prerequisites.
  • Talk to professionals already in your desired field regarding their backgrounds. Arrange a shadowing experience.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.
  • Read scientific journals related to your area of interest.
  • Research accredited institutions. Check graduation rates, success rates on licensing exams, cost, location, etc. If possible, speak with current students

General Information and Strategies

  • Develop a desire to help people of all backgrounds and ages including various races and socioeconomic groups.
  • Gain an understanding of the rigorous education and training required in the medical professions to ascertain your willingness to complete the required experiences.
  • Study the demands required by each of the medical fields. Many physicians work very long, irregular hours. Consider your tolerance for such a schedule.
  • All fields require licensure that is generally regulated by the state of residency.
  • Plan for a lifetime of learning to stay abreast of new trends in the field and to fulfill continuing education requirements for licensure.
  • In some medical fields, additional training is necessary for advanced research and administrative positions, university teaching, and independent research.
  • Some medical fields offer the opportunity for post doctoral experiences which can allow one to gain additional training or specialize in a particular area.

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