Did you come to BU thinking that you wanted to be a doctor, but things have changed? Maybe you are having second thoughts or maybe the coursework is killing you. Whatever the reason, if you’re wondering whether being a doctor really is the right choice for you then you have probably contemplated alternative career paths in healthcare.
First, the obvious: you can have a career as a practitioner without earning an M.D.
There’s osteopathy, or optometry, or dentistry or…you get the idea. To learn more about these, talk to your pre-health advisor.
Slightly less obvious: nursing. Maybe you haven’t considered nursing because of the stereotype that nurses have a lower status. Get over that. Nursing is in demand, well paid, and has pathways for expertise and advancement. And it’s for men, too. 10% of nursing students are male and that number is climbing.
But let’s widen the conversation further. Interest in medicine is often about systemic concerns such as the health and treatment of certain populations, methods and obstacles to distributing healthcare, or factors that drive healthcare costs. If that’s of interest, consider looking into public health. Career options are generally analytical (research and policy) or administrative (create and implement programs).
Have a knack for organization and management? Bring it to bear in clinical research administration.
Want to combine your interest in healthcare and your strength in quantitative analysis? Consider health care consulting. Or work as an analyst for a health care provider or insurer.
Want to be part of an organization developing new drugs and devices, but not be in the lab every day? Consider the business and operations side of biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Have an enterprising spirit? Those drugs and devices don’t sell themselves; someone has to make sure providers understand their value.
While it was an interest in life science and improving health that drew you to pre-med, there are other options. And most of them don’t require 8+ years of training after BU. Think about it.