Since beginning my clinical rotations as a medical student, I have been exposed to so many interesting, dynamic jobs within health care that I never knew existed such as Recreational Therapy, Occupational/Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Doula, Midwife, Lactation Consultant, Clinical Social Worker, the list goes on and on.
As someone who regularly follows MiM guest posts and who talks to many premedical students, I always find it interesting that exposure to other fields in medicine is so lacking. There are so many different ways to become a health care provider and though Doctors are among the highest in the hierarchy, without a diverse group of providers we not only fail to provide the best service to our patients, but we often fail to address core issues that determine health outcomes.
With that said, for the physicians around:
- if you weren’t a doctor what medical professional would you be or would you choose a completely different field?
And for those in training:
- what other careers in medicine have you researched, considered, or shadowed in? What did you think?
- If I hadn’t become a doctor, I would be a Recreational Therapist with a focus on alternative methods such as massage and reiki or a Doula/Health Coach/Life Coach/Interior Decorator
- Prior to my training, I didn’t really spend time shadowing Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants but should have. I will be entering academic community pediatrics in an urban setting and the overwhelming majority of my mentors and folks whose careers inspire me are Pediatricians. However, if I was interested in more community or rural medicine, pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant would have been a possible alternate route to providing primary care with much less debt and better work-life balance.