The demand for primary care practitioners is high, due in large part to the aging baby boomer population. Physician assistants are key players in the field of health care. If you are interested in primary care, this occupation could be worth your time to explore. Under the supervision of a physician, physician assistants are able to diagnose and treat illnesses. They are also able to prescribe medication.
Many people are attracted to this profession due to the amount of independence in working with patients, as well as a good job market. The path to become a physician assistant is not easy, however. In fact, physician assistant programs have become more competitive than medical schools for admission. Students must exhibit excellent grades, and many applicants have health care experience as a registered nurse or emergency medical technician. Physician assistant programs take between two and three years to complete.
For more information, the American Academy of Physician Assistants offers an article entitled, “Becoming a PA.”
If you enjoy learning about fitness and nutrition, you might find a nice fit with the Exercise Physiology major. The program has a built-in internship and can prepare students for working in a wide variety of settings. Consider if you would enjoy taking classes like:
- Principles of Health Fitness Instruction
- Exercise and Sport Nutrition
- Techniques of Strength Training and Conditioning
- Sports Psychology
- Clinical Exercise Physiology
- Exercise Programming for Individuals with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
For more information on the major courses, check out the Major Academic Planner for Exercise Physiology. To learn more about becoming an exercise physiologist, you can visit ExploreHealthCareers.org.
This may be a new one to you. Anesthesiologist assistants must hold a Master’s degree from an approved training program. There are only eight anesthesiologist assistant programs available at this time, and they do require an undergraduate science background. Explorehealthcareers.org provides more information on this high-paying career with a good outlook.
Trying to avoid cubicle jobs? Sports fan? Athletic training just might be for you. Active, hard-working students should explore this field. First off, visit Occupational Outlook Handbook to learn more about the career itself. Second, you can read online about Baylor’s Athletic Training major. Athletic training requires long hours, including early mornings and working outside. It can be a rewarding career for those who enjoy working with an active population.
Baylor’s program is quite structured compared to some other majors. If it appears that you are too far behind to complete the degree on time, you could also consider an entry-level Master’s degree program in athletic training. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education accredits such programs and maintains a database. These programs could be good options for prehealth students looking for a “Plan B.”
Any prehealth student at Baylor should be utilizing one of the most valuable resources that you have available on campus: the Prehealth Programs office. The sooner you connect with a prehealth advisor, the better. Current prehealth students can view announcements in Blackboard, attend information sessions, or enroll in courses to become more informed. You can also contact the Prehealth Programs office with your questions about the medical school admissions process. The advisors have expertise in guiding students through this process and helping them understand what it will take to be successful. Visit the website for Prehealth Programs to get started.
So often we hear students state with confidence that they want to work in health care, yet they are unsure of the specific ways they would like to serve patients. I would like to introduce you to a health care occupation that might be unfamiliar to you. Orthotists and prosthetists, also referred to as O & P professionals, design medical support devices and prosthetic limbs. They also measure and fit patients for these devices.
O & P professionals must have a Master’s degree in the field. A list of accredited programs is available on the website for the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education. Common prerequisite courses include biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. This is not a comprehensive list, and interested students should consult the websites of the graduate programs they are considering.
More information on this career can be found at the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, including the favorable job growth projection for this occupation, or at OPCareers.org.
You may have heard that getting research experience is beneficial as a prospective medical school applicant. Summer can be an ideal time for gaining such experience, since pre-med students typically carry rigorous, time-consuming course loads in the regular semesters. Also, there are many formal summer research programs that exist. It is not too early to compare your options and identify important application deadlines. The American Association of Medical Colleges maintains a list of Summer Undergraduate Research Programs on their website, and it is a nice place to begin your exploration.
One of the best things about being part of a prestigious university community is the opportunity to hear experts speak about their work. The BURST student organization is hosting a guest lecture tonight by Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. The announcement for the lecture indicates that Dr. Hotez is heavily involved in the development of vaccines, and he even developed a vaccine for hookworms. The lecture will take place in Room B.110 in the Baylor Sciences Building at 6:00 p.m.
It’s an exciting time to be a prehealth student at Baylor. Our university has long possessed a reputation for outstanding academics, but there are great learning opportunities outside of the classroom, as well. Read on for two ways to increase your knowledge of health care careers and get an edge on the competition.
Science and Health Living and Learning Center
Mapping Your Way to Success– hosted by the Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students. Guest speakers include:
Monday, October 22nd (Chemistry and the Future Physician with Dr. Pennington )
BSB Room D. 110
Tuesday, October 23rd (Physics: Succeeding on Your Path to a Career in Healthcare with Dr. Kinslow)
7:00pm – 8:00pm
BSB Room D. 110
Wednesday, October 24th (Biology and the Premed Student with Dr. Rushing)
7:00pm – 8:00pm
BSB Room A.108
Thursday, October 25th (The 2015 MCAT: What You Should Know with Mr. South, Assistant Dean of Medical Admissions and University of Arkansas College of Medicine)
6:00pm – 7:00pm
BSB Room D.110
Can’t get enough information on health care careers? Here are some resources for you:
About.com Health Careers
American Medical Association’s Health Care Careers Directory
Texas H.O.T. Jobs
If you would like to work with a career counselor to discover the career that best fits you, request an appointment by visiting the Career Counseling website.