Category Archives: Healthcare

Animal-Assisted Therapy

The therapeutic benefits of interaction with animals have been well-documented, and students planning careers in health care, education, or mental health professions might consider if animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a method of treatment that they would like to explore.  Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) is the most well-known organization dedicated to training and research in the area of animal-assisted therapy.  Their definition of AAT is below:

AAT is a goal-directed intervention directed and/or delivered by a health/human service professional with specialized expertise, and within the scope of practice of his/her profession. AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.

Child life specialists, educators, mental health professionals, nurses, physical therapists, physicians, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, speech-language pathologists, and social workers are just some of the professionals who may choose to seek training in the area of AAT.

For more information on training programs in AAT, check out:

Center for Animal Assisted Therapy

Pet Partners

Discover Nursing

Are you one of Baylor’s many students interested in a career in health care?  You may have seen our post on registered nurses.  This post is a brief follow-up.  The Johnson & Johnson company has put together a website as part of their “Campaign for Nursing’s Future.”  It is  The site allows visitors to explore specialties within the field of nursing and obtain facts about the profession.  More information on the nursing programs at Baylor can be found at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing website.

Career Spotlight: Medical and Health Services Managers


Medical and health services managers are also referred to as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives.  There are numerous subcategories within this profession.  Medical and health services managers focus on the business and regulatory aspects of healthcare, including the maintenance and analysis of patient information, managing budgets, overseeing projects, and ensuring that an organization meets applicable legal standards.  Work settings could include hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and outpatient facilities.  For students who are interested in working in a medical environment without an educational background in the hard sciences, healthcare administration could be a viable option

Some medical and health services managers enter the field with a Bachelor’s degree, but a Master’s degree is common in this field.  When trying to determine a relevant undergraduate major at Baylor, business and nursing majors are some options to compare.  A directory of accredited graduate programs in healthcare administration can be found on the website of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.  One particular type of medical and health services manager is a health information manager.  More information on career paths in health information management can be found on the American Health Information Management Association’s website.

For more information on Baylor’s MBA program in Healthcare Administration, click here.

Scribe: An Ancient Profession Adapted for Modern Medicine

When I hear the word scribe, I picture someone in ancient times writing on parchment, with an inkwell by his side.  Imagine my surprise when I was invited to a meeting this semester about scribe jobs for students!  With the same intent, but a modern twist, scribes are changing the way emergency medicine is practiced all across the country.

Scribes are hired and trained to provide medical charting for physicians.  This frees up the physician to focus on the patient, rather than getting bogged down with documentation.  The physician reviews the scribe’s work before approving it.  Not only do scribes help increase the efficiency of emergency departments, but scribes gain valuable experience in preparation for application to medical school.  Medical schools expect that a student has spent many hours observing in a medical setting.  Working as a scribe offers the added benefits of learning medical terminology and getting paid.  PhysAssist Scribes, Scribe America, and Emergency Medicine Scribe Systems are three companies currently hiring pre-healthcare students for scribe positions.  Even more organizations can be found by doing an online search.  Some students are able to scribe as a summer job.  Visit the company websites for more details.

*Update:  Toby Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer of ProScribe, called our office to let us know that ProScribe hires and trains scribes for the Waco market.  Click here for more details.

Career Spotlight: Registered Nurse

An essential part of the healthcare team, registered nurses make up the largest healthcare occupation.  According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for registered nurses is projected at a rate faster than average.  It is actually the occupation expected to add the most jobs between 2010 and 2020.  The list of specialties within the field of nursing is almost endless.  Registered nurses can specialize by type of patient, employment setting, disease, organ or body system.  Hospitals employ 60% of registered nurses, so students who particularly enjoy volunteering in the hospital setting might consider this a viable career path.

Baylor students can declare a Pre-Nursing major.  Students must complete a series of prerequisite courses (including chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and statistics) and earn a grade of C or better to be eligible for admission to the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.  The Undergraduate Catalog states that “admission is competitive and not guaranteed.”  Students should be aware that the last two years of nursing courses are completed at the campus in Dallas, Texas.  An alternative to the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is the FastBacc program, designed for students who complete a Bachelor’s degree in another area.

For additional information on a career in nursing, such as many of the areas of specialization, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

New Podcast: Medical Humanities

Are you interested in a healthcare career?  More specifically, do you want to view each patient as more than just a number or a body of cells?  You might be interested in studying medical humanities.  Click here to listen to the latest installment of the Meet the Majors Podcast Series.  Our featured guest is Dr. Lauren Barron, a medical doctor who is also the Associate Director of the Medical Humanities program at Baylor.

Career Spotlight: Medical Illustrator

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook,

Medical and scientific illustrators combine drawing skills with knowledge of biology or other sciences. Medical illustrators work digitally or traditionally to create images of human anatomy and surgical procedures as well as three-dimensional models and animations. Scientific illustrators draw animal and plant life, atomic and molecular structures, and geologic and planetary formations. These illustrations are used in medical and scientific publications and in audiovisual presentations for teaching purposes. Illustrators also work for lawyers, producing exhibits for court cases.

Medical illustrators must have both a demonstrated artistic ability and a detailed knowledge of living organisms, surgical and medical procedures, and human and animal anatomy. A bachelor’s degree combining art and premedical courses usually is required. However, most medical illustrators also choose to pursue a master’s degree in medical illustration. This degree is offered in four accredited schools in the United States.”

The annual salary range is $41,933-$79,547.

A helpful website is:

Career Spotlight: Community Service Director

O*NET states that community service directors perform the following tasks:

  • Evaluate the work of staff and volunteers to ensure that programs are of appropriate quality and that resources are used effectively.
  • Provide direct service and support to individuals or clients, such as handling a referral for child advocacy issues, conducting a needs evaluation, or resolving complaints.
  • Recruit, interview, and hire or sign up volunteers and staff.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with other agencies and organizations in community to meet community needs and to ensure that services are not duplicated.
  • Establish and oversee administrative procedures to meet objectives set by boards of directors or senior management.
  • Direct activities of professional and technical staff members and volunteers.
  • Plan and administer budgets for programs, equipment and support services.
  • Participate in the determination of organizational policies regarding such issues as participant eligibility, program requirements, and program benefits.
  • Prepare and maintain records and reports, such as budgets, personnel records, or training manuals.
  • Research and analyze member or community needs to determine program directions and goals.

Community service directors are knowledgeable in principles of business and management, human resources, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

Community service directors possess active listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills. They cooperate with co-workers in a friendly, non-competitive environment. Community service directors need to be sensitive to others’ needs and feelings, and should have a desire to help people. The job also requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.   

Helpful website:

100 Careers in Healthcare

This marks our 100th post on the Mind Your Major blog!  While I wish I could say that we are giving away $100, that is not true.  Instead, we offer up what some of you might think is the next best thing…100 careers in healthcare.  How many of you, particularly those on a prehealthcare track, have been asked about your back-up plan?  How many of you have a solid back-up plan figured out?  Here are 100 ideas to get you started, with links to detailed information on each career path:

  1. Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist
  2. Clinical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist
  3. Health Educator
  4. Cytotechnologist
  5. Genetic Counselor
  6. Art Therapist
  7. Medical Librarian
  8. Dentist
  9. Built Environment Specialist
  10. Environmental Health Advocate
  11. Environmental Health Practitioner
  12. Food Safety Specialist
  13. Occupational Health and Safety Expert
  14. Forensic Biologist
  15. Forensic Chemist
  16. Forensic Odontologist
  17. Forensic Pathologist
  18. Forensic Toxicologist
  19. Geriatric Pharmacist
  20. Geriatric Psychiatrist
  21. Geriatric Staff Nurse
  22. Geriatrician
  23. Health Administrator
  24. Dental Informatics
  25. Nursing Informatics
  26. Biogerontologist
  27. Clinical Ethicist
  28. Disaster Medical Specialist
  29. Emergency Medicine
  30. Family Medicine
  31. Palliative Care Doctor
  32. Pathologist
  33. Doctor of Osteopathy
  34. Medical Doctor
  35. Physician Assistant
  36. Medical Scientist
  37. Psychiatrist
  38. Psychologist
  39. Rehabilitation Counselor
  40. Social Worker
  41. Licensed Professional Counselor
  42. Child Life Specialist
  43. Marriage and Family Therapist
  44. Substance Abuse Counselor
  45. Athletic Trainer
  46. Clinical Nurse Specialist
  47. Nurse Anesthetist
  48. Nurse Educator
  49. Audiologist
  50. Nurse Midwife
  51. Occupational Therapist
  52. Nurse Practitioner
  53. Physical Therapist
  54. Nurse Researcher
  55. Speech-Language Pathologist
  56. Veterinarian
  57. Dietitian
  58. Occupational Health Nurse
  59. Pediatric Nurse
  60. Public Health Nurse
  61. Registered Nurse
  62. Bioinformatics
  63. Optometrist
  64. Pharmaceutical Scientist
  65. Pharmacist
  66. Podiatrist
  67. Public Health- Biomedical and Laboratory Practice
  68. Biostatistics
  69. Epidemiology
  70. Global Health
  71. Maternal and Child Health
  72. Public Health Practice and Program Management
  73. Exercise Physiologist
  74. Kinesiotherapist
  75. Primary Care Sports Medicine
  76. Animal Behaviorist
  77. Demographer
  78. Biomedical Engineer
  79. Biotechnologist
  80. Perfusionist
  81. Acupuncturist
  82. Acute Care Nurse
  83. Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse
  84. Allergist/Immunologist
  85. Anesthesiologist Assistant
  86. Anesthesiologist
  87. Chiropractor
  88. Critical Care Nurse
  89. Dermatologist
  90. Hospitalist
  91. Internist
  92. Low Vision Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
  93. Music Therapist
  94. Naturopathic Doctor
  95. Neurologist
  96. Nuclear Medicine Physician
  97. Obstetrician/Gynecologist
  98. Ophthalmologist
  99. Surgeon
  100. Orthodontist

For even more ideas, visit the following websites:


Career Spotlight: Pharmacologist

A true scientist, the pharmacologist has a critical role to play in the field of medicine, as well as other health professions.  According to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), “pharmacology is the science of drug action on biological systems.”  You might most commonly think of this in terms of the development of new drugs for medical treatment.  The most appropriate undergraduate majors are chemistry and biology.  A PhD in pharmacological sciences is also required.  Some students enroll in joint MD/PhD programs, so they will also have the ability to work with patients.  For more information on this career, please see ASPET’s brochure, entitled, “Explore Pharmacology.”