How to Work in Healthcare Without Being a Doctor

The high price of tuition and the number of years required to earn a medical degree isn’t practical for everyone. The good news is that there are plenty of careers in the healthcare industry that don’t require you to attend medical school. Some careers require different degrees or certifications that take less time to complete or that are in fields outside of medicine. Physicians and surgeons do make some of the highest salaries in the United States, but plenty of other job roles pay attractive salaries for less education. Best of all, most of these alternative career paths are projected to see growth in the coming years.

Health Services Administrator

Health services administration is an emerging field that allows you to work in a hospital or healthcare setting. As hospitals continue to adopt electronic health records they need the right staff who can implement and manage new software and track changing policies. A health services administrator is responsible for managing multiple aspects of a healthcare facility, from staff schedules and electronic health records to medical billing and coding. You’ll need to keep up with the latest new technologies and changes to healthcare laws and procedures. You will need a bachelor’s degree at minimum and most health services administrators earn a graduate degree to further their careers.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs for patients that help with imaging or therapeutic purposes. They operate imaging equipment and help physicians research the uses of radioactive drugs. Nuclear medicine technologists need an associate’s degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. You can also become qualified with a degree in a related health field and the completion of a 12-month certificate program.


Healthcare Lawyer

Healthcare law tackles the legal issues related to regulatory compliance, issues with healthcare providers, the regulation of providers, healthcare fraud, medical malpractice, issues with health insurers, and more. There are four main practice areas of health law: healthcare law, public and population health law, bioethics, and global health law.

Howard Fensterman is an accomplished healthcare lawyer and managing partner of his New York City-based law firm. The firm has years of experience representing a range of health care providers in regulatory, transactional, and civil and criminal fraud matters. The attorneys at Abrams Fensterman have received recognition for their work in regulatory law, transactional healthcare representation, and mental health law. Entering the field of healthcare law requires you to complete law school and pass the state bar exam where you wish to practice law.

Respiratory Therapist

respiratory therapist helps patients improve their lung function following an illness and work with those suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They perform diagnostic evaluations, work with physicians to create treatment plans, and educate patients on exercises, medications, and medical devices that can improve their breathing. You can become a respiratory therapist by completing a two-year associate degree program.


Medical Research

Medical research plays a major role in the growth of the healthcare industry. The better the understanding of diseases and illnesses, the better patient care medical professionals can provide. The heart muscle works hard and faces many health threats such as hypertension, myocardial inflammation, cardiac disease, and congestive heart failure.

The Myocarditis Foundation is committed to minimizing and eliminating myocarditis progression, heart dysfunction, heart failure, and sudden death. Their team of researchers works to find potent, practical treatment methods that aid cardiologists who rely on myocarditis research and treatment. The foundation sponsors myocarditis research grants and offers a postdoctoral fellowship in partnership with the American Heart Association. Heart disease research helps the medical industry arrive at accurate, fast diagnostic methods and effective therapies that reduce the progression of myocarditis.

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists administer treatments to cancer patients. They work on an oncology team to ensure all equipment is calibrated correctly to focus radiation directly on the site of a tumor. Radiation therapists answer patient questions, monitor drug reactions during treatments, and maintain detailed records. Most radiation therapists can get by with an associate degree, but some programs do offer bachelor’s degrees in radiation therapy.


Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help patients regain or learn the skills necessary for daily living. They teach patients therapeutic exercises and stretches, engage children with developmental disabilities to teach them coordination or socialization, and teach patients to use specialized equipment that makes daily tasks easier. Most occupational therapists hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

Dietician and Nutritionist

Healthy eating habits play a major role in the prevention of obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, hypertension, and more. Dieticians and nutritionists work with patients to teach proper nutrition and healthy eating habits, and in some cases oversee meal programs within the community. Dieticians and nutritionists sometimes work on public health teams to create campaigns and initiatives that promote proper nutrition. Most states require dieticians and nutritionists to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete supervised training to become licensed.


Genetic Counselors

Assessing a patient’s risk for inherited conditions such as genetic disorders and birth defects by studying genes through DNA testing is the job of genetic counselors. They communicate information to other health-care providers and patients concerned about developing or passing down medical conditions. Genetic counselors need a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics in addition to certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists, more commonly known as speech therapists, work with patients who have difficulties communicating or swallowing. They work with cognitive, social, and physical disorders and rely on research from various scientific fields to create counseling skills. Speech therapists evaluate patients to create customized treatment plans that address the underlying cause(s) of the issues. You’ll need to hold a master’s degree to become licensed to work as a speech therapist.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists are responsible for operating MRI scanners to generate diagnostic images that determine medical diagnoses and the staging of diseases. Often times, radiologic technologists grow their skills to become MRI technologists. You will need an associate’s degree to become an MRI technologist, and some states require a license as well.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in creating sonograms or ultrasounds of organs and tissues using imaging equipment. Sonograms allow physicians to assess and diagnose medical conditions as they are the first imaging tests done when a disease is suspected. Sonographers have the ability to specialize in scanning specific parts of the body, like breast tissue, the heart, or the female reproductive system. You’ll need an associate’s degree in sonography to become a diagnostic medical sonographer. Many employers look for candidates with a professional certification, who have completed programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program, and hold a basic life support certification.

No matter what branch of the healthcare industry you choose to work in, you’ll need the right work attire that is both functional and professional. Scarves in a range of silky and lightweight fabrics, prints, and shapes are an elegant and chic way to accessorize and tie together an outfit. At Chico’s women’s boutique, you can find luxurious fabrics in seasonal shades, geometric designs, and lively color palettes. Scarves make a delicate alternative to necklaces and can be paired with both warm-weather and cold-weather outfits. You can browse new arrivals online and receive free shipping on orders throughout the U.S.

As you can see, there are plenty of rewarding careers in the healthcare industry that don’t require a medical education. As new technologies in the healthcare industry continue to advance, so does the need for specialized healthcare professionals.

Hola, I’m
Phoebe is not only the Senior Staff Writer at Big Green Gathering, she is also an esteemed musician, designer, photographer, and all around creative aficionado. When she’s not playing gigs at local Portland venues, or sourcing and designing a thrifted wardrobe, she can be found advocating for health and wellness through holistic practice and self-care. She also enjoys tending to her garden and learning new vegan recipes.

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