Pre-Health Advisement

What Are the Careers in the Health Professions?

Health professionals include medical and veterinary doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and nurses. Some of these careers can require post-graduate studies (2-5 years after your bachelors degree) comprising theoretical and practical skills, generally followed by specializations through apprenticeships or residence programs (2-6 years after your health training). Other careers like audiology, occupational therapy, physician assistance, etc. are considered to be Allied Health Professions, and each has its own particular training requirements.

surgeryHow Do I Know if a Career in the Health Professions is for Me?

You should begin by asking yourself: why this career? Examine yourself and determine what draws you to this career path. Then find out how much do you really know about your chosen career by researching on-line, talking to professionals in your chosen field, and talking to your Pre-Health Advisor at John Jay. Make sure that you are making an informed career choice.

Other things to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the ability (physical/intellectual) to perform the work required to train and do the job?
  • Am I emotionally able to deal with a wide variety of people?
  • Do I understand what is it like to be a patient?
  • Do I like science? Am I prepared to enter a career in which I will have to spend time and effort keeping up with developments in the field?
  • Do I like being in health care settings?
  • Am I willing to spend the time and effort required to prepare to apply to this type of program? To train for the practice of the profession and for the practice itself?random students studying

What Should I Be Doing to Prepare to Apply to Health Professions Schools?

Each program and profession will have its own set of qualities/activities that they look for in an applicant. The following list covers activities most schools look for, but is not a comprehensive list.

  • Good grades, particularly in the sciences (you should aim for a GPA of 3.5 and above).
  • Good scores in the standardized entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.).
  • Clinical experience or shadowing (direct experiences with a physician or other health professional, paid or unpaid).
  • Volunteering and/or community work.
  • Research, athletics, and other extracurricular activities.

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