Plotting Your Healthcare Career Pathway: 5 Things to Consider

Share this

Plotting Your Healthcare Career Pathway: 5 Things to Consider

As an aspiring healthcare professional, there are undoubtedly many questions you’ll want answered about your chosen career path. 

From choosing your area of specialization to developing the personal and professional skills you need to excel, what salary you can expect to earn, and just as importantly, how to be sure you’re looking after yourself, too - let us take you through the five things you need to consider before embarking on your healthcare career. 

1. What Area of Healthcare Do You Want to Specialize In?

As a healthcare practitioner, there are a variety of areas you can choose to specialize in. Some of the most common areas of healthcare specialization include:

  • Family Medicine.
  • Primary Care.
  • Radiology and Internal Medicine. 
  • Emergency Medicine.
  • Neurology.
  • Mental Healthcare.
  • Gynecology and Obstetrics. 
  • Pediatrics.
  • Geriatrics. 
  • Pathology. 
  • Surgical Medicine.

Most important? The area of healthcare specialty you choose to pursue will determine your educational pathway. Of course, attaining a qualification in the relevant area of medicine is essential to pursuing a career path in that field. To become an OB/GYN, for example, the healthcare professional will need to have completed studies focusing on gynecology and obstetrics. 

Similarly, healthcare specialists in either pediatrics or geriatrics will need to gain specialized insights into the needs of these respective age groups. A specialist mental healthcare practitioner needs to attain the requisite licensure in psychiatry, counseling, or social work. In the same way, family medicine, emergency medicine, and primary care practitioners need to be up to speed with their chosen areas of medical specialization.

2. How Much Do You Aspire to Earn? 

For many aspiring healthcare professionals, one of the main drawcards is the earning potential. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to choose your career path wisely. Why? Certain positions offer higher salaries than others. For example, in nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing salary is going to be higher than that of a general registered nurse. Of course, the payoff is that that MSN practitioner is required to have completed higher educational qualifications than an RN. This commitment in and of itself requires dedication, diligence, and above all, persistence. 

Seeing your chosen career path through is a testament to your ambition. Aiming high? If your goal is to end up in medical leadership, upper management, or C-suite roles, it follows that your earning potential will also increase. But what types of C-suite roles in medicine can you aspire to pursue? Ambitious healthcare practitioners can set their sights on roles such as:

  • Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
  • Chief Medical Director (CMD).
  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).
  • Chief Patient Experience Officer (CPEO).

Of course, these are just some examples of high-paying medical leadership roles healthcare practitioners can place on their vision boards. There are many other upper managerial positions you can pursue as a healthcare professional. You just need to be able to develop the appropriate skillset.

3. Which Professional Skills Will You Need to Develop?

Some of the healthcare skills you’ll need to develop if you want to excel in your career include:

  • Communication skills.
  • Collaborative teamwork skills.
  • Time management and organization.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to change.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to concentrate under pressure.

4. Which Soft Skills Should You Cultivate? 

In addition to your professional skillset, there are also certain personal attributes good healthcare practitioners benefit from cultivating. Some of these include:

  • Interpersonal skills.
  • A polite, professional bedside manner.
  • Patience, and the ability to stay calm and collected. 
  • Empathy and compassion.
  • Resilience and dedication.
  • Stress management and self-care techniques.

5. How Will You Look After Yourself, Too? 

Finally, if you want to be the best healthcare professional you can be, you need to be able to look after yourself as well. This means caring for both your physical and mental health by maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

But, it’s more than just exercising and eating well. As a healthcare practitioner, your emotional well-being is just as important. With so many demanding elements of your job, your chosen career path can be stressful. Avoid burnout by employing self-care strategies, and unwinding in your downtime. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and while a central element of your role is to give care to others, you need to ensure you’re caring for yourself, too. 

Related Post: A Peek into the US Healthcare System

Fatima Batool

Dr. Fatima is a licensed pharmacist utilizing her skills as a guest medical content writer at PharmaShots. With a passion for translating complex medical advancements into clear, accessible content, she crafts engaging articles that unveil the latest breakthroughs in healthcare and technology.

Share this article on WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Twitter

Join the PharmaShots family of 12000+ subscribers

I accept the Terms and Conditions