What are the Different Medical Careers?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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The medical field is one of the largest industries in the world, employing people with many different skills, interests, and varying levels of education and experience. When the number of specialties are considered, there are several hundred different of medical careers in both clinical and administrative settings. People find rewarding medical careers as physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, medical billing and coding specialists, and medical assistants, among many other options. Professionals might work in hospitals, private offices, clinics, or home health care settings.

Physicians and surgeons are licensed doctors who diagnose and treat patients with widely varying diseases and disorders. People depend on doctors to provide the most appropriate treatment for their symptoms. Physicians usually specialize in one or more areas of treatment, such as primary care, pediatrics, heart health, cancer, or cognitive functioning. Surgeons, who often specialize to an even higher degree than physicians, conduct procedures to fix damaged organs or body parts, transplant new organs, and remove cancerous tumors.


Nurses and nursing aides perform many essential tasks to ensure patient treatment, recovery, and comfort. They may assist physicians in conducting various medical tests and procedures, or provide immediate, direct care for wounds and certain ailments. Many nurses choose to specialize by treating a certain population of patients, such as elderly citizens, women, or cancer patients. Nurses and aides work might work in many different settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, private doctors' offices, and nursing homes. Medical careers in nursing are among the fastest growing and most stable of all professions, as patients and doctors depend on knowledgeable nurses to provide expert services.

Some medical careers do not involve direct care or contact with patients. Scientists known as clinical laboratory technicians and technologists perform tests on human tissue, fluids, and blood to determine the presence and identity of different diseases. Professionals collect and analyze samples, carefully record results, and relay information to doctors so that effective treatments can be prescribed.

Skilled administrative personnel ensure that a hospital or private office runs smoothly at all times. Medical billing and coding specialists are generally in charge of collecting information about patient diagnoses and treatments from doctors, coding data into computer files, and organizing billing materials to send to insurance companies. Medical assistants might direct patients and visitors, verify a patient's paperwork, and answer telephones. There are many other medical careers which involve administrative work, such as accounts receivable and payable specialists, payroll clerks, and human resources directors.


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