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The first thing that jumps to mind when you think of a career in the healthcare industry is becoming a doctor or a surgeon. They’re both great jobs that pay well and you’ll get a lot of job satisfaction, but there is a downside. Training to be a doctor or a surgeon takes a long time and you need to have the top grades if you’re going to get onto a medicine course, which is why some people decide that it isn’t just for them. The training is incredibly stressful and once you’re qualified, it’s only going to get harder. It takes a certain type of person to deal with the challenges of being a doctor or a surgeon and a lot of people just aren’t right for it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great career in the medical profession.



Doctors and surgeons are only a small part of the medical profession and there are so many other jobs that you could look into. A lot of them are well paid and don’t require anywhere near as much training. There are also some great jobs that aren’t medically focused but are still very important in the day to day running of a hospital so you don’t need to be a trained doctor to help people. If you like the idea of a career in the medical field but you don’t want to spend years training as a doctor or you don’t think you can handle the pressure, here are some great alternatives.



A lot of people are drawn to a career in the healthcare industry because they want a job where they can help others. If that sounds like you and you want to focus on the patients and their wellbeing, you might be better suited to being a nurse. It’s a great career for people that are sociable because you’ll be spending all of your time interacting with different patients and getting to know them as you tend to their needs. Every day brings a new challenge so you’ll never get bored and you won’t be stuck in an office all day, which is ideal for a lot of people.

However, there are some downsides to nursing because, like a lot of medical careers, it’s a very demanding job.

You’re going to get difficult patients that don’t want to cooperate and you’ll also have to deal with the emotional strain that comes with the job. Not every patient is going to recover and when you’re seeing them every single day, that can be really tough. The shifts are also quite irregular which is an issue for some people. They’re quite flexible in terms of the shifts that you want to work but there are a lot of long hours and irregular working times which isn’t ideal if you’ve got a family, for example.

But if you’re prepared to deal with some of the negatives of nursing, it’s a great career path to go down.

You will still need some training if you want to become a registered nurse but it’s nowhere near as much as you’ll need to become a doctor. Becoming a registered nurse is more like a foundational step to begin your climb on the nursing career path. Various platforms, such as NurseHub and Career Employer, provide NCLEX practice questions and mock tests. These resources are designed to streamline your exam preparation process, saving you valuable time. A nursing degree takes around 4 years to complete, after which time you’ll be able to start applying for positions. You don’t necessarily have to work as a nurse in a hospital either, you could consider home care or retirement facilities as well, for example. Once you’ve got a bit of experience, you can also do extra training and specialize in certain areas of nursing.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioner is an important role that falls somewhere between a nurse and a fully trained doctor. A lot of people have heard the term but they often wonder what is a family nurse practitioner exactly? While they don’t have the full training of a doctor and they can’t carry out all of the same duties, a family nurse practitioner is qualified to do a lot of the more basic things that a doctor does. They can carry out tests and examinations, diagnose patients, prescribe medication, and educate the public about health issues.

In a lot of places, they are the main provider of medical assistance to the community, especially if there is a shortage of doctors. This is a career that is growing quite rapidly because an aging population is putting more strain on the healthcare system and there aren’t always enough fully qualified doctors available.

In terms of training, you will need to have a nursing degree already, then you need to get a master’s degree to specialize as a family nurse practitioner before taking a certification exam. If you go in without any prior qualifications at all, it will take around 6 years to get qualified, however, if you’re already working as a nurse and you’ve got good experience, it will be a lot quicker than that. This is a great career move for people that enjoy nursing but want a bit more responsibility.

Physical Therapists


Physical therapists are more important than ever for a few reasons. Again, the aging population means that there are more elderly people that suffer from mobility issues. The rise in health conditions like obesity also means that younger people are having problems with mobility and need treatment, which is why physical therapy is one of the fastest growing areas of healthcare right now. The salary for physical therapists is also very competitive compared with a lot of other healthcare jobs. The level of training is similar to that of a doctor in terms of the time it will take, however, the job itself is far less stressful and the hours are a lot more sociable because you’re not dealing with emergency situations.

If you want to become a physical therapist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a medical related field. This is fairly flexible so even things like Chemistry or Physics will qualify you for your next level of training in a lot of places. Once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to apply for a doctor of physical therapy course and then do a residency before you’re fully qualified.

Being a doctor is a great career but there are a lot of reasons that people don’t want to do it. It might be that they don’t want to train for that long or they don’t have the grades to get onto a medicine course. They may also be put off by the levels of stress that a doctor is under, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great career in the medical field. If you don’t like the idea of being a doctor, why not look at some of these alternatives instead?  

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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