By: Linh Thanh Dinh
It’s a no-brainer that most Pre-Med students aspire to become some type of physician (i.e. pediatrician), but they should reconsider after hearing about these bizarre medical occupations. A situation erupting on campuses across the country, including our very own University of Georgia, is that a growing number of aspiring doctors are choosing to major in the humanities or social sciences instead of the usual default, biology or chemistry. According to USA Today College, “Last year, nearly a quarter of medical school applicants majored outside the sciences, and for good reason: Nowadays, medical schools don’t care about what you majored in during your undergrad.” Of course, a tremendous amount of chemistry and biological sciences knowledge is required for your profession of choice, but it is possible to gain the impeccable communication skills and patience important for a healthy relationship with your career elsewhere.
Have you ever heard of a clinical ethicist? Consider this unheralded position if you want to help shape and influence the way society deals with contentious medical issues. Issues such as “Right to Live,” stem cell research and cloning often involve social and political debates which demand an unbiased, non-partisan approach from a clinical ethicist who examines each of these issues, and provides input to influence how patients, their families, doctors and hospitals deal with these difficult situations. Most ethicists will need a master’s degree or doctorate related to medical ethics and a minimum of at least five years’ experience working with patients.
Another prospering field is Art Therapy and Music Therapy, which employs art and music to get favorable responses from patients who experience issues with depression, motor skills, anxiety attacks or dementia. Although there are only a few Music and Art Therapy Schools in the country, this fulfilling job allows you to help others while also enjoying music or art in the medical community without sitting through 4 years of med school.
You’re more adventurous, you say, but the surgical field isn’t for you? Thought about being an enterostomal therapist? An enterostomy is an operation in which the surgeon cuts a passage into the patient’s small intestine, through the abdomen. The opening allows for the drainage of fecal matter or to insert a feeding tube. This procedure is used for emergency cases of severe abdomen wounds and diseases, such as certain types of cancer and Crohn’s disease. The enterostomal therapist not only cares for the stoma post-surgery through cleaning and sanitation, but also educates patients on how to properly care for it beforehand. Want to achieve this profession? You must either earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and be certified with a nursing degree.
These are only a few out of several possible creative uses for your college degree. There are many other medical careers available that applies to everyone’s interests. Remember to educate yourself about what interests you and apply that interest to what is needed of you in the medical industry. Don’t limit your options!