The basics
THE USA: Subject Guides

Medicine and Health Related Sciences

Medicine and health-related professions are considered by many as the most demanding career path that anyone can choose. Read more about what you can find in this career path.


Medicine and health-related professions are considered by many as the most demanding career path that anyone can choose. It requires not only hard work and determination to challenge yourself each day, but also curiosity and passion to serve and care for others. For those ready for the commitment that health care requires, Hotcourses’ Colombian student editor, Alejandra Diaz Camacho is here to give her insights into this subject.

Medicine and health care professionals are often admired for their tenacity and dedication to serve other people, usually the most vulnerable section of the population. The profession’s most general objective is to maintain the health, recovery and rehabilitation of any health-vulnerable person in order to reinsert them into their normal social environment.

A good doctor, thus, not only seeks to cure. Solutions to health problems require from them a holistic attention to the individual’s health and environment in order to maintain their quality of life. This involves more than just medical knowledge; it also entails sensitivity to respond to people’s needs and vulnerabilities.

That is precisely what makes them highly demanded professionals anywhere in the world. Their important social mission goes beyond any other action as it forms the basis for social life: people’s well-being. There are plenty of opportunities to travel around the world, helping those in need. Charities such as Medicine Sans frontiers, for example, provide that possibility. 

However, medical related careers are not only developed in the ward: there is an array of people that also work hard in the labs and research centres, making the doctor’s job possible. There is a high demand for scientists, chemists, pharmacologists, among other subjects, that are needed in the health care area. Despite of the scarcity in funding, Latin America is becoming leader in research of new medicine and drugs for the treatment of diseases, including alternative medicine

What the course involves

The length and curriculum of each course depends on the standards of the university you applied to. Generally, however, a course in medical sciences requires from 5 to 7 years, including 2 years of working directly with patients or the population involved. 

In the first two years, the student will be instructed in basic scientific subjects and skills in order to understand the scientific basis on which medical knowledge is constructed. Third and fourth year the student will train in pre-clinical and clinical subjects, which will train them with the basic abilities for clinical diagnosis. This is followed by a year of training in clinical medicine and surgery subjects, which compile elementary tools to design good illness diagnosis and treatment plans.

Last, but not the least, the last two years of residency are a very important stage in the professional training under the supervision of medical tutors.

If you want to become a doctor or a health care professional, the most important thing is that you become aware of the commitment of this career, which sometimes will take up more than vocation. The Association of American medical colleges advises students that time for planning and requesting guidance from people with experience are key elements in a successful plan to pursue

Interview with the Association of American Medical Colleges advises students on health related subjects.

More Information

You can read more information on Hotcourses, including an interview with a current medicine student, and there are other blogs from medical students here too. Read about their everyday lives and why they decided to become doctors and health care professionals.

For information about rankings, click here.

You can also find out more about medicine courses in the UK and the performance of UK institutions in recent league tables.






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About Author

Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd


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