Exploring Careers

Although many of you will ultimately choose to apply to medical or dental school, there are a variety of health careers to consider. This is your chance to explore your options. 

Many Boston College graduates have pursued careers in chiropractic medicine, optometry, and podiatry. Physician assistant programs and physical therapy have become increasingly popular the last few years, and students with a strong background/interest in chemistry have pursued pharmacy degrees.

Great resources for exploring many health professions include the BC Career Center's Healthcare & Nursing page and ExploreHealthCareers.org, a resource for health careers information and interactive tools for exploring health career paths, and finding schooling and funding opportunities.

Health Professions

Allopathic Medicine (MD) is an inclusive profession that offers varied opportunities including:

  • Clinical practice
  • Medical administration
  • Public health
  • Medical education
  • Biomedical research


Ideally, all physicians aspire to be:

  • Altruistic, compassionate, trustworthy, and truthful in their relationships with patients, patients’ family members, and professional colleagues
  • Knowledgeable about the scientific basis of medicine and the normal and abnormal functioning of the body
  • Skillful in communicating with and providing care to their patients
  • Dutiful in working with other physicians and health care professionals to promote the health of individual patients and community members


National associations include:

  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

Resources

"Dentistry is the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaing the health of the teeth, gums and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and adjacent structures. A dentist is a scientist and clinician dedicated to the highest standards of health through prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and conditions."
(Source: ADEA.org)

National associations include:

  • American Dental Association (ADA)
  • American Dental Education Association (ADEA)
  • American Student Dental Association (ASDA)

Resources

  • A D.O. practices the full scope of medicine in all existing specialties of the medical field.
  • Osteopathic physicians receive the same medical training as their allopathic (M.D.) counterparts, plus an additional 200 hours of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) – a hands-on therapy that is used to diagnose and treat illness and injury.
  • A D.O. is trained to focus on the whole person, working with patients to achieve high levels of wellness and disease prevention.


National associations include:

  • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medical Schools (AACOM)
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)

Resources

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. (Source: AAPA.org)

National associations include:

  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
  • Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

Resources

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.

National associations include:

  • Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
  • Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV)
  • American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

Resources

Stay Up-to-Date

The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions defines allied health as the segment of the health care field “that delivers services involving the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; and rehabilitation and health systems management.” (Source: ExploreHealthCareers.org)

Allied Health Professions include:

  • Emergency Medical Technician - National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
  • Genetic Counseling - National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)
  • Occupational Therapy - American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Resources