Careers in Public Health/Medicine help please!

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May 16, 2016
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I am going to be a 3rd year undergraduate student studying public health and biomedical sciences at Texas A&M University. I am currently a pre-med student but I have put deep consideration into other career routes. I am still currently deciding if the cons of being a doctor outweigh the pros, but like I said, I am trying to research possible careers for me! I really really enjoy biochemistry (not the actual class), medicine, genetics (again not the class haha), virology and pathology, and environmental interaction. In fact, I am currently doing environmental-genetic interaction and health disparities research with one of my professors and I absolutely love it.

I don't know if this is worth mentioning, but by far my favorite class I have ever taken during my undergraduate thus far is anatomy and physiology. I found it so interesting how and why we become paralyzed on the chemical level when we are bitten by a spider or something. I found it so applicable.

I like to be mentally challenged even if it stresses me out. I think this does me more good than harm. I also love the idea of forming a relationship with people which is one of the main reasons I wanted to be a doctor in the first place. That is also part of the reason I have considered genetics counseling, and even a nutritionist.

Some other careers I have researched a bit on is epidemiology and biostats/bioinformatics. I have read how epidemiology is not a rewarding career, if we are talking about money.

I hate to say this, but I want to make quadruple the national average salary (which is ~$25,000 give or take) by the time I hit the peak in my career. This sounds really greedy and I understand that money management is based on how you spend and not how much you make.

Feel free to message me or comment about any careers you think I would enjoy! I feel like career research isn't done enough and there are some careers/jobs out there that aren't in the mainstream.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I kind of do not want to work as a nurse/community health worker.


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Mar 13, 2009
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A physician career is very demanding time-wise. So while the compensation is very good, a lot of commitment is required.

Epidemiology is a good career, but the training required is a pretty lengthy process. I trained for almost 8 years before "starting my career" (aka real job). The money is fine--I won't ever be wealthy but I'll have a stable financial future (above what your desired salary is).

Public jobs (e.g. university, health department, NGO) tend to have lower salaries as those tend not to be revenue generating organizations. You'll likely be lower than your target salary until later in your career.

Research jobs are fairly common, but depending on the setting, the resources available to you and the time involved vary greatly. For example, a university professor spends most time writing grants and starting salary is usually in the $70k range but has full academic freedom. A researcher at a drug company is going to be doing a lot clinically focused work but salary ranges are starting at $100k, but there's no independence.

Informatics, depending on application, can be very lucrative. Big data is a very important field going forward, but is very different from an epi or physician career.