Medical professionals are often seen as having some of the highest-paying jobs. However, the type of medical profession typically dictates compensation. After all, a brain surgeon will obviously make more money than a pediatric nurse.
While it is expected that nurses and surgeons are paid differently, you may not be aware of the broad differences in compensation between individuals with similar backgrounds and roles. Whether you’re a brain surgeon, a pharmacist, or a medical researcher, read on to find out how you can potentially find a more lucrative or fulfilling position without tacking onto your college debt. Here are five things that can upgrade your career in medicine.
Volunteer Locally or Abroad
Compared to other developed countries, the high costs of medical care in the U.S. leave it inaccessible to many Americans. Not only can volunteering at free clinics be emotionally fulfilling, but it can also be used in your resume to show off your humanitarian side.
Volunteering your time doesn’t always mean giving it away for free either. Experienced pharmacist Patrick Ladapo provided for his community by participating in vaccination clinics soon after the coronavirus pandemic struck. If you’re more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer your medical experience overseas to assist hospitals in disadvantaged countries.
Just as with any other career, networking with former classmates and coworkers can open opportunities for you at different companies. While a strong LinkedIn profile or even a professional Facebook page may be sufficient to make connections, you should know that there are sites dedicated to networking among medical professionals. Keeping a healthy professional network is worthwhile even if you aren’t looking to make a change in employment. Your peers can give you valuable insider information regarding promotion opportunities and company health.
Further Your Education
Additional certifications can provide extra credibility needed for a promotion or higher-paying position. That said, most certifications won’t give much, if any, boost to your career. For example, taking additional courses in electronic fetal monitoring will be useful if you find yourself taking fetal ultrasounds; however, this course would not help much if you work as a physical therapist.
For nurses specifically, there are well over 100 different certifications available. While your position may not have as much potential for advancement through education, it is always worth researching different certifications related to your career. There is often a significant cost associated with these programs. However, if you choose correctly, there is a strong likelihood that participating will be financially beneficial in the long run.
Look for Mentorship Opportunities
Whether it be too costly or time-consuming, pursuing additional credentials may not fit into the work-life balance of a medical professional. If this is the case for you, fear not: there are still ways to further your education without breaking the bank or taking away time from your personal life.
While you may not receive a fancy certification that will bolster your resume, seeking mentorship from your supervisor or more experienced coworkers can be vital for pushing your career forward. Many older professionals will gladly pass down knowledge, and asking for advice can also show initiative and humility to supervisors. Be sure not to become a pest with too many questions though; your coworkers are not teachers.
Set Clear Goals for Your Career
By setting both short– and long-term goals specific to your career path, you’ll have more accurate expectations of how you’ll advance. Pushing your way up the hospital hierarchy and becoming a medical director is certainly a respectable goal. That said, if you haven’t gotten into medical school yet, then your first goal should be to knock out your college requirements and perform well on the MCAT.
Like with any profession, doing your job well plays the most critical role in whether you advance your career or not. All the connections and certifications you acquire won’t be able to save your career if you always show up late for work and don’t perform your responsibilities effectively. Still, hard work in itself is not always enough. So try applying some of these five methods to step up your medical career.