Deciding to pursue a career in the health professions is a big step for any student. Typically, students who aspire to work in the health professions need to perform well in the sciences as well as have a strong desire to help others. These two traits are common amongst almost all health professions. However, choosing which specific health profession to pursue can be more difficult and takes time, effort, and self-reflection.
We have a few tips for students who are unsure about which health profession(s) they wish to pursue:
►Do some research on the professions that interest you. We have information about many careers and specific requirements on our website under the "Career Paths" button. In addition, we often recommend students visit explorehealthcareers.org, a website that includes general information about duties, education, and career outlook for a large number of health professions.
►Talk to people who work in the areas that interest you. No amount of internet research can provide the same personalized information as someone who has been through the educational programs and is actually working in the profession. You may wish to seek out someone local or someone you have a connection with - a friend of the family, your personal provider, etc. - and do an informational interview to learn and start making some connections.
►Get out there and get some experience! If you are undecided on a specific health career, start out by volunteering at a local hospital or medical center where you will be exposed to many different health care practitioners and roles. If you have narrowed down your interests, it's wise to start shadowing practitioners or working in that field as soon as possible to begin to get an inside view of the career and what it entails.
►Attend a health professions club meeting - or multiple clubs' meetings. Our CSU clubs are run by students and advised by the CSU Pre-Health Advisors. The clubs provide contacts with other pre-health students, practitioners, graduate programs, shadowing opportunities, volunteering activities, site visits, and other opportunities that will assist you in learning about each career field.
►Come in and meet with a health professions advisor. We are happy to talk with you at any point to assist you in deciding on your career goals and figuring out how to achieve them.
We've gathered some links to assist you with this journey here (or through the "Useful Links" button above). These include websites focused on exploring health professions, volunteering, doing research, and attending enrichment programs.