Challenges of Entering the Healthcare Industry
Written by Owen Hu November 12th 2021
The healthcare industry has one of the best job prospects out of any field. The salaries are high, the hiring companies are competitive, and the potential for growth is virtually unlimited. Despite its universal popularity and benefits, however, this industry is one of the most challenging to enter.
To begin, the education requirements of the healthcare industry are extremely rigorous. The extensive training necessary to become a doctor is a massive investment of not only money but also time. In a pre-medical school university, most undergraduates are required to take biology, both organic and inorganic chemistry, math, physics, and English to meet the conditions for medical school acceptance. Then there is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), an n almost eight-hour-long exam covering all the prerequisite knowledge for medical school. Hundreds of hours of studying and a decent score later, aspiring doctors must then apply to medical school, typically involving four years of higher education, service, and laboratory experience. After successfully graduating from a rigorous curriculum in medical school, students may commence residency work, where they select a specialty and stick with it for three to seven years. Finally, they may fully begin fully independent work as a licensed and certified doctor.
The mammoth time commitment listed above seems like an insurmountable effort, but it gets more challenging from there. In the 10 to 14 years of education after high school required, students oftentimes accumulate immense financial debts. In medical school alone, the typical yearly tuition is $50,000. There are also the costs of sacrificed salaries or wages during the pursuit of education. When factoring in undergraduate and residency costs, a student may collect hundreds of thousands in debt prior to graduation. Of course, this is not to mention the monumental effort and stress that many medical school students experience during their studies.
Despite its challenges, these challenges should not discourage one from entering the medical industry. For second-year residents, a study found that only 14% regretted their choice to enter the medical field, with the vast majority of responders claiming that they feel fulfilled by their decision to study in the industry. After all, why shouldn’t they feel satisfied? The medical industry is extremely rewarding for those who have their heart set on finding an ideal job helping others and creating change in the world. Even upon consideration of the heavy financial cost and the significant time investment needed to reach one’s dream occupation, the end goal is a motivating factor to get past the next hurdle: finish high school. Finish undergrad. Graduate medical school. Complete residency. Find a real-world position. Even with the challenges of entering the healthcare industry, there is nothing more gratifying than fulfilling what is oftentimes a childhood dream.
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