Whether you’re about to graduate or already working on the clinical side or in management, healthcare is expected to undergo drastic changes in this and the coming decade. If you want to ride the crest of these changes and keep your career trajectory moving up and forward, you’ll need to prepare now.
According to Franklin’s University’s Back to College Blog, some emerging career trends in healthcare to watch include:
Personalized and Regenerative Medicine. This includes customized treatments and gene therapy for more individualized and effective disease management and treatment. As recently reported in The Verge, regenerative medicine has been making huge strides. Scientists using advanced tissue engineering techniques can now restore liver function in mice, regrow human muscle, and implant bioengineered blood vessels into ailing patients. A University of Pittsburgh team has even grown human heart tissue able to beat on its own in a petri dish, marking the next step toward transplantable replacement organs. Scientists will soon be able to develop personalized "patches" of human heart muscle to repair damaged organs.
e-Health and Telecare. This includes monitoring, measuring and maintaining medical care via computer-based technologies to provide better patient care and prevent re-hospitalization. What’s driving this aspect of healthcare is the rapid aging of the population and a jump in the sheer numbers of people needing care. Today’s nuclear family (such that it is) can no longer adequately care for family members. With single-parent households on the rise and 70 percent of women now employed, there simply aren’t enough caretakers to go around. Another factor is that ObamaCare has thrown millions of people into the healthcare system without the medical practitioners to serve them. Simply put, demand will soon exceed supply. E-health and telecare are expected to provide the distance communication protocols that link patients to providers, offering some level of continuous, instant, and accessible healthcare. Telecare will be used to monitor and prevent diseases—especially chronic diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease, and asthma. More information on the impact of e-health and telecare can be found at the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth presentation.
Integrative Healthcare. This involves working with treatment protocols that combine both traditional and alternative medical practices. According to Jamila Williams, MD, MPH, an assistant professor and health policy associate at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College, and associate program director of Meharry’s preventive medicine residency program, ObamaCare will authorize funding to enhance integrative medicine and preventive medicine education. These education opportunities will better equip today’s public health workforce. Meharry Medical College’s preventive and occupational medicine programs and 15 others have already received this funding.
To segue into these hot new careers you’ll need to bring yourself up to speed on their techniques and technologies. That means doing the research, attending seminars and conferences, and meeting the movers and shakers in these new fields, people who may be in a position to hire you.
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