Medical Specialties Graduate Programs offer a wide variety of learning opportunities for those who have an affinity for studying medicine, a desire to deliver quality health care services or an interest in coaching others to help them reach their wellness goals. Whether you are interested in a Premed program or in potentially practicing alternative medicine, there are a number of health professions that require either a Masters or Doctorate degree as entry-level education. With an anticipated employment growth of 19% projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2014 to 2024[i] this may be a great time to look into graduate medical specialties degrees to see how you might be able to prepare academically for different potential careers in medicine.
Medical Specialties Graduate Programs: Basics
Medical Specialties Graduate programs are typically offered as Masters and Doctorate degrees, and usually build upon a candidate’s prior education. For some students, the journey to a graduate level medical specialties degree program has been paved as early as an Associate’s degree where they may have taken clinical and administrative courses or learned the vocational skills necessary for working as a medical assistant, pharmacy technician or lab assistant. Others may have earned a Bachelors in Nutrition. Each program is likely to have its own specific undergraduate degree prerequisites and admissions requirements, and there are many doctorate degree programs that admit students with a Bachelor’s degree.
DID YOU KNOW? To a certain extent, medical practitioners have always been specialized. According to Galen, specialization was common among Roman physicians[ii].
The Medical Specialist and Medical Specialties
A specialty in medicine is a branch of medical practice.[iii] The typical trajectory for someone who intended to practice as a ‘medical specialist’ is to complete medical school. Then, physicians or surgeons might further their education in a specific specialty of medicine by completing a multiple year residency to become a medical specialist[iv]. Many of the medical specialties graduate programs are directed at individuals who aspire to practice independently and do require a professional doctorate, residency and internship. That said, there are some medical and health occupations require a masters degree as the minimum entry-level education, so it is recommended to find out what the requirements are in your desired profession so that you can choose a supportive educational pathway. This may mean applying into a master’s program with a Bachelor’s degree or applying directly into a professional doctorate degree program.