With a growing population and the worldwide need for curers and administrators needed to run medical facilities, the need for medical professionals all over the world is greater than ever. Today the medical and healthcare profession has become one of the world's largest industries with a vast variety of specializations and supporting fields, involving everything from administrative and clerical work to medical research, development and technology. Indeed in the new millennia, healthcare has become a priority area for governments and corporations all over the world to invest in.
Medical education is the internationally acceptable foundation of learning the healing arts and about modern procedures and medicine used today. Every country in the world has its own, internationally acceptable format for the teaching and training of medicine and healthcare students and each has its own - closely similar - methodology to train and qualify (and license) practitioners entering into this field. All over the world, there are many great traditional medical training institutions with a philosophy focused on the comprehensive development of the future generations of experts and industry leaders in this field, and prospective medical students have a variety of choices when looking for the right institution to join, and the right Doctors to learn from.
Entry into the medical field
All over the world, different curricula are followed and entrance into medical schools for training requires prospective students to fulfill certain criteria.
- Undergraduate entry (European and Asian countries)
Undergraduate entry usually requires students to have completed at least a high school (or A levels in the UK) certificate and sometimes a year of preparatory study before entrance into dedicated medical education.
- Second entry (first professional degree - USA and Canada)
A second entry degree is one for which a student is required to have completed between 2-3 years of study (graduate level) as a pre-requisite for entrance into medical education. This degree is considered as a 'first professional degree' (like a PhD or MS degree) after the first degree is completed in a sciences related discipline.
- Graduate entry - Graduate entry program (GEP or GMP)
These are medical programs, occurring outside of the US and Canada, where entry is offered to college or university graduates who have already completed a degree and have taken an aptitude test (MCAT etc).
Post Graduate Education
Newly trained doctors are required to complete a certain period of practical training, usually with a hospital or clinic. Before doctors can become registered as licensed practitioners anywhere in the world, they are required to complete this supervised 'hands-on' training period (called a residency or internship - aka 'scrubs' program) which usually takes a year.
- Continued medical education (CME)
Continued medical education is a necessity in many parts of the world for doctors to maintain their practice licenses. This education is undertaken periodically by physicians and other practitioners (like medical technicians and nursing professionals) in order to maintain an up-to-date knowledge on current advances, modern practices and the latest medical technology (some examples are; IV Certification)
- Core medical education and technical medical training
Core medical training, provided at traditional medical institutions, is divided into two separate forms. These are called;
These constitute of the basic sciences having to do with the human body and its functions and a deeply detailed study of pharmacology, physiology, pathology, anatomy, biochemistry etc.
- Clinical sciences
These involve a study of procedural sciences and clinical medicine and constitutes of studies in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and finally, surgery.
Other than these core areas of training and education, there are opportunities in the medical industry as medical technicians. This alternative medical line includes the following major work areas;
Central Service Technician and Surgical Technician: An expert on sterilization procedures for surgery theaters and medical surgery instruments. The work includes assisting in surgery, sterilization and proper handling of equipment.
Clinical Lab Assistant and Phlebotomy technician: This technician collects blood, saliva and urine samples and processes them for testing and actually performs these tests as well.
Dialysis Technician: trained to perform dialysis procedures.
Medical Assisting professionals: Perform administrative duties in running healthcare facilities and perform tasks related to basic patient care (prospective students require only a high school diploma in the US).
Medical Technology: Lab-work including running tests for diagnosis etc. this field requires a 4 year degree and certification from the relevant national association.
Sports Medicine professional: This area is relevant to orthopedics, biomechanics, physical and massage therapy and nutrition. In order to practice in this area, a full degree and license is required.