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Alternate Routes to Your Healthcare Career Destination

By Hannah Waight

The direct route to a career is not necessarily the best route for everyone. Healthcare is a prime example -- there are many ways to become involved, and here are a few that may not have occurred to you.

International Work

If you dream of visiting distant lands and making a difference at the same time, you might consider finding work with an NGO (non-governmental organization) like Doctors Without Borders or, for U.S. citizens, the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps is an organization under the U.S. government that works to help people in developing countries. Both the Peace Corps and the countless NGOs offer a wide variety of positions for all types of people looking to work in the developing world. If you haven't gone to medical school, you probably won't be administering patient care, but you will be able to help improve the health of many through means such as education, water sanitation and food provision.

This rapidly growing sector of the health industry is one of the best-known examples of alternative medicine. It basically involves the stimulation of points on the body through a variety of techniques in order to remove pain. The most common technique is to stick thin, solid metallic needles into the skin, which are then directed by hands or electricity. Although you may shiver at thought of this process, don't be concerned - if performed properly acupuncture causes little discomfort. Many people find the therapy relaxing.


When you think of a visit to the chiropractor, you probably envision someone twisting your back until it cracks. There is much more involved in the work of chiropractors than just this, however.

Chiropractors spend four years in chiropractic school (after undergrad) learning how to diagnose and treat patients with health problems associated with the muscular, nervous and skeletal systems. Chiropractors, staying away from invasive techniques like surgery, solve health problems related to the muscular-skeletal system by manually adjusting the spine.

Raising awareness of health issues, especially those that have an impact at the population level, is an important area of the healthcare industry. Only through education can people learn how to prevent certain diseases and obtain the best health possible. Opportunities in health education can be found in a variety of places - college campuses, national agencies, primary school systems, etc.

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