Medical Careers--Professional Level

Medical Careers--Medical Doctor

Using your Psychology degree to become a Medical Doctor

A number of students who earn a Psychology degree decide that they want to become a Medical Doctor. Luckily, this is not a problem, as we will discuss below. Remember, a medical doctor is a qualified practitioner of medicine. Thus, he or she is concerned with researching, diagnosing, and treating diseases and other physical and mental impairments. Another important thing to keep in mind is that some Medical Doctors chose not to see patients, but only want a research career.

As far as medical school, there is an interesting decision you may have to make. If you want to be a medical doctor, it is likely that you will go to a medical school and earn your MD degree. However, you may want to consider going to an oesteopathic school and earn a Docor of Oesteopathic Medicine degree (DO). A DO is a physician able to practice in all areas of medicine. They emphasize a whole-person approach to dealing with patients. In this way they focus on a great deal on preventive medicine. In addition, DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system.

Whichever medical school you choose, it usually takes 4 years to graduate (2 years classroom training in medicine and 2 years clinical training). The tuition for this degree tuition is paid by you. After graduation from medical/oestheopathic school, you must obtain licensure from a state Board of Medicine to practice in the profession. Prospective doctors must then complete a 3-7 year residency program before their training is finished.

Salary Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average yearly income for a Medical Doctor at $198,000.

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Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Dentist

Medical Careers--Physician Assistant

Medical Careers--Speech Pathologist

Medical Careers--Nurse

Medical Careers--Speech Pathology

Can my Psychology degree lead to a career as a Speech Pathologist?

With your Psychology degree you might consider becoming a Speech Pathologist, also known as a speech-language pathologist or a speech and language therapist. This career path involves preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, and/or swallowing disorders in adults and children. These disorders include when someone cannot produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, difficulty communicating with others, and or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

In the same way that Psychology majors applying to medical (and other) programs require certain pre-requisite courses, it is likely that you will need to take certain prerequisites before applying to a speech-pathology graduate program. These courses may be in areas like Biology, Anatomy, Linguistics, Communications, Physics, Acoustics and others. To be sure, check the website of any school you plan to apply to. Also, keep in mind that to become a speech-language pathologist (SLP), you need at least a Master’s degree (usually two years), and will need to be certified/licensed in the state where you practice.

What will be required to pursue a Speech Pathologist career?

Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median (middle) salary of a speech pathologist is $73,410.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

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Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Dentist

Medical Career--Medical Doctor

Medical Career--Physician Assistant

Medical Careers--Nurse 

Medical Careers--Dentist

What do I need to know about becoming a dentist with a Psychology degree

So you want to be a Dentist. Can your Psychology degree lead to this career? The quick answer is "Yes", but there are some issues you must consider. Before anything, let's be clear that a Dentist earns a degree called a "DDS" (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a "DMD" (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) is qualified to treat diseases and conditions affecting teeth and gums. In addition, one of the major roles of a Dentist is to help people take care of their teeth and gums. This includes advice on brushing and on foods that can impact dental health.

To be a Dentist you must go to dental school. Getting into dental school is relatively hard, and as a Psychology major you will need to have taken some required dental school courses (e.g., Chemistry, Biology). In addition, you must take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). As you might know, doing well in your college coursework and on the DAT is especially important because being accepted to dental school is pretty difficult. If you do get accepted, it usually takes 4 years of dental school to get your Dental degree. Be aware that in almost all cases you must pay dental school tuition. After graduation from dental school, you obtain licensure from state Board of Dentistry to practice in the profession. If you decide to specialize in an area of dentistry (e.g., become an orthodontist), you must complete 2-4 years of postdoctoral education, and might be required to complete a 2-year residency program in that specialized area.

Click on this link to learn more about preparing for dental school. Salary Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median yearly income for a Dentist at $158,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to a Medical Career with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

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Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Medical Doctor

Medical Careers--Nurse

Medical Careers--Physician Assistant

Medical Careers--Speech Pathologist

Medical Careers--Nurse

Becoming a Nurse with a Psychology degree

With your Psychology degree, you might consider a career as a Nurse. Most of you know that Nurses are trained to care for individuals, families and communities with a goal of optimal health and quality of life. This care involves offering advice, providing emotional support, dealing with (a lot) of paperwork, and working with medical doctors to help diagnose patients and determining follow-up care. Nurses do a lot!

Similar to a career as a Physician assistant, Medical Doctor, or Speech Pathologist, Psychology major who wants to be a Nurse must go to a specific type of school--nursing school. To go to nursing school you will need to take certain required courses (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Math, etc.). Also, you will need to take (depending on the nursing school) an entance exam. Click here to see various entrance exams that are offered. Nursing school tuition is paid by the student. Nursing positions are commonly found (but not exclusively) in hospitals. There are different degrees that can be earned as a nurse: 2-year associate's degree or 4-year bachelor's degree. A potential nurse must obtain licensure from state Board of Nursing to practice in the profession. In thinking about becoming a Nurse, keep in mind that there are different types of nurses: licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP) and others. 

Click on this link about different types of Nurses. Salary Information

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median (middle) yearly income for a Nurse at $70,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to a Medical Career with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

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Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Medical Doctor

Medical Careers--Dentist

Medical Careers--Physician Assistant

Medical Careers--Speech Pathologist

Medical Career--Physician Assistant

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Your Psychology degree can be the start of a career as a Physician Assistant (PA). A PA is a medical professional who works with all ages of patients to: (a) diagnose diseases, (b) develop treatment plans, and (c) prescribe drugs. Sometimes you might see a PA instead of a Medical Doctor when you go to a clinic to be treated, although it is important to keep in mind that PA will be part of a healthcare team tsupervised by a Medical Doctor. 

To become a PA, you must complete an accredited PA program, which generally lasts around 2 years. One thing to keep in mind is that there are certain courses you will have been expected to take (e.g., Chemistry) to enter a PA program. Also, you will be required to take an entrance exam. If you plan to apply to a PA school, see if they require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Also, getting into a PA program is not a "slam dunk"--probably not as hard to get into as most medical schools, but definitely not easy. Going to school to become a PA generally requires tuition that is paid by the student.  As a PA you can specialize in a specific medical area (e.g., Pediatrics). You must obtain licensure from state board of nursing to practice in the profession. Obtaining this license will require completing a one-year clinical rotation to gain hands-on medical experience.

Click here to read about the difference between a PA and a Medical Doctor. Click here for a link to the American Academy of Physician Assistamts (AAPA). Click here for a GREAT website about preparing to be a PA.

Salary Information

indeed.com lists the average yearly income for a Physician Assistant at $92,000.

 Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to a Medical Career with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to homepage of scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

Click here to return to the Careers by Category page.

Click here to return to the Medical Careers page.

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Medical Careers--Government Worker

Medical Careers--Medical Lab Technician

Medical Careers--Mental Health Technician

Medical Careers--Pharmaceutical Sales

Medical Careers--Medical Scribe

Click on the links below to read about other Medical careers that require a professional degree:

Medical Careers--Dentist

Medical Career--Medical Doctor

Medical Careers--Speech Pathologist

Medical Careers--Nurse