Use Your Psych Degree to be in Medicine

nurse and small baby in hospital

Use Your Psychology Degree to be in Medicine

If you have a Psychology degree, you might consider a medical career with an advanced degree. Here are the careers you might pursue:

1) Nursing
A nursing degree allows an individual to help people improve their health and quality of life. If you didn't know, there are different types of nurses. These include being a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP) and others. Also, there are different time frames and degrees that can be earned as a nurse. Some degrees require 2-year Associate's degree, while others involve a 4-year Bachelor's degree. To be a nurse not only requires an advaced degree, but you must be licensed from a state board of nursing.
2) Physician Assistant (PA)
A PA is trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide patient treatment. They are also licensed to prescribe medication in certain states. Completion of a PA program takes about 2 years. It is important to note that besides having a Bachelor's degree, most applicants to PA programs have some healthcare-related work experience (e.g., EMT or paramedic). As a PA, you can specialize in a specific medical area (e.g., Pediatrics), and again you must be licensed from a state to practice in the profession. Finally, employment of PA exected to grow a great deal over the next 5 years.
3) Physician
There are two types of physicians, with corresponding professional degrees: MD (Medical Doctor) and DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Both types use the same treatment methods, including drugs and surgery. However, a DO,  focuses on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care. The time frame to become a physician includes 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years in internship and residency programs. Also, to become a physician you must pass an exam to be licensed in a particular state. We will add that if you really want to continue dealing with human behavior and thinking you might consider becoming a Psychiatrist. This type of doctor specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health and emotional problems. 
female dentist checking a child seated in chair
4) Dentist
A dentists is qualified to treat the diseases and conditions affecting teeth and gums. To earn a dental degree takes 4 years of dental school. Once again, you must obtain a licensure from a state board of dentistry. If you want to specialize in an area of dentistry (e.g., orthodontist), you must complete 2-4 years of postdoctoral education, and might be required to complete a 2-year residency program. 

In thinking about all of the above careers, it is critical to note that all professional degree programs often have specific requirements for admission. For example, medical schools expect applicants to have completed one year of biology, one year of physics, one year of English, one year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry.

Please note that the comments of Dr. Golding and the others who post on this blog express their own opinion and not that of the University of Kentucky.

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External Links

Nursing and Becoming a Nurse

How to Become a PA

Deciding Between an MD and a DO

Is Psychiatry for the Profession for You?

Applying to Dental School