If you are a medical student, new to the medical field, or considering a career change, understanding the healthcare landscape can be critical to finding a job that will remain relevant in the years to come. Exploring emerging healthcare roles can give you an idea of the skills, jobs, and expertise that organizations will look for in the future.
COVID transformed how organizations and medical practitioners approach healthcare and medicine. New technologies ensured everyone received the care they needed, sped vaccine development, and improved modern healthcare. It also led the way for new healthcare jobs to manage this technology and provide better patient care. Here are four emerging healthcare jobs that will likely grow in the years to come.
The subject of genetics has had a significant impact on the world of medicine. Scientists have pinpointed genes as risk factors for certain conditions, cancers, and illnesses. However, research has also noted that genetics alone do not cause most of these conditions. Epigenetics, or the ability of the environment to turn “on” or “off” certain genes, has a large impact on health.
Studies have linked epigenetic changes to many diseases and illnesses. The latest research has even explored epigenetic factors leading to severe COVID-19 reactions. As healthcare shifts from a reactive to a preventative approach, epigenetic counselors will become critical to educating patients on the environment's role in their health. They can help patients make better choices about their diet, sleep habits, exercise routine, and teach stress reduction techniques to help them avoid certain genetic vulnerabilities.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Expert
AI is quickly taking over much of technology and reshaping medicine. It helps automate repetitive tasks, speed diagnoses, and enhances drug discovery. It even helped pharmaceutical companies develop COVID vaccines in record time.
With the potential to improve healthcare and lower costs, healthcare is pivoting to AI experts to fill critical roles in the hospital and research lab. Many healthcare roles will now require the merging of data science and medical expertise to leverage AI most effectively.
Health Data Analysts
Data has transformed medicine in the past few years. As digital health tools continue to explode to meet the demands of virtual care, healthcare organizations will need to make sense of big data that flows from those tools. Health data analysts help with that. They analyze and improve insights into the exploding data ecosystem.
Beyond high-level insights, data analysts can help support healthcare delivery. They capture and organize data from personal patient sensors and online testing kits. By analyzing the barrage of data, they can share important information and insights so doctors can use the most relevant data to care for their patients.
Virtual Reality (VR) Therapist
Virtual reality is already being used in exciting new trials to help treat a number of conditions. Research from Frontiers in Psychiatry has found that VR can be an innovative tool for treating psychiatric symptoms. And multiple studies have delved into its use in neuroscience for conditions ranging from brain injury to Alzheimer’s disease. Therapists can also use VR to help stroke patients recover their skills faster, treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and provide stress relief for kids.
As the impact of VR on treatment continues to expand, there will likely be an increased need for therapists that provide this service.
Look Towards the Future of Healthcare
New roles are popping up as healthcare organizations need medical professionals with the necessary technical skills to provide innovative therapies, enhance drug development, and improve patient care. So keep an eye on emerging medical careers!
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