Explore your Options Build your Skills Apply for Opportunities Connect with Us





Medcine Overview


  Though many Hopkins students are interested in medicine, few are aware of the wide variety of all the career options available in medicine and health care. Hopkins students preparing for admission to Medical School and other Health-related professional degree programs, students should utilize the Office of Pre-Professional Advising and its website http://web.jhu.edu/prepro/health/index.html to guide them through the application process.

  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive health care.

  There are two types of physicians: M.D.—Doctor of Medicine—and D.O.—Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

  M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians. While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care specialists although they can be found in all specialties. About half of D.O.s practice general or family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics.

  Physicians work in one or more of several specialties, including, but not limited to, anesthesiology, family and general medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery.” “Other health care practitioners who need similar skills and who exercise critical judgment include chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, physician assistants, podiatrists, registered nurses, and veterinarians”



Medcine Specialties


The Office of Pre-Professional Advising created the following career profiles for health fields:



Medcine Breaking In


The Office of Pre-Professional Advising offers many helpful resources for students pursuing a profession in the medical field. Visit their website for more information.



Medcine Alumni


Susan Herman- Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Classics and Biology, Class of 1989

  1. How did you get interested in your field? Was it your original goal when you started at Hopkins? - I was somewhat interested in entering medicine when I started at Hopkins, but wanted to make sure that I got a broad education, not just pre-med. I therefore chose to major in Classics, an excellent decision. I chose to go to medical school after an elective junior year in pediatric urology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
  2. What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today? - I obtained my MD at Columbia University. I had a work study job in the Neurology Department doing data entry and chart reviews, which led to my participation in a study of spasmodic dysphonia and several publications. I chose Neurology as a field because of the potential for clinical research, and because of opportunities for long-term relationships with patients.
  3. What was your first job after college? Was it in your current field? - Neurology resident at Columbia University - yes.
  4. What advice do you have for current students? - Keep your eyes out for new opportunities - sometimes the unexpected path turns out to be the best!
  5. What is your typical day like? - I spend about 50% of my time in direct patient care. My subspecialty is in epilepsy, so I make rounds in an inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit, see patients in clinic, and read electroencephalograms. I spend 20% of my time doing administrative work and teaching. I run the EEG lab and epilepsy monitoring unit, and am the associate director of the neurology residency program. Finally, 30% of my time is in clinical research. So, my typical day is long and busy!
  6. What’s most rewarding about your field? What's most challenging? - Rewarding: The ability to teach neurology residents and fellows, and the opportunity to make research breakthroughs in epilepsy. Challenging: Competing demands on time from clinical and research areas.
  7. What are typical entry-level positions for this field? Where can someone in an entry-level position expect to be in two years? Five years? Ten years? - Many premedical students work as clinical research assistants or in a research laboratory to gain experience in the field. Medical school, residency, fellowship. Sorry!
  8. Where do you see the field going in the next 5-10 years? - Many new drugs and treatments, increasing the emphasis on patient outcomes.

Patricia Bissell Zeffert- President, Townsontown Dental Association, Natural Sciences Area, Class of 1981

  1. How did you get interested in your field? Was it your original goal when you started at Hopkins? - My first job out of high school was as a dental assistant to an oral surgeon in St. Lawrence Co. in upstate NY, where I grew up. I imagined a better service than full mouth extractions and complete dentures for so many of the patients we saw. Yes, it was. Although, at Hopkins I responded to peer pressure to apply to medical school (but I wasn't accepted.)
  2. What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today? - I worked as an associate in 3 different dental offices for 19 years before this year, when I purchased the practice where I was working. This allowed me greater flexibility in time management to be a wife, mother (3 boys), and a good daughter-in-law (my husband's parents were very ill.)
  3. What was your first job after college? Was it in your current field? - No. During the year I applied to dental schools I was a food chemist at Strassberger & Siegel.
  4. What advice do you have for current students? - 1. Attend lectures 2. Enjoy your college years socially 3.Avoid credit card debt 4.Find a career that you LOVE
  5. What is your typical day like? - Fight with my 17 year-old about catching the bus, do laundry, get ready for work, pay bills at work, see patients (this is the most variable, unpredictable and interesting part of my day), encourage my staff, go home, sign my 11 year-old's homework or tests, have dinner, watch reality TV (I like detective shows) Go to sleep
  6. What’s most rewarding about your industry and/ or job? What's most challenging? - Rewarding: I have the really great feeling from helping people by relieving pain and educating patients in how to prevent dental problems in the first place, by making a child's first dental visit so much fun, they want to have their birthday party at my office. I have the luxury of referring any case I feel is too difficult to a specialist. Challenging: Patient's financial situation and their dental insurance can sometimes limit their treatment choices to what they can afford. In an ideal world, patients would pick the treatment that is best for them, not the one they can afford or the one toward which their insurance will pay the most. My office seems to be a magnet for dental-phobics. Fearful patients come with a real hurdle to treatment. The challenge can be getting them to keep their appointments. The dental-phobic will purposefully arrive late, in hopes that they won't be able to be seen. Another challenge is educating the unaware parent who thinks baby teeth aren't important. Communicating in an effective manner sometimes means using none of the vocabulary with which I have trained so vigorously.
  7. What are typical entry-level positions for this field? What tips do you have for students to be successful in these positions? - This is not a field where one can apprentice and work their way up. You need a state license granted after passing the boards while and after being a dental student at an accredited dental school. That said, many people start as dental assistants or dental hygienists and decide to go back to school to become dentists.
  8. Where do you see the field going in the next 5-10 years? - The changes I can predict are increased use of implants as opposed to conventional bridgework, and the increase in use of digital scanning to capture information for the dental lab, instead of patient-unfriendly impressions. I think there will be an increased use of cameras and operators looking at a magnified image of the field on a TV screen, instead of using direct vision.
  9. What skills and out-of-class experiences (i.e. internships, co-curricular activities, volunteering, etc.) are ideal for entering your industry / career field? - Communication and people skills, artistic ability, good eye-hand coordination, emotional resilience, good vision including color discernment or the ability to hire a capable assistant who can make your shade choices.
  10. Where can someone in an entry-level position expect to be in two years? Five years? Ten years? - A new grad with a license that still has wet ink can get a bank loan to buy or build a practice. Dental practices succeed so often that some banks are eager to make those loans. What one wants will be the most determining factor in one's 5 or 10 year success.
  11. Which professional organizations and resources should students look into or get involved with? - Local (county) chapters of the ADA You will see and hear what your peers are doing. It's encouraging to learn they have difficulties and challenges similar to your own.

Jodi Kefer- Pediatrician, South Philadelphia Pediatrics, Biology, Class of 1990

  1. How did you get interested in your field? Was it your original goal when you started at Hopkins? - Always interested in medicine - pediatrics was a good match. One of the few people who started and ended up as premed in my peer group.
  2. What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today? - Went straight through college, med school, residency, first job - still with my first pick
  3. What was your first job after college? Was it in your current field? - First job after college - are you kidding? First paid job was pediatric residency.
  4. What advice do you have for current students? - Keep options open, enjoy the college experience, there is plenty of time for career specifics.
  5. What is your typical day like? - I couldn't imagine doing anything else - I think I was born to do this job. Every day of my week is different - but that keeps things fresh. There is continuity week to week. Having a near one year old has really proven to be one of my greatest challenges and accomplishments.
  6. What’s most rewarding about your industry and/ or job? What's most challenging? - Rewarding: Where to start? I get to see other people kids every day - and have (hopefully) a positive impact in their lives. Its a privilege that people let me share so much intimacy. Challenging: While I've been well prepared to practice medicine, I've also found myself a small business owner. Maybe the duel MBA programs aren't ridiculous in retrospect, but who has time for them now?
  7. What are typical entry-level positions for this field? What tips do you have for students to be successful in these positions? - We all pay our dues and I only hope one would end up with as successful match the first time around.
  8. Where do you see the field going in the next 5-10 years? - More managed care - even more business opportunities (versus medical opportunities).
  9. What skills and out-of-class experiences (i.e. internships, co-curricular activities, volunteering, etc.) are ideal for entering your industry / career field? - Enthusiasm goes a long way. Medicine is challenging and if you are not enjoying your job - it is hard to go to work.
  10. Where can someone in an entry-level position expect to be in two years? Five years? Ten years? - Delayed gratification. The job gets better as you go along. Depending on the specialty and amount of time one decides to take during training - it can take as long or short as you need.
  11. Which professional organizations and resources should students look into or get involved with? - The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Student Association have premed sections if you know it is where you want to go.

Anna Alt-White- Program Director, Office of Nursing Service, Dept of Veterans Affairs, Class of 1970

  1. How did you get interested in your field? Was it your original goal when you started at Hopkins? - Did volunteer work at a hospital in high school.
  2. What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today? - Additional Education (JHH diploma to BS from JHU; MSN from CUA; PhD from UM@Baltimore) and progressively responsible positions. In addition, once in the Department of Veterans Affairs, I was provided incredible opportunities for leadership development and mentoring. I am currently in a headquarters position, in a leadership position and now acting as a mentor for an Executive Career Field candidate
  3. What was your first job after college? Was it in your current field? - Staff Nurse in the General Operation Rooms at the Johns Hopkins Hospital- it was in Nursing
  4. What advice do you have for current students, especially freshmen and sophomores? - Get connected with the school; make contacts with faculty and alum; take advantage of special or summer programs for additional experiences.
  5. What is your typical day like? - Are you serious?? My days are not routinized-- some days have lots of meetings and teleconferences that I attend because it is in my areas of responsibility or as a representative for the Chief Nursing Officer of the VA; other days I may be on travel- speaking and/or representing VA Nursing; other days I'm developing program plans, typically with field representatives; preparing presentations or publications; reviewing grants; etc.; many days are an attention deficit combination of most of the above
  6. What’s most rewarding about your industry and/ or job? What's most challenging? - Rewarding: While I am now in a position where I do not have direct contact with "patients", I know the policies and support I provide to the field does make a difference at the point of care. Directly, I frequently facilitate contacts among various individuals and Challenging: Not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything
  7. What are typical entry-level positions for this field? What tips do you have for students to be successful in these positions? - Staff nurse; Go in with an open mind that there is still so much to be learned; once in the position for 3-12 months start planning career plans for next 3-5 years, e.g., hopefully master's or graduate education.
  8. Where do you see the field going in the next 5-10 years? - Because of the significant nursing shortage, developing creative programs to recruit people into nursing; increased emphasis on IT expertise with the electronic medical record being standard in all healthcare settings; increased consumer participation in their health and care; increased emphasis on wellness, both as prevention and as a means to live with chronic diseases; being proactive; increased collaboration amongst the various healthcare disciplines.
  9. What skills and out-of-class experiences (i.e. internships, co-curricular activities, volunteering, etc.) are ideal for entering your industry / career field? - Inquiring mind; open mind to the constant change in the healthcare delivery system; excellent communication skills; like people; some altruism; willing to work hard; and be an advocate for patients and their significant others/families when needed.
  10. Where can someone in an entry-level position expect to be in two years? Five years? Ten years? - 2 years- moving to journeyman level-has identified area to gain expertise and starting that process; 5 years- graduate school (master's degree completed or near so) and in a starting mid-level position, e.g., nurse manager, nurse practitioner, etc; 10 years--wherever the person wants to be. Some nurses make a conscious decision to remain at the bedside and do so, no matter how many advanced degrees they obtain. Others seek to impact care through research, administration, policy. At 10 years, the researcher is probably finished with a post-doc and seeking their first independent funding or a career development-type of award while being expert in their area of clinical expertise. If in administration, could be close to an associate nurse executive position.
  11. Which professional organizations and resources should students look into or get involved with? - If they qualify, join the International Honor Society for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau (high junior year); alumnae association- mentoring possibilities; join and attend professional societies and meetings, e.g., if interested in oncology, Oncology Nurses Society; and inter-disciplinary societies, e.g., Geriatric Society of America

Additional Alumni Profiles

    Networking with alumni and other professionals who work in these fields can help you learn very specific information about a career field. Use Johns Hopkins Connect to contact alumni to ask for their advice. You may also find professional contacts through professional associations, faculty, friends and family.

    If you would like to talk about how your search is going, we invite you to make an appointment with a Career Counselor by calling 410-516-8056.

    LinkedIn.com - a professional networking site where you can identify Hopkins alumni. Join the LinkedIn Johns Hopkins University Alumni Group to add over 4000+ alumni to your network.



Medcine Resources


Resources:

Professional Associations and Industry Websites:

Networking:

  Networking with professionals who work in this field can help you learn very specific information about a career field. Professional contacts through professional associations, faculty, friends and family can be very helpful. You may also explore career opportunities by talking with employers at career fairs, and company presentations.

  Internships - research positions and summer employment are highly effective ways for you to try out a field, gain experience and skills and make professional contacts.



Medcine Related


  If you would like to talk about how your search is going, we invite you to make an appointment with a Career Counselor by calling 410-516-8056.