Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have earned an advanced medical degree to make an impact in the wide world of healthcare. Many entrepreneurs, fitness and wellness enthusiasts, and health-conscious consumers have paved fascinating and exciting careers for themselves in the healthcare sector.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the top ways that you can contribute to modern medical discoveries without a degree.
Become a Medical Blogger
While recognized lab research is usually reserved for those with some accreditations, anyone is welcome to analyze the available medical literature, synthesize their own opinions of hypotheses, and disseminate that information to a wide audience.
The internet has revolutionized how we communicate. Now, unheard voices that make important discoveries have outlets to let the public in on their knowledge. As more and more of these individuals put their work out there, others are able to build on those theories.
In this way, medical knowledge proliferates as networks of people across the globe are able to share each other's perspectives and information, thereby creating an environment more favorable to medical advancement.
Participate in Clinical Trials
Before new treatments and medications are made public, they go through rigorous testing to ensure that they are safe and effective for human use. One of the last stages of this testing is human testing during clinical trials.
By participating in clinical trials run through a clinical research organization, you provide researchers with valuable data and information on how well the treatment works. This data may go into further developing the specific treatment you tested. It can also provide data for future research opportunities.
You don’t necessarily have to have the condition the clinical trial is working to cure. Participants known as “healthy volunteers” or “clinical research volunteers” provide data that is compared against the results for patients in the clinical trial with the condition. This helps researchers better understand the limitations and abilities of the new treatment.
Work in a Lab, Clinic, or Hospital Without a Degree
You may be surprised to learn that non-degree holders can still work in a variety of medical settings like labs, clinics, or hospitals. Jobs available to non-degree holders include technologists, hygienists, and administrative assistants.
These jobs might not seem as glamorous as being the scientist or doctor credited with discovering a new cure or diagnosing a new disease, but they are vital. Without assistants and support, no researcher could possibly accomplish all the work it takes to make distinguishable progress.
Support Amateur and Youth Scientists
No one became a medical expert overnight when they were awarded a medical degree. The degree is simply a representation of years of exploration and study that culminated in the recognition of the young doctor's achievements by their institution.
You can contribute to raising up the next generation of medical professionals by participating in a medical mentorship program for youth who are interested in pursuing a medical career but lack the guidance or support that they need. You could be the push they need to really commit to a lifetime in the medical field.
If you feel a passion for creating an impact via new medical discoveries, you need not let a lack of accreditation derail your goals. The medical and healthcare industries are full of people playing important roles behind the scenes. Everyone from lab assistants to clinical trial participants contribute to new medical discoveries every day. Likewise, supporting the next generation to reach their educational and professional goals will help build towards better future discoveries. You might not have a medical degree, but you can still make an enormous difference in the medical field.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
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