Direct healthcare demands meticulous academic and professional planning early on in order to gain admission into a program that will lead to independent medical practice within these fields. The pursuit of such a degree is often a rigorous and extensive process. If you are considering applying to direct health care programs, it is important to assess and consider the grades, scores, and experience necessary for admittance, as it can be a very expensive and time consuming process.

Preparation necessary for these programs includes gaining experience volunteering at hospitals or medical schools. After gaining admittance, the program demands applied knowledge, intensive training, and self-discipline to carry out the longevity of attaining a medical degree. Medical school typically involves four years of intense study, and then another three to four years in residency before independent practice. The degrees included in healthcare include medical school (MD), medical combined program (MD/PhD), and an array of different concentrations specifically within medicine.

Healthcare Job Search

Medical degrees in direct healthcare offer a range of variability within career paths. Often career paths take the form of concentrations and specialties within medicine areas and intended populations. Concentrations in medicine are typically chosen in the third year of the medical program. Some popular specialties within medicine include family practice, emergency medicine, psychiatry, surgery, pediatrics, orthopedic, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. Direct healthcare professionals are often are located within hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities.

Students who are considering a career in medicine will need to follow not only a specific pre-medical curriculum as an undergraduate or post-bac student, but will also need to be significantly involved in extra- and co-curricular experiences. Such experiences may be clinical, research-based, or leadership experiences that offer growth opportunities.

The office of Pre-Professional Advising has put together a comprehensive guide to curricular and extracurricular requirements. Many students will choose to take one or two years away from their education after completing their undergraduate pre-medical requirements and before enrolling in medical school. This is called a “gap year,” and CCE has compiled some helpful resources to identify worthwhile experiences in which to partake during this time.

Center for Career Education Resources 

  • Gap Year Resources: Sample opportunities and suggestions for building experience and making the most of your gap year
  • International Resources: Learn how to find an opportunity abroad during your gap year.
  • CCE Internship Programs: We sponsor a number of structured internship programs in a variety of fields in both domestic and international locations.
  • LionSHARE: Employers which have posted clinical or research opportunities in the past include NYU Langone, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mt. Sinai, Weill Cornell, Johnson & Johnson and many others.
  • Career Fairs: Attend our career fairs and special events throughout the year including the Undergraduate and Spring Career Fairs. 
  • Factors to Consider: Graduate School: Offers information on the guidelines of pursuing graduate school including the recommended timeline, selecting the correct school and funding
  • Vault Guide to Health Care Provider Jobs: Login with your UNI to access this comprehensive guide.

Columbia Resources

External Resources

External Internship/Training Opportunities

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) — Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): NSF created Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to promote the advancement of research and give college students opportunities to inform their research interests. Upon gaining acceptance to these research positions, a generous stipend, housing accommodations and living arrangements are provided while attending the program. These research experiences take place during summer and can range anywhere from between 4-12 weeks. Application deadlines for these competitive research experiences are typically from February to March.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges — Summer Undergraduate Research Programs: AAMC provides a list of different funded research opportunities across the country to provide students with the research skills for future study. These research opportunities provide the opportunity to engage in intensive research during the summer months and often include presenting research findings at conferences after completion of the program. These research programs generally provide a stipend and housing arrangements and last from anywhere from 4-12 weeks in duration. Application deadlines for applying to these summer research programs are typically from October to February.

Job Boards

Other resources

Professional Journals