Alternatives to Medical School - Non-Clinical Options
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Alternatives to Medical School - Non-Clinical Options






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Alternatives to Medical School - Non-Clinical Options Alternatives to Medical School - Non-Clinical Options Document Transcript

  • Career Ideas for Science, Technology and Society Majors The following are career areas you may want to explore. Each category includes information on the types of positions available, positions recent Penn graduates have obtained, and Career Services library resources to help you identify potential employers. Be sure to check the Career Services homepage at for information and useful job- hunting links. Some areas you may want to consider include: Science Public Interest / Energy/Environment Consulting Communications Policy Consulting Pharmaceutical / Market Research Research Law Biotech Insurance Public Health Education Technology Healthcare Consulting Healthcare organizations (hospitals, drug companies, and labs) may bring in an outside organization to help them solve problems. Consultants address issues such as marketing plans, internal organization, quality assessment, or finance. The typical research associate or analyst collects data (from database and interviews), then analyzes and presents results or recommendations. A healthcare background and good analytical skills are useful. This is a booming field given the rapid changes in health care today. Positions taken by recent CAS graduates include: Advisory Board, Research Associate Andersen Consulting (Accenture), Strategy Group PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Associate Lewin Group, Research Assistant Health Strategy Group, Research/Marketing Assistant Towers Perrin, Health and Welfare Associate William Mercer, Health Care Consultant Science Communications and Publishing This area has several components. Some public relations firms offer communication services solely to the health care industry. Their products include press packages, corporate brochures and videos, patient education materials, and special events planning. Other firms provide science information services such as databases, indexing, and abstracting. Also in this category are
  • publishers of medical and scientific textbooks. This is a great area for people with both science and English/communication backgrounds. Recent jobs taken by CAS graduates: ABC News, Medical Researcher American Health Consultants, Production Editor Bridge Information Systems, Statistics Reporter BIOSIS (Scientific Abstracts), Abstractor Institute for Scientific Information, Chemical Information Specialist Mercel Dekker, Inc., Assistant to Medical Acquisitions Editor Cornell Medical School, Publishing Planning Assistant Beckman Instruments, Technical Writer Technology Opportunities in the technology industry include business analysis, systems analysis, research, information systems, data analysis, and marketing. Recent jobs taken by CAS graduates: • Dell Computer Corporation, CSP Network Tech Specialist • Fact Set Data Systems, Consultant • Radiology Affiliates Imaging, Assistant IT Director • Syngy, Associate Business Analyst • Northrop Grumman, Technical Analyst • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Programmer • Kenexa Technology, Business Development Research • Microsoft, Software Design Engineer Trainee • CGI, Business Analyst • Information Dynamics, Market Research Analyst • Nanophase Technologies Corp, Marketing Associate Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Companies Always a good source of research positions, consider these companies for business jobs as well. Sales is a common entry point. These jobs entail a significant education component, as the sales force is now a primary source of information on drugs and devices for clinicians. Other positions include public relations, technical writing, and business analyst. Positions taken by recent CAS graduates include: Absorption Systems, Analytical Chemist Covance Inc., Research Assistant
  • Merck, Customer Account Representative Ortho BioTech, Clinical Research Assistant Pfizer, Salesperson Smith Kline, Clinical Monitoring Assistant Public Health The field of Public Health addresses, through organized interdisciplinary approaches, the physical, mental and environmental health of communities. Unlike doctors, who focus on improving the health of individuals, public health professionals focus primarily upon ameliorating the physical and/or mental health of populations. The discipline of public health emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion - its practitioners employ a spectrum of interventions aimed at the environment, human behavior and lifestyle, and medical care. Assessment is an essential component of their research - their tools of analysis are both qualitative and quantitative, with an emphasis on the latter. Public health methodologies are inter-disciplinary, derived primarily from the social and biological sciences. Clinical training is peripheral to its professional training. Activities employed by public health professionals encompass: Monitoring medical trends to identify community health problems Diagnosing and investigating health problems and hazards in the community Informing, educating and empowering people about health issues Mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems Developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts Enforcing laws and regulations that protect health and safety of communities Linking people to appropriate personal health services and assuring the provision of health services when these are otherwise unavailable Assuring a competent public health and personal health care workforce Evaluating effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based services Researching innovative solutions to health problems. Public Interest/Advocacy Groups, Associations and Foundations This broad category includes organizations which provide education, services, advocacy or funding in health-related fields. Examples of such organizations include the American Medical Association, the National Minority AIDS Council, or the National Downs Syndrome Society. Positions may be in development (fundraising), publications, public relations or research. Positions taken by recent CAS graduates: AIDS Task Force of Philadelphia, HIV Prevention Counselor American Red Cross, Instructor Allegheny Health Right, VISTA Volunteer CHOICE Inc., HIV Coordinator Clinical Epidemiology Network, Grantmaker View slide
  • Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Research Assistant Planned Parenthood, Development Assistant Washington Occupational Health Association, Research Assistant Urban Institute, Research Assistant Institute of Scientific Information, Chemical Information Specialist Research: Non-Profit, Education and Government Laboratory research positions are the most plentiful job in this category. Universities and teaching hospitals usually have many such positions. If you are seeking alternatives, consider research in health care policy, either in academia or policy "think tanks." Positions taken by recent CAS graduates include: Food and Drug Administration, Research Assistant Harvard Medical School, Research Assistant Institute for Health Policy, Research Assistant Internal Revenue Service, Paralegal Massachusetts General Hospital Research Assistant National Cancer Institute, Fellow New York University School of Medicine, Project Assistant Philadelphia Health Management Corp., Research Assistant Physician Payment Review Commission, Junior Analyst Rockefeller University, Research Technician Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Project Coordinator, Philadelphia Infant Mortality Project University of Chicago/Health Care Policy Dept., Research Assistant Wistar Institute, Research Technician Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, Research Assistant Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Research Analyst National Academies, Program Officer Environment & Energy Positions taken by recent CAS graduates include: • BEM Systems, Staff Scientist • Defenders of Wildlife, Conservation Litigation Coordinator • Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Environmental Research Assistant • GreenCorps • Sciences International, Research Assistant • Terris, Pravlik, Millian, Environmental Paralegal • Environmental Protection Agency, Marketing and Communication Associate View slide
  • Education Science teachers are in high demand in many schools. Non-certified graduates can teach in independent schools, as well as some public schools with alternative certification programs (such as Philadelphia and New York City). Programs such as Teach for America, Teaching Residency Project, and Teaching Fellows Programs provide structured one - two year teaching programs for those without certification. The Peace Corps and many other programs offer international volunteer teaching assignments. Positions taken by recent CAS graduates include: Cathedral High School, Chemistry Teacher DC Math Science Tech, Charter HS Teacher Hun School of Princeton, Chemistry Teacher Teach for America, Teacher Philadelphia School District, Science Teacher Bullis School, Technology Coordinator Career Services University of Pennsylvania Suite 20, McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104-6209 Updated: 10/2006
  • CAREER EXPLORATION How Do I Find out What Systems Analysts, Lawyers or Public Policy People Actually do? After gathering information about yourself, you can begin exploring majors and career options - just what is out there? At this point in the career planning process, you should not be too worried about making a decision; instead, you should simply be increasing your knowledge of various academic disciplines and careers. There are a number of methods for researching your options: Utilize resources in the Career Services library. A number of books, periodicals, and newsletters are available to help you explore careers, including those occupations requiring graduate and professional degrees. You can usually find an overview of a profession, typical activities performed, qualifications required, job outlook for the future and salary potential. Corporate literature also frequently contains profiles of career opportunities within specific organizations and fields. Review actual job descriptions and employer literature to get even more concrete information about potential career options and "what people do all day." Explore online. The World Wide Web is a vast source of information that should be tapped when researching careers. On your own, utilize a search engine to perform keyword searches, using job titles and industry names to cultivate information. • Occupational Outlook Handbook ( - The US Department of Labor Statistics compiles this extensive guide to careers, which contains profiles, training and education requirements, salary potential, and job outlook for the future. • O-NET Online ( – Allows for quick occupational searches by keyword, job category, or knowledge/skills/abilities. • Vault - A resource with comprehensive set of career guides, industry and company profiles and interviewing guides. Especially relevant to those interested in careers in business. Many Vault books are available at the Career Services library. Penn students can also access Vault’s online library at: • Wetfeet - Another excellent website for exploring business careers and other related fields, offering profiles on careers, industries and companies. Many Wetfeet books are available at the Career Services library. Penn students can access Wetfeet’s online library via Career Services’ website at: (Click on the Online Subscriptions link to access the login and password.) • Career Services Career Exploration Pages: • CAS: • Engineering: • Nursing: • Wharton: • General: Computer-assisted career guidance. SIGI 3, a computer-assisted career guidance program, can help you examine your work-related values and skills in an interactive and structured manner. Once you answer some questions about your values and preferences as they relate to various work activities and settings, you can ask the program to search its built-in library and find those careers that most closely match your preferences. If you prefer, you can go directly to the Information module of SIGI and simply read profiles of careers that are of interest to you. Students can access SIGI 3 via the following website:
  • Click on SIGI 3 halfway down the page and you will be taken to a page that will provide information about how to login. Talk to people about what they do. Once you have identified an occupation that sounds interesting, talking with people who already work in that field can be tremendously informative. They can provide special insight into the rewards and rigors of a particular occupation, as well as tell you specific information about their organization. People with the same job title, in the same type of industry, might perform very different functions (e.g., consulting with Accenture might be quite different than with Bain & Company). Start with friends, family and faculty. Expand your network to include alumni and employers who recruit regularly on campus. Use the Penn Alumni Career Network (, to identify alumni in a variety of industries and occupations to speak with. See the section on “Information Interviewing” for strategies and guidelines for contacting people for career information. Volunteer or pursue work experiences. A valuable way to research careers is by getting involved in them early. Volunteering, working part-time, conducting research with a professor, or securing an internship are all great ways to gain a deeper appreciation of day to day life in a particular field or industry. Practical experiences help you evaluate and "reality test" your choices. Lots of internship opportunities can be found on PennLink and iNet. (Create an account and log-in on the Career Services website: Consult with a career counselor. Exploring career options and examining your potential level of satisfaction with them requires you to manage a lot of information. Consulting with a career counselor is a good way to develop strategies for managing your research and to learn about ways to research your career interests more productively. Utilize as many different resources and gather as much information as possible. Use what you have learned about yourself to rule out the obvious choices that are not for you. This is time consuming and, at times, overwhelming, but the investment you make in gathering good information often aids good decision making.