This field focuses on researching and providing health care to human populations. While the underlying principles of other areas of science are used in this field, health science concentrates solely on health problems and outcomes. Whether you're interested in medicine, nutrition, or public health, this field can provide a pathway to a career making a difference in the health, and lives, of others.
Health science is a broad field that focuses on health care and health outcomes.
Any individual you see to treat or manage an illness or disease is most likely in the health science field. This includes physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and optometrists, to name a few. But the field also includes paramedics, genetic counselors, home health aids, athletic trainers, dietitians, speech-language pathologists, and more. Some of these careers or fields require specialized training with or without a college degree.
Many of these careers include an interest in educating the public, whether it involves counseling an individual patient or launching public health campaigns. If you’re interested in the body or health care, there is a career in health science for you.
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Master's degree and board certification
Genetic counselors provide information to an individual or family member about risks for a variety of inherited conditions. They conduct in-depth interviews and take comprehensive medical histories of individuals to assess the risk for genetic disorders and birth defects. Genetic counselors can use DNA testing results to identify risk for inherited conditions. They also work with other health care providers to provide information about these conditions.
M.D. or D.O. and licensure
Physicians, also called doctors, diagnose and treat illnesses, injuries, and chronic conditions. Physicians can specialize in a certain bodily system or function, such as cardiology (the heart and circulatory system) or nephrology (the kidneys and renal system). They can also choose to work with certain populations, like pediatricians, who treat children. Physicians work in hospitals, doctors' offices, or surgery centers. They may also conduct research or work for the government or military. Becoming a physician requires considerable training and preparation, and involves several years of post-secondary education.
Postsecondary nondegree program and certification
Phlebotomists draw blood from patients to be used in tests, blood donations, or research. They follow sanitary procedures to keep patients, and themselves, clean and safe from blood-borne pathogens. Phlebotomists can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, doctors' offices, laboratories, and blood donation centers. A postsecondary nondegree award from a phlebotomy program is typically required to enter the field.
Associate's degree and state licensure
Dental hygienists provide preventative oral care to patients, like teeth cleanings. They use instruments in their work. Dental hygienists also educate patients on oral health care techniques and look for signs of oral diseases. They almost always work under the supervision of a dentist. Education requirements typically include an associate's degree in dental hygiene and state licensure.