Medicine isn’t just all doctors and nurses. There are a variety of very rewarding jobs in this industry, for people who have a passion not only for science but also for caring for people’s health.
Medical Courses offer a diverse range of areas to study. From the practice of medicine and surgery, as well as courses for those who want a research or administration role within the industry, through to a range of specialised fields including but not limited to optometry, medical imaging (radiology), clinical management and biomedical science (diseases).
Due to the wide variety of specialisations in the medical industry, the day-to-day tasks you can expect to perform will vary, depending on where you work and your area of specialisation.
As a general medical practitioner, you’ll spend the majority of your time with patients. You can expect to perform tasks like asking patients questions, observing patients’ signs, taking their histories and consulting with records to determine illness and injury. You’ll perform simple tests, diagnostic checks and procedures, prescribe medicine and recommend diet, exercises and lifestyle changes. As medicine becomes increasingly specialised, you’ll be required to maintain up-to-date knowledge of specialists to refer your patients to.
Working as a specialist in a hospital setting or private practice, you’ll also be required to consult with patients. However, you’ll be performing tasks like conducting ward rounds, consulting with registrars and other doctors, monitoring and adjusting written treatment plans, performing procedures, performing diagnostic tests, requesting and analysing pathology samples, demonstrating for junior doctors, working at an outpatient clinic, liaising with other doctors and administrative staff, and consulting with patients’ families.
You’ll also have opportunities to conduct research in your role, helping to contribute to the growth of our medical knowledge.
Medical course graduates typically work as doctors, either as general practitioners or specialists. Depending on your role, you may work in a private medical practice, clinic or hospital. If you choose to specialise your practise, you may work as either a physician or a surgeon. Typical areas of specialisation include:
You’ll enjoy working in the medical sector if you:
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook predicts significant growth in the health sector, anticipating 1.5 million new jobs to be created by 2020 and describing it as one of the country’s fastest-growing sectors. Job Outlook reports approximately 59,000 people are currently employed as general practitioners in Australia, and projects very strong growth in the role over the next few years. Approximately 74,000 people will be employed as GPs by 2020, and employment opportunities for other doctors are expected to grow at a similar rate.
PayScale reports average salaries for a range of medical professionals. If you choose to work as a general practitioner, you can expect to earn between $51,000 and $207,000 per year, with an average salary of approximately $103,000 per year. PayScale reports that while a positive relationship exists between experience and earning capacity, entry-level practitioners enjoy competitive salaries, earning on average $99,000 per year. Similarly, practitioners have the highest earning potential with 20 years of experience – earning on average between $129,000 and $209,000 – before their capacity to earn contracts with more years of work.
A medical specialist may expect to earn a slightly higher wage, with PayScale reporting cardiologists earn on average $135,000 per year, and radiologists earning on average $151,000 per year.
The Australian Medical Association has a chapter in every state and territory in Australia. In addition, specific colleges exist for every medical specialisation: