What Can I Do With A Doctorate Degree in Health Sciences?

Are you wondering about the career opportunities for a doctorate degree in health sciences. In this article, let us discuss some of the career options that one can think of after completing graduation with a doctorate degree in health sciences. 

Updated by Smriti Singh on 8th May 2020

Health science comprises a variety of sub-disciplines, all of which relate to the application of science to health. The various traditional, western, and alternative medicine can be considered health sciences. This is because humans have always needed to deal with illness, it could be said that health science has existed for as long as humans have. The field includes the study of medicine, nutrition, and other health-related issues and the effect they may have on both humans and animals.

The Attainment of Knowledge through Health Science

Health-related knowledge is mainly acquired through research studies. These studies may include evaluating new medications and treatments for overall effectiveness and safety. The development of antibiotics and vaccines for major diseases are a few examples of the benefits that have come from preclinical research. The creation of new approaches to therapy and treatment involved with this kind of research. The research related to diet, nutrition, and fitness is also included in health science.

The Application of Health Science

Health care could be considered the application of the knowledge acquired through health science. A variety of fields, including pharmacy, dentistry, and medicine, are delivered by health care and it involves not only the treatment of illness but also the prevention of it. The various professionals of healthcare aim to maintain the overall mental and physical well-being of patients.

However, most people associate health care with services that accept medical insurance, such as doctor visits, various health science sub-disciplines include preventative and alternative areas such as physical education and holistic health. Some of the sub-disciplines of health science.

Doctorate Degree in Health Science 

A Ph.D. degree requires you to complete a thesis and do the coursework too. A Ph.D. is generally practical i.e., lab-based and typically lasts for a minimum of 3 years. Having a Ph.D. implies that you are a certified expert and have made a significant contribution to knowledge. The field of health science in terms of specific applications and endeavors can be subdivided into certain areas, most of which are based on prominent occupations and roles within the healthcare system.

Few Careers In The Health Sciences Are:

Physician Assistant

Average Salary: $96,256 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Interview and examine patients to determine a diagnosis.

  • Order tests to ascertain the nature and extent of illnesses and injuries.

  • Prescribe medications and suggest lifestyle changes to remedy medical problems. 

  • Stitch wounds and set bones.

  • Administer immunizations.

  • Maintain patient records and provide documentation for insurance companies.

Physical Therapist

Average Salary: $87,930 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Consulting with patients to learn about their physical condition and symptoms

  • Diagnosing movement dysfunction and developing a treatment plan

  • Teaching patients how to properly use therapeutic exercise techniques

  • Providing stimulation or massage to promote healing

  • Assisting patients with the use of equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers

  • Maintaining patient records and keeping track of goals and progress

  • Advising the patient and family about in-home treatment options and exercises.

Occupational Therapist

Average Salary: $85,350 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • They conduct physical and psychological assessments of clients and develop or follow a treatment plan.

  • They assess the home and work environments of clients and decide what adjustments are needed.

  • They give advice on adaptive equipment to help clients with daily activities.

  • They develop physical rehabilitation programs to help clients regain lost skills.

  • They prepare clients for a return to work.

  • They educate caregivers and family members of clients on patient care.

  • They evaluate the results and progress of occupational therapy on clients.

  • They maintain professional knowledge and technical progress in order to provide clients with the best treatment program available.

  • They evaluate patient condition regarding physical and basic mental health.

Genetic Counselor

Average Salary: $76,749 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Analyze patient histories

  • Provide genetic testing

  • Perform genetic risk calculations

  • Educate families about potential health risks

  • Help patients to cope with a diagnosis.

Cytotechnologist

Average Salary: $66,414 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Examine specimens using microscopes to evaluate specimen quality.

  • Examine specimens to detect abnormal hormone conditions.

  • Examine cell samples to detect abnormalities in the color, shape, or size of cellular components and patterns.

  • Prepare and analyze samples, such as Papanicolaou (PAP) smear body fluids and fine needle aspirations (FNAs), to detect abnormal conditions.

  • Provide patient clinical data or microscopic findings to assist pathologists in the preparation of pathology reports.

  • Document specimens by verifying patients' and specimens' information.

  • Maintain effective laboratory operations by adhering to standards of specimen collection, preparation, or laboratory safety.

Histotechnologist

Average Salary: $61,070 Per Year

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Embed tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrate tissue specimens with wax.

  • Examine slides under microscopes to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements.

  • Identify tissue structures or cell components to be used in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases.

  • Operate computerized laboratory equipment to dehydrate, decalcify, or tissue samples.

  • Prepare or use prepared tissue specimens for teaching, research, or diagnostic purposes.

  • Supervise histology laboratory activities.

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Average Salary: $53,337

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Examining and analyzing blood, body fluids, tissues, and cells

  • Relaying test results to physicians

  • Utilizing microscopes, cell counters, and other high-precision lab equipment

  • Cross-matching blood for transfusion

  • Monitoring patient outcomes

  • Performing differential cell counts looking for abnormal cells to aid in the diagnosis of anemia and leukemia

  • Establishing quality assurance programs to monitor and ensure the accuracy of test results

  • Overseeing the work of a medical laboratory technician.

Nutritionist

Average Salary: $51,291

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Evaluating clients' health needs

  • Discussing nutrition and eating habits with clients. 

  • Developing educational resources for clients

  • Determining the best nutrition plan for each client

  • Adjusting plans as needed

  • Monitoring clients' progress

  • Staying updated on the latest research in the field

  • Helping clients manage disease (such as diabetes) through nutrition.

Surgical Assistant

Average Salary: $22.08 Per Hour

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with patient resuscitation during cardiac arrests or other life-threatening events.

  • Covering patients with surgical drapes to ensure and maintain a sterile operating field, removing patients' body hair, and disinfecting the incision site.

  • Determining the availability and inspecting sterile and non-sterile surgical equipment, tools, and supplies.

  • Adjusting and maintaining the operating room temperature, humidity, and lighting according to the Surgeon's specifications.

  • Maintaining an unobstructed operating field with surgical retractors, sponges, and suctioning and irrigating equipment.

  • Monitoring patients' positions, vital signs, and volume and color of the blood during operations.

  • Assisting the surgical team with gowning or gloving and passing instruments or supplies to the Surgeon.

  • Assisting with the application of dressings, casts, splints, braces, and other devices.

Diagnostic Imaging Technologist or Technician

Average Salary: Ranges Between $15.28 and $45.02 Per Hour

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare patients for imaging procedures

  • Prepare and maintain imaging equipment

  • Correctly position the patient to get the right image

  • Operate equipment to get diagnostic images

  • Know the difference between a normal and an abnormal image

  • Analyze images for preliminary findings

  • Communicate with physicians about images

  • Maintain patients’ imaging records.

Apart from the above-mentioned career, the following are some career in Clinical health sciences and Research:

Clinical Health Science-

  • Physician

  • Nurse

  • Occupational therapist

  • Speech and language therapist

  • Dietitian

  • Biomedical scientist

  • Physiotherapist

  • Nurse specialist (For eg. Diabetic nurse specialist, midwife, psychotherapist).

Research/Industry-

Researchers can come from any of the above disciplines or from a lab discipline like chemistry or from a less specific qualification like 'human health and disease'. Also, there are some positions in industry R&D for developing products and some positions in legislation or industry regulation e.g. for dietitians and food scientists.

In the healthcare industry, there are a lot of other roles besides nursing. You can take a look at certificate programs for ultrasound or MRI technician, or maybe paramedic. You could also look at medical or pharmaceutical sales.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many job opportunities for those that hold doctoral degrees in Health sciences. There is never a dearth of jobs in the field of health sciences as sickness is inevitable. If you are already pursuing a career in Health Sciences and contemplating a doctorate degree in the same field, this article may come handy.

However, before you make any decision, ensure due and thorough research. Good luck!