I Didn't Know it was THIS Competitive!

Some fields in medicine are great, they sound great, they're fun, they really invigorate you, and they're also really hard to get into.

There are just some jobs in medicine where it is really hard to get into school for the degree or when you get out there are just not very many jobs available. These jobs are not for the faint of heart because you will have to do a lot of searching just to figure out what and where to do these jobs so you don't run into a thousand other people doing the same thing (and leaving you with no clients.) Plus, if getting into school is hard then you know people won't leave the profession very easily. This means you might in a place that is "saturated" and you coming in as a "new kid on the block" will only serve to kill your business. Let's take a careful look at this...

Let's start in a field where there is more competition than any other just to get into school. Being an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist requires you to get into Optometry school which is EXTREMELY competitive. It doesn't help that there are only 7 Optometry schools in the whole country. Well, and besides that, can you imagine going through all that and then starting your own practice? Why would you ever retire? I think you'd feel like you never got your money's worth out of education because it was so hard to get in the first place. On the other hand, if you like a challenge then this field is perfect because you'll really have to work your fanny off to get into school, but if you're really good with the books you should go for it!

Podiatrists form another clan that is very hard to get into and can easily saturate a city. There are only a few Podiatry schools in the country and each one is very hard to get into. Once again, if you're good with the books then by all means go for it. However, consider that when you get out you need to get a job. If you're in a place that is NOT a huge Metropolitan area you might find that there already is a Podiatrist in town. As the old saying goes "This town ain't big enough for the two of us." So, be careful, you can't just go out and find work or clients just because you got into and out of a really hard school.

Though getting through any sort of training to become a Dispensing Optician is not the biggest hassle ever you have to consider how many people are already selling glasses where you are. You won't just have to compete with big retail chains, but you'll also have to compete with Optometrist's offices who already have Opticians in them. If you can't find a job in one of these places it may be VERY difficult to build a client base because everyone is already going somewhere else. Now, if you started off in a retail store or an Optometrist's office then you would be able to get your feet wet and build a client base that you can take with you if you ever leave. However, you would have to walk a fine line in being very professional about how you go about this "pseudo-recruiting" process. This is not the easiest jobs to find clients in.

Finally, we have to say "hello" to the Audiologists. Audiology is a cool field that helps people with one of their most basic needs...their hearing. Fitting and prescribing hearing aides is a really cool way to help people, but you have to think about something. You get through school, you move into a smaller town where there's already an Audiologist. Is there room for another Audiologist? Probably not. You move to a town where there isn't an Audiologist...How many people need Hearing Aides? Probably not very many. You have to be very careful to make sure you know you can move to a place where you can build a client base. No clients = no pay and that's good for anyone.

As you can see, some of these careers are highly admirable and noble, but they are just hard to get into the right way and they are not for everybody. However, if you are really driven and tough then you could totally tackle these jobs...just know yourself and make good decisions for you career before you go off on some high-falutin' wild good chase.

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Optometrists
    Salary: $96,320
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 25,970
    Part Time: 30%
  • Podiatrists
    Salary: $113,560
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 9 years
    # Employed: 9,670
    Part Time: 8%
  • Opticians, Dispensing
    Salary: $32,810
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 59,470
    Part Time: 33%
  • Audiologists
    Salary: $62,030
    Job Prospects: B-
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 12,480
    Part Time: 13%

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