10 Ways to Advance Your Career in Medicine

Apr 3, 2019 by

Healthcare professions are amongst the oldest career options out there, and they are also one of the main employers that seem to be hiring more people each year, despite this current period of economic and fiscal restraint. A career in medicine is one of the most demanding jobs you can do as you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of others, so those who have obtained a job in a medical profession are already likely to be ambitious and driven individuals.

Therefore, it is no surprise that many medical professionals are always thinking about additional ways to advance their career, both in the development of their knowledge as well as to increase their chances of promotion. There are many opportunities for promotion in the medical industry, and through determination and persistence, there are different ways you can develop your career.

The medical profession is always developing and advancing, so there is no reason why you cannot develop alongside it. Here are just some of the ways, some easier than others, that you can advance your career in medicine and climb the healthcare industry ladder.

Take on Added Responsibility

It is essential that you are considered a member of staff that is responsible and reliable, as this will improve your chances of others supporting your career advancements. A good member of staff is a responsible member of staff, especially in the healthcare industry. You can show how responsible you are by taking every task you are assigned to very seriously and making sure that you give it 100 percent of your attention and effort.

You can also take on additional responsibility to show that you are keen and prepared to go out of your way to be a good member of the team and an asset to have on board. However, being responsible also requires standing up and being accountable for a failure if you are to blame. By being honest about an error you have made (as soon as you have made it), it shows that you have a good character and are prepared to own up to any mistakes you have made. This can be a matter of life and death when working within the medical profession.

Continue Your Education

When you work within the healthcare profession, your education never really ends, especially when there are constant technological and medical advancements being developed in medicine. But through developing your formal education, you are much more likely to advance your career.

Almost every single profession in healthcare has an opportunity ladder to climb through specialization and advanced degree options. For example, this FNP program allows actively practicing registered nurses to study for a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), by expanding their knowledge and learning leadership skills. The skills you can learn through this program, such as implementing new treatment methods, and improving outcomes for patients and families, can be a great way to advance your already existing skillset.

Nearly all the management positions that are available within healthcare will require additional education, such as a master’s degree, so that is something you should consider if you want to explore that avenue in your career.

Networking is Key

Networking is essential in most professions, but it is even more crucial if you want to advance your career in medicine. You should be sure to build and utilize relationships with those around you as you never know where those social networks may get you. We have all heard of the saying ‘it isn’t what you know, it is who you know’ and while this isn’t exactly true in the world of medicine, it can’t hurt to have friends in high places.

You should try to meet and maintain contact with people in the same profession as you, as this can help you stay connected to the career you are in. This can also allow for collaboration and the exchange of information that is crucial to your advancements in the industry.

If you are unsure on how to approach networking, then you should start by creating your own LinkedIn profile which will allow you to connect online with people you already know in your profession. You are likely to know people you studied with, and if you were to do a master’s degree, then that would be another place to meet new people and broaden your network.

Another great way to network with others is by attending conferences in your free time. You can learn about new research that has been commissioned and the potential findings of these research projects that could shed new light on an illness or condition. Through these networking experiences, you may find out about potential opportunities that you would otherwise not have known about.

Stay Focused

When you have been in one job for a considerable amount of time, it can be easy to become complacent and not as motivated as you once were at the beginning of your career. However, this can really damage your chances of career advancement and you need to make sure that you stay focused on what it is you want to achieve.

If you are feeling disillusioned with your job and are not getting the same gratification from it that you once did, then this could be a sign that you need to try something new and improve your chances of promotion. This may mean retraining in a different branch of medicine or taking up a more managerial role.

You should try to remember how hard you worked to get to the position you are now in and re-find that dedication to focus on what you want for your career in the future.

Choose a Mentor

It can be a great idea to try and find a mentor that you can work under in order to develop your knowledge and skills. Working with experienced professionals is common practice in the healthcare industry as experience is essential when working with patients and their problems. It can take a while to establish a strong enough rapport and relationship with an individual in a higher position than you that would be willing to be a mentor, but it can be a great way to get the necessary skills and experience needed to advance your career.

Networking can be a great way to find someone willing to mentor you, and you should ask around at the place that you already work in as they may have mentoring schemes available. Being mentored may involve doing additional tasks to help your mentor out, and while this may seem like an extra workload for you, it is a great way to get experience in a different job role, which will an extra skill to your resume.

Re-Evaluate Your Career

Stepping back and having a look at where you are currently at with your career can be a useful tool to re-evaluate how far you have come and in what direction you need to head. Think back to where you first started in your career and remember what your aims were back then. Then ask yourself whether you have completed those aims, or have you found yourself going in another direction? If you haven’t achieved those goals, then ask yourself why you haven’t been able to achieve them, and how you could go about achieving them in the future.

No matter if you are a new starter in your career in medicine, or if you have been in your job role in the healthcare industry for some time, re-evaluating your past and future choices can be a great way to develop a sense of direction.

Get Training Where You Can

You should be sure to take advantage of any additional training that you can complete while you are working. Your current place of work may offer on-site classes in different desirable skills that may make you stand out later when you apply for a promotion.

While this can mean that you enroll on a master’s degree as we mentioned earlier, it can also be smaller commitments such as night-classes for a few weeks or a day course where you learn specialized skills. Hospital management skill classes are often provided by hospitals in order to make their staff better equipped at the admin side of their job role (this will look great on your resume!).

Similarly, if you want to go down the clinical research avenue, then you should consider taking research training in order to make your application stronger. The more training you complete, the more opportunities you are creating for yourself.

Let Your Motive Be Known

If you want to be noticed and considered when your superiors are looking amongst you and your colleagues for whom to give a promotion to, then make sure that you are motivated and driven in advancing your career. Sometimes if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, make sure that your boss knows that you are prepared and committed to take on more responsibility and develop your current position.

While you may feel like this is inappropriate, you must make sure that you discuss this at an appropriate time and place. For example, you may have an annual review. This could be a great environment to mention that even though you are happy in your current role, you are interested in developing your skills and advancing your career. You may find that this will improve your chances of being picked in the future.

Be Approachable

In any area of work, it is important that you are a friendly and approachable member of staff, especially in the healthcare industry. Whether you are working with patients or colleagues, you should try to remain as friendly as possible whenever you can. This will show that you have a good character and may make others much more likely to work with you.

It can be easy to come to work, do what is required of you, and then go home again. But the healthcare industry is about going that extra mile, and by making friends and acquaintances through your work, you may find that others will seek you out to work in their department. While career advancements aren’t a popularity contest, being good at your job and being respected by those around you is a great way to develop your professional position.

Make Yourself Known

Similarly, you should be sure to make yourself known to others in your industry in order to get yourself and your work noticed. This may mean attending work groups and conferences that are not mandatory and in your free time. This can help to develop your networking skills, as well as making you well known by others in your profession.

Here you will learn new skills, meet new people, and be in the know about new innovative treatments and techniques. If you don’t seek out new ways to develop your skills and understanding, then you may find yourself using old techniques when others have learnt more efficient and productive ways of doing things. This could be what causes your superiors to pick your colleague over you when you go for a promotion.

A career in the medical profession can be one of the most demanding and exhausting professions out there, as making a mistake can have fatal consequences for your patients and for your career. However, by working hard and developing your skills, you can advance your career by making yourself known and well respected by your peers.

If you consider all these factors, then there are bound to be some options that apply to your current situation. Whether you are new to the industry, or are a long-term medical professional, then there are different opportunities and individuals that you can reach out to in order to advance your career. Be sure to keep in mind that as you grow and develop as an individual, so does your career, so that may mean that an area of medicine that you were once interested in has now become unexciting to you. Always be on the lookout for ways to advance.

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