Healthcare & Health Science
Healthcare & Health Science
The healthcare field is vast, employing approximately 18 million people in the U.S., with hundreds of job titles and a multitude of fields and career paths. The most familiar segment of the healthcare industry is composed of diagnostic, preventive, remedial, and therapeutic service providers. Being a healthcare provider is well-suited for individuals who have an interest in human science and a strong desire to help others in a direct, “hands-on” way. Providers all require additional education and varying degrees of experience in or exposure to the field during college.
Healthcare opportunities, however, are also available in research & development, advocacy & policy, education, business (administration, sales, marketing, operations, finance, human resources), consulting, and communications.
Healthcare settings vary broadly as well and include: hospitals, clinics, medical and dental practices; diagnostic imaging facilities; long term care facilities; hospices; schools; governmental agencies; businesses and other private, public, and nonprofit organizations.
Job Title Examples:
Direct Patient Care
- Physician; Physician Assistant (PA); Physical Therapist; Occupational Therapist; Speech & Language Pathologists; Dietitian; Pharmacist; Nurse; Nurse Practitioner; Veterinarian; Dentist; Optometrist; Art Therapist; Music Therapist; Psychiatrist; Social Worker; Health Aid
Research & Development
- Biomedical Researcher; Pharmacologist; Research Assistant or Associate; Research or Lab Technician; Clinical Research Coordinator; Lab Technologist
Advocacy, Policy & Education
- Health Care Advocate; Client Advocate; Policy Analyst; Program Analyst; Public Health Educator; Teacher; Advisor
- Hospital Administrator; Financial Analyst; Human Resources Associate; Business Development Manager; Sales Representative; Products Manager; Operations Associate;
- Analyst; Associate; Consultant
- Technical or Science Writer; Editorial Assistant; Public Relations Specialist
- Interpersonal / Compassion
- Communication (oral & written)
- Technical Knowledge
- Problem-solving & analytical
When thinking about relevant experiences, think broadly, both in terms of settings and roles. Working in a summer camp or at a neighborhood community center, for example, are valuable experiences for anyone considering working with children as a healthcare provider, even if the work does not involve healthcare. Shadowing professionals and volunteering in healthcare settings are also useful activities, both for your decision-making as well as your ability to successfully interview for graduate or medical school programs.
Using IrishCompass, LinkedIn, and myND, ND’s alumni association directory, is the best way to start on the networking front. IrishCompass hosts Healthcare and Clinical Alumni Networks and makes it easy to find providers to shadow and alumni mentors.
Healthcare organizations typically post directly on their own website’s employment pages so always check sites directly for opportunities.
- USAJobs [Research/Policy/Education]
- Zintellect [Research]
- BioSpace [Research/Education/Business]
- Idealist [Policy/Advocacy/Education]
- AmeriCorps [Gap Year] / National Health Corps
Catholic Volunteer Network [Service/Gap Year]
Pre-Health or Pre-Med Summer Experience:
Students planning to become healthcare service providers need to gain service, leadership, clinical and research experience during their undergraduate years to test their interests and to strengthen their applications for graduate or medical school.
- ND Center for Social Concerns Summer Service Learning Program
- ND Center for Social Concerns International Summer Service Learning Program
- ND Center for Health Sciences Advising Opportunities and Internships
- Explore Health Careers (EHC)
- NAAHP Health Professions Summer Opportunities
- Summer Health Profession Education Programs
- Pathways to Science
- Pre-Med Summer Opportunities
Pre-Med Internships & Summer Research Opportunities
Summer opportunities are available in academia, industry, and government. In addition to the databases listed above, consider:
- Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities
- NIH Program in Biomedical Research
- Undergraduate Research (Fall, Spring, Summer)
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at Notre Dame
- Undergraduate Research Opportunities Off-Campus
- Summer Research Opportunities
- Internships & Summer Research Opportunities in the Life Sciences
Healthcare & Health Science
For students planning to go directly to Medical or Graduate School, work closely with pre-med/pre-health advisors in either A&L or COS, depending on your major, to ensure timely progress toward your goals and determine timelines for applying. All pre-health/pre-med students should meet with an advisor in The Center for Health Sciences Advising prior to applying. Some students take a gap year or two to strengthen their applications and/or discern their direction.
With the exception of some research fellowships, most recruiting will happen late Fall through summer, closer to when candidates are actually available. Because the bulk of the hiring will happen in the Spring, do not compare yourself to students in other fields or industries. It is important to note that, except for consulting and some business roles, healthcare organizations do not typically participate in on-campus recruiting. Plan to reach out directly to employers.
For summer internships and experiences, the earliest deadlines are late Fall (fellowships). Most deadlines will be in the Spring semester, beginning in January. The majority of deadlines will be mid to late spring semester (February--April) and even early summer (May). Many students, seeking to gain clinical experience, will be volunteering or shadowing and they often work directly with hospitals, clinics, and physicians to arrange these opportunities, typically about 6 weeks before they are available to begin.
The Business of Healthcare
Follow the timeline for the type of work you are most interested in. For consulting positions, for example, job applications begin as early as August with interviewing in September and October. Students interested in management and operations may want to investigate Rotation Leadership Programs, which typically have Fall deadlines. For all business and technology options, plan to investigate options by early Fall (August/September) so you can take full advantage of opportunities with early deadlines.
Applying and Interviewing
Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer. You want to make sure that your resume is concise, direct, and specific. Ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. Highlighting relevant coursework can demonstrate your fit for a particular position. Review our guide on resumes for more information on how to construct one. Please note: students applying to grad school or to a research position may opt to create a Curriculum Vitae (CV)--a more academic version of a resume. Also, students interested in applying for positions with the federal government will need to follow specific guidelines, which vary slightly from a traditional resume.
A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer. Use the position description to make specific connections between your skills and experience and what the organization is looking for in a candidate. The cover letter should be concise and well-written—if a potential employer reads your cover letter and is intrigued, they will then read your resume. Your cover letter should not repeat your resume verbatim, but enhance it. Together the cover letter and resume can help land you an interview. Review our guide on cover letters for more information on how to construct one. Always have someone review your cover letter (and resume!) for typos and clarity.
Most interviews will contain a mixture of resume based questions (questions about your past experience) and behavioral based questions (your ability to handle prospective situations at work. Most positions will begin with an interview that has a mix of these questions. Review our guide on common interview questions. Students interviewing for medical school may encounter a specific type of interview: the Multiple Mini-Interview format. For more information about MMIs, please schedule an appointment with the healthcare career counselor.
Preparation is extremely important for interviews. Research the company/organization, current and previous projects they’ve worked on, and even the people that you’re interviewing with. This will not only help provide talking points but will show your knowledge and genuine interest in the position. Utilize our resources on how to best prepare yourself to excel in your interview.
Direct Patient Care Career Guides
- Allied Health Careers
- Allied Health Professions
- Dental Care
- Healthcare Provider Jobs
- Sports Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
Research Career Guides
Policy/Advocacy/Education Career Guides
The Business of Healthcare
- American Dental Association
- American Dental Education Association
- American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists
- American Student Dental Association
Dietetics & Nutrition
Physical & Occupational Therapy
- American Academy of PAs
- American Medical Association
- American Medical Student Association
- Association of American Medical Colleges
- National Medical Association Student Doctor Network
- Student National Medical Association
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
- Student Osteopathic Medical Association
- American Nurses Association
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- National Black Nurses Association
- National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations
- National Student Nurses Association
- Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health
- American Public Health Association
- Society of Public Health Education
Assistant Director, Healthcare
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- Active Minds firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aging with Grace email@example.com
- Biology Club firstname.lastname@example.org
- Camp Kesem email@example.com
- Compassionate Care in Medicine (CCIM) firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Cardinal Health
- Eli Lilly
- Johnson & Johnson
- GE Healthcare
- Huron Consulting
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Oak Street Health
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