The Changing healthcare landscape
Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any other occupational group. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services from such professionals as doctors, dentists and pharmacists.
If your goal is a career in healthcare, plan to get the right start with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a pre-professional concentration at PennWest California.
PennWest California biology majors get a strong academic foundation and an exceptional opportunity to pursue new professional pathways to careers in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy or dental medicine through PennWest California’s Early Acceptance Program with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).
Under the Early Acceptance Program, qualified PennWest California undergraduates in biology can be assured of provisional acceptance (a “reserved seat”) in LECOM's College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy or School of Dental Medicine. Students in the Early Acceptance Program must complete a successful interview and meet all academic requirements.
Osteopathic Medicine Careerss
The nation faces a critical shortage in its workforce of physicians. According to a report by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), by 2025, the gap between our physician supply and overall demand will range from 34,500 to 88,000.
Colleges of osteopathic medicine, such as LECOM, are graduating more and more students each year. LECOM is the nation's largest medical college, with campuses in Erie, Pa.; Greensburg, Pa.; and Bradenton, Fla. U.S. News & World Reportranks LECOM among the top five medical colleges for graduating primary care physicians, and its College of Osteopathic Medicine receives more applications than any other medical school in the country.
More than 5,400 new osteopathic physicians enter the workforce each year. The nation’s approximately 108,000 fully licensed, active and practicing osteopathic physicians practice the entire scope of modern medicine, bringing a patient-centered, holistic and hands-on approach to diagnosing and treating illness and injury. Today, more than 20% of medical students in the United States are training to be osteopathic physicians.
Careers in Dentistry
Overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 19% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job prospects for dentists are expected to be good. There are still areas of the country where patients need dental care but have little access to it. Job prospects will be especially good for dentists who are willing to work in these areas.
The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health, says the BLS. Dentists will need to provide care and instruction aimed at promoting good oral hygiene, rather than just providing treatments such as fillings.
Many members of the aging baby-boom generation will need dental work. In addition, there will be increased demand for complicated dental work, including dental implants and bridges. The risk of oral cancer increases significantly with age, and complications can require both cosmetic and functional dental reconstruction.
Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs. Some dentists teach or do research. Other dentists practice in one of nine specialty areas:
- Dental public health specialists promote good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities.
- Endodontists perform root-canal therapy, by which they remove the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth.
- Oral and maxillofacial radiologists diagnose diseases in the head and neck through the use of imaging technologies.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, performing procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth.
- Oral pathologists diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as bumps or ulcers, and oral diseases, such as cancer.
- Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces or other appliances.
- Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients.
- Periodontists treat the gums and bones supporting the teeth.
- Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges, or with removable fixtures, such as dentures.
Careers in Pharmacy
Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 6% through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services, reports the BLS.
More pharmacists will be needed in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. These facilities will require more pharmacists to oversee the medications given to patients and to provide patient care, performing tasks such as testing a patient’s blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
The large baby-boom generation is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups will also lead to demand for prescription medications. In addition, scientific advances will lead to new drug products.
Employment of pharmacists in some traditional retail settings, such as grocery stores, is projected to decline slightly as mail-order and online pharmacy sales increase, says the BLS.
The number of pharmacy schools has grown in recent years, creating more pharmacy school graduates and therefore more competition for jobs. Students who choose to complete a residency program gain additional experience that may improve their job prospects. Certification from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties or as a Certified Diabetes Educator also may be viewed favorably by employers.
States with the highest employment level for pharmacists include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Get your start today in the dynamic healthcare field with pre-professional study at PennWest California, leading to professional preparation at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Apply now!
Lake Erie College of Medicine
Learn about LECOM, the nation's largest medical college.
Osteopathic Medicine Careers
Learn about opportunities in osteopathic medicine that allow you to help patients achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.
Dentistry Career Options
The demand for dental services – and professional opportunities – is increasing as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.
Careers in Pharmacy
Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services: See what opportunities you can pursue in the field of pharmacy.