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Health care is a field with remarkable growth potential. It seems that no matter what we do, people still get sick and people still get hurt. From there, we get a steady demand for all the nurses, technicians, therapists, pharmacists, and so on. Of course, at the center of it all are the doctors who oversee the patient’s care.

If you’re working toward a career in medicine, there are two important things you must do. The first is to prepare. Get help from Next Step Test Prep as you prepare for the MCAT and give yourself the best possible shot at getting into medical school.

The second thing to do is to focus on your goal. Know that there are challenges ahead in the medical world, and know that your talent will be necessary to solve them. A doctor’s office ten years from now will pose a very distinctive group of challenges, and you may be just the right person to attack problems like these.

Chronic Illnesses

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When we think about getting sick, we imagine strep throat or an ear infection. But chronic conditions are behind most medical visits, and many of them are brought on by behavior and lifestyle choices.

It’s for that reason that the incidence of these conditions may increase in the future. So many people view medicine as reactive instead of proactive; that is, they go about their business as they choose and then see a doctor when something goes wrong, expecting a full cure. In many cases, this is accurate.

But it’s not always the case. People must be responsible for their own health to the greatest extent possible, and then seek medical attention for the things they couldn’t avoid. Conditions like blood pressure can be managed without medication, if the patient is willing to make the effort.

Because it’s so difficult to change lifestyles and bad habits, we can expect that more and more people will develop things like diabetes, heart disease, COPD, and other conditions that are driven by their own choices. The care for these patients is long-term and requires many different people to contribute, so it stands to reason that they will be at the heart of a growth field.

Drug-Resistant Illnesses

For a few generations, we have had pharmaceutical answers for the most common infectious diseases. Antibiotics were generally the solution, and if properly administered, they did a very good job. Unfortunately, they have been so good that we’ve used them indiscriminately, issuing the same prescriptions time after time instead of using different products.

The result has been that some bacteria have developed resistance to many common products, leaving us very few options for treating infections. The course of treatment for these drug-resistant infections is much more complex than for less-problematic strains. As a result, these illnesses will require more specialized care, more caregivers, and additional therapies that aren’t necessary with other cases.

Age-Related Illnesses

Many people wonder why we see such high incidence of things like Alzheimer’s disease today. They note that their grandparents and great-grandparents all died of more common ailments like pneumonia or heart trouble.

The answer is that those particular conditions are considerably less commonplace–or at least less fatal–than they were a few generations ago. So someone born in 1895 might have had a heart attack at age 55 and died, whereas someone born in 1961 could have the same type of infarction today and made a full recovery.

Our progress in curing and treating some conditions, then, is allowing people to live long enough to develop other conditions. Our example from 1895 died too young to develop dementia, but the person from 1961 might now live to be 80 years old, and could end up with the disease.

So far the medical community, the focus needs to be sharply trained on what we will see in the very oldest of our citizens because life expectancy is growing and the frequency of these late-life problems is increasing.

There will always be a demand for doctors, even if the specifics change. If this is the field you’re interested in, stay motivated by reminding yourself of how great the need will be for your services.

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