How to Build a Career Through Saving Lives

Health is the key to life; other survival essentials automatically fall into place once health is ensured. A career in health services or medicine is both satisfying and rewarding, especially when working towards saving many precious lives in the course of a regular job. Although it is more of a service and passion to help than a job that generates income, careers in medicine also are well compensated in their practical sense.

Medicine or health services offer several career paths to students who are eager to pursue this field of study, though not all specialties may be recognized as lifesavers. Several disciplines of medicine require experts to work behind the scenes in identifying and diagnosing the health problem, rather than treat or save lives by means of direct medical interventions.

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The following are a few challenging careers in healthcare that students can pursue.

Emergency Medicine

Specializing in emergency medicine trains the student to handle surgical, medical, or even psychiatric emergencies even before the patients are moved to a hospital. Expert assessment of the situation and quick reflexes to stabilize the patient are the basic traits of a physician trained to face emergencies.

This specialization requires three years of training before being certified by the board. Emergency medical services, pediatric emergencies, palliative care, internal medicine, and toxicology are few sub-specialties offered in this discipline, each require additional training for certification.


Radiology is a discipline that helps diagnose as well as treat medical conditions by using X-rays, electromagnetic waves, ultrasound, or even radionuclides as the case may demand. Students may either choose to pursue Radiation Oncology or Diagnostic Radiology based on their interests.

Radiation Oncology focuses on mainly diagnosing and treating malignant tumors or abnormal tissues using different radiation techniques. The training period of five years include one year in clinical internship followed by four years of Radiation Oncology study.

Diagnostic Radiology is a five year course with sub-specializations available in palliative, neuro, pediatric, and nuclear radiology.

Vascular Interventional Radiology specialization addresses minimal invasive treatment, apart from diagnosis of diseases using different radiological technologies such as CT, MRI, Ultrasound, fluoroscopy as well as digital radiography. Specialists, who get certified after 2 years of additional training, are qualified to handle treatments like abscess drainages, angioplasty, and stent placements.

Students have yet another option of specializing in both Diagnostic (minimum three years training) and Interventional radiology (two years training) leading to a combined certification. This certification allows them to diagnose and treat malignant or benign conditions anywhere in the body, except the heart.


Pathology is an expert health service often functioning behind the scenes, and which diagnoses the disease by means of carrying out several tests on human tissues, body fluids, and cells in a medical laboratory.

Clinical Pathology and Anatomic Pathology are the two main courses available in this discipline and require 4 years of training to get certified. Transfusion Medicine, Blood Banking, Neuro, Cyto, Dermato, Hematologic, Pediatric, Genetic, and Forensic pathology are few of sub-specialization available, each focused on the study of specific body components to diagnose and treat disease.


General Surgery is a direct lifesaver. It takes 5 years of training before being certified as a surgeon. Based on specific interests, physicians may choose to further specialize in trauma, pediatric, vascular, oncology or other areas of surgery. Neuro surgery requires a totally different specialization though.

Irrespective of the chosen health care specialty, opting for the corresponding critical care sub-specialty, if available, will help physicians provide expert attention to those suffering from severe health conditions.

About the Author: Sarah Daren is a writer who creates articles in relation to health. This article offers occupational opportunities for those interested in working to save lives and to encourage further study in this field with a Bachelors in Radiology.