Career development: going back to school?

Career development: going back to school?

As a medical practice professional, there is no need to feel “stuck” in your job. Opportunities for advancement within the field are available if you look for them. Some may require additional coursework, training, and education while others some may involve only on-the-job training.

Here are examples of the former.

  • A billing department employee takes online courses so that she can become a certified coder and get a promotion.
  • A receptionist decides the back office looks more interesting than the front office and takes night classes to become a certified medical assistant.
  • A department director gets a degree in business administration and is promoted to practice manager.
  • A medical assistant goes back to school to become a registered nurse.
  • A nurse gets advanced education and training to become a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or decides to go to medical school.

If you love the field of medicine and are thinking of taking your career to the next level with additional training and education, here are a few factors to consider:

What’s your motive? Carefully consider why you want to go back to school. You may be bored with what you’re currently doing, curious and thirsty to expand your clinical or business knowledge, or you may want to earn more money. Any motive that is important to you is legitimate, but being clear on why you’re pursuing additional training will help see you through to what may be a long path to achieving your goal.

When will you attend school? Determine whether you can stop working or work part-time in order to take classes, or if you’ll need to work around your full-time job. Plenty of people get advanced training and degrees by attending school at night and on weekends. If you’re organized and motivated, it can be done.

Is online education an option? More and more quality training and education is available online with each passing year. Particularly if you plan to continue working while pursuing your goal, the online route may be a great solution.

Can you afford it? Tuition, even for online education, is not inexpensive. If you can pay for it as you go, great. If finding the cash to continue your education is a challenge, look into financial aid, grants, and student loans. Also check to see if your employer offers (or would consider offering) any type of tuition reimbursement program.

Do you have support? Going back to school mid-career is exciting, but it also comes with challenges. Juggling work, school, home, and other responsibilities can take its toll. Hopefully, you’ll have the support of your employer, co-workers, family, and friends. Don’t be shy about reaching out for help as you work toward your career advancement goals.