Thinking Outside the Pre-Med Box...
Alternative Health Careers

Dear Creighton Parents:
A substantial majority of every new crop of Freshmen coming to Creighton each year indicates an interest in becoming a doctor by identifying themselves as "pre-med."  The profession of physician appeals to Creighton students on many levels.  Most report a desire to be involved with helping others, many report a desire to do good in the world, and others report a desire to achieve a certain level of professional status and financial security. 

Creighton students are excellent scholars and remarkable individuals.  But not all of them will be doctors.  Even those who can compete academically often discern that the path of medical school and lifestyle of a physician are not for them. But there are a multitude of ways to pursue healthcare professions that do not require one to become an "MD." Some routes, like the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, provide curriculums nearly identical to that of traditional medical schools.  Other directions, like Physician’s Assistant, do not always require a doctoral program. What is the best course of action for a student who wishes to pursue healthcare but not “MD?” 

First, students should fully explore the diversity of health careers available.  One good web site for this exploration is  Next, students must find a way to shadow a professional working in the field they find most interesting to them.  There is no better way to discern a career path than to watch someone doing the job they one day might like to do.  Finally, students who are turning from the “MD” route for whatever reason should talk to an advisor – a career counselor, faculty pre-health advisor, or other professional advising staff on campus that can assist with their exploration and discernment. 

Linda J. Dunn
Career & Academic Advisor
Creighton Career Center - Career & Academic Planning Program
(402) 280-3069

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