Health Care Careers

Whether you want to treat patients, conduct clinical research, manage a health care organization, develop health care policy, or conduct public health—CXD can help you define your path in health care.

Bowdoin students become interested in health care from a variety of life experiences, majors, and motivations. Bowdoin alumni are working as physicians in top hospitals, defining health policy for state and national government agencies, consulting on rural health initiatives, leading cutting-edge clinical research, and leading large health care organizations. CXD can help you explore internship or volunteer opportunities, learn about various careers options, and help you decide whether graduate or medical school is right for you.

Sample Career Paths


Clinical: If you are interested in treating patients, there are many paths before you. Bowdoin graduates go on to earn degrees as medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, and dentists. If you’re considering a clinical track, meet with Bowdoin's health professions advisor, Seth Ramus, to plan your courses, consider which clinical track is right for you and your goals, and successfully prepare for the application process. There are many entry points, such as clinical research coordinator, research assistant, or medical scribing in research institutes or hospitals.

Public Health: Students interested in creating and protecting healthy communities through research, education, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles will find themselves at home in public health. Public health professionals implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems to achieve these goals. Public health can occur in a small hospital setting or on a global scale, with a great variety organizations to join, such as the Centers for Disease Control, a state’s Department of Health, or a think tank, such as the Center for Health Policy at Brookings.

Health Care Administration: If you care deeply about the medical field and you seek to support the organizational missions of clinicals and hospitals without going through medical school or working daily with patients, then the health care administration field may be the area you need to explore further. There are various entry points with a bachelor's degree, such as business analyst or policy analyst. You can also choose to pursue master's degrees in various aspects of health care administration or policy. These type of programs will better prepare you to plan, lead, and manage health care organizations and services.

Veterinary: If you have a passion for working with or taking care of animals, be they small or large, terrestrial or aquatic, the path often goes through a master's or doctoral program at a veterinary medicine school. If taking care of animals hands-on is your primary focus, the doctorate in veterinary medicine is the path to follow, with many subspecialties available, such as general veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or veterinary dentist, to name just a few. It is also possible to work on more conservation medicine, public health, or epidemiological fields through pursuing a master's degree usually offered at veterinary medicine schools as well.

Meet Alumni

VIDEO: Career Paths in Medicine
VIDEOAliya Feroe '17 remembers when she got to hold the hand of a newborn baby in the newborn intensive care unit over the summer.