Health sciences is a rewarding field to study as it prompts students and researchers to strive for a safer and healthier world.
For Northeastern University Professor Andrea Grimes Parker and her colleagues, their research in this discipline of applied science led to the development of fitness trackers that aid vulnerable and marginalised populations.
“Existing fitness platforms focus so much on goal setting, data collection, and visualisation of data,” Parker explained.
Such “surface-level interaction” isn’t helping the folks from lower socio-economic communities.
Trackers that prompt families to reflect on activities they enjoyed — instead of performance data — do better in getting them to be more active, according to the team’s findings.
Storywell, an app designed by Herman Saksono, a doctoral student at Northeastern who was the lead author of the study, is born out of this finding.
It unlocks interactive storybook chapters when families achieve their fitness goals, prompting families to talk about the challenges and positive feelings they have when they’re active together.
“Decades of health research show that being active is not just how many steps you take or how many calories you burn,” said Saksono.
“Being active means finding activities that you enjoy. Finding friends or family members who can support you to be active. Finding places where you can exercise comfortably.”
This is just one of many instances where the health sciences has challenged societal norms for the better, increasing demand for professionals in this discipline in both public and private sectors.
One area of healthy job growth for health sciences graduates is in healthcare support.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the number of healthcare support occupations are expected to rise by 18.2 percent and healthcare practitioner roles and technical occupations are expected to rise by 11.9 percent.
The report also notes that of the 30 fastest growing occupations, 18 are in healthcare and related occupations: “Increased demand for healthcare services from an ageing population and people with chronic conditions will drive much of the expected employment growth.”
Here are five US universities to kickstart a career in this field:
BOUVÉ COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES — NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University is changing the paradigm of health through their School of Health Professions, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy.
According Dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences Dr Carmen Sceppa, all three Schools couple academic excellence with experiential models of learning. This dynamic combination helps students develop new skills in the fields of health and patient wellbeing. The College has over 175 Co-op employer partners —one out of three hire Bouvé students upon graduation.
“We understand and we work on drug discovery, just as much as we try to develop policies and guidelines for health promotion and everything in between,” she said.
“For instance, we have a nurse working with an engineer developing a device to help nurses administer medications quickly and accurately. We also have a public health professional working with someone in computer science creating predictive analytics for public health problems.”
The College also serves individuals, families, patients and all aspects of healthcare from nursing to rehabilitation and mental health.
“The Boston area is filled with research hospitals, healthcare industries and startups, and community-based settings in which our faculty and our students are working together,” Sceppa said. “And that creates a unique opportunity within the College for students to explore, experience and apply.”
Click here to find out more about the education-enriching real-world experiences every health science student at Northeastern University receives.
UW SCHOOL OF MEDICINE — UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Through their multidisciplinary School of Medicine, University of Washington medical students analyse every aspect of health and disease, from the molecular mechanisms of gene action to population studies of global illnesses.
This multidisciplinary learning approach aligns with the School’s mission of improving public health by educating and empowering the next generation of physicians, researchers and stewards of wellness with up-to-date, industry-oriented studies.
Alongside their contemporary study programmes, the UW School of Medicine also promotes a service-learning programme that helps students prepare for lives of civic and social responsibility as future healthcare providers.
And by carrying out its own form of service learning, the School connects with local communities to bring underrepresented students into the healthcare professions, so that everyone has a fair chance at succeeding in the healthcare or health sciences sector.
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE — EMORY UNIVERSITY
At the Emory University School of Medicine, you can choose from accredited medical degrees.
For instance, there’s the Master of Medical Science Programme in Anesthesiology which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and the Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme which is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
The former is apt for qualified individuals wishing to pursue rigorous didactic and clinical education in order to become knowledgeable, skilled anesthetists; the latter provides experience in 14 disciplines in both hospital and outpatient settings before students begin applying to residency programmes.
Emory University is committed to recruiting and developing a diverse group of students and innovative leaders in biomedical science, public health, medical education, and clinical care.
To attract a diverse pool of health practitioners to their doors, they’ve created a culture that integrates basic, translational, and clinical research to further the ability to deliver quality healthcare, predict illness and treat the sick.
SCHOOL OF NURSING — UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN (UM)
At the University of Michigan School of Nursing, they’re using knowledge, skills, innovation and compassion to advance the public good and prepare the next generation of nurses to change the world.
To achieve this, they offer a Bachelor of Nursing programme that balances nursing courses with social sciences, humanities and biological sciences.
For those with prior experience of the medical sector, the School offers a Master of Nursing programme that has been refined by faculty experts, alumni and clinical partners to remain ahead of trends in nursing education.
For Fall 2020, the UM School of Nursing is offering online degree options for select Master’s programmes.
Therefore, if you’d rather enhance your medical expertise online from the comfort of your own home, see what virtual offerings this School of Nursing has in store for you.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International