Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Save the Date for 2009: Upcoming Programs, Plus Stuff to Apply To Over Winter Break

It's finals week, which means most students are thinking less about job and internship searches and more about finishing the quarter. At CAPS, we take this time of year to review our fall programs and to plan for the start of winter quarter, which is a busy time of year for everyone.

As students are wrapping up coursework and getting ready for the winter break, here are few updates and "save the dates" to keep in mind over the break and at the beginning of next quarter:

First and Second Years in the College, remember to apply for the Alumni Board of Governors Externship Program. The deadline to apply is January 20, 2009, so you can work on your resume and cover letter over the winter break. For more information about what an externship is, and where you can get one, visit https://caps.uchicago.edu/undergrads/abg/list.html.

First, Second and Third Years, Metcalf Season is here. The list of internship opportunities for summer 2009 will be posted to the CAPS website beginning on December 15, and we'll continue to add to this list as more opportunities come in. For more information about Metcalf, the list of opportunities and how to apply, visit https://caps.uchicago.edu/undergrads/internships/metcalf/.

Don't forget, to apply for ABG Externships, Metcalf Internships or other on-campus recruiting positions, you must be activated in Chicago Career Connection. To get activated, come into CAPS and have your resume reviewed by a CAPS staff member.

If you need to get your resume reviewed after the holidays, but in time to beat some of these January deadlines, come to CAPS Super Walk-Ins Day: Wednesday, January 14, 9am - 4pm, Ida Noyes Hall third floor. Walk-ins are first-come, first-served and are a great opportunity to receive feedback on your resume and ask questions about your job and internship search.

Save the Date: More CAPS' events are coming up in early 2009, including
-The CAPS' Winter Career Fair: Jan. 9, 12 - 4pm, Ida Noyes Hall. Attend the career fair to meet organizations hiring interns and full-time employers. Log into your Chicago Career Connection account to view the list of organizations that have already registered to attend.
- Diversity in Communications: Feb. 13, 8am - 5pm, downtown. Visit advertising, marketing and public relations firms to learn more about career paths in these fields.
- Diversity in the Law: Feb. 13, 8am - 5pm. Visit law firms and non-profit organizations in the legal field to explore career options and discuss law school.

Want more? Visit the CAPS calendar to view upcoming programs in 2009.

The CAPS Blog will be taking a break until after the New Year - Happy Holidays from everyone at CAPS, and to all a good night.

Questions, ideas, suggestions for programs? Post them here throughout the holiday season. We'll see you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Health Professions Careers That Don't Require a M.D.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Who hasn't fielded that question as a child - and depending on the types of careers you were exposed to at a young age, odds were fairly limited - doctor, teacher, lawyer, etc. It's not until later in life that we realize that there are much wider career options beyond these traditional "big three", and that within these categories, there are even more choices to be made - what kind of teacher would like to become? What sort of law do you want to practice? Should I become a M.D. or a nurse practicioner?

I know, you're thinking that you haven't actually asked yourself this question before - but according to a recent article in the New York Times, nurse practioners and physician assistant positions are growing in popularity. Why? Because, as the article points out, "In an aging population, a shortage of doctors has created new demand for care providers like physician assistants and nurse practitioners..." And for students who would like to pursue a career in health or medicine, but aren't sure about the time and money that are required to pursue a M.D., these positions offer similar benefits, with fewer drawbacks. One of the physician assistants interviewed for the article addressed this dilemma, saying, “I wanted to treat patients, but I wanted free time for myself, too...I didn’t want to be 30 or 35 before I got on my feet — and then still have a lot of loans to pay back.”

Of course, there are siginificant differences between the role of licensed doctor and that of a nurse practioner or physician assistant, which the article is quick to point out: "Physician assistants must practice under a physician’s supervision. Nurse practitioners are licensed as independent health care providers, without mandated physician supervision, although some states require them to have a supervising or collaborating physician to whom they can turn for advice. Some nurse practitioners have private practices." In addition, there are differences in licensing which are detailed in the article as well.

Besides nurse practioners and physician assistants, the career paths for students interested in health professions are expansive - public health, allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, health policy, veterinary medicine, and health services research, among others, are all career paths that are available - and that is where Chicago Careers in Health Professions (CCIHP) comes into play.

The Chicago Careers in Health Professions (CCIHP) Program is a joint collaboration between CAPS and the College, that offers resources to students interested in the wide range of health professions careers and health professions graduate programs (including medical school) that are out there. The program provides students with the resources and support to develop a customized portfolio of knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to pursue a variety of careers in health and medicine. From career exploration to application development, CCIHP seeks to build upon students’ strengths, recommending course work, facilitating internships, and collaborating with other resources on campus.

For more information about CCIHP, contact J. Violet Gannon, CCIHP Program Director at jvgannon@uchicago.edu.

Comments, suggestions or questions about careers in the health professions? Post them here.