Undeniably, becoming a doctor is an attractive career path, but unfortunately, medical school is not exactly cheap, which is why many people find themselves unable to enroll in it.

Some choose to pursue a degree in nursing instead as the costs are not that much compared to medical school. Although, this course is still as demanding as other medical courses and requires the same hard work to pass the standardized exam like the NCLEX. Luckily, there are NCLEX prep books made available to help aspiring nurses ace the exam.

If you cannot afford medical school or are unready to drown in debt to become a doctor, you might think that you’ve hit a dead end. However, this does not mean that you should give up your dream, as you can still find an equally fulfilling, albeit less expensive, career in the healthcare field. 

So, if you still want to help the sick without burning a hole in your pocket, check the next alternative career options.

Become a Medical Assistant

Now perceived as one of the fastest-growing career options in healthcare, medical assisting is justifiably attracting thousands of people every year. As a medical assistant, you are supposed to handle administrative tasks, such as answering queries on the phone and scheduling appointments.

To become one, you need to get a special diploma or certificate. Nonetheless, don’t let that intimidate you because getting one is fairly easy. All you have to do is finish a program that takes anywhere from ten months to two years. After successfully finishing the program and getting your diploma or certificate, you need to undergo at least ten hours of training to actually start working.

Yet, if you are looking for a hands-on job, then medical assisting might not be for you, as the responsibilities of medical assistants are a bit limited. In some states, they are not allowed to even give injections.

Become an LPN

LPNs, licensed practical nurses, have an array of responsibilities. As an LPN, you will be working under the supervision of an RN, registered nurse. An LPN’s responsibility includes administering medications and taking vitals. They are also required to inform RNs of any sudden changes in the patients’ condition.

Fortunately, the educational requirements needed to become an LPN are not hard to meet. According to the information you can find when you visit sites that guide you through MED assisting, you need to finish high school and a nursing program that takes about a year if you want to become an LPN; on the other hand, you can also opt for an associate’s degree program, which is more accredited in an employer’s eyes than certified courses.

To start working, you also have to pass the NCLEX-PN exam to get your license. Luckily, if you are already a medical assistant and want to take your career up a notch, you can become an LPN to enjoy a higher salary and handle more practical responsibilities.

Become a Surgical Technologist

What Are My Options if I Can't Afford Medical School, But Would Like a Career in Health Care?
What Are My Options if I Can’t Afford Medical School, But Would Like a Career in Health Care?

If you have always dreamt about becoming a surgeon, but cannot join a med school, becoming a surgical technology can be an attractive career option. Surgical technologists help disinfect surgery rooms and prep patients for surgery. They also sterilize tools and hand them to surgeons during operations.

If you are thinking about pursuing a career as a surgical technologist, you have to finish a training program or get an optional associate degree. This can take up to two years, but you can earn around $45000 a year, so it is certainly worth the effort!

Become an Ambulance Paramedic

Healthcare does not only entail providing medical care to patients in hospitals or clinics. This is why paramedics are very respected as medical professionals. Paramedics make sure that patients are stable and give them emergency care until a doctor can examine them.

In case you’re interested in becoming a paramedic, you need to get an associate degree in emergency medical technology and become certified. You’ll definitely find it a fulfilling career because you’ll have more direct input and actually help save lives.

Become a Lab or a Radiologist Technician

There are some misconceptions when it comes to doctors; many think that they do not need to consult other professionals. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes, doctors may require urine or blood samples to make an accurate diagnosis. This is where lab technicians come in; they help identify abnormalities in urine and blood samples and aid doctors in identifying illnesses.

If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, you can become a lab technician by finishing a two-year program and getting your associate degree. Similarly, becoming a radiologist technician entails the same educational requirements, but the job involves taking and analyzing x-rays instead of blood or urine samples. 

You should not feel like you have to give up your dream if you cannot afford medical school. There are dozens of other medical careers you can pursue. So, whether you plan to become a medical assistant, an LPN, a surgical technologist, or even an ambulance paramedic, you must know the educational requirements and responsibilities of each job beforehand.

In the end, they are all fulfilling careers if you care about saving people’s lives.