• Prasanthi Naidoo

Five surprising roles in healthcare

If you want to work in the healthcare profession, then you have to go to medical school, right? Actually, the sector is full of diverse opportunities for people of a wide range of education levels and fields of study.

There are many more roles in healthcare than just doctors, nurses, and dentists. It takes communicators, organizers, coders, and more to keep the medical world healthy. Here are just a few examples of careers you might not immediately think of when you picture working in healthcare.

Jobs for English majors

English majors have communications, research, and writing skills. They often find great opportunities in the healthcare sector as medical writers, editors for medical journals, or in the communications department of hospitals or healthcare centres.

Marketing is also an important and often overlooked arm of the healthcare sector. The importance of maintaining a digital presence is as vital in this field as in any other. This has created opportunities in roles such as content and digital marketing, as well as in social media and graphic design.

Human resources roles

Canada currently has all-time low unemployment, and in certain high demand sectors we are experiencing acute labour shortages. The red-hot healthcare sector is one of those fields where organizations are struggling to find the skilled workers they need. This has resulted in an increased focus on the healthcare recruiter.

Human resources departments of healthcare institutions are also expanding as organizations compete to attract, retain, and manage staff. Hospitals, care centres, and other healthcare facilities can be very large employers managing workers from janitorial to surgical, administrators to therapists. This has led to the rise in import of human resources management roles.

Information technology

The role of IT professional in healthcare continues to evolve. The digitization of communications and medical records (transitioning paper forms to web forms) has created a rapidly increasing need for cybersecurity professionals.

Developing trends in tech use in the health sector - such as wearables and EHRs (electronic health records) are also creating a growing focus on leveraging data efficiently and responsibly to deliver effective patient care.

The convergence of the technology and healthcare sectors will continue to be a growth area for opportunities for the foreseeable future.


Administrative assistants play a vital role in healthcare. They are often the public's first contact with the medical world. Among other things, they make appointments, greet patients, collect and file medical records, and make sure that lab results are properly transmitted. Medical admins help their organizations run smoothly and with as little stress as possible for their patients - who are often in physical or emotional distress.

Nutritionist / dietitian

Dietitians help people improve their health through proper nutrition. This means creating customized food and nutrition programs for people of various ages and levels of health, overseeing meal preparation, and providing appropriate nutrition therapy both privately and in a hospital or other institutional setting.

With an aging population, and a greater focus on holistic health and preventative medicine, the demand for nutritionists is at an all-time high.

Not all the heroes that keep us healthy wear a stethoscope. If you have a passion for helping other people, but didn't go to med school, there are still plenty of opportunities to make a meaningful contribution in the healthcare field.


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