Online Medical School
At first glance, online medical school may seem like an impossible concept. Many reputable institutions are beginning to recognize the value of offering medical curriculums in a virtual setting. The classes offer maximum flexibility and prepare students to enter the thriving healthcare industry with considerably less debt than their predecessors.
Online medical instruction opens a world of opportunity to individuals looking for career advancement. Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts rapid growth within the healthcare industry until the year 2020. Demand for healthcare professionals continues to increase as the population ages.
Students attending online medical programs use the Internet to access classes and seminars. Depending on the curriculum, schools use various combinations of previously recorded materials and live streaming video. Class instructors’ record and archive lectures for convenient student retrieval. Instructors receive assignments and exam materials via email and / or webcam interviews.
Flexibility is one benefit of attending an online medical program. Working adults no longer have the added stress of adjusting their schedules to accommodate traditional class times. Archived materials allow students to attend lectures at their leisure - whether it is 5:00 A.M. or 11:30 P.M - from any location with a reliable Internet connection. Courses also benefit aspiring students who live far from traditional campuses. Virtual learning brings school to the front door.
Internet-based training also has less sticker shock. An August 2012 article in the American Medical News (AMN) found that medical students continue to leave school with tremendous debt. It costs big money to retain instructors and students take the hit on their next tuition bill. Online learning removes additional expenses like the physical classroom and multiple class times to provide more affordable instruction.
There are two career paths available to online medical students. Aspiring medical physicians can take one or two years of virtual classes. State laws require that remaining clinical hours and laboratory work be completed in a monitored setting. People interested in behind-the-scenes responsibilities follow another path.
Complete online degree programs are available for students interested in non-clinical positions. A number of schools currently offer Masters Degree programs in public health and health administration. On another note, Internet-based nursing degree programs benefit individuals who are currently working with patients within the healthcare industry.
Information provided by the BLS indicates career advancement is almost impossible without some form of post-secondary education. Some administrative and patient care jobs are available to those with a high school diploma, but people only hold management positions with bachelors and master’s degrees. On average, employees with post-secondary degrees receive higher pay than those with high school diplomas.
Many people may not be familiar with the concept but virtual medical courses are becoming increasingly popular. Distance, cost or personal schedules prohibit many from attending traditional instruction. Aspiring students should check with state and city licensing agencies to ensure their program meets healthcare employment guidelines. Online medical school may be the solution for people seeking a rewarding career.
- A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
Doctor of Health Sciences (D.H.Sc.)
- Drexel University
Post-Master's Certificate in Medical Family Therapy