Health Care Careers and Workforce
Who's making what? Trends in health professions' salary since 1987
Although physicians enjoy higher earnings compared to other health professionals, physician pay over the last 15 years has grown less than for pharmacists, physician assistants, dentists and other health professions, according to the authors of a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Nonetheless, new data show that medical school enrollments have hit new highs. "There is widespread acknowledgment that physicians are going to be needed and that it's a good career pathway, even with the changes and challenges that are coming," said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, in an American Medical News article.
Lactation consultant education programs moving into academia
Has your institution considered offering a lactation consultant program? The allied health profession of lactation consulting emerged in 1985; today, more than 25,000 board certified lactation consultants practice in 90 countries. Lactation consultants are essential members of the health care team who help families make informed choices about the best way to feed their babies. They consult with mothers and health care staff about the management of breastfeeding.
Many global initiatives reflect an increased demand for skilled lactation consultant services to mothers and infants. In the United States, the surgeon general issued a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding in 2011, and The Joint Commission has begun measuring breastfeeding outcomes in health care facilities.
The majority of lactation consultants enter the profession with an associate degree or greater. Their backgrounds are mostly in health care—primarily nurses, dietitians, physicians, and midwives—and they are employed in hospitals, public health, physician offices and private practice.
Currently, lactation consultant education is provided predominantly by clinicians through independently operated programs; a small number are affiliated with universities. The profession is committed to standardizing education and moving it into academia, and urges colleges and universities to offer such a program to students.
A lactation consultant program can be at the certificate, associate, bachelor and masters levels. Entering students can be high school graduates as well as health care professionals who seek an add-on credential. Health education courses required by lactation consultants mirror those of other allied health students within the academic community.
Clinical instruction can occur in facilities where colleges already have existing relationships. Community colleges, nursing schools and universities are prime settings for establishing a lactation consultant program.
Learn more about establishing a lactation consultant program in your institution.
Clinical research profession joins CAAHEP umbrella
Clinical trials are conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of drugs, biologics, and medical devices used in medicine and are closely monitored for compliance with federal and international regulations. These protocols are conducted by clinical research professionals under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
At a recent virtual meeting of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the clinical research profession was approved as a member profession of CAAHEP. A committee on accreditation for the new profession is being formed and accreditation standards are being developed.
Health care hiring update: Job growth continues, medical school enrollments rise
Health care hiring was up in October (by 31,000 jobs), but was down versus September, when 43,500 jobs were created, reports HealthLeaders Media. Nonetheless, the October figures represented nearly 20 percent of total job growth for the economy as a whole.
Meanwhile, at its recent Interim Meeting, reports American Medical News, the AMA House of Delegates adopted policy to help physicians lead patient-centered medical homes, while addressing a new environment of workforce shortages and increased demand for health services.
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