Mapping Allied Medical Sciences in Indian Education
Medicine has always been a crucial field, revolving around high levels of expertise. While medical sciences are a highly coveted career option, careers in the allied health sector are a cluster of occupations that allows for collaboration with doctors with a vast list of possible roles.
There are several allied medical sciences to study, and various institutes offer specialized courses for each. While listing them all would be difficult. They are broadly categorized under Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Administration, Medical Treatment and Therapy, and Medical Technology.
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today
- Malcolm X
While pharmacy plays a significant role in medicine, focused on compounding and dispensing medicines, the scope extends to various other functions. Pharmacy technicians work with pharmacists to dispense medication in clinics or larger establishments. While they work in the same environment, their roles are very different from each other. Pharmacy technician roles vary from stocking up on medicine, engaging with customers, organizing the pharmacy, administering and classifying drugs, and general pharmacy management.
Nurses are directly involved in patient care consulting and administering treatment, along with doctors. The nursing staff extends to the allied sector with multiple technicians and professionals. These allied professionals conduct tests and manage reports at the backend to continually watch over the patient's status at any given point of time along with nurses.
Health administrators typically form the managing team of small or large medical establishments. Their primary roles include staffing, setting budgets, determining policies and plans for the establishment, and dealing with public relations. While most health administrators don’t necessarily require a high level of medical skills for their roles, their training covers general medicine with more focus on organizational learning.
Medical Treatment and Therapy
While the medical processes are elaborate, crucial with logical conclusions, allied health professionals manage day-to-day medical care, such as - post-surgery care, rehabilitative treatment, and therapy. Among the main specialities available in the sector are physiotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, respiratory therapy, dialysis therapy, occupational therapy, etc. Applied psychology also forms a considerable margin under this category, including clinical treatment, counselling, and dietetics.
While major hospitals and medical centres have doctors at the forefront, the allied technicians form the facility's real backbone. With different technicians to manage, run, and care for medical equipment required for every procedure, doctors and surgeons can smoothly take on every challenge that comes. Medical technologists or scientists carry out lab procedures like imaging, examinations, biopsies, and other related roles. They mainly serve in areas concerning radiological technology, operation theatres, perfusion, emergency medicine, etc.
In addition to the above categories, allied medical sciences also include prominent specialities like optometry, dental assistants, audiology, emergency medicine, and prosthetics. Allied medical professionals can also choose to foray into fields like social service, education, and training as the demand for these roles is ever-increasing.
It is no secret that recent advancements in technology have gradually changed the general perspective of healthcare. Paramedical professionals and technologists are emerging to be of significant importance leading to an increase in the number of students who opt for careers in this sector. The allied health sector is a more affordable option and has quicker certifications than mainstream medicine. While the pay scale is already good, these professionals can also opt for further education once they discover what truly interests them in the field. With more and more developments taking place by the minute, this sector is only projected to see a significant increase in the foreseeable future.
Are you interested in a career in the allied field of medicine? Find a course for every speciality that catches your eye and begin your journey towards a thriving allied medical professional.