It can hardly be overemphasized how many rewarding careers exist beneath the health care professions umbrella! Even within the medical doctor category, there are allopathic physicians (MD's), osteopathic physicians (DO's), podiatric physicians (DPM's) and naturopathic physicians (ND's). As a pre-health career student, your goal should be to find the career most suited to your interests, skills and lifestyle desires, whether that be as a medical doctor or in a profession a bit further down from the tip of the health career pyramid. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners often do about the same daily work as family practice physicians but with more reasonable hours! As you move through your freshman science courses at SCU you will begin to get a sense of whether you are sufficiently academically gifted to attain medical school admission or whether you should set your sights differently. Compassionate professionals are needed at all levels within the health care arena. Perhaps dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, public health or health administration will turn out to be your area of interest and capability. Additional possibilities include acupuncture/oriental medicine, allied health professions, anesthesiologist assistant, audiology, genetic counseling, health admin and nutrition. Try to keep a very open mind about the choice of a career! Thorough Web research is an important part of your self-education. Santa Clara University's Career Center also offers a great deal of information about careers in health care. Another excellent web resource is explorehealthcareers.org.