University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

For HDFCCC Employees

A variety of career development opportunities exist for UCSF and HDFCCC Employees. If you are interested in going back to school to further your career, the Bay Area offers many healthcare professional programs. See below for common healthcare careers, local programs, and funding opportunities.


  • Office of Education and Training Research and Clinical Staff Career Development Series
    • Healthcare professional career paths - Check Cancer Center’s events page for upcoming program dates. Recordings of past events are available here
    • Clinical research career paths –These brown bag lunches will feature speakers on possible research career paths on campus. Check Cancer Center’s event page for upcoming dates.
    • Tip sheets – Periodically OET releases information sheets on topics around professional development. You can find them here.
       
  • Professional Associations

 

Common healthcare professions and where to find training

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) & Paramedic

EMTs and Paramedics learn the essential skills to help in life-threatening situations and their education is the foundation for all other levels of provider.

Local Programs:

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Associate degree registered nurse (RN)

Associate programs are a step between a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree, they provide a quick, inexpensive path to entering the nursing workforce.

Local Programs:

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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

A higher educational credential than the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). A bachelor’s degree in nursing program generally takes four years to complete.

Local Programs:

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Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)

MSN programs typically require a 2-3 year commitment and are the 1st step to specializing in a particular health care area, including becoming a nurse practitioner. Most programs require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, though there are a few RN-to-MSN bridge programs.

Local Programs:

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Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP)

The highest level of education available in the nursing field. Most programs require a master’s degree in nursing to apply, although some will accept students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. DNP emphasize areas in nursing leadership. Other similar degrees are the PhD, Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) and Nurse Doctorate (ND).

Local Programs:

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Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Advanced practice nursing professionals (APRNs) who occupy a space between physicians and staff nurses. They assess patients, perform basic diagnostic testing and initiate treatment plans. NPs hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). They choose among specialties in women’s health, pediatrics, gerontology, family health, psychiatry, oncology or adult health.

Local Programs:

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Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nursing professional who has trained extensively in a specialty practice area. These specialty areas are based on specific patient populations, treatment modalities, or diagnoses. 

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Physician Assistant (PA)

PAs assist licensed physicians with the examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients in all kinds of healthcare settings. They are licensed to perform a broad spectrum of medical services that have been traditionally performed only by doctors. The only thing they are not trained not do are procedures that are extremely intricate and complex.

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Medical Doctor (MD)

MDs practice allopathic medicine focused on the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Allopathic medicine is a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.

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Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

DOs practice osteopathic medicine, which is centered on a more holistic view of medicine in which the focus is on seeing the patient as a “whole person” to reach a diagnosis, rather than treating the symptoms alone. The belief is that all parts of the body work together and influence each other.  Osteopathic medicine also places emphasis on the prevention of disease.  In medical school, there is specific training on osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), a hands-on approach to diagnosis and treatment as well as disease prevention.

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Genetic Counselor

Genetic Counselors are healthcare professional who have received graduate education and training in medical genetics and counseling. Genetic counselors inform and advise individuals and families on their risk for inheriting certain diseases and the treatment options available. They are also responsible for interpreting and analyzing the results of genetic testing.

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Oncology Dietitian/Nutritionist

Dietitians and nutritionists evaluate the health of their clients, then, based on their findings, they advise clients on which foods to eat. Both are experts in food and diet, and both are considered to be healthcare professions. Oncology dietitians specialize in helping patients with cancer adjust their nutritional intake to optimize health and minimize side effects caused by cancer and cancer treatments.

Local Programs:

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Masters of Public Health (MPH)

Interdisciplinary professional degrees that focus on public health practice, as opposed to research or teaching.

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Medical Social Worker

Medical social workers specialize in public health, geriatric, palliative, and inpatient medical or mental health care. They work in hospitals or other specialized medical settings like nursing homes, rehabilitative care centers, or related home-care services (i.e. hospice). They are primarily involved in preparing patients for life after leaving a residential setting and providing support to clients and family members in the forms of discharge planning, psychosocial counseling, grief counseling, case management, and referrals.

Local Programs:

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Healthcare Administration

Health care administrators, also known as health services managers and health care managers, direct the operation of hospitals, health systems and other types of organizations. They have responsibility for facilities, services, programs, staff, budgets, relations with other organizations and other management functions, depending on the type and size of the organization.

Local Programs:

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Echocardiography Technician

Echo technicians are ultrasound technicians who have specialized in using echocardiogram technology to produce images of patient's hearts. This field requires an associate's degree in medical sonography, and further specialization within the field is possible. Echo techs work with patients, technology, other medical staff, and may have other responsibilities like record keeping.

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Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists are the medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments. They are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and basic patient care. They may specialize in a specific imaging technique.

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Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists are members of operating room teams, which include the surgeon(s), anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. Before an operation, they help prepare the operating room, assemble the sterile equipment, assist the surgeon with putting on his/her gown and gloves, and assisting the surgeon in placing the sterile drapes on the patient to create the sterile field. During the surgical procedure, they are responsible for anticipating the needs of the surgeon by passing instruments and providing needed supplies, performing counts of the instruments and sharps, and ensuring there are no breaks in sterile technique in order to prevent the patient from acquiring a surgical site infection.

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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The nuclear medicine technologist is a highly specialized health care professional who looks at how the body functions in order to help in diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions and diseases. Nuclear medicine combines imaging, patient care, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology, and medicine. Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and administer small amounts of radioactive substances called radiopharmaceuticals, as well as other medications, to patients for diagnosis and treatments.

Local Programs:

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Colleges that offer pre-requisite for healthcare programs

Pre-requisite and degree funding opportunities