HDFCCC Staff Resources
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 Programs
Healthcare Professional Career Paths – If you are interested in going back to school for a healthcare professional career, OET offers events and resources for you.
Check the Cancer Center’s events page for upcoming events. Recordings of past events and past tip sheets are available here.
- Research Careers Lunch Speaker Series – These lunch time speakers will introduce you to or give you more information about different areas of clinical research as well as highlighting possible roles and career paths within them. Light refreshments will be served. Check the Cancer Center’s event page for upcoming events. Recordings for past events available here.
American Association for Cancer Research
AACR student membership is free for any post baccalaureate student with an interest in cancer and related biomedical science. They also provide special programming at their annual meeting especially geared towards high school and undergraduate students.
- Society of Clinical Research Associates
- American Association of Medical Assistants
- Association of Clinical Research Professionals
- American Association for Cancer Research
Common healthcare professions and where to find training
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.
- EMT - Certificate Programs - University of San Francisco, City College of San Francisco, Foothill College - Palo Alto, Merritt College (Alameda County)
- EMT - Associate Degree Programs - City College of San Francisco, Napa Valley College, Skyline College (San Bruno)
Associate programs for RNs are a step between a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree, they provide a quick, inexpensive path to entering the nursing workforce.
- City College of San Francisco, College of San Mateo, Merritt College, Oakland, Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, CA, Mission College, Santa Clara
A higher educational credential than the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). A bachelor’s degree in nursing program generally takes four years to complete.
- CA State East Bay, Samuel Merritt University, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, San Jose State University
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.
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 programs emphasize areas in nursing leadership. Other similar degrees are the PhD in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc).
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. Nurse Practitioners (NP) 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.
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.
Physician Assistants 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.
Medical Doctors 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.
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.
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.
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.
A Masters of Public Health is an interdisciplinary professional degrees that focus on public health practice, as opposed to research or teaching.
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.
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.
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.
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences, Richmond, Foothill College, San Jose
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.
Canada College, City College of SF, Foothill College, San Jose, Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences, Richmond
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.
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.
Colleges that offer pre-requisite for healthcare programs
- UC Berkeley Extension – Multiple locations in bay area
- Laney College - Oakland
- City College SF – San Francisco
- SF State University College of Extended Learning - San Francisco
- University of San Francisco
- Skyline – San Bruno
- UCSF School of Medicine WINGS Program
- UCSF Office of the Registrar Reduced Fee Enrollment
- UC Reduced fees for university classes and online education discount
- Free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) - Is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. If you are eligible, you can use these funds at two- year colleges (i.e. community colleges), four-year colleges/universities and at career schools (i.e. technical, vocational or trade schools) to complete prerequisites or towards your degree.
- AFSCME – This union that represents medical assistants offers scholarships to use toward higher education
- AFSCME Free College – The medical assistant union offers free degree programs for members on several fields including business management, accounting, patient home navigator certificate and more.
- UC Berkeley Extension Scholarships
- Peralta Colleges Foundation Scholarships – The Peralta Colleges are Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College.
- UCSF Financial Aid
- UC Davis Financial Aid
- Cal State East Bay Scholarships – Cal State East Bay offers several scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, some can be used for their health care programs.
- San Francisco State University Scholarships –They offer several pre-health professions and health care professional programs
- Samuel Merritt University Scholarships
- University of San Francisco Grants and Scholarships
- San Jose State University Financial Aid
- UC Berkeley Financial Aid
- Stanford Financial Aid
- Cal State University Stanislaus Financial Aid
- Touro University Financial Aid
- College financial aid offices – All colleges have a financial aid office with trained professionals who can answer your questions.