It’s the OB/GYN who takes a 2 a.m. phone call to answer a first-time mom’s questions about her pregnancy. The psychologist who helps put back the pieces in the aftermath of a domestic violence incident. And the medical researcher who unlocks the next breakthrough in breast cancer treatment. These are just a few examples of how women’s health professionals make a difference in the lives of the patients they serve. From direct patient care to community health education, it’s imperative there’s a healthcare workforce devoted to the specific needs of women.
If helping women through healthcare sounds like a career path you’re interested in, this guide is for you. Continue reading to explore over 20 careers in women’s health where you can have a positive impact, including what the jobs entail, which degrees you need to land them, and how much you can earn. You’ll also hear from our expert panel of women’s health practitioners to get an inside look at what it’s like to work in this field.
I want to work in …
- Women’s General Health
- Reproductive Health & Family Planning
- Women’s Mental Health
- Violence Prevention & Treatment
- Cancer Prevention & Treatment
- Research, Education, & Advocacy
Why Work in Women’s Health?
Keep women safe
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women experience domestic violence, so professionals who specialize in treating them, helping them find a safe place to live, and assisting with the prosecution of offenders go a long way toward keeping women safe.
Improve women’s mental health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that every year, one in five women in the United States experience a mental health condition. Health care workers who treat these women through therapy and medication can give them some much-needed relief.
Keep the community informed about important health issues
Whether there’s an environmental factor increasing diseases among women or a need to educate people about how they can change their behaviors to prevent illness, those who focus on health research and education provide the information that women need to take control of their health.
Improve the health outcomes of women in a community
Women have unique health needs, so those needs should be addressed by professionals with specialized knowledge. By pursuing this field, health care workers are helping to ensure that women have access to the quality care they require.
Ensure women have successful pregnancies
Providing mothers-to-be with the best treatment and education possible during and after pregnancy is one of the high-points of working in women’s health – whether it’s as an OG-BYN, delivery nurse, health educator, or one of many other roles.
20+ Women’s Health Careers Where You Can Make a Difference and a Good Living
People who want to dedicate their careers to women’s health can choose from a variety of career paths, over 20 of which we’ve highlighted below. See which ones interest you the most, learn about degrees and other training requirements, and see how much you can earn and the impact you can make in each profession.
Women’s General Health
Working with expectant parents can be one of the most rewarding types of child healthcare, as it sets the stage for the rest of a child’s healthy development. Healthcare workers in prenatal and perinatal care play a critical role in the health of moms and babies before and after birth. Here’s a look at some of the top careers in this important field.
Family Planning & Women’s Reproductive Health
Family planning and women’s reproductive health provide many opportunities for workers who want to assist patients as they navigate this delicate and important area of their care. The following are descriptions of some of the jobs in this healthcare specialty.
Women’s Mental Health
Whether they work with women who have postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, or addiction disorders, health care workers in the women’s mental health area have the opportunity to help provide comfort to patients who are suffering. The following are some of these positions.
Violence Prevention and Treatment
Professionals working with women who need services as a result of domestic violence services must be both knowledgeable and compassionate in order to be effective. This is a complicated issue and professionals who choose the following careers can be a great asset to the community, providing physical, mental, and emotional help to the women they serve.
Women’s Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Treatment
According to projections by the American Cancer Society, there will be 912,930 women diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2020 and 285,360 women are expected to die of the disease. Given these staggering numbers, people studying to enter a healthcare career may be interested in specializing in helping cancer patients. The following are some jobs that contribute to the fight against cancer.
Public Health & Women’s Advocacy
People don’t have to work directly with patients to have an impact on the women’s health field. Professionals who educate the public about women’s health or advocate on behalf of the issues that arise among these patients also play a central role in improving health outcomes. The following are some of the jobs related to public health and women’s advocacy.
Q&A with 3 Women’s Health Practitioners
Dr. Rajan Grewal is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice and an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry. She focuses on integrative women’s mental health in her practice, Wildflower Psychiatry (wildflowerpsychiatry.com).
Amanda Gorman is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, specializing in primary and urgent pediatric care. An early adopter of health technology for the family, she founded Nest Collaborative in early 2017 to address the growing need for affordable and easy access to reliable health care for families with young children.
Dr. Enchanta Jenkins is a board-certified OB/GYN physician specializing in women’s health and general/medical care. She has over 25 years of medical/health care experience and enjoys helping clients through medical visits or music or books. She can be reached at dr.enchanta on Instagram or Dr.Enchantaj Gyn on Facebook.