A career in health and medicine is proven to be lucrative. But, as the world moves to traditional and complementary medicine, the demand for alternative medicine professionals is also on the rise. A career in alternative medicine is now a rewarding option with endless opportunities to learn and grow.
Suppose you are into the field of medicine and would like to explore opportunities in any of the alternative medicines. In that case, you should take up a PhD in alternative medicine degree. Let’s see why health and medicine professionals with a master’s degree should obtain a PhD in alternative medicine.
What Is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine is a field of medical practice that focuses on using untested medications, or their efficacy has not been proven yet. Sometimes referred to as complementary or integrative medicine, alternative medicine includes achieving healing effects using non-traditional treatments. Some common examples of alternative medicine include homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy, Ayurveda, Oriental medicine, yoga, etc.
The Emergence of Alternative Medicine
The use of alternative medicine and complementary medicine is increasing globally, with a worldwide market valued at $69.2 billion in 2019. It was expected to reach $296.3 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 19.9%. Simply put, the demand for alternative medicine is anticipated to increase by four times in the next 7 years.
Back in the day, alternative medicine was a concept of the eastern side, mainly China and India. The western side started adopting alternative medicine with North America and the European Union leading the initiative. But now, the spread of alternative medicine has reached Africa and the Middle East. Research conducted by BMJ suggested that the use of alternative, complementary, and traditional medicine is significant in Africa, especially in the Sub-Saharan region.
Several factors have attributed to the rise of alternative medicine in Africa. First, the increasingly adverse effects of orthodox medicine have encouraged people to adopt lesser harmful alternatives. The governments of various countries in Africa have also taken measures to promote the use of alternative medicine.
This increasing adoption of alternative medicine in Africa has also led to the rising demand for alternative medicine professionals and specialists. Several public organizations, NGOs, and private providers are looking for expert professionals. Therefore, if you have an alternative medicine degree, opportunities for you in Africa are substantial.
In-Demand Specializations in Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine is a broad field comprising various traditional and complementary therapies. If you want to make a career in alternative medicine, you’ll need to pick one domain and specialize in it. Nowadays, a lot of colleges and universities offer specializations in alternative medicine, both as in-school as well as online degree programs.
Some of the most in-demand specializations in alternative medicine are:
- Acupuncture: It includes inserting thin needles through the skin at specific points to relieve pain and other conditions.
- Massage Therapy: It involves scientific manipulation of soft tissues and muscles of the body.
- Herbal Medicine: It refers to the study of pharmacognosy and the use of plants and plant-based products for medical therapies.
- Ayurveda: It is a natural medicine system originated in India that includes herbal medicine and lifestyle changes to treat diseases.
- Oriental Medicine: It comprises herbal medicine, massage, acupuncture, and exercise to treat illnesses.
- Homeopathy: It is a medical system that originated in Germany. It includes giving small amounts of medicine to encourage the body to heal itself.
- Yoga: Yoga involves physical, mental, and spiritual practices to treat bodily and mental health issues.
- Naturopathy: It’s a traditional medical practice that focuses on natural, non-invasive healing using folk medicine and vitalism.
For health and medicine postgraduates looking to start a career in alternative medicine, it’s crucial to get a PhD in alternative medicine degree in any of the above-mentioned fields. Once you obtain the degree, you can practice as an alternative medicine professional or build a career in research and development. If you want, you can also pursue further education and specialize in more alternative medicine fields.
The Prevalence of Alternative Medicine in Africa
A WHO survey on alternative, traditional, and complementary medicine concluded that the African region is the second-largest user of alternative medicine, with more than 72% of countries having an alternative medicine policy. This number is second only to South-East Asia (92%).
The WHO, African region, implemented its first regional strategy on alternative medicine between 2001 and 2012. Since then, the use of alternative medicine has been on the rise. The report also demonstrated the high percentage of regulation of herbal medicine in Africa.
Besides, WHO has also recognized the use and benefits of alternative medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 in Africa. According to WHO, Africa has a long history of traditional and complementary medicine. Plants like Artemisia annua can be considered for the treatment of COVID-19 if adequate research facilities and expert alternative medicine professionals are available.
In response, African governments have urged member states to research the safety and efficacy of traditional medicine. Countries have also agreed to carry out relevant research to get alternative therapies approved as per the international standards.
This indicates the need for highly skilled alternative medicine professionals in Africa. The governments of almost all countries in Africa are investing heavily in the development of alternative medicine facilities. Thus, there’s a high demand for specialized alternative medicine professionals.
Career Prospects for PhD Holders in Alternative Medicine
If you pursue accredited alternative medicine degrees online, you will specialize in treating and preventing illnesses through a wide range of complementary and traditional methods. As discussed, these methods include the use of herbs, physical exercises, and other alternative therapies that can be to heal human ailments.
As an alternative career professional, you’ll be responsible for the holistic well-being of humans rather than only treating the symptoms. Through your research works, you’ll get the opportunity to help people get rid of ailments like migraines, arthritis, back pain, cancer, and more.
Alternative medicine professionals can pursue their career in two ways. They can start their own private practice clinic and grow it into a successful healthcare business. This option is more prevalent across the world, and most alternative medicine professionals end up starting their own clinic.
Or, if you want, you can continue studying and obtain more specializations in alternative medicine. Let’s take a quick look at the options for alternative medicine careers.
- Job in Wellness Industry: Based on your specialization and interest, you can choose to work in the wellness industry. You can become a consultant or therapist.
- Research Job: Youcan contribute and become part of some groundbreaking research.
- Jobs at a Hospital: Alternative medicine professionals, especially naturopaths and acupuncturists, are always in high demand. In South Africa, for example, naturopathic doctors with a doctorate have an average base salary of ZAR 474,374 per year. Job opportunities for alternative medicine professionals are also immense in the public and non-profit sectors.
- Teaching Career: With having a doctorate in alternative medicine, you can take up teaching as your career. Scholars with a PhD degree can become lecturers at universities and colleges.
- Study Further: The last option is to continue your education and attain more specializations in alternative medicine. A lot of alternative medicine fields, like naturopathy, massage, and acupuncture, follow the same fundamentals and principles. So, you can specialize in multiple domains and increase your chances of having a successful career in alternative medicine.
You can also enter the domain of research and development and help organizations develop new alternative medicines and therapies.
Options in alternative medicine are endless, but it all starts with obtaining accredited alternative medicine degrees online from a reputed university, like Texila American University (TAU).
PhD in Alternative Medicine at Texila American University
Alternative medicine is a field that requires expertise and real-world skills. Therefore, it’s essential to pick a university that focuses on your overall development – both theoretical and practical.
TAU provides a PhD in Alternative Medicine in an academic partnership with the University of Central Nicaragua. This degree program is 100% online, offered parallel to the regular program. Therefore, in addition to the flexibility of online learning, you’ll get access to advanced research and all other benefits provided to the students of the regular course.
The program duration is 3 years and requires you to have a master’s degree in health, medicine, or related field from a recognized university.
Some salient features of TAU’s PhD in alternative medicine are:
- several specializations to choose from;
- 100% online program, study from anywhere, anytime;
- on-hands experience with access to higher research;
- international exposure and exchange; and
- internationally recognized degree.
Why Choose TAU for PhD in Alternative Medicine?
TAU’s doctoral programs are globally renowned for their teaching methodology, doctorate structure, and practical teaching approach. Here’s why you should choose TAU for PhD in Alternative Medicine.
- BRICS teaching model
- Proven, efficient doctoral structure
- Online program for enhanced flexibility
- Faculty and support by your side
- Study resource, including e-journal and thesis
Get specialized in alternative medicine with a PhD degree from TAU and explore better career opportunities in the relevant sector.