Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Health and Medical Sciences Pathways

Examples of Health and Medical Pathways classes at Skills Center and Franklin HS

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Are you empathetic, compassionate and enjoy helping patients? 
  • Do you enjoy working with others? 
  • Do you enjoy chemistry, biology, and anatomy? 

What is the Health and Medical Sciences Pathway?

Student in scrubs looking at beaker

Health and Medical Sciences is an engaging pathway for students interested in healthcare careers. From exploring the fundamentals of biology and anatomy to hands-on experiences in medical procedures and safety practices, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the field. Internships and job-shadowing opportunities introduce them to various healthcare professions, emphasizing communication skills and teamwork. This pathway serves as a stepping stone for further education or immediate entry into the workforce, laying a robust foundation for a rewarding career in healthcare, whether as a nurse, medical technician, or another vital healthcare professional. 

What sort of work would I do?

Professionals in health, medicine, and public health play vital roles in promoting community well-being. Medical practitioners diagnose and treat patients, allied health professionals provide specialized care, and public health officials work on disease prevention and health policies. Researchers contribute to medical advancements, while administrators ensure the efficient operation of healthcare facilities. Together, they collaborate to address health challenges and contribute to the overall welfare of individuals and communities. 

Leads to these Careers

  • Athletic Trainer 
  • Biological Technician 
  • Community Health Worker 
  • Dental Assistant 
  • Exercise Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor 
  • Health Education Specialists 
  • Healthcare support Workers 
  • Medical and Health Services Managers 
  • Medical Assistants 
  • Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants 
  • Nurse Practitioners 
  • Pharmacy Technicians 
  • Physical Therapist Assistants 

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education RequiredCareer TitleAverage Annual SalaryJob Outlook in WA State (2020-2030)
Typical Education Required Career Title Average Annual Salary Job Outlook in WA State (2020-2030) 
High School Exercise Trainer $63,044 36% increase 
Associate’s Degree (or Certificate) Dental Assistant $55,087 33% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Community Health Worker $51,804 27% increase 
Master’s Degree Nurse Practitioner $130,840 51% increase 
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for updated career trends

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

This course focuses on applications of molecular biology and common molecular laboratory techniques to current topics in medicine and biomedical research. Specific topics for this course include laboratory techniques, molecular biology, genetic engineering, infectious diseases, genetic testing, and exploration of cancer biology.   

Course numbers: HCT3140, HSCT3141 

In this course students use research to determine factors relating to medicine, body systems, and health conditions. Students investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that could prolong a person’s life. Key biological concepts include homeostasis, metabolism, inheritance of traits, feedback systems, and diseases.

Course numbers: HCT3136, HCT3137  

This course focuses on the application of biological sciences, biochemistry, and genetics to health care. Includes instruction in bioinformatics, gene identification, biochemistry, DNA sequencing, genetic engineering, industrial microbiology, drug and biologic developments, patent law, biotechnology management, marketing, and ethics.    

Course numbers: CSC6059, CSC6060

This course includes a focus on processes that transform matter, energy, and information at multiple scales. Each unit is grounded in a phenomenon that students work to explain using the evidence they collect throughout the unit. Students will carry out investigations and obtain and evaluate information to gather evidence, they will analyze and interpret that evidence to make sense of what they are learning and will engage in argumentation through discourse both as a lab group and as a whole class to come to consensus about the ideas explored in each lesson.  

Course numbers: CSC7718, CSC7719 

This course incorporates anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and nutrition in the context of sports, exercise, and health. Injury evaluation and prevention as well as rehabilitation skills are learned.   

Course numbers: CSC9657, CSC9658 

Credentials: CPR/AED certification, IB Exam 

The course focuses on the interrelationships of career exploration and foundation skills necessary for a career in the Healthcare field. Topics include History and Trends of Healthcare, Personal and Professional Qualities of a Healthcare Worker, Legal and Ethical Responsibilities, Emergency Care, Infection Control, Medical Math, Wellness and Nutrition, Client Status and Medical Terminology. 

Course numbers: HCT7123 

Credentials: CPR/AED, Blood Borne Pathogen and Stop the Bleed Certifications

Students are introduced to the relationship between structure and function within the body’s 11 basic organ systems, as well as disorders and diseases. The course incorporates an exploration of bioscience medical careers.   

Course numbers: , HCT3138, HSCT3139; CSC138C & SC3139 

Credentials: CPR/AED and Stop the Bleed

In this course, students will be asked to apply their understanding of both microbiology and human physiology as well as social and cultural conditions surrounding equity and access to the health care system in order to understand and explore our community health system.  

Course numbers: HCT8187 

Enter Medical Assisting, a fast-growing medical profession that combines people skills, organization, and compassion in a medical setting! Students practice the language and skills of doctors and other health professionals, using core knowledge that leads to healthcare, medical assisting, and medical office assisting occupations. The program uses National HOSA student leadership projects, modules, computer programs, industry standards, college curriculum, and problem-based activities in school and industry settings. 

Course numbers: WCT5744, WCT5746, WCT5747, WCT5772, WCT5773, WCT 5774, WCT 5775 

Nursing Assistant training is a fast track to post-secondary Health Sciences, and related Nursing Careers! Nursing is considered one of the entry points into the medical profession. In our Skills Center course, Students complete the 11 national health foundation standards, test basic knowledge and skills in their classroom and clinical site, then test for state licensure. 

Course numbers: WCT5780, WCT5781, WCT6782, WCT5783, WCT4631, WCT4632, WCT4633, WCT4634 

This course focuses on optimizing an individual’s wellness and identifying the earliest opportunities to reverse or even prevent disease. This course will focus on building and deepening interdisciplinary skills, systems thinking, and patient-driven advocacy to learn about and explore careers and participation in the health and medical systems in our communities.  

Course numbers: CSC5981, HCT5981, CSC5982, HCT5982 

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Interested in learning more about health and medical careers? SPS students have the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge alongside their peers through HOSA – Future Healthcare Professionals. HOSA hosts competitive events, provides leadership opportunities, and helps students prepare for career and college. Find a chapter at your school here

What training do I need after high school?

Training and education in the health and medical field vary greatly based on students’ career goals. Below are examples of three careers that require three different levels of orientation:

Certificate – Students interested in Medical Assisting or Community Health Worker positions can earn certificates through local community colleges, including Seattle Central College. These positions provide great experience and can serve as a launching point to entrepreneurship or to further training.

Associate’s Degree – Students interested in working in the Dental Assisting field will need to earn a certificate and/or an Associate’s degree in Dental Assisting. Through Seattle Central College’s Health Education Center, students can use Seattle Promise funding to pursue a Associate’s Dental Assisting degree or work towards a Applied Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. S

Bachelor’s Degree – Students interested in a Bachelor’s Degree that leads to an in-demand field may consider careers as Biological Technologists. These positions require a Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a related field. UW and all state schools offer degrees in biology that can lead to a rewarding career on this track, landing students jobs in research labs, biotech companies, and more. Shoreline College partners with Seattle Public Schools to offer dual credit to students who complete BioTech 1 & 2, which can fast track them into their Associate’s Degree program.  

Master’s Degree – For students who are able to pursue postsecondary education past a bachelor’s degree and interested in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner roles are in high demand. UW Nursing offers an excellent program as does Seattle University. While a longer time commitment than the Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree options, students who choose this longer path typically have higher lifetime earnings and greater job security long-term.

Explore the right fit post-secondary pathway for you using the SuperMatch college feature on Naviance

Questions? Contact content area specialist Susan Grant at