The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use our anonymous form, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I'm interested in learning more about the evolving career field of performing arts medicine. I'm heavily involved with music (violin), and for a long time have been seriously considering entering college as a performance major. But the thought of being some sort of doctor has always appealed to me. Since I myself have suffered from many music-related injuries, I am interested in educating and diagnosing other musicians so that an inury does not interfere with their studies or career.

As far as I know, there are no colleges or universities that have a performing arts medicine program. Would my best bet be to enter a physical therapy program? Would it be wise to do some undergraduate work in violin performance before I set path on this new field?

Any other information that could help me would be valuable! Thanks

Molly J

Dear Molly:

You are right that musicians are vulnerable to medical problems specific to their specialties. For example, pianists have trouble with wrists, and singers with throats and posture. While most music schools refer their students to physicians who are especially interested in treating performing artists, I don't know of any medical school that has special training in performing arts medicine.

Here's what Jack Hornor, who is on the Board of the New England Conservatory, and at 75, still has an active singing career, suggests for you: "Any training that helps you understand the muscle structure of the body, breathing techniques and preventative medicine is important so you can help an trumpet or oboe player prevent a heart attack or a violinist avoid shoulder pain or arthitis of the fingers. You could do this by becoming a physical therapist, medical doctor or an osteopath, since osteopaths study muscles and all the other things that M.D.'s do."

So, Molly, the choice between physical therapy and medical/osteopathy school is solved by deciding how much time and money you want to invest in training.

The Career Doctor


The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.


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