Medicine and Health Care Professions Merit Badges
Date: November 12, 2021
New Health Care Professions Merit Badge Coming This November, Replaces Medicine Merit Badge
Over the years, new merit badge subjects have been added while others have been retired, depending on societal changes, technology, and the interests of our Scouts. When the Medicine merit badge was first introduced in 1991, it was primarily developed to focus on the “doctor” side of human health care delivery. As the fields of human medicine expanded through specialization, support services, and technology, it became apparent that Scouts were interested in learning about other areas of human health care and medical support. However, because it would have been impossible to develop an individual merit badge for each field of interest in the health care domain, the BSA has decided to create a single merit badge that will encompass a wide variety of health care careers: the Health Care Professions merit badge .
Upon its release this November, the Health Care Professions merit badge will replace the Medicine merit badge, which will then be retired. There will be a new merit badge pamphlet containing support text that describes the roles that a variety of health care professionals play in the delivery of health care, the settings where they may work, and any educational and licensing requirements that may be necessary. The style and design of the merit badge patch will not change between the new Health Care Professions merit badge and the former Medicine merit badge.
Through the Health Care Professions merit badge, Scouts will have the opportunity to learn about dozens of health care professions/vocations, including Allopathic and Osteopathic physicians; Podiatrists; Chiropractors; Nurse Practitioners; Psychologists; Optometrists; Audiologists; Physician Assistants; Registered Nurses (and other nurses); Pharmacists; EMTs; Physical Therapists; Dietitians; Speech-Language Pathologists; Medical Technologists; Phlebotomists; as well as many others.
Scouts currently working on the Medicine merit badge will be allowed to continue working on it, but after December 31, 2021, Scouts may not begin working on the superseded Medicine merit badge. Hard copy editions of the Health Care Professions merit badge pamphlet should be available in mid-November.