Tom, shortly into his career as a locum tenens physician, is realizing he’s in the wrong field. It was always his dream to work as a doctor, but lately he’s done some soul searching. He realizes now that he’s working day in and day out, his heart isn’t it. Sheryl, on the other hand, has practiced medicine for many years. She’s exhausted with the strenuous requirements of large health system policies. She’s burnt out from years of delivering patients with bad news – and the emotional drainage you feel when you give so much of yourself to care for other people. Both Tom and Sheryl are looking for alternative jobs for physicians. They’re not quite sure though – do they want to continue practicing in a different environment, or are they done with doctoring all together? If you’re in the same shoes as Tom or Sheryl, this blog is for you!
Six Alternative Jobs for Physicians Related to But Not Practicing Medicine
Here are six physician-related jobs you could choose from!
1. Teach the newbies
Instead of practicing medicine, you could teach the newbies about medicine. There are plenty of part time or full-time teaching positions available at teaching hospitals and universities. Depending on your specialty, you may even be able to coach administrators or health insurance personnel.
2. Do healthcare consulting
As a healthcare consultant, you could give advice on new technology to integrate into a system. You could also (which is popular right now) have input on merger and acquisitions. Healthcare consultants can work for a number of groups from the government to medical device companies.
3. Write or edit for a medical publication
If you have a knack for writing, you could use it to your advantage. There are plenty of healthcare websites and print publications out there that desperately need a physician’s voice. Consider writing or editing copy for medical accuracy.
4. Review medical charts for insurance
You could go corporate. Insurance agencies and pharmaceutical companies are always looking for medical professionals to review charts or help them to develop new policies or guidelines. This would allow you to put your expertise to work and still impact patients in a big way – just not in the way you are accustomed to.
5. Speak at healthcare events
Are you shy? If you’re shy, this isn’t for you. If you’re good at public speaking – and you know what you’re talking about – consider giving presentations at healthcare events. Whether you want to talk about a study you participated in, a rare case you cured, or even something as relatable as patient experience, there are all kinds of needs out there for doctors to speak at events.
Working in forensics would definitely take the right type of person. If you think you’re cut out for it, you could always transition over to work as a pathologist, coroner, or medical examiner. However, this would also require some additional education.
Four Alternative Jobs for Physicians While Still Practicing Medicine
Now, for those of you who are burnt out in your specialty – or with the politics of the hospital – but still want to practice medicine in some from, you have options. Here are four jobs you could consider that are related to medicine but not in a traditional position.
7. Student Health
You could practice medicine on a college campus. There is often a need for an on-campus physician. This would give you more independence from a traditional health system while still allowing you to use your expertise.
8. Correctional Medicine
Similar to working on a college campus – although with obvious differences – practicing at a correctional facility would be an alternative job for you. Since prisons can be privately owned, this could turn out to be a pretty good gig for you, and it would offer you a very unique perspective on patient care.
The great thing about technology today… you don’t have to go to a healthcare facility to take care of patients. Depending on your specialty, you can treat patients over the phone or via video chat. Telemedicine, more and more, is opening the door for physicians to work from home or at least in a less intense setting.
10. Concierge Medicine
Tired of dealing with big medicine? You could always go into business for yourself and offer a concierge medical service. Concierge practices are becoming more and more popular. Patients become members, so to speak, and that membership covers a lot of their preventive care. Then, they only need to deal with insurance companies for the bigger things.
Are you looking to transition your career out of medicine? What are some other alternative jobs for physicians you can think of? Make your suggestions in the comments below!