Most physicians who choose a career in medicine do so to enter the world of patient care. Some however, expand their horizons and steer off the path of clinical practice altogether in pursuit of alternative careers. While making the move from direct patient care to nonclinical work might have been frowned upon a few decades down the road, but that’s not the case anymore. There are tons of lucrative and gratifying nonclinical work available within the health care realm, both on a part-time and full-time basis, where you can utilize your skills and experience in a nonclinical role. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why physicians choose to explore nonclinical work, such as a desire to seek new challenges, a realization that full-time patient care isn’t their cup of tea, to alleviate the stresses of making diagnoses and performing life-saving procedures, or even to enjoy more flexibility in work and a better work-life balance.
So, if you are ready for a change of pace and new challenges, here are 5 top-rated non-clinical jobs:
1. Drug Safety Physician
Do you possess a strong grasp of the pathophysiology and epidemiology of diseases as well as the safety profile of current therapies? Do you have the detective streak? As a drug safety physician, you will be in charge of ensuring drug safety by overseeing and assessing clinical studies on medications that are either in development or already on the market, as well as evaluating patient responses to the drug, identifying patterns with side effects and any adverse reactions. You will be responsible for deciding whether or not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should release a particular product to the public.
2. Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO)
Are you intrigued by the role technology plays in health care? Do you wish find technological solutions to improve the quality and safety of patient care? Then a career in medical informatics is your cup of tea. CMIOs work as liaison between IT, medical, and executive departments at health care organizations. As a CMIO, you will be charged with designing and integrating IT systems in medical departments, implementing cutting-edge technology such as electronic health record (EHR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, increasing efficiency in daily operating procedures, and training physicians, nurses, and administrative staff on the use of advanced software.
Does the idea of drawing on your medical knowledge and a detective’s passion for mystery to put together the picture of an illness, excite you? Why not pursue a career in pathology? Pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions by examining body tissues and fluids. They use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology to identify and interpret changes in the structure and function of cells, tissues, and organs, and even perform autopsies to determine the cause of death. As a pathologist, you may work in hospitals, clinics, research institutions, and government agencies.
4. Health Service Researchers
Are you someone who loves solving major problems in the health care system and developing solutions which are evidence-based and supported by data and science? You might want to pursue a career as a health service researcher. As a health service researcher, you will be responsible for the delivery, organization, financing, and outcomes of healthcare services, and conducting research to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of healthcare delivery systems. You will get a chance to work in a variety of work environments, including universities, research institutions, government agencies, and healthcare organizations, analyzing healthcare data to identify patterns and trends in health outcomes, assessing the impact of healthcare policies and regulations, and liaising with healthcare providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes.
5. Medical Writer
Do you have a flair for writing but a degree in medicine? What if there was a way to fuse your passion with your skills? Most physicians do not realize that they can help patients beyond the brick-and-mortar clinical setting, especially leveraging the power of words to increase their impact. As a medical writer you can find career opportunities with individuals and companies seeking medical consulting and writing services. For instance, the pharmaceutical/biotechnology Industry is often on the lookout for medical writers who can document clinical trial publications, clinical trial protocols, study reports, consumer medicine/device information and product marketing. Similarly, you can work with healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, health insurance companies, and not-for-profit and private practices, to write educational content, health promotional content, conference abstracts and presentations, patient stories, and grants.