Recently, I've been speaking to several disabled physicians. I've been reminding them that they may be able to work a non-clinical job and still collect disability. This ultimately depends on the type of disability insurance you have. Some disabled physicians stop looking for any type of work because they think they may not be able to collect their disability if they start working in any capacity. You have to check your policy to determine what type of insurance you carry.
If you're disabled but you'd still like to contribute to the medical community, there are many things you could potentially do. Computing technology continues to improve and modern computers are now very easy to use for many disabled individuals. Voice recognition software has gotten very sophisticated (did you know that Microsoft Vista has voice recognition built into the operating system?). There are many different types of keyboards and mice. Some prefer pen-based input and they are using Tablet PCs to do their work. Others are simply dictating and having their words transcribed.
Non-clinical job opportunities for disabled physicians obviously depend on your type of disability. Consider a few of these options:
- Medical writing and communications (maybe even some form of journalism)
- Professional and consumer health education
- Medical consulting on the phone and on the Internet
- Teaching and tutoring (there are many medical students who could use some help)
- Project management
- Clinical research
- Case reviews for insurance companies
- Venture capital and market research
- Health information technology
- Recruiting other healthcare professionals (most of this is done by phone and e-mail)