Popular alternative medical careers for physicians

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When I speak with physicians who are interested in pursuing alternative physician careers, several career options seem to come up over and over. These popular alternative medical career choices may be attractive to you as well.
  • Medical writing. You can often work from home and have a very flexible schedule. You can apply your creativity to write for a broad audience and you'll never get bored if you're writing about many different therapeutic areas.
  • Medical consulting. If you enjoy spending time with "clients" and you like to solve problems (whether they are clinical cases or business challenges), then you may really enjoy a career in consulting. It will truly be an alternative career because you may be spending a significant amount of time traveling.
  • Medical chart review. If you like the administrative aspect of medical management, then you could work for a managed care organization or for companies that help improve compliance, quality, and reimbursement.
  • Medical education. If you like to teach, you can tutor. If you like to learn, then you can work in the professional medical education industry.
  • Medical research. Even if you don't have an MD/PhD, you can still pursue an alternative physician career in medical research. Find a local contract research organization (CRO).
  • Medical Science Liaison (MSL). As an MSL for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company, you'll have many opportunities to travel and interact with influential physicians who are on the cutting edge of medical research.
  • Medical sales. Given that you have a solid understanding of the medical sciences, you could be very effective selling all types of medical goods and services.
  • Medical marketing. There are many companies that could use the help of a physician to market their products and services more effectively.
  • Medical informatics. The world of health IT continues to grow at a rapid pace. Do you love technology? Perhaps you'd enjoy a career in informatics. 
  • Medical start-up companies. Venture capital firms may be looking for physicians who have solid business skills. Maybe you have an MD/MBA and you'd like to pursue a career where you can work with medical start-up companies. 
  • Medical device companies.  Whether you're interested in making pacemakers, defibrillators, or insulin pumps, there are opportunities for you to apply your medical expertise to improve and develop new medical devices.
  • Medical entrepreneurship.  Do you have a creative idea? Have you dreamed of starting your own company? Maybe you got bit by the entrepreneurship bug and you're eager to take some risks.
  • Medical management. Perhaps you want to manage other physicians but you don't want to treat individual patients anymore. The world of medical management or administrative medicine could be right for you.
  • Medical law. Do you have a JD? Maybe you could defend your colleagues in the world of medicolegal medicine.
  • Medical recruitment. Maybe you'd like to get involved in the recruiting industry. Do you want to become a head hunter?
  • Medical blogging. Yes, blogging can be a viable alternative career if you're a talented writer.
This list could go on, but I'll stop here since I think you get the idea.  Physicians have many opportunities to pursue alternative career options in different medical industries. How do you get started? Start by finding a career coach who can walk you through the necessary steps.

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