Monday, August 10, 2009

Medical specialties to avoid direct patient care?

Some physicians (or medical students) discover (or decide) that they wish to avoid direct patient care. You may wonder, "why did you go to medical school?" Well, there could be a variety of reasons why people choose to pursue a career in medicine. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to enjoy direct patient care.

If you're a medical student and you discover that you really don't wish to have a career that involves direct patient care, then you're often told to consider some "classic" examples such as:
  • Radiology
  • Pathology
  • Preventive medicine/public health
or, you may decide to:
  • Pursue a non-clinical career
So, what's the right answer for you if you wish to avoid direct patient care? Do you think that you'd be satisfied as a radiologist or a pathologist? How about working in public health or preventive medicine? Health policy? Health IT? Become a physician executive? Medical management? How about medical research? Medical writing? Healthcare consulting?

I often get approached by medical students who decide they don't wish to pursue clinical medicine that involves any level of direct patient care. What are their options? Where do they start? I hope that this site may be a useful resource for those who find themselves struggling with such career decisions.

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