Physician burnout has been at an all-time high since the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has existed before then. Burnout comes from extreme and prolonged stress, usually related to jobs but can stem from other areas of life as well. It’s not surprising that physicians become burned out because many work 12-hour shifts (at least) and have unpredictable schedules, including working weekends and holidays. Of course, many physicians don’t mind this schedule, and some physicians do work the typical 9-to-5 schedule.
Still, if you’re looking for something different, here are eight alternative medical-related careers to consider.
Medical writing and editing can give you the most flexibility if that’s what you’re looking for in your medical career. These days, most writing jobs are performed remotely, meaning that your workplace can be wherever you want it to be, and you may even get to create your own schedule. You’ll be conducting online research and writing content for:
- Peer-review articles
- Test prep materials
You don’t have to have a formal education in writing, but you may have to possess knowledge of certain formatting styles.
#2: Virtual Medicine/Telehealth
Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is another remote career option, and it allows you to continue seeing your patients. This also existed before the pandemic but became even more popular during COVID-19. You have the option to provide virtual healthcare for your patients full-time, or you can incorporate telemedicine into your traditional practice, offering online consultations once or twice a week.
#3: Travel Medicine (Locum Tenens)
If you enjoy traveling, then consider looking into a locum tenens position. This means that you can fill in for other physicians temporarily, and this can be right in your hometown or all across the world. While this isn’t a typical 9-to-5 position, it can be more exciting than working long hours in a hospital. However, you should keep in mind that you must keep up with your credentials and licensing necessary for wherever you’re practicing.
Research is a huge part of medicine, and all medical professionals partake in research at some point in their careers. It is, however, possible to focus your entire medical career on research. Areas of research that you can focus on include:
- Allergy and Immunology
- Cancer research
- Internal medicine (i.e., cardiology, endocrinology, nephrology, etc.)
- Medical genetics
Choosing this path means you’ll spend less time with patients, but you may still be able to consult with them.
#5: Insurance and Corporate Medicine
If you have an interest in business and the corporate world, you can consider working for a health insurance company and lend your medical expertise to the field. One of your job duties would be to help develop guidelines and policies for patient care. You also have the option to work for pharmaceutical companies. If you’re interested in starting your own business, you can open your own private medical practice and give yourself more freedom and flexibility while still performing the main duties of a physician.
Medicine and law are two of the most prestigious career fields in the U.S., and if you’ve had a hard time choosing between the two, there’s a way that you could do both. As a medical malpractice expert, not only can you help defend physicians being sued, but you can also act as an advocate for patients who have been a victim of medical malpractice.
#7: Forensic Medical Examiner
Forensics is a subspecialty of pathology, which is the study of the causes and nature of diseases. Also known as a coroner, a forensic medical examiner studies the tissues, cells, and body fluids of a corpse to determine the cause of death— whether from disease or a violent crime. Keep in mind that switching to this career field may require some additional schooling. However, a background in pathology and Medicus Firm can also help you land a job in a blood bank.
Many physicians turn to teaching medicine as a career change or after they’ve retired from practicing medicine. This is a great way to share your medical expertise with up-and-coming physicians. You can teach part-time at vocational and community colleges, or you can teach at major universities and medical schools if you don’t mind doing research on the side.
You have many career options that allow you to stay in medicine if your current physician position is no longer working for you. You may not even have to change careers— sometimes, you just need a new work environment to reignite your passion.