Alternative Medical Careers
Here at Medcruit we know that alternative medical careers and portfolio careers in medicine are vital to keep the medical workforce both engaged and happy with their role within healthcare. Medicine is an extremely varied career and there are plenty of opportunities to pursue other interests. These can be formal career paths or additions to your daily job and many can be experienced while still a medical student. Below we explore some of the option available to doctors and healthcare professionals wishing to diversify their medical careers.
Research and teaching is a large part of the medical community. As a doctor there are opportunities to undertake MSc, PhD or MD projects at medical research departments anywhere in the world. Research can be laboratory based or clinical in nature and consultants with a keen interest in research can become Professors and head university research departments. Important research will often be published in medical journals and presented at international conferences to make breakthroughs and updates known to the wider medical community.
There are also opportunities to become a university lecturer and teach the latest batch of medical students about your chosen subject.
As a medical student it is likely that you will have some exposure to your medical school’s research department and opportunities to become involved with research projects. We’ve had a number of collaborative research projects posted on Medcruit so be sure to set an alert in your member area if academic medicine interests you.
Practising medicine is not just limited to hospitals. Many expeditions to tropical and dangerous locations will require medical support. As a qualified doctor you may undertake Wilderness and Expedition Medicine training in remote environments such as Jungle, Polar, Desert, Altitude or Underwater. Expedition medics are usually part of a team providing medical support to commercial or charity organisations travelling in hostile environments. This would include supporting television crews filming in extreme terrains, mountaineering expeditions or extreme sporting events.
Many doctors have great ideas that could improve patient safety or translate into a commercially viable business plan. The scope for creating a medical business is very broad. You could be the inventor of a new surgical tool, develop a website or create a way to educate patients or peers. Innovation and methods of improving healthcare are well received and there are numerous prizes and events aimed at budding entrepreneurs. There are lots of opportunities for doctors and healthcare professionals to join startups. Options might include interning as a research analyst as a medical student to being a salaried GP at a telemedicine company or even joining an early startup as a co-founder. If you are interested in health startups be sure to check out our friends over at HS. who focus specifically on medical entrepreneurs.
Medical law is a branch of law that deals with the rights of patients and responsibilities of doctors. Having clinical experience together with a degree in law can be extremely useful for those wishing to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister with an interest in medicine. Practising doctors with an interest in law may also be asked to give their medical opinion in injury claim cases or as an expert in court cases.
Political decisions greatly impact how healthcare is provided. In the UK in particular there has been lots of influence exerted on the medical profession by politicians. The British Medical Association (BMA) is the professional medical association and trade union for doctors and medical students in the UK and is designed to stand up for the views of UK doctors.
Doctors involved in these groups are actively involved in standing up for their profession and often meet with healthcare leaders and government ministers together with creating press releases to get their message across. All of these organizations are keen to involve students and often have positions for medical student representatives who feedback the views and issues of the student community.
Improving patient awareness of health problems is an important part of the primary prevention of disease. Patient education enables patients to spot signs and symptoms of illness sooner and helps to remove any stigma of seeking medical attention. Phone-in radio clinics are often held late at night on many local radio stations and experts may be consulted to update the public with any pertinent medical news. News and breakfast shows often have expert panels discussing medical topics and many television shows focusing on medical education have doctors as presenters.
GPs and Orthopaedic Surgeons who specialise in sporting injuries are often attached to a sporting event or sports team as the event or club doctor. This could include being part of the medical team at events such as the Olympics, marathons or horseracing and Formula 1 events or looking after players on match-days in rugby, football or netball.
As a medical student you will have the chance to experience medicine in other countries as part of the elective period near the end of your degree. Your medical school may also run an exchange programme with another university.
While the majority of doctors remain in their home county following graduation there are a number of opportunities to work abroad. Both the US and Canada require all foreign doctors to successfully pass medical licensing examinations prior to applying for work and these are similar to the exams you will sit during medical school. Locum agencies and other recruiters often recruit doctors from outside of their own country to fill jobs.
Be sure to stay tuned to Medcruit for all the latest medical and healthcare projects, jobs, opportunities and alternative healthcare careers.