The pressure to stay with medicine – after all that schooling and test-taking, not to mention that look in Mom and Dad’s eyes – can be tremendous. Would any sane person walk away from a lucrative career after all those years, not to mention accumulated debt, building up to it?
The answer is, yes. And for plenty of good reasons.
There are myriad job opportunities for doctors that do not involve clinical work. It just takes some digging, some networking, and some creative thinking.
“While I’ve ventured away from traditional clinical medicine, I’m still a doctor, and still very interested in identifying creative ways of caring for people that are aligned with my values and my unique gifts,” says Dr. Bob Uslander, a 20-year emergency physician and founder of Doctors On Purpose. “For example, right now I make house calls to seniors, and I’m working as a consultant and advisor for a company developing a web-based product to assist people in their recovery after major surgery.”
What other jobs exist for doctors?
Dr. Uslander branched out into other aspects of medicine after reaching a burnout with his everyday work. “Ten years into my career I found myself working in a small town ER, feeling lost about my direction and getting more disillusioned and uninspired by the day,” he recalls. “Going to work each day was becoming more and more challenging for me.”
But two things served as a catalyst to get him rethinking what he wanted to be doing with his life: the death of a dear friend from cancer at 32, and a sort of “epiphany” that he could plot his own destiny – that the power to change his life was in his hands already.
So he began Doctors On Purpose, a physician coaching service that helps other MDs reconnect with the reasons they went into medicine and wanted to become a doctor in the first place.
“I coach and mentor doctors and other professionals to provide them with my expertise, inspiration, guidance and support. It’s been the most gratifying work of my career, and I’m finding that a physician re-inspired is a powerful force.”
What are other jobs for doctors who are considering leaving clinical work? Dr. Uslander offers this list of career options:
1. Own a franchise
2. Become a coach or consultant
3. Become a medical director or CMO for a biotech, health technology or pharmaceutical company
4. Own Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (RCFE)
5. Disability reviews
6. Real estate
9. Working with VC firms, investment companies
And Dr. Joseph Kim – a popular medical blogger who owns and operates NonClinicalJobs.com and also writes for the Physician Executive Journal, the official publication for the American College of Physician Executive – offers a regularly updated listing of nonclinical positions.
Read more on nonclinical physician careers:
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