Alternative Jobs for Doctors

Are you considering alternative jobs for doctors? Our guide looks at the options available to medical doctors who want to use their qualifications to make a career change.

It’s no secret that a career as a doctor is fraught with long hours, high-pressure situations and life-or-death decisions. And, in the wake of the global pandemic, we’re seeing how doctors were pushed beyond their limits. A July 2021 report by the General Medical Council found that 33% of trainee doctors suffered high to very high symptoms of burnout due to their work. This is an increase of almost 10% from previous years.

Consequently, the job market has been greatly affected. A census conducted by three royal colleges found that 52% of consultant physician positions in England and Wales went unfilled in 2021. We’re witnessing a shift in the chosen career paths of qualified doctors.

Luckily, there is no shortage of career change jobs for doctors who are ready to do something different.

Key Skills of Doctors

It takes between four and seven years to become a medical doctor in the UK. Over this time, doctors acquire an abundance of key skills which allow them to excel in their jobs, such as:

  • Ability to work under pressure over long hours
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Effective decision-making
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Fast learners

However, these skills are transferable and can easily be applied to a whole host of alternative careers. The key is to know how to emphasise them when searching for jobs for former doctors.

Alternative Jobs for Doctors

For those medical doctors who are ready to switch things up while still utilising their degree, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best alternative careers for doctors.

Aesthetic Medicine

The majority of aesthetic work is done in the private sector. This means you’ll have a lot more freedom and autonomy when compared to the public sector. Remuneration is high with some aesthetic doctors earning up to £15,000 per month depending on training and experience. Some retraining will be necessary with courses available in colleges and training academies across the UK, such as the British College of Aesthetic Medicine.

Armed Forces Doctor

If you’d prefer to up the ante and become a doctor for the British Army, you could apply for the Army Medical Services. You’ll receive all the extra training you need for the role. Your job will involve treating casualties on the front line and caring for soldiers in the barracks. On top of your degree, you must also have full registration with the UK General Medical Council (GMC). Of course, this position is not for the faint-hearted so be sure to weigh up all your options in advance.

Forensic Pathologist

If you’re willing to take on the extra 5 or 6-year specialist training programme to become a Forensic Pathologist, you could open up a whole new world of possibilities. As a forensic pathologist, you’ll specialise in performing post-mortems for medical and legal purposes. The aim is to understand the patient’s cause and manner of death. The job can be demanding with mostly on-call hours, however, the salary is high at around £100,000 per year.

Medical Writer

For those doctors who’d prefer to have a complete change of scenery, then a career in medical writing could be the right choice for you. The majority of medical writers work in medical communications agencies that provide consultancy services to the pharmaceutical industry. You’ll use your excellent written communication skills to write technical, informative, educational, or promotional medical content.

Finding Career Change Jobs for Doctors

These are just a few of the many possible alternative jobs for doctors. For more ideas, be sure to check our Refreshing a Career’s live jobs board for the latest career change jobs for doctors near you. Our help and advice section has the answers to all your questions about changing careers.

Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help. For all the latest from Refreshing a Career, sign up for our newsletter using the form below.

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