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32 Alternate Careers For Doctors Leaving Medicine

32 Alternate Careers For Doctors Leaving Medicine

Medicine is one of the most sought after and difficult professions.

I know you worked like a trojan to get the “Dr. tag” and the right to wear that “white coat.”

But as the time passed, you no more feel the spark. The white coat makes you feel heavy and the doctor’s tag does not entice you anymore. You lumber when on duty and the charm is gone.

You have realised that this is not your true calling and you are just done working in odd hours.

In a report, the president of The Physicians Foundation Walker Ray said, “Many physicians are dissatisfied with the current state of the medical practice environment and they are opting out of traditional patient care roles.”

The same report also suggested that doctors are burned out and demoralized with their medical profession. They either want to opt for early retirement or wish to join a non-medical profession.

On the other hand, the survey of Chandigarh-based Medicos Legal Action Group reported that 62% of the doctors are not satisfied with their profession. 61% of them will never suggest their children enter the profession.

Why More and More Doctors are Quitting Medical Field?

  • They are not satisfied with the compensations paid to them.
  • They find their jobs taxing.
  • They are unable to spare time for themselves.
  • There is no standardization in the rules and regulation.
  • They feel a lack of support from the government.

Alternate Careers For Doctors Leaving Medicine

Since there are countless jobs for doctors outside medicine, I have divided the professions into following main categories:

  1. Physicians
  2. Commerce
  3. Consultant
  4. Research
  5. Social Healthcare
  6. Medical Journalism
  7. Others

As a doctor you develop a bunch of transferable skills that can make you stand out in many other professions, namely:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Self-confidence
  • Ability to serve others
  • Time management
  • Determination
  • Dedication
  • Perseverance
  • Problem Solving
  • Networking
  • Research
  • Organisation Skills
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Decision Making

Those who are leaving medicine for another career can consider following career alternatives.


  • Physician Advisor

Earlier a part-time job, it’s now a full-time gig.  A physician advisor manages and improves the hospital documentation. Also, s/he keeps a check on quality and safety regulations of the hospital.

Physician Advisors are, generally, appointed from within the hospital staff.

  • Physician Recruiter

As the name suggests, this profile is concerned with recruiting physicians and hospital staff. Since it involves interaction with the medical professionals, being physician helps.

  • Army Doctor

A physician can be deployed in the army to look after soldiers and their family. They are also regarded as army professionals.

  • Hospitalist

A hospitalist is the one who provides specialized medical care and facilities to the hospitalized patients. They are generally centered in a particular hospital. Though it’s a part-time job but, sometimes, they have to work during off-hours.

  • Police Surgeon

Clinical Medical Forensic Examiners or Police Surgeons examine and look after the mental and physical health of the people arrested or detained by police.


  • Financial Planner

After a few classes and certificates, physicians can choose to become financial planners. Financial planners frame plans and programs to manage the finances of their clients.

  • Venture Capital

Doctors with an aptitude for finance and statistics can look for jobs in venture capital firms. Using their analytical skills they help and guide healthcare startups in making right investments for better results.

Doctors can either work full-time or part-time consultants for firms in determining the medical device, software, and drugs in which the companies should invest.

  • Retail / Manufacturing Business

Being a doctor demands hard work, working under pressure, and staying focused. All these skills are equally required in a business. So, if you have business sense, you can look for a career in retail and manufacturing business.

  • Network Marketer

Network marketer is the one who builds networks to distribute products among their channels. You earn commission for every product you sell. Since doctors are good at explaining and convincing people, this could be a great career alternative for you.

  • Health Economist

Health economists study the working of healthcare industry. Their aim is to gain maximum benefits from the invested resources. They work for clinical and cost effectiveness of the healthcare provisions.

  • Health Policymaker

A health care policymaker analysis and frames policies concerned with the health of general public. They develop policies that ensure proper working of the healthcare system of a particular area or location.


  • Start a Practice Management Consultancy

Practice Management Consultants or Healthcare Management Consultants are sought for advice on business and administrative issues of healthcare providers. Physicians can opt for this alternative while practicing medicines.

  • Career Coach

Career coaches assist their colleagues and other physicians in making right career choices. Also, they help in upgrading their skills and creating avenues for extra income.

  • Management Consultant

Management Consultant is a good fit for hard-working and ambitious physicians. Companies like Accenture, Deloitte, Mckinsey & Company hire doctors as management consultants. There work is to do an in-depth study for their clients that include hospitals, insurers, and government.

  • Public Speaker

Have you been a good orator during your student life? Are you good at persuading and preaching people?

Then this could be a great option for you.

You can opt for public speaking in live events, seminars, and workshops, informing people about random medical issues.


  • Astro Docs

Astro Docs or Astronaut Doctors are the professionals that are employed to work with astronauts. They look after astronauts’ health and study the effect of space environment on human beings.

  • Medical Researcher

Medical Researchers or Medical Scientists work in offices and laboratories. They conduct experiments and investigate for the overall improvement of human beings.

  • Expedition Medical Officers

Expedition Medical Officers are the doctors responsible for handling the medical adversities during an expedition. They should have the ability to foresee and prepare for the mishaps during an expedition.

  • Diving Medicine Physician

Diving Medicine Specialists are the physicians trained and qualified to handle diving related injuries. They diagnose, treat, and prevent the conditions caused by humans entering the marine environment.

Social Healthcare

  • Environment Health Officer

Environment Health Officers are also known as Public Health Inspectors or Environmental Health Practitioners. They work as educators, practitioners, and enforcers that ensure that people live in a healthy and safe environment.

  • Health Promotion Specialist

A Health Promotion Specialist assists people in improving their overall health. S/he plans, verify the implementation of, and evaluates policies and strategies to promote health. They work within a particular setting for a certain amount of population.

  • Health Service Manager

A doctor can also collaborate with a health service management. Health service managements create and supervise provisions and commissions to maintain local health care. They look after the management of the hospital, general practitioner (GP), and community health centers.

Medical Journalism

  • Freelance Writer & Editor

Those who have a flair for writing can switch to this profession. There’s huge demand for clinical writing and editing. You can work with pharmaceutical companies, CME agencies, and medical publications.

  • Medical Translator

With good command over language and knowledge of any foreign language, one can work as a Medical Translator. A medical translator works to translate the original medical content into different languages.


  • Hospital Administrator

Another field where a physician can choose to work is hospital administration. So, if you’re no more fascinated with a doctor’s tag, you can switch it with hospital administration.  You have to deal with the working of the hospital and the business related issues.

  • CME Presentation Maker

Some companies conduct CME (Continuing Medical Education) for doctors. Therefore, a doctor can work with these companies. They can produce and organize presentations for such organisations.

  • Teacher

For the doctors who are looking for a career change, teaching could be a choice. Since doctors are familiar with comprehending difficult concepts into simpler language, they can turn out to be good teachers.

  • Work With Computer Technology

If you have an interest in computer technology, a lot of career avenues are available for you. You can work for a hospital, create software applications, and even start an IT based start up.

  • Online Business

Your medical degree earns you the credibility. Therefore, you can build an online business sheerly based on your medical knowledge.

For instance: You can create your ebooks, webinars, teleclasses, blog posts, and other virtual products on different medical topics. You can create a website offering all these products to the online communities.

Though it’ll take time to build an online community, once built, you can completely depend on it for your living.

  • Pharmacy

Doctors can either work as a marketer for a pharmaceutical company or step-up their own company that deals with drug companies.

  • Coroner

A coroner is an independent judicial officer. S/he is liable for investigating into violent, sudden, unnatural, or suspicious deaths. Only a few coroners are doctors rest have qualifications in both medicine and law.

  • Encore Career

This category of career alternates includes all those options which one can or wishes to pursue out of passion. Doctors who are near their retirement or in the midterm, both, often leave their high paying medical jobs to pursue their passion.

If you, too, have an inclination towards any of the skilled based professions, you can pursue them, regardless of your medical degree. It includes painting, singing, photography, sculpting, dancing, travelling, etc.

So, these are some of the best alternate careers for doctors leaving medicine. You can choose any of these based on your interest, talent, and abilities.

However, I suggest you to shortlist the ones that suit you the best. Do a thorough research to know all the pros and cons and select the one that goes the best with your requirements.

Good luck!

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