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Alternative Careers for Doctors

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
More and more doctors are looking for alternative career options owing to various reasons. Let us explore some of the alternative careers for doctors.
The career of a doctor is one of the most prestigious and envied careers of today. Hence, the title of this write-up may surprise many. Why would someone with such lucrative career prospects want to give it up and explore something else?
The truth is that, many doctors are giving up years of practice and taking up entirely new occupations. The change in the mindset of doctors is a direct outcome of changing trends in the medical profession. So, in case you too are thinking about making a career switch at this point, you may benefit from knowing these alternative careers for doctors.

Why to Look for an Alternative Career?

As we said before, it is strange and unlikely that a well settled doctor is willing to give up his medical career for something new. It is worth giving a thought why doctors may come to such an extreme conclusion. In reality, the process of making a career switch begins long before you realize it.
You may only think about it when you are no longer able to continue it and are forced to take some decision. One of the possible reasons why doctors may decide to look for an alternative career is undesirable changes in the medical industry.
Medical industry has assumed a corporate culture, as many hospitals are owned by corporate giants. The job of a physician is no longer as sacred and respected as it once was. It has become more of a mechanical job. Doctors are expected to complete a lot of tedious paperwork, follow other non-medical procedures, submit reports, face litigations and so on.
These responsibilities are out of context of a doctor's job profile. As a result, many doctors are getting distracted from their primary focus, which is patient care. At the end of the day, many of them are left dissatisfied with their work.
Another reason that may force you to look for a new career is erratic work schedule and long working hours. Doctors are often unable to spend quality time with their families, which may eventually result in a burn out. Besides, fierce competition in this field has resulted in unemployment and pay cuts for young doctors.
Lastly, some of them may feel they have had enough of medical practice and may wish to seek their hobbies and interests. In any case, one must be well informed about the possible careers before they make an actual switch.

Career Options for Doctors

While one may think that alternative careers for doctors are related to medical field only, the truth is that many doctors are pursuing entirely different occupations. Given here are a few alternative careers for medical doctors.


As a doctor, you may have invested several years in education. So, you can contribute your expertise and experience to the education field by imparting knowledge to young medical students.
Alternatively, you can also take up a job of teacher and teach any life science related subject. As a teacher or professor, you will learn many new things that will enrich your life. This is an immensely satisfying job.

Consultant for Law Firms

Medical lawsuits are on a rise. Hence, law firms can benefit from services of someone who has thorough knowledge of medical procedures. You can also provide consulting services to other companies which deal in life sciences.
These companies may benefit from your analytical skills, quick decision-making capacity which stem from years of medical practice. This will give you an opportunity to climb a corporate ladder.

Venture Capitalist

If you wish to increase your earning potential manifold, take risks and face challenges of life, then this occupation can be ideal for you. Start your own business, preferably in health care or life science, if you possess the requisite business skills.

Pursue Hobbies/Interests

If you have always nurtured a desire to become a painter, dancer, actor, writer etc., then now could be your turn to materialize your dream. You can take it up as a full-time career, so that you can earn a decent income from it.
These were some of the career options for doctors who wish to make a career switch. You can sure go ahead and explore newer avenues of your choice. However, make sure you take this decision very carefully, only after considering all pros and cons of giving up a medical career.