7 Unique Careers in MedicineNovember 4, 2020
When most people think about careers in medicine, their minds are drawn to the most prominent jobs, such as physicians, surgeons, and nurses. But there are several careers in the medical field that don’t require you to practice, and some of them may be even more rewarding based on your goals and interests.
If you’re trying to figure out what to do with a medical degree but aren’t sure about working directly with patients, you have options.
7 alternative careers with a medical degree
What can you do with a medical degree besides practicing medicine? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options. Here are just seven of the unique options available to you.
1. Medical Illustrator
If you love both art and the science of medicine, becoming a medical illustrator could be an excellent career choice. You’ll use graphic design and other mediums to produce visual images to simplify complex medical information.
Your illustrations may show up in brochures and leaflets, textbooks, corporate materials, and even physicians’ offices.
To qualify for a job as a medical illustrator, you’ll typically need an educational background in both medicine and art — such as a double major in biology and visual art. Also, you can join specific graduate programs designed for that type of career.
2. Medical Writer
The internet has a wealth of medical information, both for professionals in the field and for patients. If you’re interested in medicine and communications or journalism, you can combine those passions by becoming a medical writer.
As a writer, you’ll be able to research, write, edit and publish medical content to provide the most up-to-date information via medical journals, newspapers, newsletters and other channels.
Medical writers can also provide consulting services to pharmaceutical companies, public health organizations and corporations. Whether it’s advertising, education or legal and regulatory rules, you can play an important role in different areas of medicine.
3. Musical Therapist
Music therapy employs various interventions to provide for a patient’s emotional, physical, and physiological needs through music. It’s been shown to help people who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, dementia, and even chronic pain.
If you love music but don’t know that you want to make it your main career focus, becoming a musical therapist could be the right move. Alternatively, there are careers in the medical field for art therapists, dance therapists, and animal therapists.
4. Medical Interpreter
If you speak more than one language fluently, you could provide essential services to patients who experience language barriers. Of course, not just anyone can be a translator in the medical field — you need to know the complex vocabulary that most people learning a second language typically don’t study.
But your experience in medical school can provide you with the knowledge you need to make it happen. Medical interpreters may also be used to translate written material for medical providers, such as paperwork and educational brochures and pamphlets. You may also get the chance to educate medical providers on cultural differences that can help them better serve their patients.
5. Forensic Specialist
One of the most fascinating careers in medicine is that of a forensic specialist. In the forensic medicine field, you’ll spend your time studying crime scenes and evidence to assist law enforcement.
You’ll also be able to help to provide critical evidence in the justice system, and your recommendations and assessments can make a big difference in the defense of an innocent person or in the prosecution of a guilty one.
In other words, your expertise as a forensic specialist can have a significant impact on the lives of everyday people and their loved ones.
6. Medical Photographer
Medical photography provides an important function in the medical treatment process. It’s used to help diagnose conditions and show changes brought about by treatment. It’s important for medical photographers to provide photos that are definitive in their interpretations and are not misleading.
In some cases, you may also work with video, graphic design, and illustration. If you’re interested in clinical photography, look into the education requirements and what it takes to land a career.
7. Medical Science Liaison
A medical science liaison works with researchers, clinicians, and physicians to provide knowledge and advice about products, treatment plans, initiatives and more. To be a good liaison, you must be up to date with the latest clinical data and research in the healthcare industry.
In many cases, medical science liaisons have practiced in the past and are moving into an advisory or consulting role. But there may be other paths based on your goals.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve ever wondered, “What can you do with an MD degree without residency?” the answer is a lot. These are only seven medical degree jobs that don’t require you to practice medicine, and there are several more.
As you consider different careers in medicine, think about your interests and goals. Also, do some research on the educational requirements and location of medical school jobs because they can vary depending on which area you want to specialize in.
Finally, try to find professionals in the field you’re considering and talk to them about their experiences. This can give you important insight into their daily lives and whether the career path might be a good fit for you too.
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