More and more physicians are exploring medical careers outside patient care. Even if you're still passionate about your clinical work, it is never a bad time to move forward toward new challenges and skills. Continue below to see if a non-clinical role is right for you.
Of the doctors who leave clinical medicine, almost all are pleased with the switch and choose to stay on the non-clinical side of things for the duration of their careers. There are a number of features that make non-clinical jobs in the medical field a preferred choice for the doctors who take the leap.
Learning Something New
Physicians who enjoy constantly learning about new things and who strive to build personal and professional skills can have opportunities to grow in different ways outside of direct patient care. Choosing a non-clinical path does not mean that you hate clinical practice. You might look back on those years in medical school and residency fondly, but a change of pace could be more your cup of tea if you crave new skills. What’s more, jumping into other aspects of health care through a paid position allows you to dive far deeper than you could through occasional committee work.
Creating Your Own Life Script
A physician has to be a great student with a strong work ethic who gets along well with others. While doctors are definitively able to succeed at a path that is relatively mapped out, some physicians might have had something else in mind. Non-clinical work can take you off that path if you don't feel that direct patient care is what you want to do forever. True, some believe that once you accept your position in a medical school class, you are obligated to follow one path indefinitely, but that is a very confining lifetime limitation for a student between the ages of 21 to 28 to make.
Reaches Beyond the Confines of Clinical Medicine
Clinical medicine has become somewhat confining. The freedom to carefully and wisely broaden differential diagnoses when your patient’s case is challenging is all but gone. And the lengths that you have to go to justify additional testing or medical management decisions that don't follow a predetermined recipe defy the expertise that you were required to attain in the first place.
Interestingly, work outside of clinical medicine is not as restrictive, offering more opportunities to be creative and to think outside the box to solve problems.
Understand Macro Issues in Healthcare Rather than Micro
When you are outside of patient care, you finally have permission to think about the big picture instead of the tiny checkboxes on the review of systems requirement. This ability to work on big picture goals can be empowering and make you feel more like your ambitious self.
Salary Ceiling Is Not Volume Or Time Based
Your salary as a practicing physician is, out of necessity, volume based. In non-clinical work, there are other determinants of your impact and your income. This reality can free up your time and allow you to earn reimbursement based on clear measures that are not always so directly tied to time commitment.
Your Knowledge About Medicine and Science is Respected More Than In Clinical Practice
Ironically, many doctors complain that medical knowledge takes a back seat to convenience and cost cutting in clinical practice. However, when you leave clinical medicine, the high level of respect that you earned as a physician follows you everywhere. Your peers, supervisors and colleagues respect and trust your medical knowledge, and you also have the opportunity to deepen your study of medical science in ways that you don't have time for as a practicing physician.
Adaptable to New Systemic Changes
New changes in the world of health care can be time wasters in clinical practice. However, adapting to new changes is part of the job in the non-clinical arena. In fact, you can have a more prominent voice in the field of healthcare — you are viewed and esteemed as an unbiased physician when you have worked in areas that allow you to appreciate multiple aspects of health care outside the clinic.
Non-clinical medical jobs are becoming a reality for more doctors who are less defined by traditional physician roles than ever before. The field of health care is more complex than ever before, requiring highly specialized medical knowledge in areas outside of patient care. For further guidance on how to decide whether a non-clinical career in medicine is right for you, explore nonclinicaldoctors.com.