April 8, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
If you love the thought of studying medicine and you are sure you want to follow a career in health care but you cannot stand the sight of blood, there are alternative routes that will allow you to use the skills you gained in medical school to do something other than working directly with patients in a healthcare setting.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you decide you’d like to graduate in medicine but would prefer to avoid clinical practice. There are in fact several med students who go on to practice and then give up for various reasons.
Your medical education and limited clinical experience will have given you the opportunity to develop several useful, transferable skills that will help you when you are looking for a non-clinical job opportunity. These skills include decision making, problem solving, working under pressure, communication skills, time management, analysing data and last but not least, working as a team.
There are several broader sectors as well as a few specialised positions where your background in science and medicine would be a definite asset or even an essential requirement. Some of these positions may even require substantial medical practice or additional qualifications or retraining as their eligibility criteria.
Medical law: With rising trend in litigation cases, there is a growing need for medically trained lawyers. A law degree is a mandatory requirement before you can practice in any legal capacity and some clinical experience will be necessary for you to qualify for any type of medical-legal work. Lawyers with medical backgrounds typically work in district coroner positions, medical defence organisations or medical protection societies.
Medical journalism and publishing: Your medical degree could be a launching pad to a career in medical journalism. This can be a pretty competitive field however and some journalistic training would be helpful. You should also be willing to work your way up from a junior position. STM publishing (Science, Technical And Medical Publishing) is another field where a science and medical background will give you a definite advantage.
Alternative and complementary medicine: Specialist training is necessary to practise any branch of alternative medicine. Sometimes this could be to a degree level.
Medical research charities: Research into specific areas of medicine is often funded by medical research charities in a variety of settings including research universities and hospitals. Working with a medical research charity could also include developing and administering research programmes, working to raise public awareness and fund raising.
Civil service, management and medical politics: Government departments have several openings in administration, management, research and policy formation for which they require professionals with a medical background. Some senior management level positions such as clinical and medical directorships or working in an advisory capacity on medical committees and national bodies, would require significant prior work experience as a medical practitioner.