Non-clinical career opportunities for medical students – Part 1

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Do you have a burning desire to study medicine and help people but are hesitant to follow through with your goals simply because you feel you have certain limitations? Perhaps you have mobility restrictions or you know that you just cannot handle dealing with blood and other bodily fluids or you cannot see yourself administering injections because of your own fear of the needle? Whatever the reason, if you are passionate about a career in medicine but one that does not put you face to face with patients and does not involve direct contact with injuries and illnesses, you should know that you have several options open to you.

The medical field has evolved tremendously over the past few years and there are several clinical as well as non-clinical pathways that you can choose from. Here are just a few of the many non-clinical career options open to students who graduate from medical school.

A student helping medical staff bandage up a patient's leg, Tanzania. Teaching in medical school

What better way to put your medical knowledge to good use than by teaching future generations of physicians? Most medical schools will require you to have an additional degree to become a teacher but don’t let that stop you from choosing this path. If you are looking to start right away, there are a few areas in medical education where you could get started without that extra qualification. This is a great way of using your medical knowledge without having to practice in the field of medicine. For those who like to educate others or work in educational institutions, this is a great career opportunity. What’s more, with the worldwide shortage of physicians and the pressing need to train more doctors, there is a huge demand for medical school teachers.   

Corporate communication and PR

Public Relations are very important for medical institutions. They have to be able to answer to the public as well as to their stakeholders, including their investors, patients and staff as well as other medical institutions. Public Relations and communications staff develop, maintain and manage the reputation of their employing organisation. This is an excellent career option for a medical student who has outstanding communication and people skills.

Pharmaceutical industry

Most of us think of the pharmaceutical industry as confined to running a pharmaceutical store or dispensing advice on medical treatment for patients. The truth is it’s much more than that. Dispensing medicine and medical advice is just the tip of the iceberg. The pharmaceutical industry is in fact so huge that it offers a wide range of job opportunities for doctors, from clinical research and medical advisory positions to becoming a medical director of a relevant corporation. Depending on the organisation and your role within in, there could be some patient contact whilst carrying out clinical trials, but that would be in a limited capacity.

Medical journalism

Medical Journalists write articles that are related to the medical field for various offline and online publications from journals, magazines and books to newspapers and online medical sites.

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