Alternatives to the practice of medicine?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by mdjmd, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. mdjmd

    mdjmd Junior Member

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    Hi y'all. This is my first post here. I graduated from UTMB in Galveston last spring and am on the hunt for a job related to health and medicine (but not direct patient care). Fortunately, I don't have debt hanging over my head and can afford to take some time to find just the right niche.
    Does anyone here know anyone that's done something completely different with their medical degree? Consulting, writing, "medicalese" translation, etc?
    :D Thanks,
    Mason
     
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  3. mdjmd

    mdjmd Junior Member

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    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  4. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    try MD/PHD if you want to be a physician without much patient contact. Academia is also an option.
     
  5. surg

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mdjmd:
    <strong>Hi y'all. This is my first post here. I graduated from UTMB in Galveston last spring and am on the hunt for a job related to health and medicine (but not direct patient care). Fortunately, I don't have debt hanging over my head and can afford to take some time to find just the right niche.
    Does anyone here know anyone that's done something completely different with their medical degree? Consulting, writing, "medicalese" translation, etc?
    :D Thanks,
    Mason</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Many physicians have had very fruitful non-clinical careers. During the boom times of the late 90s you could almost literally call up a pharma firm or a consulting firm and say the letters "M.D." and get an interview or at least a meeting. In today's climate I'm not so sure about that.

    To take your questions separately: Consulting has been a big employer in the past of those with graduate degrees. The top management consulting firms are McKinsey, Bain and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). There are however many many firms, some specializing only in health care, some specializing in IT, some are also generalists (like the aforementioned 3). Check out their websites to get a sense of the companies.

    Writing: The most notable non-medical writer with an M.D. has to be Michael Crichton (Harvard Med Grad). Writing novels, even medical novels though is not as easy as it seems. You might however be able to find employment with a news organization (virtually every news organization keeps an M.D. on hand to explain things). Journalism is likewise not easy however, be prepared for a long time in the trenches to get the glory.

    Medicalese translation: Some companies have tried and failed while others have succeeded in creating a business model around translating medical jargon into passable English. Don't have the faintest clue how one is success in this.

    One thing you didn't mention is industry: Insurers, hospitals, medical device companies, and pharma companies may be a good choice for you since you almost certainly need training in business skills and striking out on your own yet is probably not a great idea.

    In short: the opportunities are there, people are impressed with a medical degree (If only they knew how few real non-medical skills come with a "Dr." in front of your name!) and it should open up some doors. After that, it's up to you.
     
  6. mdjmd

    mdjmd Junior Member

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    Excelente! Thanks for the input. That's just what I was looking for. I'm thinking maybe ortho surg sets/ prosthetics sales. I understand those guys do well.
    Anyone else with some insight?
    Thanks...
     
  7. mdjmd

    mdjmd Junior Member

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    Anyone else? <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    My cousin's wife works for an insurance company making many more dollars than she ever did as a physician. She researches advances in medical technology and overall public health (change in eating habits, exercise, work, etc.) to help determine life expectancies and future medical costs. She had worked in insurance before entering medical school and had interviewed for the job before she went to medical school. After med school, residency, and a few years practicing, the company still had not filled the position and hired her on the spot with more money and benefits than she ever thought possible.

    She left medical practice because she didn't like all the complications that medicine put on her life and is much happier working her 9 to 5 (many days at home), making more money, having more free time, and still being scientifically stimulated. She says its the perfect job for those that love the challenge of medicine without the mess (both personal and at work).
     
  9. Gauss

    Gauss Damnit Jim!

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    dental school, pharm, massage (assloads of cash to be made) - personally I'd go get an engineering degree and work on medical tech for GE or some similar company.
     
  10. bear

    bear Junior Member

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    I am a 3rd year, and as the year goes on I'm getting pretty sure I don't want to go on for a residency. But I love science/medicine, and I really like to research issues and write about them. Mpp, can you tell me more about what your wife does? Does anyone out there know about jobs in science journalism, medical policy, consulting, other related ideas?
     
  11. surg

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by bear:
    <strong>I am a 3rd year, and as the year goes on I'm getting pretty sure I don't want to go on for a residency. But I love science/medicine, and I really like to research issues and write about them. Mpp, can you tell me more about what your wife does? Does anyone out there know about jobs in science journalism, medical policy, consulting, other related ideas?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I posted previously on the consulting stuff, but here is a link to the American Medical Writers Association for what it's worth (a PhD friend of mine is a member and used to do this sort of stuff)
    <a href="http://www.amwa.org/" target="_blank">http://www.amwa.org/</a>
     
  12. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by bear:
    <strong> Mpp, can you tell me more about what your wife does? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's actually my cousin's wife. I think I've told you as much as I know at the moment but when I see her again (which will be soon) I'll discuss it further with her. Here is the <a href="http://www.libertymutual.com/research/about/index.html" target="_blank">link</a> to the company she works for. This isn't exactly her department but you can see the true scientific research that insurance companies do in investigating health and life risk to determine insurance rates.
     
  13. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member

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    What about public health/preventative medicine? Not a big money-maker but very important and usually involves working a regular schedule. I think it takes a one-year residency.
     

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