What can you do with a Medical Degree?
There’s a question often asked by senior doctors when they realise there’s a medical student in the room.
“Given any thought to your career yet?”
Physicians and surgeons. For the old school doctors, those are usually the only real options. Unfortunately, other career options are sneered at and seldom discussed. But medicine is changing, branching out into other fields. The expertise you gain during medical school could come in handy for a whole host of other jobs. In fact, there are so many you could do, that I’m having to limit this article to just a few items!
Here we go…
While it’s often said that doctors must play detective, forensic pathologists take this adage to heart! And lungs. And brain. Wherever the cause of death is, really…
Their primary role is to perform autopsies, to establish the cause of death in suspected suicides, homicides or deaths in custody. Lots of dissections, precision note-taking and presenting your findings in court. Certainly not for the squeamish!
Imagine two really difficult, vocational degrees, each leading to very different careers. Now imagine doing them both. Sequentially. And then advising on medicolegal cases.
Expensive, yes. Crazy, definitely. But my word, you’d be in demand. Medical law is a highly specialised and requires expertise in both fields. You could work with medical defence unions, advise the NHS or even enter the Civil Service. Your life could become a cross between House and House of Cards. Or, perhaps more likely, Scrubs and Yes, Minister…
Evidently, this world is crying out for a medico-politico-legal drama. Fancy writing it?
Like many young football fans, I grew up hoping to lift the World Cup for England. If you hail from faraway shores but still have that same specific dream, you can do it as a team doctor!
And it’s not just football. All sports have injuries, all sports have risks. Who better to keep everyone alive and performing than a doctor like the one you could be?
Leicester City won the English Premier League in 2016 thanks in part to some pioneering conditioning and care by their medical team. You could be part of the next sporting miracle. Be that a healthy Andy Murray, or some sweeping Olympic fairytale.
Also, front-row seats… Bear that in mind…
Data is suddenly in vogue, promising an era of highly personalised medical treatment based on the numbers picked up by your nosy smartphone.
If you’ve got an interest in IT, you can use your clinical expertise to shape the development of algorithms, programs or devices designed to optimise healthcare. You can also train the next batch of tech-savvy clinicians. Or you could save the United Kingdom by finding the Holy Grail of cheap, efficient NHS computing systems.
As a relatively new career pathway, this one is still evolving – ready for you to mould it to your vision!
You might be the kind of clinician who’s fascinated, obsessed even, by the bigger picture. The patient in front of you might need treatment, but if you treat the population, you could prevent them getting sick in the first place!
A career in public health could go anywhere. Research, education, health economics – there are so many angles you can shape health policy from that it’s almost impossible to sum it all up here. Suffice it to say that working in public health has the potential to leave a large and lasting impact on the health of millions.
Budding artists, graphic designers and photographers can find their home here!
Medical illustration uses visual media to communicate clinically relevant information to educate patients and healthcare professionals alike. While these careers often require additional degrees and qualifications, having graduated with a medical degree will stand you in good stead as it demonstrates relevant experience and indispensable medical knowledge.
And if your work ends up in a reputable textbook, read in medical libraries across the world, your impact on future clinicians could be a uniquely subtle kind of profound.
Medicine is universal. It touches all people and cultures, meaning that the information has to be accessible to all. It needs to transcend language barriers so that we can all share in this most human of sciences.
So the linguists among you may be in luck!
The publication of medical literature is heavily biased in favour of English, so your extra tongue could be invaluable to certain sectors of the medical community. Journal articles, documentary subtitles, textbooks. So many resources could benefit from translation for international consumption.
While language skills are prized in pretty much every field, they have an incredibly urgent and broad demand in medicine given how globalised today’s society and scientific community have become.
At first glance, it may appear that a medical degree sets you on a limited handful of paths. However, with a bit of digging and creative application, you can use the skills and knowledge in a vast variety of areas. After all, healthcare is everywhere and exists in countless iterations and burgeoning guises.
With so many opportunities open to medical graduates, it would be nothing short of a tragedy to limit your career to “physician vs surgeon”, if there’s even the slightest chance of another field catching your eye. Medical schools like broad minds, so keep yours after you graduate because you really aren’t trapped by the MBBS or MD after your name. It’s truly, quite the opposite.
Interested in learning Medicine?
We hope you found this post useful and interesting. If medicine and medical technology captures your interest, attend the award-winning Medical Summer School Programme by Immerse Education where you will learn about advances made in the field of medical technology.