I’ve created a list of alternative roles for doctors, i.e. for that those that want to leave medicine, or to do something different compared to the usual UK specialty pathways. My inspiration has been some work I was doing recently for an organisation during which I had a chance to appreciate all the roles that are listed on the UK national careers website.  This site enables you to look up information such as:

  • salaries
  • how to get into the role
  • what you’ll do day-to-day
  • skills and knowledge needed etc.

N.B. Click on the hyperlink for each role in the table to get to this information.

The list is alphabetical and I have also graded from 1-5 how difficult it is to get into the profession. 1 is easy, requires minimal training, whereas 5 is very difficult. With a 5 it’s either going to be very competitive, or you’ll have to completely retrain, for example studying a qualification for 3 years or so, as well as gaining experience whilst working up towards the role. I have also ordered them into the categories below:

Categories:

Charities/ Government/ Community work

Consultancy/ Management/ IT

Education/ Research/ Writing

Finance/ Business

Medicine/ Health

A few will overlap and are found in more than one category.

Charities/ Government/ Community work

Aid Worker Aid workers help people in overseas countries affected by man-made and natural disasters like wars, outbreaks of disease and earthquakes. 1
Charity Director Charity directors plan ways to develop a charity’s services, generate income and raise awareness of its work. 5
Charity Fundraiser Charity fundraisers organise events and activities to encourage people to donate to causes and organisations. 3
Civil Service Careers* Civil Service careers could encompass working for the Department of Health and Social Care as well as other government agencies. 3
Community Development worker Community development workers help people to improve the quality of life in their local area. 3
Social worker Social workers help to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm or abuse, and support people to live independently. 5

Consultancy/ Management/ IT

App Developer App developers design and build mobile applications for PCs, mobile phones and tablets. 4
Careers Adviser/ Career Coach Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options. 3
Health Service Manager Health service managers are responsible for the financial, strategic and daily operations of running a hospital, GP practice, community health service or services in the private healthcare sector. 3
IT Project Manager IT project managers oversee the development and installation of computer hardware and software systems 5
Lawyer (or barrister) Barristers give specialist legal advice, advising solicitors and representing people in court, at tribunals and in public inquiries. 5
Life Coach/ Executive Coach Life coaches support and encourage people to help them make informed decisions in their working and personal lives. 4
Management Consultant Management consultants help organisations solve problems and improve efficiency. 4
Marketing Manager Marketing managers plan how to promote products, services or brands and oversee all marketing activity. 4
Recruitment Consultant Recruitment consultants help employers find suitable staff, and match people to permanent and temporary jobs. 4
Solicitor Solicitors advise clients about the law and act on their behalf in legal matters. 4
Web Developer Web developers create and maintain websites and web applications. 4

Education/ Research/ Writing

Academic Medicine* Clinical academics are qualified doctors who combine working as a specialist doctor with research and teaching responsibilities. 4
Early Years Teacher Early years teachers are specialists in early childhood development and work with children up to the age of 5. 2
Education Welfare Officer Education welfare officers make sure that children attend school and get the support they need. 2
Magazine Journalist Magazine journalists research and write news articles and features for a wide variety of publications. 5
Newspaper Journalist Newspaper journalists investigate and write up stories for local, regional and national newspapers. 5
Primary School Teacher Primary school teachers are responsible for the educational, social and emotional development of children from age 5 to 11. 3
Science or Medical Writer* Producing written copy and copy-editing for companies such as pharmaceutical clients. Communicating scientific data for sales materials, for example, translating complex biomedical information. 3
Secondary School Teacher Secondary school teachers teach children from 11 to 16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms. 3
Technical Author Technical authors write documents and guides that explain how to use products and services. 4
Teacher: Special Education Needs Special educational needs (SEN) teachers work with children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities 3
Writer Writers produce creative work, including novels, children’s books, scripts, poetry and travel and technical writing. 5

Finance/Business

Auditor Internal and external auditors check organisations’ financial records and procedures to make sure they are accurate and efficient.

5

Business Adviser Business advisers give advice and support to new business start-ups and help established businesses to grow.

5

Business Analyst Business analysts work with organisations to help them change and improve.

5

Business Project Manager Business project managers plan and organise people, tasks and resources to complete a project on time and within budget.

4

Bookkeeper Bookkeepers keep financial records up to date and help prepare accounts.

2

Finance Officer Finance officers help to manage the finances of an organisation by keeping track of its income and controlling its spending.

3

Investment Analyst Investment analysts help stock market traders, stockbrokers and fund managers make decisions about investments.

5

Interior Designer Interior designers plan and supervise the layout and decoration of the inside of buildings.

4

Medial Sales Representative Medical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies, selling drugs, medicines and medical equipment to health professionals.

4

Sales Representative Sales representatives meet or ring customers to persuade them to buy products or services.

4

Stockbroker Stockbrokers manage their clients’ investments by trading stocks, shares and other financial products to get the best return.

5

Medicine/Health

Aid Worker Aid workers help people in overseas countries affected by man-made and natural disasters like wars, outbreaks of disease and earthquakes. 1
Academic Medicine* Clinical academics are qualified doctors who combine working as a specialist doctor with research and teaching responsibilities. 4
Acupuncturist Acupuncturists insert needles into pressure points on clients’ bodies to help relieve everyday stresses, and improve their wellbeing. 5
Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) practitioners use talking therapy to help patients change negative patterns of thinking or behaviour. 4
Crowd Doctor* A crowd doctor is trained in managing the medical needs of crowds of sport fans 4
Dance Movement Psychotherapist Dance movement psychotherapists use dance and movement to help people deal with emotional, psychological and physical issues. 5
The Defence Medical Services* The Defence Medical Services include the British army, Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. 2
Expedition Medicine* Expedition medical officers support adventure travellers and overseas field researchers. 2
Fitness Instructor Fitness instructors organise exercise programmes to improve people’s health and fitness. 3
Geneticist Geneticists study genes to work out how cells and organisms behave. 5
Health Coach* Health coaches are certified or credentialed to safely guide clients and patients who may have chronic conditions or those at moderate to high risk for chronic conditions. 3
Health Economist Economists advise government departments, businesses, banks and other organisations about the economy. 5
Health Promotion Specialist Health promotion specialists educate and inform people about health issues. 5
Health Service Manager Health service managers run local healthcare services like hospitals, GP practices and community health services. 4
Medical Illustrator Medical illustrators produce photographs, videos and graphical images for use in healthcare. 5
Medical Physicist Medical physicists are specialists in healthcare science, also known as clinical science. 5
Medical Sales Representative Medical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies, selling drugs, medicines and medical equipment to health professionals. 3
Naturopath Naturopaths believe in improving their clients’ health through natural therapies and education about lifestyle, diet and exercise. 4
Neuroscientist* Neuroscientists combine skills in science and research to explore the intricate and enigmatic world of the most complex organ in the body -the brain, spinal cord and nervous system 5
Nutritional Therapist Nutritional therapists help people by giving advice on diet and nutrition. 5
Pharmaceutical industry (medic)* Medical affairs physician/ medical adviser; medical strategist; clinical pharmacologist; clinical research physician are some of the many roles available for medics in the pharmaceutical industry. 3
Prison Doctor Prison doctors look after the health of inmates, as well as helping with prisoner rehabilitation. Experience in primary care, communicable diseases, drug abuse or mental health is useful. 3
Psychotherapist Psychotherapists use talking techniques and therapies to help people who are distressed, or have mental health problems. 5
Reiki Healer Reiki practitioners use their hands to help people relax and improve their wellbeing. 4
Ship’s Doctor* Ship’s doctors are responsible for the health of passengers during a cruise. It’s useful to have a broad base of knowledge: experience in general medicine, care of the elderly, or psychiatry are useful. 3

*Note these links are not to the national careers website, as these roles were not represented there.

You may also be interested in:

free resources for doctors

coaching

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