Ever thought about doing something other than practicing medicine in a clinical setting or conducting research once you graduate medical school? These days, it can be an exciting time for students graduating with a degree in medicine. While some options may be for physicians who are looking to make a career change, there are also options suitable for young physicians who are newly certified in a particular specialty. And while all of these positions may not require obtaining a degree in medicine, there are some advantages to having the advanced credentials. The following is a list of fast-growing, non-traditional jobs for medical school graduates to give you a glimpse of alternative careers within the field.
Clinical Informatics
In today’s modern world, researchers and health professionals are generating ever-increasing amounts of information and doing so in more detail than ever before. Whether in the need for applications in advanced patient care or to help clinicians make use of genomic data, the emerging field of clinical informatics will need well-trained professionals who deal with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information for outcomes of clinical relevance. Health informatics tools include not only computers but also clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. Last year, clinical informatics was even approved as a subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties. According to the American College of Physicians, there is a growing role of the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) and other jobs where a physician draws on his or her expertise at the intersection of medicine and informatics.
Medical Writing
While some people who work are health and medical writers have degrees in Journalism of English, others have scientific or medical degrees (i.e. MD, PharmD, or PhD) and the demand for these medically-trained writers is growing. Medical writing is a diverse field and the types of work medical writers take on can differ greatly, depending on their area of training, experience, and work setting. From creating content for continuing medical education materials to writing and editing regulatory documents for clinical trial reports, there are many opportunities when it comes to working as a medical writer. According to the Glassdoor.com, the salary for a Senior Writer at a pharmaceutical company was $177,000. Due to the flexible nature of the job, medical school graduates who are completing their residency (and making on average $48-55K/year) can take on freelance jobs as a medical writer to supplement their (not-so-friendly post medical school debt) salary.

Physician Entrepreneur
While it may seem a little crazy to give up the prestige and income of being a physician, more and more physicians are deciding to start their own business. Although it may not be as lucrative as practicing medicine, physician entrepreneurs are finding it rewarding to turn their ideas into reality. Using the skills and knowledge they acquired from their medical training, physicians who start their own business, whether it is to provide a service or create a product, are using their skills – and passion – to become successfully entrepreneurs. And for those worried about paying off their medical school loans, while not guaranteed, the payoff can be big. Aside from the typical ups and downs any entrepreneur may experience, most physician who enter this field say they truly love what they do.

Health Care IT
It goes without saying – the health care industry uses technology. From medical imaging and information technologies to patient monitoring systems, the world of health care information technology is growing. Health information technology provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers. According to one report, the world healthcare IT market is expected to grow from $99.6 billion in 2010 to $162.2 billion in 2015. And for those who are worried about the additional cost of a master’s degree in IT, there’s a scholarship for that. A total of $119 million in funding from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will support the training of professional health IT workforce to serve in roles that advanced study or master’s degrees in health IT.
Health Care Consultant
From health insurance companies and public health departments to education institutions and hospitals, there are endless opportunities for physician consultants in the health care field. According to one report, “major global demographic, economic, technological, and political factors including aging populations, rising affluence in emerging markets, and advances in medical techniques and technology have buoyed health care consulting through the recessionary period – and will continue to do so over the long term. Health care consultants can advise clients on clinical process flow and operations, provide recommendations for performance improvement, help manage projects, and more. When it comes to complying with the federal government’s meaningful use guidelines, large hospitals and health delivery networks are turning to private sector health IT consulting experts for help.
Pharmaceutical Medicine
According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, in 2011 pharmaceutical manufacturers employed approximately 655,025,000 people and spent close to $50 billion on research and development, making the US the world’s largest market for pharmaceuticals and the world leader in biopharmaceutical research. With that being the case, pharmaceutical companies often look to medical doctors to explore key areas within drug development. As the pharmaceutical sector booms, there is a growing need for medical doctors with clinical experience to take on various functions where medical competencies are needed. Primarily, physicians are needed by research-based pharmaceutical companies in many areas, ranging from the marketing of newly FDA-approved products to leading a sales force team to help communicate medical concepts and rationales to a sales representative.