Feeling burnt-out, exhausted, stressed and thinking of leaving medicine?

You’re not alone. Since the pandemic, the number of doctors seeking an alternative career has sky-rocketed.

Gain clarity in navigating an alternative medical career

During 2022, so much more of my work has been focused on supporting doctors seeking that transition to leave medicine. Understandably, many of the clients I talk to are lost and confused as to how to move forward in an alternative career path. Yet they know that they can’t go on in their current job facing another 20/30 years or so of the same pressures working within the NHS.

As medics, you are taught from a young age to be single-minded and focused on the end result. More often than not, that final achievement is a consultant post in a speciality which has taken years of blood, sweat and tears! But what happens when you find yourself reaching that pinnacle of your career and asking yourself “Is this it?!” Or realising before you get to that point that you’re not even sure a medical career is the right one for you anymore.

Career transition coaching can help to:

*  Understand the transferable skills you can bring to an alternative career

*  Work with an expert who has supported medics to make transitions into other industries

*  Build confidence in making a career change

*  Develop a strategy to move forwards in a new, exciting direction

*  Take the first step into a non-clinical role  

Of course there is always the big question about earnings and finding an alternative medical career that won’t compromise that. I couldn’t promise that every other career choice will immediately match or increase your earnings. But there’s a chance that it could either now or in the future.

Most importantly, those seeking an alternative medical career are seeking a less stressful role that offers a healthy work-life balance. And that, is usually much easier to achieve in the short and long-term. 

Alternative careers for doctors: the daunting notion of change!

As I say to many … there isn’t a magic wand to wave when seeking an alternative career as a doctor! A complete career change doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it’s a process and one that can take time and a lot of effort. But the end result can be so worth it.

Nonetheless, it can be overwhelming when it comes to exploring alternative non-clinical careers. Undoubtedly, identifying a new career pathway can be difficult to work out alone.

Supporting you to explore alternative careers for doctors

I offer a variety of career packages that helps you to explore the vast number of opportunities that are open to you as a qualified doctor.

With my career packages, I will help you to get to know yourself again as to who you are now. During our sessions, we will discuss your strengths, values, qualities and passions. Your medical career may have changed your outlook on work and your priorities may have changed in life. 

We will look at which potential careers could give you the lifestyle, balance and job satisfaction that you are seeking. Importantly, we’ll take a focused, structured approach to get you on the right path to build a successful, non-clinical career.  

My goal is to help you to achieve career fulfilment. Everyone deserves that opportunity.

Below is an A-Z list of alternative careers for doctors. 


FREE 20-minute consultation – contact me

A-Z alternative careers for doctors



This is a popular and fast-gowing area for clinicians. Significantly, this is because many often feel more confident to have aesthetic procedures done with a doctor. Aesthetic medicine involves the use of non-surgical procedures to change an individual’s appearance. For example, this can include dermal fillers, botox and chemical peels

Aviation/Aerospace Medicine

Involves being responsible for the health and safety of crew and passengers in flight and fitness to fly. Additionally, it can also include physiology of man in space.  It also requires the application of clinical medical knowledge to the practice of aviation medicine (a subspeciality of occupational medicine)

Armed Forced Medicine

Delivering medical support to the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force (RAF). Primarily, doctors in the Army are also officers and provide medical care for soldiers and their families. You may apply at any stage of your medical career and is possible to arrange as a short-term commitment only.

Benefits Assessor

The Independent Assessment Services (delivered by ATOS) and MAXIMUS recruit doctors to carry out assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). In conclusion, they are in place to determine a client’s entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance

Charity Administration

There are a number of health-related or medical research charities that would be seeking a professional with medical knowledge and experience. ;

Civil Service

The civil service includes a number of different departments, agencies and public bodies. They could include the Department of Health, Healthcare Commission, Health Protection Agency, Medical Research Council. Interestingly, they offer separate entry routes for experienced professionals and a fast track route of entry for graduates.

Clinical Academics

A doctor of any speciality whose work includes both patient care and research alongside teaching and lecturing. The integrated academic pathway offers a route into academics medics at any stage of their career.

Clinical Forensic Medical Examiner (forensic physician)

Work can range from dealing with patients in police custody to victims of sexual offences. The majority of forensic medicine is within private companies. This may include companies such as as Mountain Healthcare, Mite, G4 and CRG. Most of these companies provide training to doctors after completion of FY2.

Complementary Medicine

Defined as treatments which are combined along with conventional medical treatments. Therefore, it includes chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy, herbalism and acupuncture


This is a hugely growing field worth billions! As a doctor, you are very well-positioned for a career in health/fitness coaching, wellness coaching, even career coaching for other doctors. The Association for Coaching (AfC) is a good place to start looking for established courses to qualify as a coach. You can work as a solopreneur or may wish to freelance for other organisations but they will often request for you to be an accredited coach (the AfC can advise further on this.)


As a consultant, you can work independently or choose to be employed by an organisation. Consultants are employed by organisations to provide an objective appraisal of their company. Additionally, they would initiate and implement strategies for improvement and progression. A popular choice is in healthcare consultancy. Often, this is a lucrative career choice for those who may wish to build a portfolio career or to leave medicine altogether. The Medical Consultancy Association (MCA) provides useful information on this sector. This is another booming sector and a popular choice for doctors changing careers.

Content Creation 

This is an exciting and effective way of making money through creating online digital content that could appeal to others. It may including creating podcasts, online courses, writing blogs, audiobooks, webinars and writing white papers. It often requires having an audience who you are aiming to reach but with time and long-term commitment, this can be built up.

Diving Medicine 

Qualified physicians whose work may involve diving research and training, diving-related injuries and “fitness to dive” medical examinations

Expedition Medicine

Provide medical care to organized groups in amazing parts of the world! This could include everything from risk assessment of the environment to managing those who become ill or injured. For this reason, it would also corporate arranging emergency evacuation.

Functional Medicine

A popular area of medicine gaining a big following in recent years. This profession allows many doctors to start their own private practice. It is based on a biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. The Institute for Functional Medicine founded in the USA provides UK training at the annual AFMCP 5 day course.

Health Economics

Studying the functioning of the healthcare system. Fundamentally, their objective is to obtain maximum value for money by ensuring cost-effectiveness as well as clinical effectiveness of healthcare provision.

Health Policy

The process of assessing and choosing between spending and resource alternatives. Therefore, this career addresses the effect of the healthcare system and the health of the general public.

Health Service Management

Responsible for the provision and commissioning of local healthcare. This would be carried out through the management of hospital, GP and community health services. Additionally, the NHS also offers graduate training schemes in finance, human resources general management, health analysis, health informatics and strategy.

Health Technology

Health tech is a very popular growing field (Covid has further advanced progress). For example, it can include everything from apps, record systems, machine learning and medical appliances. A popular way in is through becoming a Clinical Lead for a start-up who may not yet have anyone with a medical background so you could be their expert! You don’t necessarily need to have tech knowledge yourself. A good resource is The Association of British Health Tech Industries.

Healthcare Science

Work in one of four main areas. May include clinical bioinformatics, life sciences, physical science and bioengineering, physiological sciences. You can work within the NHS or a private hospital, in a laboratory or at a university.

Lifestyle Medicine 

This area of medicine focuses on making better lifestyle choices and self-empowerment. It involves educating others on making better choices on issues of diet, exercise, sleep, alcohol and good mental health. In essence, it is based on the principles of positive psychology and motivates others to make healthier lifestyle choices. The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine provides details on membership and diploma qualifications.

Medical Education

Providing education related to becoming and developing as a doctor, either at medical school or postgraduate level. Frequently, working as a lecturer in academia usually follows a PhD and postgraduate research experience. There are many ways to get involved including, lecturing, creating and running courses, and writing exam questions.

Medical Journalism

A specific form of journalism focusing on medical subjects for a variety of media. For example, it may include newspapers, magazines, professional journals or TV and radio.

Medical Politics & Ethics

A rewarding and exciting way to make a different to healthcare workers or patient care. Such a career offers the opportunity to get involved in medical ethics, strategy development, medical defence unions and research. So, a good starting point could be to get involved in the BMA or other medical bodies and/or take a course in medical ethics.

Medical Research

Involves the planning and conducting of experiments to collect data to improve scientific knowledge in the medical field. Therefore, it may be helpful to have research and audit experience alongside writing grant applications. Some PhD studentships will allow you to study for a PhD whilst carrying out research work. Employment opportunities could be within academia, industry, medical research charities, research institutes and hospital labs.

Medical Translation

Producing alternative versions of original medical materials in other languages. With a good understanding of medical terminology, this provides an excellent foundation alongside your ability to speak another language.

Medical Tribunal Member 

Providing medical opinion as part of a panel to make decisions on appeals about disability benefits. The Judicial Appointments Commission provides recruitment opportunities every couple of years. Additionally, if you sign up to their newsletter, you would receive updates of when they are next recruiting.

Medical Writing (MedComms) 

This is technically challenging work that requires medical knowledge and you would be expected to work to tight deadlines. MedComms aims to improve both professional and public understanding of medicine and science through clear and effective communication.;

Medical Law 

Dual qualifications in medicine and law are highly sought after. This is particularly relevant for senior roles in risk management for health trusts or coroners. Alternatively, opportunities can also be found in medical defence organisations. Law firms also look out for people specializing in medical law.;

Occupational Medicine

Generally work in a consultancy or advisory capacity and deals with the relationship between work and health. They aim to prevent injuries and illness that can occur as a result of work. For this reason, you would support the rehabilitation of people back into the workforce.

Pharmaceutical Medicine (Pharma)

There many varied roles for doctors in pharma including research, clinical pharmacology, medical affairs, medical advisory and medicines safety. Patient contact is limited but still possible in clinical trials. Furthermore, there is also a specialist training pathway in pharmaceutical medicine.

Prison Health Service 

This would involve providing a GP service to prison inmates. Therefore, you would be expected to have experience in emergency medicine, primary care, communicable diseases, drug use and mental health. There is a free course available which covers all human rights and ethics.

Public Health 

This speciality aims to support the health of a general population rather than at an individual level. The role can vary from responding to outbreaks of a disease to the long-term planning of healthcare and health education. There is a public health speciality training pathway offered by, as well as a portfolio route to being a Public Health consultant. The broad sector includes numerous other careers besides medicine. 


Many of the ideas mentioned here would potentially involve working as a soloprenuer which is someone who sells a product or service through working independently. It deserved its own heading as a huge number of doctors seeking alternative career choices are looking to work for themselves to create the flexibility and work-life balance so often craved. It allows doctors to create a portfolio career by combining different passions – education, coaching, writing, creating digital resources, consultancy and more. It can be challenging to get started and you may require some business coaching but it can, ultimately, be highly rewarding. A lot of doctors are enjoying very successful careers as solopreneurs. 

Sport & Exercise Medicine 

Doctors who are trained in the delivery of musculoskeletal and exercise medicine. There is a growing number of roles available within the NHS but most practitioners work in the private sector. Such opportunities are available within sports teams such as the armed forces, football clubs and universities.

Travel Medicine

A broad interdisciplinary speciality which involves working in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, public health, occupation medicine and primary care. The London School of Hygiene and Medicine and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine offer a range of programmes.

Voluntary Work Abroad 

This can offer great opportunities to make a real difference supporting vulnerable communities whilst also expanding new skills. There are a number of opportunities to get involved in medical response teams for disasters and crises around the world. Such companies may include VSO international, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)and REDR UK. The Apothecaries offer a Diploma in the Medical Care of Catastrophies for those who are interested in joining medical response teams

Or, of course, you may wish to choose another career which is completely non-medical. You may wish to follow a life-long passion such as becoming a property investor or opening up a restaurant!


If you are seeking an alternative career as a doctor but don’t know where to start, book in for my free consultation.


Call: 07951 581458



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