Physicians meet with patients and caregivers to diagnose, manage, and treat illnesses and injuries. They perform diagnostics to determine the root problem, document patients’ symptoms, order and perform procedures, administer treatment, prescribe medication, and so much more.
The sky is the limit on where doctors can work. Some might be surprised to hear that it’s not only limited to hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Currently, approximately half of all physicians work primarily in hospitals in their specialized segment of medicine such as cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology, radiology, etc. Private practices and clinics also employ physicians of all types of specialties. Those who possess strong interpersonal skills with a solid understanding of what makes hospitals function at their best can pursue leadership opportunities with hospitals or large group clinics.
Doctors also work in private practices, which can range in size from solo to small to large groups. Or they can take advantage of locum tenens opportunities, which means “one who holds the place,” referring to a physician hired to fill in for an absent colleague. This temporary coverage is needed across all types of working environments including hospitals, ambulatory primary care, and urgent care.
Healthcare clinics corporations that run clinics also hire doctors. Clinics tend to be smaller in size and offer a more personalized work atmosphere, although every type of work setting offers its unique advantages and disadvantages.
The payer sector centers on the principles of marrying cost-effectiveness and value with evidence-based medicine. This also entails updating guidelines for best practices for patient care. A lot of problem-solving occurs in this field, bridging financial restrictions with what helps the greater patient population. Physicians who are well-versed in considering both short- and long-term outlooks excel in this sector.
Of course, physicians aren’t limited to working full-time in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. The healthcare industry offers a wide variety of opportunities outside the patient care environment.
Physician groups, hospital systems, nonprofits, and government agencies all need consultants. Corporate medicine jobs ask physicians to trade their lab coats for suits but they’re still required to have the same amount of medical expertise:
Teaching is another option. Colleges and universities hire doctors as a way to leverage their medical expertise and inspire the next generation of providers. Physicians can join faculty at schools to teach, and write course curriculums in full- and part-time capacities. Research opportunities might also be an option at major universities. Alternatively, community and vocational schools seek out physicians for part-time teaching opportunities without research commitments.
Those who want to work remotely might consider teaching online courses. Continuing medical education (CME) offers physicians the opportunity to develop content, teach, or serve as a medical director for a CME firm.
Doctors with an entrepreneurial drive can impact patients’ lives for the better, working to develop innovative technology at med-tech startups. Creating unconventional new medical devices and groundbreaking med-tech could potentially impact more people’s lives than a physician in private practice might, because of the expansive reach.
In a similar realm, the healthcare industry utilizes physicians to help develop solutions to everyday problems by working on medical inventions. After all, physicians have the same qualities that great inventors do: creativity, tenacity, intelligence, and perseverance.