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Top 5 Alternative Careers For Physicians

Updated: May 11, 2022

In recent years, more and more physicians have chosen to follow nontraditional career paths. The medical field offers many career opportunities for professionals without necessarily requiring board certification. No matter if you are an international medical student, a recent graduate or simply burned out in a traditional hospital setting, we can help you discover your career options.

Number 5: Medical Writer or Editor

The healthcare industry requires the services of expert writers and editors to develop textbooks, test preparation materials, peer-reviewed articles, and produce publications like magazines and websites. If you have strong writing skills and maybe a proficiency in another language, this could be a great fit for you. Many medical writers work remotely on their own schedule, so it's a good option for those who value total flexibility.

Number 4: Telemedicine

Over the last year, health care has been forced to migrate to a virtual world. Technology and telemedicine laws are rapidly evolving, resulting in the ability for care to be delivered anywhere online. For physicians, the hours are flexible and the work itself is generally enjoyable. Patients tend to appreciate the easy accessibility, making for positive interactions with physicians. A variety of contract positions and full-time benefits are available for those who qualify, making it a good fit for a variety of lifestyles.

Number 3: Pharmaceutical

A career in the pharmaceutical industry can be extremely rewarding for physicians who are not licensed or certified. Generally, jobs in this sector involve clinical trials, basic science research, product development, marketing, and administration. While each requires a different skill set, a medical degree will meet the educational requirements for any pharma position. In addition, these careers are excellent for international medical graduates who seek jobs in pharmaceutical sales or as a pharmaceutical liaison. The average salary starts around $50,000 and can go up to six figures, depending on seniority and location.

Number 2: Urgent Care

There is always a need for additional staff at urgent care centers, and often they only require a medical license. Medical doctors without a residency will find plenty of job opportunities at urgent care centers. These facilities are often in need of additional staff and most only require a medical license. As an urgent care physician, you'll be expected to see patients of all ages. You should also be fairly comfortable with x-rays and performing simple procedures. Your pay will vary depending on where you work, however the average full-time income of an urgent care physician in the U.S. is around $200,000.

Number 1: Wound Care

Wound care is perhaps the most popular career option on our list because the skills required can be transferred from many specialties. Doctors from all backgrounds, such as general practitioners, plastic surgeons, emergency room doctors, and family practitioners have all made the successful transition to wound care.

With additional wound care training, physicians can become experts in this field within a short period of time, making it an excellent path for non-board certified doctors as well as international medical graduates. This is also the perfect career for physicians who are interested in:

  • Work life balance - Having a flexible work schedule without weekends or calls

  • Performing hands-on procedures with patients.

  • Earning up to $400k for full-time work + benefits

Interested in wound care training? Each physician at the Skilled Wound Care is trained to master the art of wound healing before entering the field. Get started on your wound care career by visiting


Skilled Wound Care is a mobile surgical practice committed to transforming the chronic wound care model in nursing facilities. Wound care experts make weekly bedside visits to patients in long-term care facilities, avoiding transfers to hospitals or clinics. Our expert physicians give patients the most up-to-date and effective wound treatments, and educate facility staff on how to help patients continue to heal quickly and effectively between visits. This model of collaborative care allows SWC’s physicians to improve patients’ lives and health outcomes, to empower nursing staff, and to raise public awareness. Skilled Wound Care, along with its nurse and nursing home partners, is working every day to positively transform traditional nursing home wound care.

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