# Exploring Different Career Avenues: Unique Work Opportunities for Doctors Many medical school students and residents finish their education and training with the singular goal of providing patient care in a hospital or solo/group practice setting. But there are <em>many</em> other career paths that physicians can choose. &nbsp; When it’s time to search for a new job in medicine, it’s a good idea to consider all of the opportunities that exist, including ones that require you to travel, ones that involve working with peers rather than patients, and ones that pay a higher salary than full-time practice and hospital positions. &nbsp; Ready to learn what they are? &nbsp; Here are five unique work opportunities for doctors, including both clinical and non-clinical options. &nbsp; <h2>Locum Tenens Physician</h2> &nbsp; Working as a locum tenens physician has many benefits, including the opportunity to travel, work in different clinical settings, and serve different populations and demographics. Locum contracts are short-term, so this is a way to enjoy more flexibility, create a better work-life balance, and pursue other interests outside of medicine. &nbsp; Because opportunities exist in places where there is a shortage or immediate need for a healthcare provider, locum tenens physicians can earn even higher hourly rates than employed doctors that work full-time in one location. Locum employment contracts can also include other financial benefits, such as signing bonuses and the cost of relocating or traveling. &nbsp; Not sure how to approach the subject of a signing bonus? &nbsp; This article from <u><a href="https://physiciansthrive.com/contract-review/signing-bonus">Physicians Thrive</a></u> explains how to ask for one. &nbsp; <h2>Doctor/Lawyer</h2> &nbsp; If you’re willing to go back to school for yet another degree, you might want to consider becoming a doctor/lawyer. Doctor/lawyers are medical doctors that also hold a JD degree. This career path requires you to complete law school and pass the Bar Exam, which can take several years. &nbsp; Unlike medical lawyers, which are attorneys that specialize in healthcare, doctor/lawyers are both medical doctors <em>and </em>lawyers. Doctor/lawyers represent clients in malpractice cases, personal injury cases, and even civil cases, where mental, emotional, or physical harm has been alleged. &nbsp; The educational experience required to take on this role is extensive, so doctor/lawyers are hard to come by. The upside is that they’re highly in demand. &nbsp; <h2>Medical Legal Consultant</h2> &nbsp; Attorneys often rely on medical doctors to help them understand evidence and appear as expert witnesses in court cases. Physicians that consult and appear as witnesses in trials can earn incredibly high hourly rates that range from <u><a href="https://www.physiciansweekly.com/serving-as-physician-expert-witness-can-be-financial-game-changer/">$500 to $1,000 per hour</a></u>. &nbsp; Doctors that work as expert witnesses have the unique opportunity to testify in a wide variety of cases, from malpractice suits brought as the result of negligence to high-profile murder cases. It’s an exciting career path, but you’ll need to have extensive medical knowledge and training under your belt. Most physicians that choose this path do so after practicing for decades. &nbsp; <h2>Medical Technology Professional</h2> &nbsp; Physicians with an interest in technology can pursue a variety of different opportunities in IT. From healthcare apps for patient use to wearable medical devices to software systems used by physicians and hospital administrators, there are a variety of ways you can put your medical experience to use in tech. &nbsp; Wearable healthcare technology is ever-expanding, with devices such as blood pressure monitors and glucose meters becoming more and more widespread. Choosing a job in this field is an excellent way to continue to provide patient care without practicing in a clinical setting. &nbsp; <h2>Pharmaceutical Drug Consultant</h2> &nbsp; Pharmaceutical companies rely on medical experts, including physicians in all specialties, to provide insight into products and therapies that could benefit patients with various medical conditions. This is a non-clinical opportunity yet offers a way to provide and improve patient care without having to work in a medical practice or hospital setting. &nbsp; Physicians sit on advisory boards at Big Pharma firms to provide guidance on drug prescribing and labeling, designing clinical trials for new drugs, and determining how medications should be administered. Physician consultants can take on other roles as well, such as: &nbsp; <ul> <li>Presenting new drug information to the media</li> <li>Devising medical communications practices</li> <li>Making presentations to other healthcare professionals</li> </ul> &nbsp; <h2>More Non-Clinical Opportunities to Explore</h2> &nbsp; There are a variety of other roles that licensed physicians can play outside of clinical settings. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or are looking to make a career change later in life, here are some additional opportunities to explore: &nbsp; <ul> <li>Teaching</li> <li>Medical marketing</li> <li>Medical writing</li> <li>Healthcare administration</li> </ul> &nbsp; All of these are viable, high-paying careers that qualified physicians can do. Should you switch your career focus into one of these areas then decide you miss clinical practice, you can always moonlight as a locum tenens physician on the side. &nbsp; <h3>In Conclusion</h3> &nbsp; As a physician you have a unique skill set and in-depth education and training, which makes you uniquely suited for a multitude of careers. Whether you’re new to the field of medicine or nearing retiring age, keep your options open. Interesting and exciting opportunities outside of traditional practice are yours for the taking!