Alternative Careers for Doctors during COVID-19

Your alternatives to working on the front line as a doctor.

Let’s face it – despite the huge call for doctors to return to the NHS or other healthcare systems to fight the cause – not all doctors (retired or otherwise) want to, or are able to do this for many reasons.

We’ve noticed that despite a huge focus shift towards a predominant COVID-19 healthcare practice, we are still receiving emails, messages and enquiries from doctors about exploring alternative careers, starting up their own businesses and more.

Life still goes on for many.. as it should.

So even though there’s a massive recruitment freeze for most opportunities at the moment, there are still plenty of opportunities in the mix – self-employed, salaried and voluntary.

Here are a few of our picks from the last week as a result of keeping our ear to the ground;

 

Remote working as a clinician

Not a surprise here – medical practice has to continue in some way, particularly in primary care, however mitigating the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for both healthcare staff and the general public alike.

Most GP practices have switched to exclusively telephone or videoconferencing and still trying to adjust and figure out a new infrastructure. Whereas companies we’ve promoted for a while like Doctor Care Anywhere are simply ramping up their well established online remote GP services to accommodate an increased demand, and recruiting more GPs along the way.

We’ve also seen doctors in many specialties with private practices divert to solely online consultations.

Healthcare has been moving towards remote consultations, and the COVID-19 crisis has simply sped up this progressive transition.

 

Medical Education – Online

Yes, exams and appraisals and the like are postponed until.. who knows? However with a bit more time to study, many doctors are looking for online teaching resources online, and other doctors are providing this opportunity accessibly.

Whether it’s a Facebook group, Youtube Channel, series of webinars or more – this is a great opportunity to build a network of learners if you’re passionate about teaching. Especially if you had a course planned in the future and you’re exploring ways to avoid cancelling.

For example, Dr. Chris Lovejoy converted his weekend Machine Learning course to an online experience. Dr. Angela Goyal has developed an online Digital Lifestyle Medicine course for doctors.

One doctor who was having to self-isolate for a prolonged period of time at home, told us about how they had been recruited to train staff members for a large organisation on wellbeing remotely.

 

Medical Communications

What a more fervent time to get writing, blogging, vlogging or more about topical issues, your stories and more. Anybody can do it on any platform – however the opportunity for storytelling from the perspective of a doctor could not be more important than ever.

Doctors and other healthcare workers are practically the soldiers of the war we’re facing, hence their voices need to be heard.

If you’re aching to use this as an opportunity to get involved, why not start by writing to any Medical Communications companies with a proposal of what you could offer? You could also pen a line to The Guardian, BBC or more if you have a unique story you’d like to share. Start a blog or simply submit one you’ve written to any news outlets.

Medic Footprints are also currently growing a team of writers and welcoming submission of content from doctors across the world, hence do send us a line if you’re interested in learning more.

 

Volunteering for the cause

In one of our recent newsletters we were very open about the guilt that many of us doctors experienced as a result of not being able to work on the front-line for various reasons.

Being an extremely common feeling amongst caregivers, we wanted to raise awareness about the fact that all doctors’ skillsets can be used in a variety of ways beyond being in a high exposure environment to COVID-19.

We’ve come across numerous non-clinical voluntary opportunities run by doctors from crowdfunding for PPE to supporting the local community. We’ve listed a few on this page – check them out!

 

Medical Illustration

A bit of a random one, but we found a recent thread in a forum on this which seemed to be quite popular and easy for doctors to do in their spare time.

I am a Radiology Reg trying to get into medical illustration. Currently doing some illustrations for Radiopedia for free. Will see where it goes depending on how good I get. I would recommend investing in an ipad and pen, and getting Procreate. Its a really easy app to start with, anyone can use it with minimal training. I would also say Illustration is a great way to become a better doctor, it makes you understand the topics you are working on very well.

It’s not clear as to whether there are any specific good courses you can join, however apparently this doctor trained as a cartoonist at the London Art College.

There’s also a suggestion to sell your services on sites like Fiverr.com.

 

Become an Exercise and/or Nutrition Guru

With the general public stuck indoors for most of their daily lives, exercise and eating has now topped the agenda. Alongside this there’s been a flourish of Joe Wicks – type gurus investing heavily in adding content to their platform of choice to engage a relatively immobile population who may easily turn to binge eating as a comfort.

As we’re fans of the Lifestyle Medicine movement, we see this as a fantastic opportunity for doctors in this area to really grow their brand and services in this area. It will be particularly welcome for those who are using this time to really focus on developing better habits for themselves whilst at home.

It’s not difficult to do to test the waters – set up a Facebook Page, film a brief vid and upload onto YouTube or share a recipe with your existing family and friends. Your USP (unique selling point) is the fact you have the added credibility of being a doctor; other doctors in the wider community like Dr. Rupy Aujla from The Doctors Kitchen who actually started his journey with Medic Footprints several years ago, have successfully leveraged his brand in this way.

Don’t forget – get feedback, repeat and grow! Don’t go for perfection – get it out there, fail or succeed fast by getting feedback, then keep growing!

 

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