When you choose a medical career, you know there’s hard work ahead. But as the pandemic drags on, the stress and pressure on doctors continues to grow.

It can be a brutal time for the soldiers on the very front line of this war.

It is only natural some will reach breaking point and question their future in the profession.

Many will have faced burnout, both physically and mentally, even before the pandemic. Long hours bogged down in paperwork instead of treating patients can be frustrating.

Or there may be any number of other reasons doctors will contemplate a career change.

Some will merely seek a better work-life balance, particularly after seeing many of their friends achieve just that.

Others will have been drawn to another career they may have never previously considered.

Remuneration is a common sticking point with the lure of switching to private practice or a new profession motivated by money.

While a few may decide that despite the significant investment they have made in their education, the medical profession just isn’t the path they had their heart set on after all.

Different pathways

Working as a locum or in telemedicine might provide you with the circuit-breaker you need.

Doctors who opt to explore a new career may choose to remain in a medicine-based field. Or they make the bolder move of switching careers altogether.

Cosmetology and microsurgery involving traditional aesthetic services such as laser therapy, dermal filler injections and skin peeling procedures may be appealing.

A move to a role with little or no patient contact such as radiology or pathology might be preferable.

While non-clinical roles including medical education or administration and public health are also available.

For those wanting a move further outside the industry, there are jobs such as medical law, writing or research, the pharmaceutical industry, management consultancy or even career coaching.

You really are only limited by your imagination. 

Doctors bring a unique skillset to the table. This opens up opportunities in lifestyle and complementary medicine including diet, mental health and wellbeing, acupuncture, homeopathy and alternative medicines. 

Tips for transition

Once you’ve decided you’re serious about a career switch, it is important to follow some tried and tested guidelines to make it successful.

Do your homework

Talk to peers who have made the switch, learn as much about the role online as you can.

Target one sector

As a general rule, you are better off focussing on one specific role and working towards that, rather than a number of different ones.

Consider further education 

Does your coveted role need new skills? You may be able to complete them while remaining in your practice.

Widen your horizons 

Yes, it is important to spruce up that CV and tailor it to the new role you are targeting. But there really is no substitute for networking. Build up your contacts within your chosen field and use industry acquaintances to alert you to positions not advertised online.

Have patience 

Have faith and believe in yourself but above all, have patience. Career changes don’t usually happen overnight and you may suffer disappointment before you achieve your goal. As long as you remain committed and dedicated to your cause, you will ultimately be rewarded.

Decision time

Now more than ever, it’s really important you are working to live, rather than living to work. But before you swing any plan into action, it’s even more important to get quality advice.

You may not want or be able to afford a career change if it negatively compromises your wealth plan and goals.

Let us set you up to meet with a medical wealth expert to ensure you haven’t glossed over any important details, and that any moves you make support your future goals.

Contact us today to talk about your needs.

The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and are based on Nitschke Nancarrow’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time.

Nitschke Nancarrow specialises in accounting, tax and financial advice for superannuation.

Contact us now for a no obligations discussion about your needs.