Great Medical Careers for People Who Don’t Want a Patient-Facing Role

Not all careers in healthcare require directly interacting with and treating patients. Behind the scenes, there are many professionals working to improve medicine and healthcare in other ways. These jobs are ideal for people who want to make an impact in healthcare without working directly with patients. 

Medical Scientist

One great option is becoming a medical scientist. These professionals study human diseases and search for ways to prevent, diagnose, and cure them. For example, an immunologist may research how the immune system fights disease and use that knowledge to develop new vaccines. Other types of medical scientists include biochemists, microbiologists, pharmacologists, and genomics researchers. 

Most medical scientists work in research universities, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, or government agencies like the National Institutes of Health. They typically have a PhD in their specialty. Their job duties involve designing studies, conducting experiments, analyzing data, and publishing research to share findings with the medical community.

Medical Writing

Another career path is medical writing. Medical writers take complex health-related information and turn it into accessible materials for various audiences. Some common projects include writing research articles for medical journals, health education materials for patients, clinical study protocols, regulatory documents for new drugs and devices, and continuing medical education for healthcare professionals. 

Medical writers typically have a life science background combined with professional writing training. They work for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical communications agencies, academic medical centers, and medical associations. The role allows you to learn about cutting-edge medicine while using your communication skills, all without treating patients directly.  

Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is another patient-free option. These professionals manage hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities and organizations. Duties may involve developing organization strategy, overseeing operations and budgets, coordinating services across departments, ensuring regulatory compliance, and facilitating communication between different levels of the organization. Healthcare administrators can enter the field with just a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree in healthcare administration, public health, or business administration provides advancement opportunities to higher-level executive roles.

Health Informatics

Working in health informatics or health information technology is great for people interested in both medicine and information systems. Informaticists organize, analyze, and leverage health data to improve care delivery and health outcomes. This can involve designing electronic health records systems, clinical decision support systems, data reporting tools, health information exchanges between organizations, and digital solutions for patients. For this career, you’ll need a master’s degree in health informatics or health information management. Informaticists may work for hospitals, insurance companies, government health agencies, electronic health record vendors, pharmaceutical companies, or healthcare IT consultancies.

Laboratory Technician

A laboratory technician conducts routine medical laboratory tests and procedures to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Some of their key duties include:

  • Collecting and preparing specimen samples
  • Conducting tests on those specimens
  • Operating specialized laboratory equipment
  • Analyzing results from medical tests and experiments
  • Ensuring quality control for equipment and procedures
  • Recording and reporting test findings
  • Preparing specimens for storage

Laboratory technicians play a vital behind-the-scenes role in the healthcare system by generating the diagnostic test results that doctors rely on to provide patient care. Earn an online MLS degree to embark on this career path.

Pursuing your unique healthcare interests behind the scenes can lead to a fulfilling career that advances public health.