Working on the Fringes of Medicine

Most medical jobs work in the thick of things: in hospitals and health clinics and nursing homes and convalescent homes, etc.

All of these folks stay in regular contact with multiple medical professionals everyday just so they can get their jobs done. However, some medical jobs keep you out of the fray and only put you "in the trenches" at the moment you are needed. One could say these jobs constitute a "rogue faction" the medical community, but really they're just mercenary types who only come out of their shell when they absolutely need to. Let's take a look at the fringes of medicine...

Consider an Anesthesiologist (you know, the guy who knocks you out before surgery and monitors your vital signs during surgery.) Do you think that he's just trolling around the hospital when he's not in surgery? Nope, an Anesthesiologist may keep an office off the Hospital grounds or have an office that he/she comes out of only to perform surgeries. Because the prep work on the machines is usually done by a "Medical Equipment Preparer" then the Anesthesiologist doesn't have to be in the thick of things unless there is a surgery going on. Show up on time for your surgeries, do your job well, and disappear. That's how the Anesthesiologist's day works.

What about an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist? When you're not inspecting building for work-hazards or delivering a report to the head of some company whose building you just inspected what are you doing? Working in the quiet and comfort of your office, that's what you're doing. Once again, an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist needs to be on time to the places he/she needs to be, but then when the work is done you can withdraw from the hustle and bustle and work in peace in an office (or even your car if you have to travel a lot for work) and not be bothered with the constant flow of people in a large facility like a hospital.

What about Medical Transcriptionists? Many of them work remotely out of their homes (sometimes in their PJ's!) and they don't have to have direct contact with anyone if they don't want to. So much of the work of a Transcriptionist is done over e-mail so you can just stay cozy and warm with your laptop and leave the cares of the world outside while you stay inside.

To complete the circle let's look at Surgeons in general. When a surgeon isn't in surgery where do you think they are? Well, they might have to consult with a patient before surgery, but otherwise the Surgeon can work in quiet in his/her office and prepare for the surgeries they have to do that day. I won't say being a surgeon is an easy job, but you would have a chance to withdraw every now and then because you're needed "in surgery" and when you're not "in surgery" you will (many times) have some quiet time to yourself to work.

Even though a surgeon typically works at a hospital many surgeons keep their offices outside the hospital grounds and have "privileges" at the hospital and they come over to the hospital when needed, but don't spend all day there. Also, some surgeons (Cosmetic Surgeons especially) can do surgeries at their office and then allow patient to recover at a "recovery center" up the street. In this way you would never be in the "hustle and bustle" because everything is self-contained in your office space.

Recall that Transcriptionists need work to do and you have to have some time to do work on records and notations, etc. How are you going to get all of this work done if you're running around the hospital all day like the folks on TV? Well, these jobs give you some space...and if you're a "space needer" then these jobs will suit you quite well.

The common thread in working in medicine is to help people and be with them every step of the way, but some people are more introverted than others and we want to make sure that people know that the medical community does have professions that do lean more towards introspection. This way, you can find specifically what job works for you AND your personality. {Remember, not every Doctor hangs out in a hospital all day like they do on TV!)

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Anesthesiologists
    Salary: $309,338
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 12 years
    # Employed: 34,230
    Part Time: 8%
  • Medical Equipment Preparers
    Salary: $28,410
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 0.1 years
    # Employed: 44,340
    Part Time: 23%
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
    Salary: $62,250
    Job Prospects: B-
    Education After HS: 6 years
    # Employed: 53,250
    Part Time: 8%
  • Medical Transcriptionists
    Salary: $32,060
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 86,200
    Part Time: 23%
  • Surgeons
    Salary: $271,771
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 10 years
    # Employed: 47,070
    Part Time: 8%

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