4 Questions to ask if you’re thinking about changing careers

Important questions to ask before embarking on a new career journey

5 min | Medical Careers


We chatted to Dr Ashe Coxon, a GP and Career Development Practitioner who is the Director and Founder of Medical Career Planning, about important questions to ask yourself before embarking on a new career path – particularly if you’re considering leaving medicine entirely, especially as non-clinical roles are emerging as an increasingly popular career choice for healthcare professionals. Whether you are driven by professional interest, diversification, portfolio careers, skill expansion or a desire to practice non-clinically, Dr Coxon shares some valuable insights to consider. 


What are some important questions to consider when thinking about changing careers? 

Before venturing into a non-clinical or non-traditional career, it’s crucial to reflect on certain key questions. Discussing these with a professional is recommended, especially if they affect your registration or employment.  

  1. Do I want to get General Registration? This is particularly relevant for those who have not yet achieved it, like medical students and interns.  
  2. Do I want to continue to be registered as a Doctor? Familiarise yourself with the registration standards set by the Medical Board of Australia, as they play a significant role in the decision to pursue non-clinical work. 
  3. Do I want to work with patients? Non-fellowship roles offer opportunities to continue working with patients, while non-clinical positions may involve little to no patient contact. 
  4. Why do I want to go into non-clinical medicine? Explore the reasons driving your desire to pursue non-clinical medicine, as the landscape is constantly evolving with new and exciting opportunities that may align with your passions. 


What are some examples of non-clinical, non-fellowship or non-traditional roles? 

While some may require fellowship and not all are non-clinical, these roles offer a taste of the diverse opportunities available: 

  • Medical writing and communication 
  • Healthcare consulting 
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device industry roles 
  • Health policy and advocacy 
  • Medical education and academic 
  • Research and clinical trials coordination 

 This is only a glimpse into the wide range of options available. The non-medical landscape is evolving rapidly, with possibilities that you may not be aware of.  


To delve deeper into specific topics, including fellowship requirements, industry insights and job search strategies, Dr Coxon offers an in-depth course on ‘Non-Fellowship and Non-Traditional Medical Careers. You can find more information here. 

You can also join Dr Coxon in an interactive career planning workshop that offers invaluable guidance for health professionals navigating through alternate career options. You can view the details for the next upcoming workshop here. 

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