Is it possible to work remotely as a healthcare professional?

You’re probably asking, “is it possible?”

And you’ve probably answered yourself by saying “yeah but how do you help patients remotely? Like don’t you need to see them in person?”

The future of remote work in the healthcare industry has been a pressing topic, but all conclusions lead to the same outcome, in that it IS possible to work remotely as a healthcare professional.

The easiest example to demonstrate to those of you working as healthcare professionals is by looking at your peers working for digital General Practices, such as Babylon.

Yes, their job involves patient interaction, but ultimately, the role is remote. This means that the GP (or pharmacist/nurse practitioner/physio/and any other role that can feasibly be carried out remotely), on the days suggested upon in their contract, is working from the comforts of their own home.

But working remotely as a healthcare professional doesn’t just have to be limited to consultation-esque roles. You can work remotely in digital health, producing all sorts of various contents. These include:

  1. Medical writing – As we’re sure most of you are aware, medical writing is the career that has allowed us (Virginia and Hass) both to work entirely remotely. Medical writing varies considerably depending on the type of writing you wish to pursue and can be tremendously beneficial, both financially and in terms of quality time.
  2. Video creation – Recent studies show that around 70% of patients in the UK alone use the internet for advice (which demonstrates just how necessary medical writing is), and a whopping third of young people tend to use TikTok for medical advice before consulting with their doctors. We all know that most content uploaded onto various social media platforms isn’t regulated, so we don’t necessarily know how ‘safe’ the information on the internet is. By becoming video content creators, you can use your healthcare background to address a range of health topics in immaculate detail to help prove accurate information to your audience. [Watch out for our Write Clinic course on creating short videos coming soon!]
  3. Medical reviewer – If writing isn’t your strong suit but your medical knowledge is tip-top, you can try and land a role as a medical reviewer. These jobs often entail reviewing medical content for accuracy. The medical content you will be reviewing may be written by a writer with no previous medical experience, so your role is crucial to ensuring utmost accuracy of the piece.

There are many, many more remote roles suitable for healthcare professionals. You just need to know where and how to look for them. If you have any remote roles in mind that you aren’t sure are viable for healthcare professionals, feel free to contact us and we’ll see if we can help!

Yeah, but how do you help patients remotely?

As mentioned above, a significant number of patients, yourself included, will Google their symptoms before consulting with a doctor. Hell, I (Hass) was convinced I was skeptic because I had some shivers and Google told me I was on the brink of death. Obviously Google was wrong (thankfully, or else you wouldn’t be reading this), but you get my point – we still end up resorting to asking a search bar why we feel like death.

And that’s how you help patients remotely. By transitioning your career into that of a medical writer, you can help produce medically accurate, relatable, and crucial content that people will refer to when feeling under the weather (i.e. if they’re feeling odd or have their leg stuck under a boulder and don’t know what to do (and yeah, a client could ask you to write about that)).

Don’t you need to see them in person?

We live in the year 2023. Not 1023. We live in a time that making a 15 second video of you dancing to an obnoxious song can make you into an overnight millionaire, a time where politicians believe that by making mathematics obligatory until you reach 18 years old that all of your country’s troubles will simply go away, and a time in which we can find effective healthcare advice without having to chat to a doctor directly.

Let’s look at the NHS website for example. The NHS website– for those of you who aren’t in the UK, the NHS is the UK healthcare system – the content of this website was written by a medical writer. The content on this website is used by millions of people each month who are looking for advice about a certain condition. The website beautifully lays out the specifics of the condition, what you should be wary of, what you can do for treatment, and when you need to go see a doctor.

That wasn’t possible 20 years ago. Your AOL dial-up connection wouldn’t have loaded the site on time and your guardian catching up with a friend over the phone took priority of your health (assuming that like us, you were a more-than-competent 8-year-old at the time).

And so, healthcare professionals need to start embracing the beauty and complexity of the digital world instead of thinking it a place filled with misleading information.

Think of it as an asset. An opportunity for you to thrive. A new market for you to tackle.

Want in? Let us help you. Sign up to our Fundamentals of Medical Writing course. 

About the Write Clinic

We here at the Write Clinic are always eager to help medical professionals with their journey into the world of medical writing. If you’ve thought about it, and are seriously considering a career change, send us a message. We’re here to make your life better for the price of 2 locum shifts. 

If you’re not ready for a course, and just want to find out more about medical writing as a career, we’d love to hear from you too! Either one of us here at the Write Clinic will be more than happy to spend a little time getting to know you and discussing your options.

Best wishes,

Hass and Virginia

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