An MD degree is surprisingly flexible. Though a vast majority of people who earn MDs become physicians, it’s not the only career option available to U.S. and Caribbean medical school graduates. The opportunities are numerous and lucrative. You can use these options as a chance to gain some real world experience prior to beginning your residency. Here are some of the ways you can maximize the use of your MD degree:

Hospital Administration

An MD degree will give you an advantage when applying for administrative positions at a hospital. MDs have become executives at many hospitals throughout the U.S., including medical directors, executive directors, and more. While you’’re rotating through clinical clerkships, you should actively network with hospital administration to see what’s available and what life as a hospital administrator is like. These roles increase the efficiency of physicians, foster an environment that makes patients more comfortable, and ensure that various departments function cohesively.

Hospital Administrators are the people behind the scenes who oversee the daily and overall business operations of a hospital, including, but not limited to, the management of facility services and practices, personnel, finances, and quality assurance. While doctors tend to the health of the patient, administrators focus on the health of the hospital.

Medical Researcher 

Just like becoming a physician, researcher positions allow MDs to continue the tradition of being life-long learners. You’ll be on the frontline of discovering the cures for tomorrow by collecting data and making sense of the numbers. Instead of healing one person at a time, you could be healing the world with the medical breakthroughs you pioneer. If you decide to join this field, you will need a strong resume. While you’re in medical school, try to submit your independent research to conferences and academic journals in the field(s) where your research is most relevant. Being a published researcher is a huge boon not only if you want to be a researcher but also for your residency applications. Note: you may need to obtain a PhD for certain research positions.

Pharmaceutical Company Executive 

Pharmaceutical companies are always on the lookout for talented MDs who have a keen eye for business. Through an articulation agreement with Urbana University, American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine offers an online MBA program. This program will teach you how to climb the ladder in the pharmaceutical industry and develop the qualities that make a great executive. Through the Urbana program, you will also learn what healthcare professionals are looking for in a strong resume and how to build one of your own. To understand the industry and determine whether it’s right for you, visit Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine’s website.

Medical Consultant 

You remember all that medical jargon you heard on House and Scrubs? A medical consultant reviewed all of that before it made it to air. Medical consultants are advisors to organizations that need assistance in analyzing the accuracy of their use of medical terminology. Consultants have reviewed advertisements, marketing campaigns, screenplays, teleplays, plays, manuscripts, and more. They’ve also been hired to help design hospitals and medical facilities. Consultants have worked with medical practices and helped them improve their efficiency. You will have to network to get your name out there, but once you make connections, your name could be listed in the credits at the end of a film or honored by the architects you consulted in building the new wing of a hospital. It’s an incredibly broad career choice that suits the flexibility of an MD degree.