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What Are the Different Types of Medical School Jobs?

By C. Mitchell
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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There are three broad types of medical school jobs: those held by teaching faculty staff; those designed for administrative and technical personnel; and those supporting business leadership, including high level administration, admissions, and curriculum policy. Medical schools that support teaching hospitals have an even broader range of employment opportunities, including nursing jobs and full-time physicians, surgeons, and specialists. Most of the time, the sorts of medical school jobs available depend on the size of the school as well as its specific staffing needs.

Medical faculty is perhaps one of the most essential jobs to any medical school program. Without qualified teachers, the education rendered is not worth much. All faculty members must usually have medical degrees themselves, and often have several years’ worth of practice experience.

Faculty in most medical schools can be divided into the subgroups of tenured, temporary, and adjunct. Tenured professors are retained permanently by the school or university, and in most cases have a teaching post for life. Temporary faculty are usually assistant and associate professors who teach full time, but lack the guaranteed lifetime term of tenured faculty. Sometimes temporary medical faculty can work their way up to tenure-rack positions, but much of this depends on the med school and its teaching needs. Adjunct professors are most often medical professionals who maintain active practices, but commit to teaching one or two classes per term, on a part-time basis.

A medical school could not survive with professor jobs alone. Administrative positions like class registrars, department secretaries, and research catalogers all play very important roles. Technical staff — staff who make sure that buildings are unlocked, multimedia technology is operational, and medical equipment is in good working order, among other things — are also essential. Janitorial and maintenance staff come within this category of medical school jobs, as well.

In nearly all cases, medical school jobs also extend to business management experts. The dean of the medical school fits within this category, for instance. So does the chief admissions officer, the school's lawyers, and tax accountants and financial management associates.

Outside of the classrooms and teaching labs, a medical school is, at its core, a business. It sells a service and must turn a profit to come out ahead. The school must also manage obligations like property taxes, employment benefits, and legal regulations governing everything from how medical exams are carried out to how accounting papers are filed with local and national governments. People with the expertise to oversee these and other related areas are usually found in medical school jobs at the upper echelons of the school’s administration.

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