A student with a blue hat on backwards walks down a hallway, at the end of which a logo for the School of Medicine is painted on the wall.
Category: Student Blog

Title: I Decided Not to Go to Med School. Now, What?

Author: Abby D.
Date Published: February 13, 2020

As a pre-med student, you will definitely face lows and highs and twists and turns that will ultimately help you make your decision on whether or not to go to medical school. Most likely, becoming a doctor has been your plan your whole life, and it’s scary to think about closing that door. After coming to Georgetown, I have realized that there are so many exciting, adventurous, and amazing opportunities to explore beyond the narrow path I had defined for myself in considering a medical degree. While getting a white coat is the path for some people, it’s not mine. If you, like me, decide that medical school is not right for you, then here are some options to consider.

Physician’s Assistant (PA)

If you like the idea of working in a clinical setting in a hospital and working with people, Physician’s Assistants have a job that’s similar to that of a doctor. They also have a great work life balance, with less time in school. However, the prerequisites for PA school are slightly different than medical school, so if this career sounds intriguing, make sure to do some research in advance.

Genetic Counseling
Genetic Counseling is great for students who have an interest in genetics and biology, and who would like to work with adults. Genetic Counseling offers so many intriguing opportunities for research, and it would make for a completely unique experience compared to any other profession. A genetic counselor’s job is both meaningful and impactful, which appeals to me as someone who long considered becoming a doctor with the intent of helping others.


The term “research” may sound big and daunting, because there are literally infinite types of research you can conduct. From wet labs to clinical trials, there is a huge need for research in every field. If you are interested in cancer biology or intellectual disabilities, there is a place for you. Here in Washington, there are so many nationally-ranked institutions conducting research that will have a huge impact on the health world.

Health Law
Being that Georgetown offers opportunities to work and meet with government officials, you could pursue a degree in law that focuses on international health or the like. You can convert your passion for medicine into helping others achieving their optimum health through the lens of law. Georgetown has ample resources, alumni, and connections to guide your way to law school, and eventually change the healthcare world.

Public Health

At the center of the nation, Washington is connected to every nation around the globe. In a public health career, you can work with governmental organizations or NGOs on international projects ranging from maternal health to health economics. Here, you can get deeply involved with these initiatives, and see the change you are making first hand.

If none of these careers sound right for you, know that these are only a few of the many options out there. From politics to business, health can intersect with practically any field. It’s up to you to figure out what your true passions are, and how to align them to give you the future you’ve worked for. Medical school is definitely not the only option, and also not for everyone.

For more reference, you can check “​What Can I Do with my Georgetown Major?​” on the Georgetown Cawley Career Center website, to help you consider many other options!