How to Become a Cruise Ship Doctor

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Working on a cruise ship as a doctor has advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what is expected of you will improve your experience. If you are looking for a career change or are hesitant to settle down into a long-term practice, traveling the world as a cruise ship doctor may be the right choice. You will work hard, but you'll also have the advantage of visiting foreign lands and meeting people from all over the world.

Things You'll Need

  • Physician's license
  • Passport
  • Specialized training in trauma
  • Take a comprehensive look at your medical experience. Cruise ships hire doctors who are knowledgeable in both emergency medicine and traditional family practices. Most cruise lines prefer three or more years of work history.

  • Seek additional classes for certifications in advanced life support, advanced trauma life support, pediatric advanced life support, and advanced cardiac life support. Having these credentials will improve your chances of getting hired.

  • Figure out which areas you would like to travel to and seek employment from cruise lines who travel there.

  • Understand that you will be working with a diverse group of people. Having good social skills is a must. Each nationality has a different way of reacting to health care needs and part of your job will be figuring out how to handle each situation.

  • Know that you will work away from home for extended periods. Sometimes, cruise ship doctors are allowed to take significant others with them, but this doesn't happen all the time. Being single has its advantages when you are traveling for most of the year.

  • Educate yourself on what the cruise ship ship will expect of you. Most ships will require you to wear uniforms and some might ask you to play host. You may be working long hours because there is only one other doctor on board. You'll still have time to see the sights, but it's best to know beforehand how much time you will have to yourself.

  • Apply to cruise companies by visiting their websites. Check out classified adds to see which cruise lines need a doctor.

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