I wrote the example. An American freelancer I hired to check my essay added the bold sentence for me. According to the dictionary, "lines of work" means the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money. But in my example, the doctor wants to go to Africa to save lives, not to earn money. In this case, do you think his use of "lines of work" works?

There are lines of work only accessible in some regions. For example, A doctor trained in Switzerland might want to give up their current quality of life to go practice in Africa to help the most vulnerable.

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    It's the "only accessible in some regions" bit that confuses me. Working as a doctor is possible anywhere there are people. You probably mean some training facilities aren't freely available everywhere, but it's stretching a point / patronising to imply that people in Africa can't train as doctors in their own country. Sep 3, 2022 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


I agree with you: Lines of work is a perfectly valid phrase, but I don't think it applies in your sentence. "Saving lives" or "helping the most vulnerable" are aims or goals, but as you say, "line of work" usually means "what you do for a living", e.g., "I'm a plumber", "I'm a nuclear physicist", etc.

The doctor in question is still being a doctor for a living, so you could say that their line of work is being a doctor, but helping the most vulnerable is their motivation. As it is, it's not clear what line of work the author thinks is not available in Switzerland.

  • Thank you very much. I changed my example. Do you think "lines of work" works now? There are lines of work only accessible in some regions. For example, an engineer trained in India might want to work for a tech giant in America to help develop cutting-edge products. Sep 3, 2022 at 11:46

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