Monday, April 28, 2008

AMDIS - Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems

Since its founding in 1997, the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems is the premier professional organization for physicians interested in and responsible for healthcare information technology. If you have any interest in this industry, I encourage you to join this association and get connected. Attend the AMDIS/HIMSS Physician Program. Network with CMIOs, CMOs, CTOs, and CIOs.

Looking for a career change? Take a look at some of the current positions that are available that are listed here:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Working as a Chief Medical Information Officer

If you love computers, technology, and healthcare, then you may want to consider the opportunity of being a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). Healthcare IT is changing rapidly and there are growing opportunities in this area. Every major health system needs to incorporate and improve their IT infrastructure as hardware and software evolve with improved capabilities.

Want to learn more? Take a look at this article titled, "What does a chief medical information officer do?"

Other related opportunities include being a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), or a Chief Information Officer (CIO) - although that may be the same as a CMIO in some settings.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


An executive search firm is looking to hire a new Director to Senior Director of Health Outcomes position within a well known, brand name pharmaceutical company located in NJ.


Branded Pharmaceutical Company is seeking a Director, Health Outcomes for their New Jersey facility. Individual will run the purchasing function Reports to the Chief Medical Officer, the Director of Health Outcomes is charged with development and execution of health outcome studies. Individual is intended to work with managed care, medical affairs, and clinical research team in providing health outcome science on currently marketed and clinical portfolio products.

 Lead tactical and operational role in implementing health outcomes studies, collaborating with external contract organizations, consultants and others to support characterization of economic burden of disease and economic value of assigned products
 Perform strategic and tactical assessments of potential economic value for pipeline drugs to guide clinical study design, target population, comparator, pricing decisions, reimbursement, business development and strategic marketing
 Provide hands-on support in developing and adapting economic modeling for key markets for current and new indications as part of commercial and reimbursement strategy (collaboration with key opinion leaders and input with advisory boards)
 Prepare and publish abstracts, posters, and manuscripts in scientific journals, and making presentations at key meetings, on the results of key health outcomes studies, with the publication team
 Draft and review health outcomes sections of reimbursement dossiers to provide contextual presentation of expected economic value from the perspective of external stakeholders, and to facilitate the understanding and interpretation of existing research
 Provide health economic assessments to support decisions on in-licensing of products made jointly with commercial and research/development teams
 Maintain awareness of health outcome requirements, regulatory legislation, payer trends, and requirements

 Requires minimum Master's or other professional or clinical degree in biostatistics, statistics, epidemiology, or economics major with greater than 5 years experience in health outcomes research, and/or a related field
 Experience with pharmacoeconomic and health outcomes modeling is required and additional experience with statistical analyses/modeling is highly preferred
 Understand clinical development of pharmaceutical drug products
 Excellent interpersonal skills, self-motivation, and positive attitude
 Analytical skills as well as excellence in oral and written communications
 Ability to review business development projects
 Have experience in medical affairs and clinical research
 Ability to handle multiple issues on multiple projects simultaneously.
 Ability to maintain a high degree of independence with respect to decision making and problem solving
 Liaise with other departments/ divisions to ensure successful outcome in due diligence of projects
 Strong negotiating skills
 Must have ability to analyze and evaluate processes and procedures
 Previous experience in health outcomes research
 Collaboration with medical, clinical, and managed care teams
 Managed care exposure
 Industry background
 Master's degree required or
 MD, PhD, PharmD (experience may substitute for degree requirements).
 Minimum 5 years clinical/medical affairs health outcomes research experience desired


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Career Lab

I recently found this interesting resource for those interested in pursuing non-clinical opportunities and careers. It's called Career Lab. I haven't had time to look extensively at all the different articles posted on the site, but this one caught my eye:

Career Transition Flow Chart

Looks like they provide some comprehensive consulting services to help you secure the right career opportunity. If you need some guidance and don't have time to do extensive research, this service might be beneficial for you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Non-Clinical Careers and Opportunities for Physicians

- updated -

If you're a physician and you're considering a non-clinical career, you may be wondering about all the opportunities out there. I get asked about this all the time. Over the years, I've had a chance to meet different physicians working in various companies and industries and here are my observations.

The following may apply even if you're not a physician. If you're a clinician (nurse, NP, pharmacist, PA, etc.), many of these opportunities may still apply.

First, ask yourself what you enjoy. After all, if you don't enjoy clinical medicine, you don't want to end up doing something else you're not going to enjoy. Then, start networking like crazy. Leverage all the online social networking sites (like LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, etc.) and get reconnected with old colleagues, classmates, and friends. Find out what people are doing. They may help you get connected to some key people. You may find some of the best opportunities this way. If you're a woman, you may want to check out MomMD (

The following list of opportunities is clearly non-exhaustive. This list is based on my personal interactions with people in these roles and as I meet more people, this list grows.

Here is my growing list of non-clinical opportunities for physicians (not in any particular order).

1. Healthcare administration - Are you a seasoned healthcare executive? Do you enjoy making administrative decisions? Then join the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) and run a hospital or a managed care organization. If you have a strong interest in managed care, then check out the NAMCP (National Association of Managed Care Physicians). You may want to get an MBA or an MMM (masters in medical management) if you don't already have one. A valid medical license is required for most (if not all) of these positions.

2. VC, finance, market research, etc. - Got an MBA? If not, are you thinking of getting one? Some will argue that once you have an "M.D." after your name, it may not matter as much where you get your MBA. However, I would argue that your MBA is your path to networking opportunities, so where you get your MBA is critical if you want to have a solid network. Once you get your MBA, you can work for venture capital (VC) firms, dig into market research companies, or work for Wall Street. Heard of the Gerson Lehrman Group ( No clinical experience necessary for many of these opportunities. In fact, many joint MD/MBA students have ventured directly into very successful careers this way. Also, an MBA is not necessary if you have some good business skills and understand the healthcare industry.

3. Writing and medical communications - Do you enjoy writing? Many physicians and non-physicians have very successful careers as medical writers. The field is open to people who enjoy fiction writing, publications, research, or other types of writing. You can get involved working on journal publications, developing promotional content for marketing campaigns, or developing CME programs. Join the AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) and look for opportunities. You can work from home as a freelance writer and have a very flexible schedule. Or, you can work for a publisher or another type of healthcare communications company. You can find a list of some companies by looking at the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies, Inc., (NAAMECC) website. No clinical experience necessary.

4. Technology and Informatics - Want to develop or improve an electronic health record (EHR) system? Do you love informatics? Then join the CCHIT (Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology), the AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association), and the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). Clinicians use EHRs and patients (or consumers) use PHRs (Personal Health Records). There are many companies attempting to integrate the data between PHRs and EHRs. There is a national initiative to improve and standardize public health informatics, so now is a great time to enter this industry. No clinical experience necessary, but you should be familiar with ICD, CPT, and other billing codes used in this industry.

5. Disease management - Managed care organizations (MCOs) are always looking for better disease management (DM) programs for their plans. Some MCOs develop their own DM plans and others outsource them to external companies. These companies create and deliver various services to managed care organizations, including DM, wellness programs, personal health record (PHR) services, etc. Do you ever get educational pamphlets from your own health plan? Who puts them together? Who designs and develops these wellness and preventive health programs? It's not always WebMD. There are other companies that provide similar services.

6. Pharma/Biotech/Device - If you're a medical specialist, there are many opportunities to do research for these companies. If you don't enjoy research, then you can develop marketing strategies. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements have become very popular these days. See all those ads in the medical journals? Get ready for that "corporate America" lifestyle if you plan to venture into industry. You may be working even more hours and carrying a Blackberry instead of a pager, but if you climb that "corporate ladder" and play the corporate game, you may qualify for an early retirement.

7. Expert witnessing - Personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home care, etc. There are firms that specialize in specific areas (like nursing home cases). Want more information? Take a look at

8. Public health - Get an MPH, join the APHA (American Public Health Association), and find a local health department. Or, join the CDC and travel the world. Develop strategies to improve population health. Some pharmaceutical companies also have public health sections and are very devoted to public health and international health (Pfizer in particular comes to mind). Bridge gaps in healthcare disparities.

9. Consulting - The world is open. Want to work for yourself or for a company? Many healthcare companies are looking for experts to help them develop, refine, and improve their products and services. It may be hard to get started unless you've already established connections. Once again, networking becomes critical.

10. Research - Academia vs. private vs. industry vs. CRO. You don't have to go into industry to do research. Look for a Contract Research Organization (CRO) in your area. Join the ACRO (Association of Clinical Research Organizations). Start with PPD (no, this is not the TB skin test).

11. Executive recruiting - Physicians can work as an executive recruiter to hire and place other physicians. You can also work your way up and manage other recruiters who do the hiring. Remember, these 'head hunters' get paid a commission based on the salary of the person they place. The $ earning potential can be tremendous if you're successful.

12. Start a company - Have an innovative idea? Start a company! New companies seem to be sprouting all the time. Stay connected with people and keep your eyes open for new ideas. Get an MBA and meet people who can help you get a concept off the ground.

Not sure where to start? As I mentioned above, start building your social and professional network. Reconnect with people and ask many questions. Find people who are in various positions and ask them what they like/dislike.

Join some associations to build your network and to find companies. Note that some associations are specifically for physicians, but many are open to all types of healthcare professionals. Also, even those that are specifically for physicians (such as the ACPE) offer affiliate memberships for certain non-physicians.

ACHE: American College of Healthcare Executives
ACPE: American College of Physician Executives
ACRO: Association of Clinical Research Organizations
AMDIS: Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems
AHIMA: American Health Information Management Association
AMIA: American Medical Informatics Association
AMWA: American Medical Writers Association
APHA: American Public Health Association
CCHIT: Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology
NAMCP: National Association of Managed Care Physicians

National Association of MD/MBA Students

Thinking about getting an MBA? Take a look at some of these articles and consider the ROI (return on investment) of your education:

Finally, you may want to take a look at these programs, since they may offer excellent networking opportunities:

MBA in a Day

SEAK - Non-clinical careers for physicians

SEAK - MBA skills for physicians

Hope all this is helpful. I'm always revising this as new information comes in, so check back to see what's new.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ghost writing - a dying practice

The practice of "ghost writing" seems to be dying quickly. Merck is being heavily scrutinized because of everything that happened with Vioxx, and this week, JAMA has published some case studies about this very practice.

What does all this mean for those medical communication companies that develop articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals? Well, for starters, all author information will need to be fully disclosed in every publication. We've started to see this in several journals. Clinicians are listing and acknowledging the names of writers who may be employed by medical communications companies. However, some proponents are arguing that medical communications companies should not even be involved in writing any of the content for these manuscripts. Does this mean that professional medical writers may need to start looking for other opportunities?

The buzzword these days is "transparency." Companies and clinicians must fully disclose all relevant information and be completely transparent. This is happening in the world of CME. Professional education that is CME certified should be fair-balanced, free of bias, and evidence-based. All faculty members who develop or present CME programs are required to fully disclose all affiliations that may potentially influence of bias their message.

Transparency is being taken a step further these days. In a bold move, Lilly began a new CME grant transparency process and started posting data about their CME dollars. People can see how Lilly is spending CME dollars. Take a look at their grant office registry report:

The buzzword "transparency" will continue to permeate industry. The FDA, the OIG, and all other stakeholders will demand full transparency whenever research is published. Perhaps those ghost writing companies will need to refocus and find other opportunities...

Career Change for Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals

Thinking about a significant career change? Thinking about a non-clinical career? Do you know how to get started?

Here are just a few practical suggestions/tips:

1. Start networking with old classmates, colleagues, and friends. You may find the perfect opportunity and discover that an old colleague is in a position to help you.

2. Join some associations/societies that are specific to the industry you're interested in. By becoming a member, you now have an opportunity to network with people in that field.

3. Subscribe to publications specific to that industry/area. Learn about some of the current issues specific to that industry.

4. Scan job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, and others that are specific to that industry. See what types of opportunities are out there and get an idea about the types of qualifications they're looking for. Post your CV and become visible.

5. Contact executive recruiters and have them do the work for you. They'll be more than happy to help you find an opportunity. They can also give you some ideas on salary ranges, job requirements, etc.

Medscape is now FINALLY copying Sermo

Medscape, perhaps the largest online resource for healthcare professionals, is finally copying Sermo with their "Physician Connect" physician-only online community. Medscape has had forums and other features to foster an online community, but uptake and usage has been very low. WebMD has really dominated the online healthcare space, so I'm surprised it's taken Medscape so long to come up with something like this. WebMD has been gobbling up other online professional resources like Medsite, eMedicine, and These are all being placed under the "Medscape" umbrella of services.

I remember when Medscape was born. Most users at the time was using Netscape, so the name medscape really made sense. Now, hardly anyone uses Netscape to browse the web. Safari, Firefox, and Opera have taken over. Can we come up with some creative names based on these browsers? Medfari? Medfox? Medopera?

By the way, just like Sermo, Physician Connect requires physician validation.

the DMAA - Disease Management to Care Continuum

Can you keep track of all these acronyms? Here's an interesting twist. The DMAA stands for: The Care Continuum Alliance. Shouldn't that be the CCA? They used to be called the Disease Management Association of America, but now they've re-branded their association to be called the Care Continuum Alliance. They still have their journal titled "Disease Management" and their focus continues to be on population health.

Here's a description from their corporate website:

We believe the highest achievable health status is attained through the promotion and alignment of population health improvement by:
  • Promoting a proactive, patient-centric focus across the care continuum;
  • Convening health care professionals across the care continuum to share and integrate practice models;
  • Emphasizing the importance of both healthful behaviors and evidence-based care in preventing and managing chronic conditions;
  • Promoting high quality standards for and definitions of key components of wellness, disease and, where appropriate, case management, and care coordination programs as well as support services and materials;
  • Identifying, researching, sharing and encouraging innovative approaches and best practices care delivery and reimbursement models;
  • Establishing consensus-based outcomes measures and demonstrating health, satisfaction, and financial improvements achieved through wellness, disease and case management, and care coordination programs;
  • Supporting delivery system models that assure appropriate care for chronic conditions and coordination among all health care providers including strategies such as the Chronic Care Model, the physician-led medical home concept, and the disease management model;
  • Encouraging the widespread adoption and interoperability of health information technologies;
  • Advocating the principles and benefits of population health improvement to public health officials, including state and federal government entities;
  • Underscoring the level of commitment to population health improvement and timeframes necessary to realize the full benefits.

The Importance of Social Networking

The Internet now allows us to reconnect with so many old friends, colleagues, and classmates. Social networking has become a buzzword and several online sites have popped up over the last several years. More recently, social networking sites have gotten sophisticated and have built capabilities to help you build your network and connect with even more people.

The three that I mainly use are:

Linked In



I've had a chance to reconnect with many old classmates, colleagues, and friends. It's been very interesting to see what people are up to these days. They're all scattered over the world in so many different industries. These online social networking sites make it so easy to keep everyone updated with your latest information. It's great to see photos, baby pictures, and more. Get connected and build your network!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Advertise Here

If you are interested in advertising on, please contact me by e-mail:

The following websites are owned and operated by Joseph Kim, MD, MPH and advertising discounts are available if you choose to advertise on multiple sites:

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