Thursday, October 8, 2009

Entry-level non-clinical jobs for physicians

It's hard to imagine that a physician would be looking for an "entry-level" job. I use that term to refer to jobs that physicians can get if they lack industry working experience. Having 10 years of hospital experience doesn't mean that you'll be able to easily transition to a corporate job.

So, what are some common entry-level non-clinical jobs for medical school graduates? Let me start the discussion by focusing on a few industries:
  • Medical communications. This includes medical writing, promotional medical education, marketing/advertising, certified medical education, consumer health, and much more. 
  • Pharma/Biotech. Here, one of the ways to "break in" is to start as a medical science liaison (MSL). Or, you could enter as a medical writer (regulatory writing, drug safety reports, etc.). You may wish to consider the clinical research side if you have research experience.
  • Consulting. You may have a difficult time breaking into McKinsey and Company or any of the other top consulting firms, but there are other consulting companies that are looking for physicians. If you don't mind living out of a suitcase, then perhaps you may wish to consider a healthcare consulting job.
Now, these are just three examples of different industries that will employ physicians who don't have extensive industry experience. There are many other types of non-clinical jobs out there, but the three areas listed above are some of the most common "entry points" for physicians who are transitioning out of clinical medicine. To learn more about entering the non-clinical world, I encourage you to invest your time and resources into a mentor who can guide you through this process.

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