I've met many physicians who don't personally know any physicians who have left clinical medicine (I'm not counting those who've retired). Do you know many physicians who are now working in different health care industries? The list is very long: pharma, managed care, consulting, medical communications, legal medicine, etc. How strong is your social network?
There are some physicians who start embarking on some entrepreneurial projects and then they eventually leave clinical medicine to devote their time 100% to non-clinical work. Others make a clean break and look for something new in their lives.
When I was in college, I knew a handful of physicians who had left clinical medicine to pursue careers in industry. Then, when I was in medical school, several of my college friends decided that clinical medicine wasn't the right fit, so they left medicine to pursue other careers. Over the past several years, I've had the chance to meet so many physicians who have ventured into different non-clinical industries. Some now run their own companies. Others are full-time independent consultants.
The value of social networking simply can't be underscored enough. The insights you gain by meeting others and exchanging ideas is invaluable. If you're considering a transition out of clinical medicine and into the business side of health care, then expand your social network and get to know other physicians who have pursued similar paths. You never know what types of opportunities you'll find through other people within your social network.
Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of NonClinicalJobs.com, an independent website owned and operated by Dr. Kim. He is also the President of MCM Education, a professional medical education and publishing company that develops continuing medical education (CME) activities in joint sponsorship with medical universities, hospitals, and medical associations. Dr. Kim is a digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for health information technology, mobile health, and social media. He frequently speaks at conferences about non-clinical careers for physicians, continuing medical education, mobile health technology, and social media in medicine. Dr. Kim holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a doctorate of medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health.