I was tickled when I read the small yellow box on BusinessWeek: Your Digital Profile. It starts with: "Paper resumes are passé." Interested in a June 17 NPR segment about digital profiles? Consider these things: "LinkedIn profiles are a must, blogs a plus... no cutesy, joint husband-and-wife e-mail addresses, please... at least one executive looks down on AOL addresses... AOL was so 1998..."
I remember having an AOL e-mail address. I think I still have one (but I never use it, so maybe it's gone by now).
BusinessWeek needs to start using URL-shortening services like bit.ly or even tiny URL! I had to type "http://bx.businessweek.com/recession-job-search/reference" to get to the BusinessExchange discussion on this topic.
BusinessWeek has a story about some different online job sites. You can guess who's on the list:
What, no Twitter or Facebook? You'd be surprised to know that many people have been finding jobs on social networking sites over traditional job boards. "Twitter is immediate." That's why it's gaining such popularity among job hunters and executive recruiters.
The biggest threat to traditional job boards may come from LinkedIn. Think of LinkedIn as Facebook with a "professional bent." It's essentially a social networking site that has been evolving to compete against traditional job boards. As a result, people are building some incredibly strong networks that are opening up doors of opportunity in various different industries. I've met all sorts of interesting physician executives and have also had the opportunity to do some professional matchmaking. "The networking even 'pushes' candidates to employers who meet preset criteria... while some LinkedIn members may not want to hear froma recruiter, they'll often send a message along to someone else in their network."
So will Monster continue to stay at the top spot?
The PROS for Monster are: strong brand awareness; deep resume database.
The CONS are: expensive (for recruiters and companies, free for job seekers); too many unqualified applicants
Perhaps if Monster teams up and forms some type of strategic parternship with a strong social networking platform, they will dominate the online job space.
Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have any experience working in a start-up company? When I graduated from MIT, many of my colleagues went to work in a small start-up. Of course, most of them were computer scientists or software engineers, but some of them were also mechanical and chemical engineers. The advantage of working in a start-up is that you get exposed to many different responsibilities simultaneously. You get to wear "many different hats." So, if you like to get involved in many different aspects of a company, then you'll enjoy the energy and excitement that's often associated with a start-up. Thinking about starting your own company? Make sure you recruit the right type of people who can help you get things off the ground.
I've had so much fun using Twitter these last few months. I began seriously using Twitter in mid-April and look at my growth chart over the past 3 months! Twitter has helped my blogs and my blogs have helped my Twitter account.
As I near 13,000 followers, I often think about the long-term future of Twitter. Some are speculating that Twitter may be a fad that's going to pass fairly quickly. I must disagree. I see that more professional medical groups and corporations are starting to use Twitter to boost their online visibility. Twitter is probably the easiest and fastest way for you to boost your online visibility. So, if you have something you'd like to share with the rest of the world, make sure you're leveraging the social networking power of Twitter. Want to boost traffic to your blog? Use Twitter!
What have you been doing to grow your social network? Maybe you're wondering, "why should I bother with social networking?"
Let me offer a few reasons why social networking is so important for healthcare professionals who are interested in non-clinical opportunities:
You may find your next job through someone in your social network. If you grow your network on sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo, then you may end up meeting some people who are in a position to hire you.
You may need quick and reliable references. If you ever need some professional references, you can have some that are ready to go if you leverage social networking tools.
You may find some consulting opportunities through someone in your social network. Even if you're not looking for a new full-time position, perhaps you're open to some part-time consulting. I know many people who have found some unique opportunities through Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter.
Your old friends and colleagues may be in powerful positions. They may not hire you, but they could be a hiring manager and they may want to meet some of your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.
You may need an audience someday. Perhaps you'll write a book and you'll want some help with promotion. Perhaps you'll start a blog and you'll want to recruit some readers. You may need an audience who will be interested in something you have to offer.
You never know when you may lose you job. I realize that people don't like to think about this possibility, but it's a reality for many in the corporate world. You may get the pink slip someday. You may get disabled. You may run into personal issues. Things in life may force you to make a transition and you want to be prepared by having a strong social network.
Interested in building a social network among healthcare professionals who have an interest in non-clinical ventures? Then join this free social network titled, "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals."
Eventually, you may wish to explore the complete world of Web 2.0 and play around with blogs, RSS feeds, forums, and other social networking tools. If you're on Twitter, I invite you to follow me (@DrJosephKim) and I will follow you back.
Sermo is an online physician community and you can find some non-clinical jobs and opportunities on the "Jobs" tab. You have to be a physician to join, but joining is free and you may have some opportunities to earn some extra cash by participating in brief surveys. What types of non-clinical opportunities will you find? Well, it varies, but here are some that I've seen in the past:
There are unique acronyms in every industry. The health information technology (Health IT, HIT, HITECH) industry is full of strange and convoluted acronyms. The world of certified medical education also has its share of acronyms and I wish to outline a few here.
CCMEP: Certified CME Professional. It seems like everyone wants to have some level of certification. Who provides this certification?
NC-CME: National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, Inc.
CME: Continuing Medical Education
CNE: Continuing Nursing Education
CPE: Continuing Pharmacy Education or Continuing Professional Education
CPD: Continuing Professional Development
CPPD: Continuing Physician Professional Development or Continuing Pharmacy Professional Development
Over the past few months, I've been approached by several physicians who are looking for some level of career coaching. They often ask me questions related to medical writing, consulting, medical communications, health IT, medical education, and other areas of non-clinical medicine. I enjoy meeting people and providing advice (or directing them to others who can offer some guidance). I'm starting to consider whether I should team up with a few individuals to offer a formal level of career coaching. Is this something that would be of interest?
Care to win a medical journalism award? To encourage journalists to raise awareness of epilepsy and to help break down these barriers, the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and UCB are pleased to launch the Excellence in Epilepsy Journalism Award. The award will recognize journalists who produce stimulating, informed and compelling news and feature stories on epilepsy.
The Excellence in Epilepsy Journalism Award is a joint initiative from UCB and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) which recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions to epilepsy journalism. There are 3 categories:
Medical print / online
Consumer print / online
The award is open to consumer, health and medical journalists writing for print, broadcast or online outlets.The award is open to stories that have been published or broadcast from 01 July 2008 until June 30 2009.
An independent six member panel will judge entries, looking for responsible, informed and original stories. Entries will also be assessed on the following specific criteria. The work:
Helps to increase the awareness and understanding of epilepsy
Gives a voice to people with epilepsy
Is conceptually or visually innovative and creative
Is well structured, well researched and compelling
Uses language responsibly when reporting or writing on epilepsy
Interested in learning more? Click here to go to the UCB website.
If you're a physician and you're thinking about starting a career in health information technology (health IT, HIT or HITECH), do you know where to start? If you've been actively involved in your hospital IT department, then you may have many years of experience in this space. However, if you lack experience and you consider yourself to be an inexperienced novice, consider these 10 tips:
If you lack formal training in medical informatics, consider getting a master's degree in either medical informatics, biomedical informatics, or health informatics. A master's degree isn't essential, but if you lack work experience in this space, then it may be a worthwhile investment that may eventually springboard you into a promising position. Many of these programs utilize distance learning and can be done part-time. For example, Northwestern University offers a Master of Science in Medical Informatics.
Start following all the news related to health IT. One good source is Healthcare IT News. Stay current with all the legislative updates. Can you define "meaningful use?"
Join HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) and AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association).Eventually, you may want to look into the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS).
Build your social network. Reach out to people working in the health IT space and get to know them. I suggest using Twitter and LinkedIn.
Attend conferences that focus on health IT. HIMSS is a major conference that occurs annually and I would highly recommend attending.
Learn all the acronyms spoken in the world of health IT. It's like another language. ASP, NAHIT, HITOP, ARRA, HIT, OHITA, HIT, HIS, HIMSS, CHITA, CCHIT, HSA, EHR, EMR, PHR, HITECH, HIPAA, ONC, VistA (no, not the operating system), and more.
Get very familiar with the CCHIT : Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.
Strengthen your computer skills. If you're a health IT executive, you'll be expected to be very familiar with basic computing skills at a minimum. Get a smartphone, start using mobile computing technology, and become an expert with Microsoft Office. Learn about cloud computing.
Pursue health IT certification. HIMSS offers CPHIMS, but you need to demonstrate some work experience to qualify for CPHIMS. There are other types of certifications such as CPEHR, CPHIT, and CPHIE. The nice thing is that work experience is not required to achieve these 3. Research whether they are worth pursuing.
Follow my blogs. I blog about health IT related topics on all 4 of my blogs:
Rebecca Kiki Weingarten M.Sc.Ed, MFA is an Education/Government/Web 1 & 2.0 executive turned Consultant/Coach & Developer/Trainer for Corporate, Executive, Career, Healthcare, Education, Transitions, Multi-industry programs/seminars and speaker, as well as personal coach and the Co-Founder and President of NYC based DLC Executive Coaching and Consulting/Atypical Coaching. She coaches individuals, corporations and educational institutions to enable them to transition and grow effectively and to attain their goals through individual coaching, workshops and seminars. She has been a featured expert in national publications including The New York Times, AP, ESPN on the Obama transition, Business Week, Forbes, the LA Times, Pink, Chicago Sun Times, Dow Jones/Marketwatch, MSN, WebMD, Yahoo/HotJobs, Monster.com, Better Homes and Gardens, Self Magazine, University Business, American Society for Trainers and Developers and others.
Weingarten’s multi and interdisciplinary approach is a result of her own career transitions including time spent in NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, educator/program and staff developer and trainer for NYC, NY State and CUNY, internet pioneer and analyst/developer of some of the earliest web sites. Weingarten is a produced playwright, with published white papers, as well as chapter contributions in books. Weingarten’s training and education include the fields of education, counseling, psychology, psychoanalysis, mental health, neuropsychobiology, neuropsychiatry, supervision and administration and creative writing. She is continuing her studies on a Doctorate in the neuropsychobiology/ neuropsychology of stress, the stress of change and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Mehul Sheth is a Board Certified Pediatrician who works as a physician executive for Allscripts, a leading health IT company. His expertise is at the intersection of medicine, technology and social media, having used Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to effectively engage with a wide variety of nonclinical jobs and opportunities, eventually leading him to his current role with Allscripts. He has designed and implemented a complete social media strategy for a variety of medical entities, including a clinical practice and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He currently holds the chair for media and communications for the Wisconsin Chapter of the AAP as well as the Wisconsin chapter representative to the national AAP for the Section on Osteopathic Pediatricians. He is expecting his certificate in Public Health Informatics at the end of 2011.
Mehul is also adept at teaching having won numerous awards for his clinical education in residency, fellowship and as an attending. He is currently on staff at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he teaches medical students and residents in not only clinical pediatrics, but also non-clinical issues that lead to long-term success in medicine. Similarly, he holds a teaching position at Marquette University teaching PA students and has precepted University of Wisconsin Healthcare Administration students. He won the Alpha Omega Alpha outstanding resident teacher two of the three years of pediatric residency and outstanding medical student teacher as an attending. As an attending physician, Mehul set up a specific curriculum to teach his students the basics of being a successful medical provider-“What they didn’t teach you in school”-which includes guidance on mentorship, time management, job search , even how to interact with pharmaceutical reps! He has been teaching in some form for over 10 years.
Mehul has worked in almost every type of clinical environment within pediatrics-inpatient, outpatient, ER, inner city, community, suburban, academic, non-academic, general and specialty pediatrics. After completing his undergraduate work at Washington University in St. Louis, his went on to medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and pediatric residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After a chief year at UIC he secured a prestigious pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, but decided to pursue non-clinical opportunities to better spend time with his family. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and three kids.
You can contact Mehul at email@example.com or 630-926-4479 to set up a free consultation appointment.
As a life coach, musician, writer, teacher, and speaker, Lisa Chu, M.D., supports and encourages adults who are seeking to live more creatively and passionately. She completed medical school, but left medicine before doing a residency, in order to follow her dream of creating a life of passion, creativity, and authenticity. She has since been a partner-level investment professional in a venture capital firm, the founder of her own violin school, the creator of music improvisation workshops for personal growth, and the co-creator of an acoustic rock band.
In her individual coaching, group classes, workshops, and retreats, Dr. Chu shares the inspiring, truthful, and healing lessons she has drawn from leaving medicine; playing in the high-stakes game of private equity finance; teaching toddlers and their parents in achievement-driven Silicon Valley; facing her own professional burnout as a violin teacher; transforming from classically trained violinist to improvisational “crossover” musician; learning the tools of life coaching; and her ongoing practice of creating a life of passion and purpose. Dr. Chu is on a journey to define her own success and find peace amid the often conflicting messages of her Chinese parents and the American values of creativity and individualism. On her blog, www.themusicwithinus.com, she offers stories, insights, and tips on a wide range of topics, including self-care, physician burnout, creativity, adapting to change, mindfulness, music improvisation, sound healing, and yoga.
Born in Libertyville, Illinois, Dr. Chu is the youngest daughter of parents who both emigrated from Taiwan to obtain their PhD degrees. She began studying classical violin and piano at age three. She received an A.B. magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard-Radcliffe College, and an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. After medical school, she started as an unpaid intern and eventually became the youngest partner-track investment professional at Primus, a private equity finance firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
In addition to her formal education and personal practice, Dr. Chu has completed Martha Beck Life Coach Training, training as a facilitator of Gail Larsen’s Real Speaking, and received the certificate in Sound, Voice, & Music Healing from California Institute of Integral Studies. She also performs and records improvised violin music and is a founding member of the acoustic rock band, Chinese Melodrama.
You can contact Lisa by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up a free consultation appointment by phone or in person.
Heather Fork, MD, CPCC, is owner and founder of the Doctor’s Crossing. As an ICF certified coach, she works with physicians who are seeking to renew and reinvigorate their careers and avoid burnout. She helps doctors tap into their natural abilities and passion to create new and inspiring opportunities within clinical medicine or through non-clinical options. Knowing that too many physicians are suffering from stress and burnout, Dr. Fork is dedicated to improving physician well-being collectively, as well as individually.
Her volunteer work as speaker and educational team member for the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Health and Rehabilitation keeps her attuned to the latest resources for physician wellness. After practicing for 9 years in her own successful dermatology practice, she made the difficult decision to leave her practice and pursue a calling to serve others in a different way. Having gone through a career transition, she is able to integrate her experience, training, and abiding interest in her work to help other physicians find happiness, success and fulfillment in their own lives and careers.
Dr. Fork is board certified in dermatology and managed her own practice for over 9 years. Her residency training was through the Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami. She graduated AOA from the University of Texas Medical Branch and received other academic honors and awards. While attending medical school she designed and completed an externship in rural dermatology at the Kamuzu Skin Clinic in Malawi, Africa. Her training in professional coaching was completed through the internationally recognized, ICF accredited, Coaches Training Institute. She received the designation, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC).
Since 2002, Bob Priddy has coached, counseled and advised more than 900 physicians seeking non-clinical career transitions or restructured clinical practices; and he is President of third_Evolution, Non Clinical Careers for Physicians. Prior to third_Evolution, he served in physician practice management and consulting roles on both a local and national level, in senior health system administrative and operational positions with four health systems in the East and Midwest, as well as in senior administrative, marketing and product management positions with leading healthcare IT and marketing firms. Bob is an entrepreneur who knows Physicians, healthcare, and nonclinical industries. His coaching and advising approach is outcomes-based centered on the concepts of Focus, knowing what you want to do; Package, having the right materials to represent your career search or your new business venture; and Process, developing and implementing a logical strategy for your success.
Bob holds a master's degree in management from Frostburg State College, with an emphasis in finance, and a bachelor's degree, cum laude, in journalism from West Virginia University. He is a Certified Birkman Consultant, listed in Marquis Who's Who in Health and Medicine, and is a returning presenter and mentor for the acclaimed SEAK – non clinical careers conferences. Bob has authored numerous articles on physician career management and transition, and lectures nationally to physician and executive audiences.
Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia. She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance. She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States.
Dr. Mudge-Riley received her medical degree from Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical School and her Masters Degree in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed a medical internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital System (VCUHS) and a business residency under the CEO of the same hospital system. She has been directly responsible for planning, implementation, communication, and evaluation of programs involving healthcare wellness, safety, and quality. Dr. Mudge-Riley has conducted seminars on topics related to change management, motivation, wellness and health education. She has also been published in a variety of journals including Physicians Practice Magazine, The D.O., and Physician Executive.
Steven R. Peskin, MD, MBA, FACP is the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for all divisions of MediMedia USA. In this position, he offers clinical expertise, marketing communications strategy for MediMedia’s innovative clinical communications and educational programs that target healthcare professionals, payers and purchasers. MediMedia USA is one of the largest medical communications and consumer health education companies in the U.S. Dr. Peskin continues to serve on the Internal Medicine faculty at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as a clinical preceptor for interns and residents at the Eric B. Chandler Clinic and as an instructor in the business of medicine curriculum.
Before MediMedia USA, Dr. Peskin served as Chief Executive Officer of Pharmaceutical Research Plus (PRP), a clinical trials support company, owned by HealthSTAR Communications. PRP provides patient recruitment, patient retention, site support, community outreach, call center, and other services that accelerate patient accrual for clinical trials. Dr. Peskin successfully led PRP to improved operational performance and increased revenues.
Prior to joining PRP, Dr. Peskin founded and was President and COO of Nelson Managed Solutions, a division of Publicis Healthcare Group, the largest global healthcare marketing services corporation. This business unit was profitable from year one and enjoyed growth over an 8-year period. Before joining Nelson, Dr. Peskin held several executive positions with managed care organizations including PacifiCare Health Systems, CIGNA Healthcare, and John Hancock. Key responsibilities in managed care plans included medical delivery management, quality improvement, provider relations and contracting, technology assessment, and serving as a liaison to local and national organizations.
Dr. Peskin received his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Emory, he completed residency in training in internal medicine at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston and then went on to The Sloan School of Management, MIT, where he received his MBA with concentration in health care. Dr. Peskin is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians where he is actively involved serving at the national level on the Marketing and Communications Committee, on the New Jersey state council, and as a speaker/ educator at College programs. He has held several faculty appointments including Tufts University School of Medicine, The University of Texas, Southwestern, The University of Oklahoma, and, currently, The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Dr. Peskin has authored a number of industry articles, book chapters, and is a frequent speaker on topics including physician leadership, the medical home, and social media. Dr. Peskin has been instrumental in the creation several successful new business ventures and currently serves on the Board of Directors of three early stage healthcare services companies. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Medicine, is a Senior Scholar in the School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University, and previously served on the editorial board of The Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. Dr. Peskin is Course Director for Internal Medicine Grand Rounds at The University Medical Center in Princeton, NJ. In 2010, Dr. Peskin received a clinical teaching award from the UMDNJ Internal Medicine Residency Program.
If you could go back in time and make different decisions, what would you change? Many of us may have some mistakes that we now regret. For others (like primary care physicians), they may choose a different medical specialty. Would you choose an entirely different career? Maybe you'd actually pursue your dream to be an astronaut.
Many physicians choose to transition to a non-clinical career because clinical medicine just doesn't end up being what they had pictured when they were in medical school. Young students tend to be so idealistic. Many quickly lose empathy and compassion and they get jaded and turn cynical. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? The reality is that the harshness of internship and residency can change good people and erode the passions that drove people to become compassionate physicians. Wow, this is starting to sound really depressing, so let me return to my original question. If you could go back in time and change some of your decisions, would you:
Choose a different specialty?
Go to a different college?
Study harder? Less? Spend more/less time socializing?
Take some business classes and mix them in with your pre-med courses?
There's probably still time to make some changes in your life. Many who have transitioned from a clinical career to a non-clinical one comment, "I should have done this sooner." As time continues to move forward, do you think you'll be one of them?
There are hundreds of people who go through medical school only to discover that they don’t want to be doctors. And there are others who are interested in healthcare but do not want to practice medicine or become specialists. In such situations, there are attractive alternatives that they can choose from in order to stay in healthcare without being a doctor. The best non-clinical healthcare jobs are found in the fields of:
Healthcare administration: If you’re good at managing people and systems, this option may just be your cup of tea. You could further your knowledge with a degree in business administration and then use this combination of medicine and management to go up the career ladder in healthcare administration. Most hospitals are always on the lookout for people who have a thorough knowledge of both the medical and administrative fields, so if you’re able to put your skills to good use, you could make a name for yourself and earn good money.
Healthcare education: If you like working with students and have an affinity for teaching, you could try the world of academia. A degree in pedagogy would help, as would experience in being a teacher and explaining concepts to students. You could either take up a full-time job at a college or take on consulting assignments as an expert in your field.
Healthcare consulting: There are various aspects of healthcare where expert knowledge is required. For example, you could offer your knowledge and expertise towards the creation of electronic medical record systems (EMRs), for the development of medical applications for technological gadgets, and so on. There are various apps being written for the iPhone and other smartphones and handheld devices like the Palm PDA. The developers are programmers, but with the help of your medical knowledge, they can make the applications and systems more suitable to the field of healthcare.
Healthcare technology: If you have an affinity for technology as well as a background in medicine, you could try working in the field of healthcare technology where machines and systems that aid in the practice of medicine are designed and manufactured.
Whatever your choice, you need to ensure that you have an affinity for it and the desire to work in the particular field before you take up a position in the non-clinical healthcare industry. Only then can you make a success of it.
This post was contributed by Meredith Walker, who writes about the top nursing schools. She welcomes your feedback at MeredithWalker1983 at gmail.com
I don't write for the New York Times. However, Dr. Pauline W. Chen has a really nice article titled, "Taking Time for the Self on the Path to Becoming a Doctor." It's a great story about the life of an intern/resident and the common struggles we all go through during residency. We lose our temper. We say and do things that we regret. We experience burnout. We lose balance in our lives.
Pauline W. Chen, MD, is a liver transplant and liver cancer surgeon, is the author of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (Knopf, 2007; Vintage, 2008), a New York Times bestseller. Dr. Chen graduated from Harvard University and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and completed her surgical training at Yale University, the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health), and UCLA.
So what's unique about Dr. Chen? For one thing, she tweets, blogs, and uses Facebook. How about you? If you love to write, start a blog. You'll never know where that might take you. Eventually, you may publish a book and get recognized nationally.
Have you ever considered pursuing a career that is driven by your hobby? Dr. Arnold Kim left his nephrology practice to be a full-time blogger about Apple computers. He may not be a passionate writer (maybe he is), but he certainly is a successful businessman.
I know a physician who left clinical practice to pursue a career as an artist. Another person I know left the world of medicine to be a school teacher. Clinical medicine can be very stressful and some people simply choose to find careers that are easier on both the mind and body. If you can afford to work for less income, then you may find that a non-clinical career is much more enjoyable. You won't get the satisfaction of saving lives and making a direct impact in the lives of people, but you may also have less stress and fewer worries in life.
My non-clinical interests are in technology, the outdoors, music, gadgets, writing (blogging), and education. I spent many years tutoring students and I work in professional health education. In my job, I get to combine my passions for education, technology, and writing.
We know that the economy isn't doing very well, but things are getting to be more disturbing. According to CNN Money.com, jobless rates have risen in almost every state. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate increases in May, the government reported Friday. Thirteen states have rates above 10%. Keep in mind that these are prevalence rates. I'm sure someone out there also has some incidence rates, but we don't see that kind of data too often. The national unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high of 9.4% in May, up from 8.9% in April. If you want to see how your state ranks against others, then take a look at this map.
If you're considering a transition from a more stable clinical career to a potentially unstable non-clinical career, you may want to reconsider until conditions improve in the economy.
Earlier, I wrote about Health IT certification. I'd like to clarify and say that there are different bodies that are currently providing various levels of "certification." Are we talking about a certificate or some level of board certification? (Is there currently any type of certifying board?)
Perhaps the more important question is: who provides the certification?
CPHIMS is a professional certification program for healthcare information and management systems professionals. Individuals who meet eligibility criteria and successfully complete the CPHIMS exam are designated a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS).
The CPHIMS Certification is governed by the CPHIMS Certification Committee, a HIMSS committee of individuals with subject-matter expertise in the content tested on the examination. This Committee is responsible for assuring that certification meets high standards required for the profession; and is charged with setting general standards for the program, developing examination specifications, constructing new editions of the examination and establishing passing standards for the examination.
If you're considering a career in the field of health information technology (health IT, HIT, or HITECH), then you should also look into Health IT Certification. There are currently three different types of certifications offered:
CPEHR: The designation of Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records (CPEHR) indicates that the holder has mastered the common body of knowledge covering planning, implementation, operation of EHR for knowledge management, quality improvement, patient safety, and care coordination. The CPEHR curriculum adjusts the strategies to make the most of an EHR investment, enhancing capabilities, using new technologies, and building value.
CPHIT: The designation of Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT) indicates that the holder has mastered the common body of knowledge covering planning, selecting, implementing, using, and managing health information technology (HIT) and electronic health record (EHR) applications. The CPHIT curriculum introduces the use of health information technology in any setting within the continuum of care.
CPHIE: The designation of Certified Professional in Health Information Exchange (CPHIE) indicates that the holder has mastered the Common Body of Knowledge covering planning, governance, information architecture and stewardship, personal health records, telehealth and home monitoring and other exchanges of electronic information among organizations. The CPHIE curriculum incorporates the strategies to make the most of the HIE investment, enhancing capabilities, using new technologies to integrate and exchange data interoperably among organizations, addressing patient information via personal health records, home monitoring, and telehealth.
This is a guest post written by: Thomas Rheinecker
5 High Paying Medical Careers That Don't Require A 4+ Year Degree
Not everyone wants to spend the next four years of their life working toward a better career, especially when you can have a high paying career in the medical field in less than four years. Any one of the careers that follow will get you the salary you need without taking four years of your life just to get started.
The training required to work as a dental hygienist is usually an associate's degree from any school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission of Dental Accreditation. This job is expected to have employment numbers that grow faster than average through 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual earnings for all careers depend on your place of employment and your region, but the median annual earning for a dental hygienist is estimated at over $58,000.
This career will also require an associate's degree and allows you to focus on areas such as obstetrics and gynecology or neurosonography. It will require a strong grasp of anatomy, physiology, and physics. This profession involves the used of tact and general people skills to explain testing procedures to patients who may fear what these tests could reveal. The median annual earnings are estimated to be over $52,000.
Physical Therapist Assistant
A physical therapist assistant assists the physical therapist. That's simple enough. Duties may include clerical tasks, transporting clients, patient monitoring, and routine treatments. This career path requires only an associate's degree and earnings are estimated as being at least $35,000 annually.
Getting your associate's degree in nursing can pay off big time. Two years can have you earning as much as $60,000 a year. Your earnings will depend on your region, your place of employment, and your experience, but this is an extremely lucrative career with only an associate's degree. It has been estimated that 587,000 new registered nurses will be needed in the field through the year 2016. This means that not only will you have training for a job that pays well, but you will probably not have trouble finding a company or hospital that will be eager to hire you.
This profession, too, requires only a two year degree. In this career you will be administering X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. You may be performing these duties in a hospital or in a laboratory. The need for radiologic technologists will continue through the coming years, and annual earnings can often exceed $50,000.
The medical profession continues to demand new workers in all of its fields in part because of the growing numbers of elderly individuals in the population. Highly skilled workers are always in demand. The fact that many of these careers can be entered into with less than a four year degree allows you to enter the medical field to enjoy a high paying career and to help people in less time than you might think. Consider this. In only two short years, you could be in a brand new high paying career in the medical field.
Thomas Rheinecker is a freelance writer and covers topics such as nurses assistant and medical careers, healthcare topics, and more.
If you're a physician and you love politics, then maybe you'll end up like Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD (Texas- 26). He gave the Opening Keynote Address at the HIMSS Virtual Conference titled, "Congress’ Role in Advancing 21st Century Medicine."
For the past few months, the "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" social network has been growing by approximately 50 people each month. It's now the middle of June and we currently have 632 members.
Do you know any healthcare professionals who are currently working in non-clinical positions? Encourage him or her to join our social network. Perhaps you know people who are interested in pursuing some non-clinical opportunities. Let's build this community so that students, residents, and practicing clinicians may share ideas and help one another find the right opportunities. Perhaps you're interested in starting a new business. Maybe you want to share ideas related to health information technology. Interested in business school? These are some of the topics that you can discuss with other healthcare professionals.
Social networking is such a powerful way to find new career opportunities and promote your own professional development. I've learned so much about leveraging Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Facebook to find some new and exciting opportunities in blogging, consulting, and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. I've also found that these social networks are very useful tools when you want to help a friend or colleague find a new job. How have you been leveraging your social network to help others?
There are so many different types of health information technology (Health IT) jobs for physicians. If you're a seasoned executive, then you could be a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). However, if you're not so "seasoned," then you'll have to earn your stripes. But where do you begin?
Sometimes, the best starting place is to join some professional societies and to learn about the different types of opportunities that are out there. Let me suggest 3 major organizations:
Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS)
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
You can learn so much by joining these groups and participating in some of the educational sessions. The landscape of health IT is changing so quickly that it remains critical to stay on top of all the updates and legislative changes that are impacting this industry. If you feel like you lack formal health IT education, then you may also want to consider some formal programs (either master's level or post-graduate fellowships) in health informatics (or they may be called medical informatics, biomedical informatics, etc.).
If you're a healthcare marketer, you may qualify for FREE Attendance to the HCMA (Healthcare Communication & Marketing Association) National Conference. According to a recent press release, "A select group of unemployed marketing/communications professionals can attend the HCMA’s Annual Conference for free. The conference, Responding to Change: Innovative Strategies that Fuel Growth in the New Economy, is set for June 17-19 and will be held at the Westin Hotel in Jersey City, N.J. In addition to free attendance, a select number of participants will also receive a three-month trial membership at no cost."
The HCMA (www.TheHCMA.org) is one of the leading professional associations of healthcare marketing, communications and education professionals dedicated to enhancing and optimizing the careers of its members. HCMA member benefits include:
Leadership development and courses from the finest graduate schools in the country, such as the Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton School
Networking and professional development events
Opportunities to receive educational grants
An online learning resource
Free subscription to Catalyst, the HCMA’s newsletter
Want more information? Individuals interested in learning if they qualify should contact their recruitment professional or Diane Snelson (diane precisionexec.com), HCMA’s strategic partner for this initiative.
Since I've been seeing a growing interest in social networking, I've been writing about ways to leverage tools like Twitter and LinkedIn. More clinicians are also looking for writing opportunities in blogging.
If you're a Facebook user, you may be interested to know that you can now designate a username for your Facebook profile. Now, instead of being profile # 32340985982374932874, you can set a unique username for yourself. A similar feature is available on LinkedIn.
Do you have any interest in business school (or B-school)? Thinking about getting an MBA? If you want to know what life is like as a business student, read some blogs written by MBA students. Some schools feature blogs written by students, professors and leaders. For instance, Thunderbird School of Global Management has a section titled, "Thunderbird Student Voices." There, you can read about the student experience from various MBA student bloggers around the world. Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera, Ph.D. also keeps a blog called "Global Leaders Can Be Made."
BusinessWeek also has a section called "MBA Blogs." Some topics that are being featured right now include things like: GMAT tips, making an MBA game plan, and more. You may want to take a look if you're considering B-school.
If you're a medical (or health) blogger, then are you using Twitter to drive traffic to your blog? There's an easy (and free) way to import your RSS feed automatically into Twitter. Since I maintain 4 different blogs, I feed all those 4 RSS feeds into my Twitter account @DrJosephKim.
Allow me to introduce you to TwitterFeed. This lets you automatically "tweet" each of your blog posts and you can use bit.ly to shorten your URL and also monitor how many people click on each of your blog links.
So, there are my two tips:
Use TwitterFeed to promote your blog posts via Twitter.
Use bit.ly to monitor what types of posts are capturing readers.
If you've been following my blog posts about Twitter, you've been seeing how my follower count has been growing steadily over the last 3 months.
I began seriously using Twitter in mid-April. I was one of those people who had created a Twitter account in 2008. I wasn't impressed, so I didn't do anything with my account. I hardly followed anyone and I had about 30 followers on April 1.
After I decided to take Twitter for a serious spin, I quickly learned the basics and started using different social networking strategies to grow my follower count. I never spent any $, and here I am with over 10,000 followers!
So why did I decide to take Twitter for a serious spin in April? That's when I started getting very serious about blogging. Up to then, I had blogged mainly as a hobby and I did it very casually. I'm now at the point where you might be able to consider me a "professional blogger." It has become my moonlighting (Moonlighting on the Computer). When I decided to get serious about blogging, I knew that I needed to expand my social network. Twitter has become a broadcast medium for me. It's also been a fun social networking experiment. Twitter now represents 9-17% of my blog traffic (depends on the blog since I have 4 different blogs). If you're a serious blogger, then make sure to leverage the power of Twitter. Follow me @DrJosephKim and I'll follow you back.
What are the highest paying jobs? According to this CNBC slideshow, the medical industry dominates. Here's a snippet from CNBC: "Looking for a bigger paycheck? If you’re not in the medical industry, you’re pretty much out of luck. Medical jobs, ranging from dentists to surgeons, dominate the list of the 20 highest paying jobs, but there are some others sprinkled in."
Here are some of the non-medical (and medical) careers that are among the top 20 highest paying jobs. Keep in mind that this salary data is provided by the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the physician salary data may seem much lower than the numbers you're used to seeing from other sources.
20. Petroleum Engineers Average annual salary: $119,140
Residents love to moonlight (a term referring to the generation of supplemental income through extra work outside of your current work obligations). Some physicians who complete their residency continue to moonlight to generate some extra cash.
I admit that I used to do quite a bit of moonlighting back in my clinical days. I didn't have to, but I didn't mind it and it helped with family expenses. I worked in various urgent care settings (like the ER and urgent care centers) and I also did some moonlighting in different types of hospital intensive care units (ICU, CCU, BMT Unit, etc.). Now that I no longer work in a clinical setting, my moonlighting opportunities have shifted to things like consulting and blogging. I enjoy the flexibility of taking my laptop with me to do "work." I can work from a bookstore or coffee shop. I can even work when I'm at the beach, but who would do that, right?
If you enjoy writing, then the easiest way to start "moonlighting" is to start a blog that will attract a certain audience. If you want to blog just for the sake of blogging, that's fine - just don't expect to make much in terms of revenue. However, if you can create a blog that will attract a captive audience, then you have the opportunity to actually generate an income. You'll have to be patient and you'll have to update the blog regularly.
If you're a healthcare professional, keep in mind that your blog doesn't have to be about medical or health topics. You can write about your hobby or passion, but if you approach it from a professional perspective, then you may be able to capture a unique audience. For instance, I write about computers and gadgets in my other blogs, but I write about them from the perspective of a medical student or physician. As a result, I naturally attract those types of readers. In the same way, perhaps you want to write about reading, boats, cooking, golf, cars, sewing, or any other hobby. Write in such a way that you attract a unique audience and you'll have them coming back and telling others about your site.
It was great to listen to some of the educational sessions from the HIMSS Virtual Conference. I had some unique networking opportunities and I met a few fellow bloggers and tweeters (people who tweet on Twitter). We exchanged contact information and had a good time. If you're interested in health IT and you hope to someday become a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO), then join HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) and AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association) and start getting involved during this exciting (and historic) time in our country.
I just found out that one of my high school friends (from many years ago, before the days of computers, PDAs, and smartphones) has been working for a health information technology (health IT) company. I had no idea! I had lost contact after graduating from high school, but then we got reconnected a few years ago on Facebook. There are countless other examples where social networking websites have allowed people to make both professional and personal connections. If you're not leveraging social networking websites, then you are probably not maximizing your potential to find new opportunities in the non-clinical space.
So, in case you're wondering about the company: it's called Medicity. If you'd like more information about this company, contact me and I may be able to get you connected with my high school classmate.
The BBC has a story about Twitter titled, "Twitter hype punctured by study." Here's a snippet of the first few lines: "Micro-blogging service Twitter remains the preserve of a few, despite the hype surrounding it, according to research."
Just 10% of Twitter users generate more than 90% of the content. Do you believe that? The research was done at Harvard, so you should believe it! Are you part of that 10%?
I don't tweet that much, but my growth has been quite amazing over the last 2 months. According to this report, many people try Twitter once or twice, and then they simply give up. They fail to see the point of this tool. I admit that I fall into that group. I created my Twitter account sometime in 2008, but I didn't get serious about using it until 2 months ago. Perhaps the greater question really is this: "is Twitter a social networking tool or a broadcast medium?" If you approach Twitter as a broadcast medium, then I think it's much easier to jump in and recognize its potential and value.
I'll let you decide what you think about this interesting phenomenon called Twitter (which, by the way is growing faster than any other social network). Read the BBC article here. Image source: BBC
If you're considering a career in health information technology (health IT, HIT, or HITECH), then I'd encourage you to sign up for the HIMSS Virtual Conference & Expo. Day one was today and day #2 is tomorrow. That's it. It's a relatively short virtual conference. Participate in the educational sessions, interact with the exhibitors, and network in the "virtual lounge." Want to learn more? http://www.himssvirtual.org/
Ning is a powerful social networking platform that allows you to create social networking communities for free. These free communities offer some basic services and if you wish to upgrade, then you can for a monthly maintenance fee.
This site is open for clinicians, scientists, and others who are interested in various types of non-clinical opportunities in the healthcare industry. We currently have 620 members and we're growing each week. It's a great way to meet others who share similar interests, so what are you waiting for? Click here to join for free.
Someone asked me about job openings in the FDA. The FDA is hiring, but I don't have any specific connections in this area, so I started to dig around and do a bit of research. Here's a job post on USAJobs.gov that may be of interest if you're a physician and you're interested in working for the FDA.
Medical Officer/Lead /Supv Med Officer - Direct Hire
SALARY RANGE: 102,721.00 - 153,200.00 USD /year
OPEN PERIOD: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 to Thursday, December 31, 2009
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0602-14/15
Want to learn more about the Position Classification Standard for Medical Officer Series, GS-0602? Then click here.
If you're interested in reading the entire job description, then you can get to it by clicking here.
I've met many people over the last several years who have decided to pursue a non-clinical career in medicine. Why do people choose not to practice medicine? I'm writing about these things in my new book (which is in process), but I thought I'd highlight a few things in this blog.
Here are some of the most common reasons why physicians (and other healthcare professionals) choose to pursue various types of non-clinical jobs and opportunities:
Scheduling flexibility. You'd be surprised to know how many people work from home and maintain very flexible schedules.
No malpractice headaches. Enough said.
Family obligations. The world of clinical medicine can put a severe strain on families and relationships. I know - my wife is a physician.
Obstacles with licensure. This is particularly true for foreign medical graduates who are unable to obtain a U.S. license. Also, licensed U.S. healthcare professionals have various reasons why they may face obstacles with their professional licenses.
Pressured into medicine. I know many medical students who were pressured into medical school. They don't enjoy clinical medicine but many of them feel "stuck."
Burnout. Physicians may experience severe burnout and they may need a break (sometimes a permanent break) from clinical medicine.
$. It's true, many choose the non-clinical route because there are more lucrative opportunities.
To expand their creativity. Some people simply want to have a career in music, art, teaching, or something that is totally different from the clinical world. That's their passion, so consider the transition a second career.
Less stress. For some, a non-clinical career is less stress compared to the clinical setting. For others, it may be more stress. In any case, it's certainly a totally different type of stress.
Personal development. Many seasoned clinicians may pursue opportunities in healthcare administration so that they can make an impact on a larger scale.
To improve public health. Instead of making a small difference on an individual level, they recognize the greater potential of making differences on a population health level.
To escape boredom. Yes, clinical medicine can become very boring and mundane. Maybe you chose the wrong specialty.
To find a better fit. Many physicians find that clinical medicine simply isn't the "right fit" for their personality, skills, family life, etc. It could be a combination of several of the reasons listed above. For them, the transition into the non-clinical world is a logical step towards finding something that is a better fit.
My intent is not to create a comprehensive list here, but to open up some discussion about some of the common issues that clinicians face. I've met people from every single category listed here and I've learned something new each time I've interacted with someone from a different background. I'm currently in the process of compiling personal stories so that I can share them on this site (and in my new book).
Are you leveraging your digital relationships? BusinessWeek has this on the June 1 cover: "What's a Friend Worth? Decoding digital relationships will change how businesses market, manage, and recruit."
If you're not actively building your social network, then you may be losing some potential opportunities. The earlier you start, the stronger your network will be. This article talks specifically about Twitter and Facebook and even mentions a New York company called 33Across, a firm that leverages social networks for marketing. In social networking, reciprocal communications are critical. This is one of the main reasons why people on Twitter choose to follow those who follow them. This is known as "following back." You can create a Twitter account in a matter of a few minutes and if you properly leverage this powerful social networking tool, then you may discover some tremendous opportunities for your personal and professional life.
While some companies that focus solely on certified medical education (or CME/CE) are losing people and down-sizing, others are hiring, either to replace people or because they are growing. I've been seeing a variety of job posts on LinkedIn and other sites. Simultaneously, I'm getting contacted by more and more candidates who are looking for opportunities.
The CME industry is going through some major changes and some companies (also known as MECCs or Medical Education and Communication Companies) that have been around for almost 20 years are choosing to leave the world of CME to pursue opportunities in the non-CME side of medical education. Others are simply shutting their doors and closing.
This is not the most opportune time to enter into a career as a CME professional. If you'd like to learn more about what it means to be a CME professional, take a look at the National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, Inc. (NC-CME). There, you'll find a list of people who are recognized as Certified CME Professionals (CCMEPs™).
Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).
How do these things influence the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-surgical device industries? MM&M has a white paper titled, "Value-Based Purchasing and Comparative Effectiveness: Why the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical-Surgical Device Industries Should Embrace the Coming Market Evolution."
Here's a snippet about why this is so important for the healthcare industry: "For years, health economics has assisted stakeholders in making informed evaluations of treatment alternatives. Now, the advent of value-based purchasing (VBP) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) are leading to new methods for identifying products with the highest "value"—those that ideally deliver both overall cost reductions and improved patient health. These trends will increasingly impact the way healthcare products are marketed and sold. This paper examines the march to VBP and CER evaluations, and makes specific recommendations to manufacturers and brand teams regarding how combining clinical and economic data is essential to the successful marketing of drugs and devices."
Interested in learning more about VBP and CER? Then get more information and download the white paper by going here.