Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW)

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) is another organization for people who have an interest in medical and scientific writing. Here's a brief snippet from their site:
The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality of science news reaching the public. Comprised of a panel of distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs to help reporters and writers produce accurate and informative stories about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.
This year, their annual conference is in October and it's in Texas.
The 47th Annual Conference
New Horizons in Science 2009
October 18, 2009 – October 20, 2009
Hosted by University of Texas, Austin
What's interesting is that New Horizons in Science is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting and workshops of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) as part of ScienceWriters 2009 (

To learn more about the CASW, visit:
To learn more about the NASW, visit:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AMA - National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration

The CME (continuing medical education) industry has its own set of rules and regulations that are governed primarily by the ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education). How well do you know those rules? To learn more about the CME industry, you can attend some national meetings. There are many different conferences regarding the CME industry, but I generally attend two of them (I like to limit my travel).
  • The first one is the AMA - National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration. This meeting is in October and tends to stay in the Baltimore region.
  • The second meeting is the Alliance for CME Annual Conference. This meeting is in January (this year, in New Orleans)
This year, AMA - National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration will be in Baltimore, so it's not that far for all those living in the northeast:
Mark your calendars to attend the 20th Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, "Learning From the Past; Planning for the Future", to be held Oct. 14-16, 2009 in Baltimore! This conference will provide the opportunity to network and participate in dynamic sessions with leading industry experts.
For more information about AMA Task Force conference, read the program brochure.
I hope to see you in Baltimore next month.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Medical Communications Scientist at Genentech (job post)

There's a job post on LinkedIn for a Medical Communications Scientist at Genentech. The job requirements specifies a "Doctor of Pharmacy or equivalent with 3-5 years clinical pharmacy practice experience or prior industry experience." Now, when we see the word "equivalent," what exactly does that mean? An RPh? Would an MD or DO qualify? What about a nurse practitioner? A PhD researcher who has extensive experience with drug pharmacology?

In the world of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (biotech and pharma), there are many job positions that may get filled by a physician, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, nurse, physician assistant, PhD researcher, etc. In other words, it's more critical that you have the necessary scientific and/or clinical knowledge to then translate that into the world of business. To have that level of scientific knowledge, you don't always have to be a physician. In some cases, they may be looking for a physician subspecialist (say an oncologist who has expertise in prostate cancer treatment). In those cases, it will be hard to find any other substitute or "equivalent." However, when you're dealing with more general positions in the biotech/pharma industry, then the requirements may not be so rigid.

After reading the job description on LinkedIn, my conclusion is that other healthcare professionals (beyond pharmacists) may also qualify for this job (remember, this is only my opinion). Maybe the folks at Genentech are specifically only looking for a pharmacist. I really don't know. However, I would not be surprised if the job gets filled by a physician instead of a pharmacist since quite a few physicians are out there looking for non-clinical career opportunities.

The job post is a "LinkedIn Exclusive — this job is available only on LinkedIn." To view the job description on LinkedIn, click here. Speaking of LinkedIn, I hope you'll connect with me:

Business Schools for Physician Entrepreneurs consistently ranks Babson's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business as one of the top business programs in the area of entrepreneurship. For 2009, the #1 graduate program is:
Babson College
F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
Arthur M.Blank Center for Entreprenership
Babson Park, MA
Enrolled students: 1,559
Faculty who are entrepreneurs: 96%
Scholarships: $327,000
Number of entrepreneurship clubs: 9
Mentorship programs: 5
Business plan competition: Yes; Prize: $35,000
Here's a snippet about their school:
At the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, we have a rich tradition of cultivating entrepreneurial thinking. While some of our graduates pursue start-up ventures, more of our graduates use their entrepreneurial training to succeed in the corporate environment. Here, entrepreneurship is a state of mind.
So, if you're thinking about starting a company and you'd like to gain some formal training through business school, perhaps you should consider MBA programs that are focused on entreprenership. Babson offers two-year, one-year, evening, and fast track options for professionals who wish to get an MBA.

Here's a link to the list of top 25 entrepreneurial graduate business programs according to

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thinking about going back to school?

Do you miss college? In so many ways, I wish I could go back in time and relive my four years at MIT. Those were some of the best years of my life. I've met many professionals who are seriously considering the option of going back to school to pursue a healthcare career. This might mean full-time or part-time education for the next few years to become a physician, pharmacist, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, pharmacy technician, etc. (the list could really go on). This could mean some post-bac programs, additional courses, and then four or more years in graduate school. Other people want to find a way to get into Technical Schools. Some hate the idea of taking another standardized exam like the GRE or MCAT. For those who find themselves struggling with standardized tests, I encourage them to find personal tutors to help them with their problem areas.

I've also run into high school students who are looking for career advice in the healthcare arena. Some high school graduates may be thinking about Career Colleges. Others have no idea what they plan to do with their lives. When I give advice to high school students, I refer them to something like the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) College Navigator. It's hard to keep up with all the changes and the latest trends across different colleges and universities in the United States, let alone the rest of the world. As a member of the MIT Educational Council, I'm very familiar with the trends at MIT. However, that doesn't reflect what's going on in other schools.

So how about you? Here I am writing about non-clinical jobs for healthcare professionals who wish to leave the clinical setting to work in the business side of healthcare. Are you thinking about getting some education so that you can work on the clinical side? 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Research pathway during residency

Some medical students really don't enjoy seeing patients. As a result, some don't plan to go through residency. Others may try residency, but then they drop out. So, are there other alternatives?

Most people have not heard of the "integrated research pathway" during residency (probably because it's not common).
The Integrated Research Pathway is an American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) approved mechanism for pediatric residency training... The research pathway is designed for residents who have earned a M.D. or M.D./PhD. degree and are committed to an academic research career.
The objectives of the Integrated Research Pathway (IRP) are:
  • to attract committed young physician-scientists to pediatrics;
  • to provide mechanisms to sustain research interest, skills, knowledge, and productivity during core pediatric training;
  • to offer a means for fostering transition to a physician-scientist career;
  • to ensure that trainees accomplish the requisite training and acquire the skills to function as competent pediatricians in the independent care of children.
The ABP guidelines can be found here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How many recruiters do you know?

The other day, someone asked me, "how many recruiters do you know?"

My social network has grown tremendously over the past few years. I attribute much of that to blogging, the use of social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I'm now directly connected to over 900 people on LinkedIn, which translates to over 13,852,700+ professionals through that network. Through LinkedIn alone, I'm directly connected to over 100 recruiters who work in various non-clinical healthcare sectors.

How many executive search consultants (also often called: executive recruiters, headhunters, talent acquisition consultants, etc.) do you know? If you're not actively looking for a job, then you may not care to maintain these relationships. However, I would encourage you to foster your relationships with recruiters even if you're not actively looking for a job. You simply never know when you may be able to help someone.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tips for job interviews

When you go for your first job interview, it can be a bit unnerving. Maybe the last time you had to interview for anything, you were a medical student interviewing for a residency position. Some people are naturally comfortable during interviews while others need to consciously think and concentrate about how they answer questions.

At, you can read some articles that provide interviewing tips. If you're interviewing for a corporate job for the first time, you may encounter some unusual types of questions. They're not trying to "pimp" you like you're a medical student (pimping refers to the art of asking medical students questions during rounds. these questions may also go up the food chain to residents and fellows, but they're meant to teach - although sometimes you may feel humiliated if you're being pimped in front of peers and patients)

Job interview questions are often casual and easy (tell me about yourself), but they can also be very difficult (how would you solve the national health crisis?). Interviewers may want to assess your ability to think and process information. They want to evaluate your leadership capabilities. How do you handle conflict? (tell me about a time when you faced conflict and you had to had to defend yourself in front of your peers). How do you face opposition? (describe a time when you had an opinion that opposed the majority and explain how you convinced others to adopt your view)

My tips for job interviews is simple: practice going through some mock interviews with trained professionals and learn from the feedback that you receive. It also obviously helps to read books, articles, etc. However, nothing compares to actually thinking on your feet and reacting to the types of questions that may asked (how many cups of water would it take to fill this room?)

To read some online resources on the topics of job searching and job interviewing, visit:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Traveling for work

I'm traveling for work, so I won't have time to write much. However, the topic of "traveling for work" is often of interest for physicians who plan to transition into the business world of healthcare.

Today, I'm in Florida for a business meeting. In and out. One day meeting.

Fortunately, I don't travel too much, so I'm able to spend a good amount of time at home. However, many  physicians who work for pharma/biotech or even medical device companies are traveling all the time! So, if you value time with your family, consider your willingness to travel as you look for non-clinical jobs. Some people love to travel. I don't mind it, but I certainly don't enjoy it when I'm not traveling with my family for pleasure. I'd rather sit at a beach and read a book than work on my computer in a hotel room or airplane.

Monday, September 21, 2009

School of pharmaceutical and biotech business in oncology

It's hard to believe that October is right around the corner. The fall is a busy time for me when I do a bit of traveling for work-related meetings, conferences, etc. Here's a meeting that I thought would be interesting to you (I won't be there, but perhaps you may wish to attend). This falls into the category of "executive education." You won't get a degree, but you'll gain some valuable insights. 

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Academy for Excellence and Leadership in Oncology™ School of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Business.

Here's some information from their e-mail and website:
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals are given the rare opportunity to view the oncology space, its future and its current operational issues from the provider and payer perspective. Participants will improve their working knowledge of key business, policy, coverage, reimbursement, informational, and operational issues in oncology and will gather valuable insights material to developing effective strategies for navigating the various constituencies in cancer care. Through this interactive program, pharma and biotech professionals will learn from key stakeholders what they view to be the most pressing issues in oncology today and how to apply this knowledge to create mutually-successful working relationships.
Pharmaceutical and biotech industry professionals will:
  • improve their working knowledge of key business, policy, coverage, reimbursement, informational, and operational issues in oncology
  • gather valuable insights material to developing effective strategies for navigating the various constituencies in cancer care
  • learn from key stakeholders what they view to be the most pressing issues in oncology today and how to apply this knowledge to create mutually-successful working relationships
  • be better able to serve your customers with improved knowledge of real-world oncology issues
This program is specifically designed for experienced pharmaceutical and biotech industry professionals from marketing, sales, medical affairs, clinical research, policy and government affairs, and other business areas within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

This program is next month (October 14-15) in Chicago, IL. To learn more and to enroll, click here.

Pharma and Twitter

We've started seeing more articles related to the topic of Twitter and the corporate world of Pharma/Biotech. Pharmavoice recently published an article titled, "What is the business case for Tweeting?" (to read the article, click here)

Is Twitter simply a cocktail party where you can mingle and exchange information with others? Or, is Twitter much more than that?

According to this article, 18 pharma companies were using Twitter as of last month. J&J (Johnson and Johnson) appears to be the most active, but you'll also see other large pharma companies such as: AstraZeneca, Novartis, GSK, Pfizer, Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novo Nordisk, and several others.

So while we're on this topic of Twitter, let me throw out a few questions:
  • Is Twitter simply another marketing tool in this new wave of social media?
  • Will the FDA regulate how pharma uses Twitter to communicate with consumers and healthcare professionals?
  • Is Twitter an effective way to communicate safety issues to healthcare professionals? (the FDA and CDC are using Twitter)
  • Is Twitter a way for consumers to send messages directly to Pharma?
  • Is Twitter a temporary fad, or is it here to stay?
I encourage you to explore social media and try using Twitter for a few weeks. You won't be impressed if you only try it for a few days. However, give it a few months and see what you think. You have to be willing to follow some people back and exchange ideas (imagine that you're at a social event).

You can start by following my Tweets here:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

830 members in our social network: "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals"

If you'd like to connect with other physicians who have interests in non-clinical career opportunities, join the free "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" social network. We currently have 830 members and we're growing!

Earlier this month, we had 785 members. I encourage you to tell others about this site and about the free resources that are available here. To join the social networking site, click here: Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another free Health IT webinar

There's a growing interest in health information technology (health IT) among physicians who wish to leave clinical practice, so here's another webinar for those of you who may be interested in learning more about health IT:

Achieving a Successful Two-Factor Implementation in Your Hospital 

This Web seminar will answer this question from a variety of perspectives. Attend on September 23 and you will learn the following:
  • An overview of what threats really exist, and what it takes to combat them
  • What industry guidelines for two-factor authentication really require
  • Which decisions are the most important when picking a two-factor methodology
  • The basic pros and cons of different two-factor authentication solutions
  • How to keep your initial and ongoing costs for two-factor as low as possible
This webinar is free because it's sponsored by PhoneFactor, a simple, cost-effective phone-based two-factor solution that is rapidly gaining popularity with both hospital staff and IT departments.

To register, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)

Love writing? If you're interested in health care journalism (or medical journalism), then you may want to consider joining the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). One way to kick off your journalism career is to start a blog. It's a great way to write about anything and everything. It's your online journal and you can share your perspectives on different issues revolving around healthcare.

For more information about the AHCJ, visit:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Learn more about Health IT through HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights

HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Clinical Informatics Insights is a great source for articles that reflect effective integration of informatics across the continuum of care.
Published the second Monday of every month, this complimentary e-newsletter highlights improvements in clinical quality achieved through the development and support of health IT practices, policies and end-user tools. HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights features guest editorials that address hot industry topics, and offer direction and best practices; informaticist profiles that describe a clinician’s role in IT planning, implementation, on-going management, evaluation and outcomes; practical tools and resources; and relevant news from HIMSS.
Here's what's really great about this particular newsletter:
Each issue is also themed to ensure all areas of informatics practice are addressed throughout the year.
The theme for September is on Medication Management. You can view the first issue (September 2009) by clicking here.

To subscribe to this free newsletter (HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights), click here. If you have an interest in learning more about the world of health IT, I would encourage you to read up on all the current events surrounding health information technology.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Network with medical writers in the Philly area

If you live in the greater Philadelphia area, you may be interested to know that you can network with medical writers later this month.

The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) has regional groups and the Delaware Valley Chapter (AMWA-DVC) will be having a networking meeting in a few weeks. Here are the details:
Starts: Tuesday September 29, 2009, 05:30PM
Ends: Tuesday September 29, 2009, 09:00PM
Event Type: Networking/Meetup
Location: Doubletree Guest Suites Plymouth Meeting
640 W Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 US
COST: With advance registration: Members: $28.00; Non-Members: $35.00; Full-Time Students $10.00. Registration at the door: Add $10.00 to each of the above categories--available only if space permits.
Join the AMWA-DVC for a night of networking and ice-breakers to help get to know more about each other and what we do. Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar will be provided. Cash bar prices range from $4.00-$8.00. Bring lots of business cards to exchange!

For additional information, visit:
Maybe I'll see you there! (I'm not sure if I'll be there right now, but if I'm there, make sure to look for me)

You can also view the meeting details on LinkedIn by clicking on this link.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What did you think about the SEAK conference: Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians?

I didn't attend this year's SEAK Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians conference, but I know that quite a few of my readers where there in Chicago over the weekend. What did you think? Was it your first time attending? What was most beneficial?

I'd love to hear your thoughts so I welcome you to either submit a comment on this blog or send me an e-mail.

If you missed the Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians  conference, you may wish to explore another option this fall. I'm referring to this:

Medical Fusion Conference

Remember that you can receive a discount on your registration fee. Register online as a reader of this blog and enter the code "JKBLOG" to receive a $25 discount.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What does CMO mean to you?

In the world of business, CEO, COO, CFO, and several other acronyms for C-level executives have established meanings. You don't have to ask, "what does CEO stand for?" We all know that it generally stands for Chief Executive Officer.

CMO is an acronym that means one thing (Chief Medical Officer) in the world of healthcare, but outside that world, it can mean all sorts of other things. Let's look at a few examples:
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Military Observer
  • Chief Maintenance Officer
  • Chief Monitoring Officer
So, if your business card says "CMO," you may want to have it spelled out the next time you go to get your cards printed. Otherwise, people may think that you're in charge of marketing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

National Association of Science Writers (NASW)

Have you considered a career in medical writing? Recently, I've had the opportunity to interact with many medical writers. Although AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) is a really large organization for medical writers, we can't forget about the National Association of Science Writers (NASW).

Now AMWA is specific to medical writers while NASW is a broader organization that includes medical writers but also other types of scientific writers. So, if you enjoy writing and you love science, then you may wish to consider joining NASW. By getting involved in these types of organizations, you can gain some important networking connections and learn about different opportunities in the writing field.

AMWA is at
NASW is at

The hardest part of medical writing is breaking into the field. Once you get yourself established and gain meaningful experience, then you will flourish. The writing industry has gone through some significant changes over the past few years, so medical writing may not lead to the same types of salaries as they have in the past. Only time will tell...

By the way, NASW is a part of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). If you live in another country, you may wish to visit and find an association that represents your region. For instance, Canada has the Canadian Science Writers' Association (CSWA). Africa has the African Federation of Science Journalists (AFSJ). Korea has the Korea Science Reporters Association (KOSRA) and Japan has Japanese Association of Science and Technology Journalists (JASTJ) and the Medical Journalists Association of Japan (MEJA). We can't leave China out: Chinese Society for Science and Technology Journalism (CSSTJ). In Europe, you have the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations (EUSJA). I won't mention all the European groups like the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the French association of science journalists (AJSPI), etc. I think you get the picture.

Friday, September 11, 2009

ExL Pharma's 4th Annual Conference on CME: Envisioning the New Paradigm

There's another conference on CME (continuing medical education) coming up in a few weeks. ExL Pharma's 4th Annual Conference on CME: Envisioning the New Paradigm will take place Sept 24-25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Get ready to eat some Philly cheesesteak with Cheez Wiz. For more information about this conference, visit:
If you're interested in attending, make sure to use this 15% Discount code: P613SPK

I'll be attending a different CME conference next month. It's the 20th Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, "Learning From the Past; Planning for the Future", to be held Oct. 14-16, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. Crab cakes anyone?

Using Google to find a non-clinical physician job

If you were to use a search engine like Google or Yahoo to find information about non-clinical physician jobs, what would you type?

My research shows me that most people are typing: "non clinical physician job" to get to this website. That's the keyword phrase that people are entering into search engines. Here's some interesting site traffic data:
  • In the month of August, roughly 36% of visitors to this site were coming from search engines.
  • In July, about 29% were coming from search engines.
As more people develop a desire to learn about non-clinical opportunities, I anticipate that other resources will emerge online. It's great to see how people are willing to share information designed to help others.

Physician jobs as an independent medical examiner

This is a question that comes up quite often: "how do I become an independent medical examiner?"

There's some confusion in the community about what the phrase "independent medical examiner" or IME. What does an IME examine or review? Patients? Charts? Malpractice cases? Personal injury? Workers' compensation? Disability claims? Insurance records? This is one area where many nurses are leveraging their clinical skills to review charts and work as chart reviewers.

According to the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME):
Independent medical examinations (IMEs) are evaluations performed by an evaluator not involved in the care of the examinee, for clarifying clinical and case issues. IMEs are an important component of workers' compensation systems, and are also used to clarify other disability or liability associated cases. Impairment evaluations are often used to provide a more objective understanding of the impact of an injury or illness.
The ABIME offers certification so that you can become a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) or a Certified Independent Chiropractic Examiner (CICE). Once you gain that certification, then you can put your name on various directories and lists to advertise your services. Some clinicians work as full-time IMEs. Others may work part-time. If you're willing to review some charts in your spare time, it's one way to generate some supplemental income.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chatting with a reporter

The other day, I was chatting with a CNN/ reporter. This reporter was looking for physicians (or medical students) who have transitioned entirely out of the world of medicine. I mean physicians who have decided to go into something completely unrelated to the healthcare industry. Real estate. Computer sales. Artistry. Poetry. Community college teacher. Interior designer. Becoming a lawyer (not to practice medical law). Day trading. Professional poker player. The list goes on, but you have to be really creative.

I don't qualify because I work in health education, so although I work in a non-clinical setting, my work is related to healthcare. Most of the non-clinical physicians I know also don't qualify because they work in some type of company or setting that is related to the healthcare industry.

Do you know any physicians who have entirely switched gears to do something entirely different? I know one person who graduated from medical school and decided to become a Christian pastor. There are physician authors out there who are writing novels that have nothing to do with medicine. I know of a family physician who is now teaching biology at a local community college. And of course, many physician moms end up being a full-time stay-at-home mom. Some of them may end up finding something to do on the side (such as selling things on eBay or becoming a day trader). I know one woman who stays at home and keeps a "mommy blog." Since mom's tend to act as caregivers (administering medications, treating illness, changing wound dressings, etc.), she tends to provide healthcare related advice on her blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free health IT webinar on EHR/EMR

Since so many of my readers are interested in non-clinical physician career opportunities in the health IT space, I'd like to mention that there's a free webinar coming up. It's titled, "Understanding the Importance of EHR/EMR – Selecting and Implementing a Solution through Reengineering." In this case, EHR stands for Electronic Health Record while EMR stands for: Electronic Medical Record. Are the two synonymous? It really depends on who you speak to.

The webinar is by TM Floyd & Company (TMF). TMF is an Information Technology consulting group dedicated to providing innovative and cost-effective IT solutions.

To learn more and to register for this free webinar, go here:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Multiple career options through preventive medicine

So many medical students are unaware of preventive medicine. They don't even recognize that it's on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) list. There's no mandatory requirement to go through preventive medicine rotations during medical school, so most students don't get exposed to this specialty. Here's some data from the ABPM (American Board of Preventive Medicine) about preventive medicine:
Preventive medicine has three specialty areas with common core knowledge, skills, and competencies that emphasize different populations, environments, or practice settings:
  • aerospace medicine,
  • occupational medicine, and
  • public health and general preventive medicine.
The ABPM also offers fellowships in preventive medicine as well. Currently, there are two subspecialties (but I imagine this list will grow in the future):
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine
To learn more about preventive medicine, visit the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) website here:

American Medical News mentions

I was recently interviewed for an article that's now up on the American Medical News (published by the American Medical Association or AMA). The article is titled, "Job-hunting in a recession: It may take some searching." The article highlights how the recession is taking a toll in the physician job hunting community. Towards the bottom of the article, you'll see a discussion about non-clinical job opportunities for physicians who wish to leave clinical practice.

Since launching this website (, I've been approached by numerous medical students, residents, and attending physicians who are exploring various types of non-clinical opportunities. Some are looking for part-time supplemental income. Others are looking for a career switch. A few months ago when I wrote a post about non-clinical mentorship, I was flooded by e-mails from people who were eager to receive some assistance with a career transition into the non-clinical sector of healthcare. The social network "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" continues to grow with new members every week. This tells me that there is a strong and growing interest among physicians to find some non-clinical jobs.

To read the American Medical News article, click here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

CPHIMS certification and careers in health IT

Are you familiar with the CPHIMS Certification? CPHIMS stands for: Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems. CPHIMS is a professional certification program for healthcare information and management systems professionals. If you're considering a career switch into the world of health information technology (Health IT, HIT, or now HITECH), then I would urge you to join HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) and take the necessary steps to become a CPHIMS. Of course, you'll need to gain some experience before you can simply go out and become certified, so don't expect that it will happen overnight.

Right now, most physicians who are involved in health IT do not have any type of formal training or certification in informatics. However, I see this trend changing as more people are pursuing biomedical informatics fellowships, master degree programs, and professional certifications such as CPHIMS.

To learn more about CPHIMS, visit:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BusinessWeek Top 50 companies to launch your career

BusinessWeek has a list of 50 companies that are considered the "best places to launch your career." This guide isn't just for college grads. It could really apply to people who are in transition as well. I glanced at the list of 50 companies and I'd like to highlight a few that might be relevant for healthcare professionals who are interested in making the switch into the non-clinical world of medicine. Here are some of the companies that may interest you:
  • Goldman Sachs (investment banking): ranked #6
  • J.P. Morgan (investment banking): ranked #9
  • Accenture (consulting): ranked #11
  • Abbott Laboratories (health): ranked #13
  • Merck (health): ranked #37
  • Johnson & Johnson (health): ranked #41
  • Protiviti (consulting): ranked #49
I realize that most physicians don't end up getting careers in investment banking. However, if you go into market research or if you pursue opportunities with venture capital firms, then you may have some significant interactions with investment banking clients. Who knows, maybe you'll even want to get an MBA in finance and go into investment banking.

We all know that consulting is very popular. Have you considered the companies listed above? If you can't work at McKinsey, would you consider other options?

Finally, in the health industry, the companies listed are no surprise. With all the mergers occurring in the world of biotech and pharma, we're sure to see displaced people in the upcoming months. Where will they end up settling?

Non-clinical physician careers in the world of sales

I know several physicians, pharmacists, and nurses who have decided to pursue a non-clinical career in the world of sales. I'm not talking about car sales or real estate. I mean selling healthcare products or services. Some physicians transition into the non-clinical industry by entering as a pharma sales rep (short for representative). Others go into the medical device industry and become a device rep. There are opportunities to also work with sales people and to act as a subject matter expert who complements the sales team. You can also get involved selling other services, such as promotional and marketing campaigns, technology services, and more. As we see growth in health IT, we'll see a growing need for experts who can effectively sell electronic health record (EHR) solutions to physicians and hospitals.

The world of sales is very different from the clinical world of direct patient care. In this industry, you have to build and establish relationships with your clients (and potential clients). This often means that you'll be busy entertaining clients by taking them to sporting events and dining out at fancy restaurants. Sounds great, doesn't it? (especially if you're a sports fan) It can get tiring, but if you're a social butterfly, you'll flourish. So, if you're working in the northeast, you may want to keep in mind that you can get Mohegan Sun Arena Tickets for a good price if you look online. This may be important for you if you're working in pharma since many companies are located in the northeast corridor. Head up to Maine if you get a chance and make sure to get some fresh lobster. Working in Texas? Make sure you have some Toyota Center Tickets so that you can entertain your clients to a nice sporting event. Get ready to eat some BBQ or steak if you're visiting the south. Everything is big in Texas. Remember that there are medical device companies in midwest states like Ohio. Don't forget to get your Ohio State Buckeyes Football Tickets. The locals love state football and you'll want to impress your clients. Finally, if you get a chance to do some business in Canada, I suggest that you purchase your Rogers Centre Tickets early. While you're visiting Toronto, I hope you'll get a chance to eat some great food up there.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A bleak Labor Day weekend

As we experience some of the worst unemployment statistics in the history of this country, this Labor Day weekend seems very bleak to many people. Physician are also feeling the effects of the economy as fewer patients schedule visits. CNN reports that unemployment is at a 26-year high of 9.7%. Meanwhile, Obama promises the nation that he will help people save their money. Where is our nation heading? What will happen if more jobs don't open up?

In the non-clinical world of healthcare, the biggest opportunity is unarguably in the area of health information technology or health IT. Will all the changes related to healthcare reform stimulate the economy and save our nation?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Salary and gender in the healthcare industry

Over the next few days, I'll be writing about salaries in the world of pharma/biotech and in the worlds of medical communications companies, marketing/ad agencies, etc. The data is from the 2009 Medical Marketing & Media (MM&M) survey (which you can access here)

We all know that women tend to get paid less for equivalent positions that generally consist of similar responsibilities. This trend remains true in the MM&M survey. Men had an average salary of $135,043 while women had an average salary of $108,106. Of course, there are many factors to consider here: types of positions, types of industries, company size, etc.

For instance, the average salary is highest in the world of biotechnology ($143,090) and lowest in the hospital products/equipment sector ($97,899). Average salaries in pharma are on the high side ($125,716), but they're down 7% this year compared to 2008 while biotech salaries are up 6.7% compared to 2008.

The survey includes data from 500 people and I don't know how many of them are industry physicians. I personally think it would be interesting to see this salary survey provide a breakdown based one's education/degree. I'm sure those with an MBA are on the higher end of average and those with an MD, DO, PharmD, or PhD are towards the highest end of the spectrum. Speaking of the highest end, the highest reported annual salary was $650,000 while the lowest was $20,000. I believe this was all self-reported data, so take all this information with a grain of salt.

Disabled physicians can still work non-clinical jobs

Recently, I've been speaking to several disabled physicians. I've been reminding them that they may be able to work a non-clinical job and still collect disability. This ultimately depends on the type of disability insurance you have. Some disabled physicians stop looking for any type of work because they think they may not be able to collect their disability if they start working in any capacity. You have to check your policy to determine what type of insurance you carry.

If you're disabled but you'd still like to contribute to the medical community, there are many things you could potentially do. Computing technology continues to improve and modern computers are now very easy to use for many disabled individuals. Voice recognition software has gotten very sophisticated (did you know that Microsoft Vista has voice recognition built into the operating system?). There are many different types of keyboards and mice. Some prefer pen-based input and they are using Tablet PCs to do their work. Others are simply dictating and having their words transcribed.

Non-clinical job opportunities for disabled physicians obviously depend on your type of disability. Consider a few of these options:
  • Medical writing and communications (maybe even some form of journalism)
  • Professional and consumer health education
  • Medical consulting on the phone and on the Internet
  • Teaching and tutoring (there are many medical students who could use some help)
  • Project management
  • Clinical research
  • Case reviews for insurance companies
  • Venture capital and market research
  • Health information technology
  • Recruiting other healthcare professionals (most of this is done by phone and e-mail)
There are obviously many other non-clinical jobs, but I just wanted to get some wheels moving. Perhaps you want the flexibility to work from home. As long as you have a phone, an Internet connection, and a computer, you can probably do most of your work right there. To read a bit more about some of the options listed above, I encourage you to start with: Non-Clinical Medical Opportunities for Physicians and Other Clinicians

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tip for the month (September): leverage social media like Twitter

We currently have 785 members in our “Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals” network and I’m eager to see how this grows as excitement over non-clinical opportunities grows this fall.

Recently, I’ve been contacted by many people about consulting, health IT, and pharma/biotech jobs. I’m doing my best to reply, so I appreciate your patience with me. In the meanwhile, I encourage you to search for posts on those topics here:

Health IT:

Here's my tip of the month for September: Leverage online social media to help you expand your social network. Maybe you'll meet some people who will eventually help you find a non-clinical job. Start with Twitter! Learn the basics and follow @DrJosephKim

Make sure you create safe and secure passwords as you join various websites. For tips on creating passwords, make sure to read this: Tips on managing online passwords

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BioSpace career fair in September

Looking for a job? Attend the BioMidwest Career Fair!
BioMidwest Career Fair
Chicago Marriott Oak Brook
Monday, September 14, 2009
11am to 4pm
Job seekers can spend a day with HR representatives and Hiring Managers from top biotech, pharma, and medical device companies in the Chicago region.

What types of positions are available?
Exhibiting companies are recruiting for positions in areas such as: QA/QC, clinical research, engineering, manufacturing, bioinformatics, clinical data management, chemistry, regulatory affairs and research.
For more information about the BioSpace career fair, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Don't forget to register for the Medical Fusion conference

Don't forget to register for the Medical Fusion conference this November in Las Vegas. If you're not familiar with it, make sure to read this post:

Medical Fusion Conference

Who's speaking at this event? Here are a few names:
  • Josh Resnick, MD, MBA, Venture Capitalist, Partner at Prism Ventures
  • Maria Simbra, MD, Medical Journalist, KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Smith, MD, PhD, VP of Emerging Technologies at Johnson & Johnson
  • Michael VanRooyen, MD, MPH, Co-Founder of Risk Management Consortium, LLC
  • Mike Woo-Ming, MD, MPH, Entrepreneur and Internet Marketing Consultant Entrepreneur and Internet Marketing Consultant
To learn more and to register for this event, go here:
Register online as a reader of this blog and enter the code "JKBLOG" to receive a $25 discount on the registration fee.

SEAK: Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians

As we enter the month of September, I wish to remind you that there's a conference coming up in a few weeks titled, "SEAK: Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians." This year, the meeting is in Chicago and I know a handful of people who will be attending. I'd love to be there, but I'll be busy moving, so I won't be attending, but you'll meet some great people while you're there.

Here are the details:
Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians 2009
Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center
Chicago, IL
September 12-13, 2009
You also have the opportunity to register for some pre-conference workshops:
Negotiating Skills for Physicians
September 10, 2009

How to Find and Land High Paying Non-Clinical Jobs
September 11, 2009
To find out more about the SEAK conference, visit:
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