Saturday, October 31, 2009

HIMSS Virtual Conference coming up soon

Planning on pursuing a career in health information technology (Health IT)?

You'll want to get plugged in with HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). There's a HIMSS Virtual Conference and Expo coming up in a few days (November 3-4) and it's a great way to meet people and learn more about the industry. You don't have to go anywhere. The conference comes to you! I've participated in this several times and I look forward to this event. If you happen to miss the live lectures, then you'll have a chance to view them on-demand after the conference ends.

Here's a small summary of the event:
The HIMSS Virtual Conference & Expo is not a Web Seminar; it is a fully interactive event that incorporates online learning, live chat, active movement in and out of exhibit booths and sessions, vendor presentations, contests and more. Because the conference is 100 percent virtual, you can experience the expo from the comfort of your own desk. Save yourself the travel expenses and get right to the industry information and solutions you seek.
I'm particularly looking forward to the keynotes:
Opening Keynote:
ARRA HITECH and Health Information Exchange: Opportunities and Pitfalls

John Kansky, MS, MBA
Vice President -- Business Development, Indiana Health Information Exchange
Indianapolis, IN
Learn more

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
9:00-10:00 CT

Closing Keynote:
Understanding the Landscape of EMR Usability: Implications for ARRA and Beyond

Jeff Belden, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine
University of Missouri - Columbia
*Qualified individuals receive complimentary registration. Non-qualified individuals can register for $99.00 HIMSS members/$119.00 non-members.

You can also earn CME and CE credits towards continuing nursing and physician education, renewal of CPHIMS or PMP credentials, as well as earn credit towards HIMSS Member Advancement to Senior Member or Fellow.

To learn more and to register for this event, visit:
You can also follow HIMSS on Twitter:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Misconceptions about non-clinical careers on Sermo

If you're a U.S. physician, you've probably heard of Sermo, an online physician community. Recently, there have been many discussion about health care reform and practice management. I'm a bit surprised because there are not too many recent discussions about non-clinical career options for physicians. There are some misconceptions regarding the various resources that are currently available for physicians who wish to pursue non-clinical careers.
  • For instance, one physician seems to think that SEAK, a national conference, is only for physicians interested in legal medicine. Not true.
  • Another physician voiced that SEAK was not helpful. Others chimed in to say that SEAK is beneficial for some and not for others.
  • Some seem to think that an MBA or JD is the way to go (I'm not saying this is a misconception, but some seem to think that an MBA is required). An MBA can add value, but it's not necessary.
You'll also find some good advice on Sermo:
  • Join the ACPE (American College of Physician Executives).
  • Expand your social network and look for opportunities through the people you know.
  • Use the Internet to look for job opportunities.
  • Visit this site:
If you're a U.S. physician, have you joined Sermo yet?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

There's still time to register for the Medical Fusion Conference

There's still time to register for the Medical Fusion Conference.

Are you a physician interested in career change or opportunities in non-clinical careers? Are you frustrated with your medical career and interested in learning about career options for medical professionals? Do you wonder what else you could be doing with your medical training?

The Medical Fusion conference ( is a new event that is focused on physician career change. Experts from around the country have been recruited to teach on non-clinical jobs, physician entrepreneurship, venture capital, medical journalism, medical informatics, and opportunities for physicians in the pharmaceutical industry, law, and television.

This life-changing event will take place November 13-15, 2009 at the Wynn Las Vegas. Participants will receive a special room rate at the Wynn for $199 per night and tuition is only $599 for twenty hours of lecture, much lower than many CME events. Register online as a reader of this blog and enter the code "JKBLOG" to receive a $25 discount.

Why continue the frustration? Learn how to use your talents and training in new and interesting ways. Be taught by physicians who have successfully bridged the gap between clinical and non-clinical careers such as:
  • Dr. Michael VanRooyen, Co-Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and co-founder of four start-up companies
  • Dr. Mike Woo-Ming, former Family Physician who retired from clinical medicine at age 35 and now runs many successful internet marketing companies
  • Dr. Julie Silver, Chief Editor of Books at Harvard Health Publications and author of 14 books
  • Dr. Ken Kamler, surgeon and best-selling author who is a consultant for the Discovery Channel and columnist for National Geographic Adventure
  • Dr. Joe Smith, Vice President of Emerging Technology at Johnson & Johnson
  • Dr. Mark Crockett, expert in medical informatics and President of the Emergency Care Division of Picis
  • Dr. Mark Kroll, medical device inventor and expert in medical technology
Come to Vegas in November and learn from the best. Visit the Medical Fusion conference website at and see why so many physicians are turning to Medical Fusion to begin their new careers. Make this event your first step to a new and exciting career change. Register online as a reader of this blog and enter the code "JKBLOG" to receive a $25 discount.

Clinical Data Manager (CDM)

Do you know anyone who is currently working as a Clinical Data Manager (CDM)? What is a CDM? We live in a world of acronyms that are so difficult to remember unless you work in that specific industry. If you don't work in clinical research and data management, then you may not be familiar with terms such as CDM, CRO, CCDM, GCP, CRA, CRC, GCDMP, etc.

Here are a few job descriptions that I copied from some recent CDM job postings:
The Clinical Data Manager is a key position in Clinical Data Management leading large / global projects, or multiple projects with responsibility for the development of the project Data Management Plan, data management systems set-up, and data accession, data entry and data review specifications and processes, and oversight of data management activities for the delivery of clinical data according to client quality and integrity specifications, project timelines and budgets. The Clinical Data Manager will develop and maintain a close liaison with project client contacts, core team members, and Project Managers to drive the data management aspects of project delivery.
Here's another job description:
Clinical Data Manager works collaboratively with Clinical Operations, Biometrics, PVG, Regulatory and other staff to meet project deliverables. The successful candidate will also have the ability to gather, organize, and analyze clinical data from multiple data sources. The incumbent will provide oversight to CROs, while performing extensive hands-on Clinical Data Management activities from protocol design through regulatory submission. This position will offer the ability to work in a stable and well-established company while also having a high level of visibility.
If you're interested in learning more, you may want to take a look at the Society for Clinical Data Management. Here's a little blurb about that organization:

The Society for Clinical Data Management was established in 1994 to advance the discipline of clinical data management and promote excellence and quality among clinical data managers and related professionals.

Today, SCDM has more than 2,600 members and is considered the industry leader in professional development resources. We are increasingly an international organization - our members currently represent nearly 40 countries outside North America.

Our Certified Clinical Data Manager (CCDM®) program sets the standard for quality in clinical research labs across the United States and around the world. Our Good Clinical Data Management Practices (GCDMP) establishes best practices for all facets of clinical data management and is the resource of choice for CDM professionals.

To learn more about the SCDM, visit:

Webinar on pharmaceutical marketing

There's another educational webinar coming up for those of you who have an interest in pharmaceutical marketing. This webinar is sponsored by KantarHealth. Here are the details for the upcoming webinar:

Reputation Strategies That Drive Market Results: Turning Your Good Name into Good Business

Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 10:30 AM EDT
Hear NEW Research on How Physicians across the US and Europe Rate Companies on Social Responsibility...What Drives Their Perceptions...and How Reputation Impacts Performance...
KantarHealth is the world’s leading healthcare-focused global consultancy, specializing in portfolio optimization, market access, safety and outcomes, and brand and customer insights. Formed by uniting Consumer Health Sciences, MattsonJack, TNS Healthcare and Ziment, it is the leading next-generation decision support partner to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, delivering evidence-based guidance to support clients global and local success.

To learn more, visit:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Accepting Grand Rounds Submissions

I have the opportunity to host the November 3 Grand Rounds here on Grand Rounds is the the weekly rotating carnival of the best of the medical blogosphere. I encourage any type of submission, but if you're interested in a theme, it's simply this: non-clinical areas within health care. (after all, this blog is devoted to non-clinical opportunities for health care professionals who are interested in part-time and full-time non-clinical jobs and careers)

I will accept submissions until Noon (Eastern) on Sunday November 1, 2009.

Please include:
  • Author name
  • Blog name
  • Post URL
Send your submissions to:

MECC = Medical Education and Communications Company

The acronym MECC stands for: Medical Education and Communications Company. MECC. Some MECCs focus on certified continuing medical education (CME) while other MECCs focus on promotional medical education. Some MECCs are independent companies while others are extensions of medical publishers and advertising agencies. Some MECCs are even non-profit.

So, what does a MECC do?
  • Assist academic faculty with the development of content for a CME satellite symposium.
  • Assist with monographs and journal supplements (CME and non-CME).
  • Assist with journal publications (clinical studies, review articles, etc.)
  • Assist with the development of slides for grand rounds, dinner meetings, etc.
  • and much more...
In the past, some MECCs were involved in ghost writing, but those days are gone, right?

The term "MECC" may be evolving because in the past, some MECCs were involved in developing both CME and non-CME activities. Now, MECCs must choose to stay on one side of the fence. Therefore, I think the word "communication" should come out of "MECC" for CME companies and the word "education" should come out of "MECC" for promotional companies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mobile Marketing to Doctors

Here's another free webinar for people who are interested in the world of pharmaceutical marketing and who also have an interest in mobile technology (smartphones, PDAs, etc.)

Mobile Marketing to Doctors: How to Make a Meaningful Connection
As the world moves into a digital environment--so are physicians. HCPs (health care professionals) are typically among the first to adopt new technology as it applies to their profession, including the use of mobile. While drug reference is the most widely used application, medical calculators, decision-support tools and medical alerts allow HCPs to work more efficiently at the point of care.

With the overwhelming majority of physicians carrying PDAs and Smartphones, mobile marketing has become a critical channel for communicating with HCPs. Proper implementation of a strategy featuring mobile applications can go a long way in helping pharmaceutical marketers build and maintain successful relationships with physicians.

Join us to learn how physicians respond to mobile marketing including what information they use and how it affects prescribing behavior as a result. Get three unique perspectives on mobile marketing from the vantage point of a mobile technology innovator, a pharmaceutical marketing expert and a physician.

Featured speakers
  • Jason Bhan, Practicing MD, Professor of Medicine, Co-Founder, Ozmosis, Inc
  • Sanjay Pingle, President, Physicians Interactive
  • Sandeep Shah, President and CEO, Skyscape, Inc
  • James Chase, Editor-in-Chief, Medical Marketing and Media
Sponsored by Physicians Interactive (which recently acquired Skyscape)
Click here for more information and to register for this event.

The Best Places to Work in Healthcare

According to, the best places to work if you're in the health care industry are:
  1. Intelligent InSites
  2. Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
  3. CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System
  4. Holy Name Hospital
  5. Sage Products
  6. Memorial Healthcare System
  7. VHA
  8. Awarepoint Corp.
  9. Premier
  10. Valley Medical Center
  11. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake
  12. King's Daughters Medical Center
  13. Kootenai Health
  14. Trilogy Health Services
  15. LiquidAgents Healthcare
  16. South Dayton Acute Care Consultants
  17. Buena Vista Regional Medical Center
  18. Saint Francis Medical Center
  19. Indiana Regional Medical Center
  20. Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center
I'm not entirely sure how they conduct their surveys, but it's always interesting to see their list each year. The study is sponsored by the Studer Group (Studer Group is an outcomes based health care consulting firm devoted to teaching evidence-based tools and processes that organizations can immediately use to create and sustain outcomes in service and operational excellence).

The list above categorizes each employer as either a provider or a supplier (I've bolded the suppliers in the list above since you're more likely to find non-clinical opportunities in that type of setting). 6 out of the top 20 are suppliers. The #1 company is a supplier. Are you considering a move out of the "provider" group and into the "supplier" group?

To view the entire list on ModernHealthcare, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Medical communications jobs on LinkedIn

If you're looking for a non-clinical job and you're not using LinkedIn, then you're probably missing many potential opportunities. Over the past few months, I've seen many job posts in the medical communications industry. By medical communications, I'm referring to a broad industry that often includes:
  • Marketing and promotional education
  • Advertising agencies
  • Medical writing 
  • Medical publishing
  • Journalism
  • Certified continuing medical education (CME)
  • and much more
So, to find these jobs, join LinkedIn and begin exploring some groups.

Part-time MBA: cohorted or non-cohorted?

There are many different types of part-time MBA programs that may be offered by major universities. I won't be focusing on executive MBAs in this discussion because I believe that the executive MBA is a totally different experience from your standard MBA. Let's keep the focus on part-time MBAs and compare how business schools may structure these part-time MBA programs.

First, we have some part-time programs that are cohorted while others are non-cohorted programs. Let's take a look at what this really means:

In a cohorted programs, you're in a cohort with other students. You will take all the necessary courses together, so you'll get to know the people in your class really well. You will have minimal interactions with students outside of your cohort. As a member of a cohort, you will start and end the program with everyone else in your cohort. You won't have much flexibility in your course schedule since you'll be required to take courses in a fixed schedule. Expect to get your MBA in 2-3 years. Can you do this if you're a busy physician? Yes, but you can expect your life to get extremely busy as you add courses into your schedule.
You get to take a variety of courses at your own pace. As a result, you may encounter new people in every course. You won't be tightly connected to any particular group of students, since you're all taking different courses at different paces. You get a tremendous amount of flexibility and you may even choose to skip a semester and take an academic break. You may get an MBA in 2 - 5 years, depending on the program. This provides greater flexibility for physicians, but you'll miss out on networking opportunities because you may have difficulty really connecting with fellow classmates.
If you look at some online MBA programs, some follow the cohorted model while others follow the non-cohorted model. Distance learning technologies have made the virtual classroom a great way to learn and interact with other students. Of course, the virtual classroom will never replace the face-to-face interactions you'll get in a real classroom.

Before you make any decisions about a part-time MBA program, ask yourself, "what do you hope to achieve by getting an MBA?"  Do you value networking? Learning? The application of business frameworks in medical management? Entrepreneurship?

At the end of the day, the cohorted MBA is probably the best model for anyone wishing to pursue a part-time MBA. A full-time MBA is the best option, but if you're willing to settle for second best because you need to make a living and support a family, then the second choice should be a cohorted part-time MBA.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Medical consulting projects

Over the past few years, I've had several opportunities to get involved with some small medical consulting projects. Physicians are in a unique position to offer some consultative advice to various types of groups. You'll find many academic physicians who consult for major pharmaceutical companies. Some physicians consult for investment banking and venture capital firms, others consult for different types of health care companies.

If you enjoy the challenge of solving big problems, then you may enjoy some consulting opportunities. You have to understand all the complex issues and the multifaceted problems or challenges faced by your client. You need to have the skills to ask the right questions, to gather the necessary data, and to formulate an optimal solution for your client. A full-time consulting career will often require a tremendous amount of traveling as you visit different clients for various projects. Some physicians consult primarily over the telephone and via video web conferences. Many physician consultants also offer independent consulting while others may work as an employee for a consulting firm.

If you're considering a non-clinical career, have you considered a consulting career?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Upcoming webinar on: Linking Strategy to Operational Performance in Hospitals

There's another free webinar coming up on the topic of health care management and operational performance. Since many people are interested in medical management and health care consulting, this webinar may be of interest. This is NOT a CME/CE certified educational event.

Linking Strategy to Operational Performance in Hospitals
How to Finally Measure Performance Proactively—Not Reactively

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2009
Time: 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 1 Hour

Here are the details:
Healthcare organizations across the country are plagued with a strategic planning process that delivers high-level objectives that aren't well-understood, are developed in operational silos and aren't measured or monitored effectively. This process negatively impacts financial outcomes, sustainability and long-term growth.

Evidence suggests that leading healthcare organizations understand the importance of connecting strategy to operational performance, but they struggle to define the right set of measures and data to eliminate data silos and enable sustainable execution of a clearly articulated strategy. They also have difficulty effectively communicating direction to all levels of the organization.
Join Ann Nevius, vice president, healthcare practice at Palladium Group, and SAP during this live Web seminar to learn about the strategies, processes and supporting tools that top healthcare providers are using to bridge the execution gap and enable a proactive view of system-wide performance for more efficient operations and improved financial outcomes.
This November 5 Web seminar will take an in-depth look at the following:
  • Best practices in strategic planning using a balanced scorecard for today’s healthcare environment
  • How senior leaders can ensure focus on the right measures and data to drive execution of strategy that aligns with operational metrics
  • How to effectively communicate strategy and direction to all levels of the organization
  • How to avoid pitfalls in strategy planning
This free webinar is sponsored by SAP Business Objects Division with a guest speaker from Palladium Group.

Click here to learn more and register.

Learn about patient-reported outcomes (PROs)

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) has become a popular buzzword lately. How much do you know about PROs? Are you familiar with the FDA’s 2006 “Guidance for Industry” on patient-reported outcomes (PROs)?

There's an upcoming complimentary webinar that will be addressing this subject. It's titled, "Demonstrating Value through PROs: Label Claims and Promotional Claims"

Here are the details:

Date: -----Thursday, November 5, 2009
Time: -----10:00-11:00 AM EST
Format: --Speaker presentations with Questions/Answers discussion

Since the release of the FDA’s 2006 “Guidance for Industry” on patient-reported outcomes (PROs), the field of Health Outcomes has faced increasing challenges in demonstrating evidence to support the inclusion of PROs in product labels and promotional claims. While many of our clients view this as a formidable challenge, there have been some recent success stories with products that have achieved PRO label language from FDA. Not too long ago, it was clear that providing evidence on safety and efficacy was the highest hurdle set by the FDA. Today, virtually all drug companies face additional hurdles set by Payers, who require evidence to demonstrate the value of products and key differentiators to justify access and reimbursement. In this session, we will discuss the successes and challenges associated with PRO labeling and promotional claims.

• Defining PROs according to the FDA’s Draft Guidance
• Discussion of recent products that have achieved PRO label language
• Explanation of value, as defined by the Payer audience
• Results from UBC’s Center for Health Outcomes Research’s review of PRO label language

  • William R. Lenderking, PhD Senior Research Leader, United BioSource Corporation, Center for Health Outcomes Research
  • Sajjad Khan, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C Senior Research Associate, United BioSource Corporation, Center for Health Outcomes Research
This webinar is sponsored by United BioSource Corporation (UBC).

To Register: --Please email to receive registration information.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why "average salary" is frequently misleading in medicine

When you hear the phrase "average salary," do you think of mean, median, or mode?

Let's suppose that the average salary for a primary care physician is $150,000 (I'm just making up numbers here). Now, is that because the majority of people fall between $140,000 to $160,000 (a very narrow range)? Or, is it because the range of pay is from $90,000 all the way up to $210,000 (a very wide range)?

I know many primary care physicians who are making around $90,000 (academic medicine or salaried) each year, and others who are making well over $200,000 (they do a ton of procedures and see a very high volume of patients). So, although the average salary of $150,000 may provide one perspective, we know that salary ranges are very wide in the field of medicine. Is this also true in the non-clinical world?

The short answer is "yes."

The phrase "average salary" tells you nothing about the range of salaries. Hence, it's a very misleading term unless you know the range of salaries. When you're thinking about a career transition and you're researching salary ranges, avoid the question of "average salary." Instead, explore the potential range of salaries and then you'll have a realistic idea for compensation. When you have some outliers, the average can become very unreliable (unless you're not using mean as your average). For instance, some physicians end up becoming CEOs of hospitals and major corporations. Some CEOs may have a base salary of $300,000 per year, while others make several million dollars annually. Now how do you calculate an "average" in this type of situation? It's hard for me to imagine making several million dollars each year.

Speaking of salary, I find it refreshing that physicians on Sermo are willing to disclose their salary (since it's anonymous) and that's where you can get a more accurate representation of salary ranges and distribution trends.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Attending an MBA open house

Tonight, I attended an MBA open house at a major local university. It was interesting to hear about all the different types of MBA programs they offer. Some are part-time, others are full-time. Some require on-campus classroom sessions, others are 100% online. Some are exclusively for senior-level executives (executive MBA) while others may be very specialized for certain sectors (such as an MBA in pharmaceutical management).

I've been researching business schools for several years and I don't know when I'll apply, but at this point I doubt it will be in 2010 because I simply have too many things going on in my personal and professional life. However, maybe 2011 will be the year when I apply for b-school.

If you're considering business school, start by attending an open house. Then, you may wish to even sit in on a class session and meet current students, alumni, etc. An MBA can open many doors of opportunities if you go to the right school and if you leverage your network strategically.

CME professionals are moving out of CME

Well, maybe the actual jobs aren't shifting. People are definitely moving around. Over the past year, I've seen many CME (continuing medical education) companies shut down. Some people may refer to these companies as medical education and communication companies or MECCs. However, the word "communication" can be misleading because promotional educational companies may also be considered MECCs. Promotional education is very different from certified continuing medical education.

This year, I've seen many CME professionals move out of CME and transition into other industries. Times are difficult for those working in the CME industry. To be quite candid: it's difficult not to feel some level of discouragement about the overall CME industry.

Now, when I'm referring to the CME industry, I'm specifically speaking about industry-supported CME. Hospitals and other professional organizations will always provide CME to their physicians. However, if you're looking for free CME on the web, as print, as a teleconference, symposium, webinar, etc. - then you may see less industry-supported CME in the future.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are making significant changes in the way they fund CME activities. The increased scrutiny has changed the landscape. However, I feel that many of these changes are good changes and they will eventually improve the overall CME industry.

2009 was a difficult year for many CME companies. Those who weathered the storm may see some increasing opportunities in 2010 if they position themselves strategically. Others may continue to struggle in 2010 as industry supporters commit fewer dollars to certified continuing medical education.

Medical students who hate medical school

Some medical students who hate medical school are being quite creative at sharing and expressing their hatred and frustration of being a "lowly" medical student in the hierarchy of the medical world. In case you're not familiar with that food chain:
  • The attending physician is usually at the top of the hierarchy
  • Followed by a fellow (if applicable)
  • Then, you get a senior resident (on July 1, this person may have been an intern yesterday)
  • Followed by the intern (some may argue that the intern is the lowest person on the totem pole, but I would have to disagree)
  • Fourth year medical student (often called an acting intern or sub-intern)
  • Third (or even second) year medical student (get ready to buy coffee and donuts for the group)
If you're on the bottom of the food chain, you can only go up. So, don't get discouraged. Of course, if you don't think that you'll ever pursue a clinical career, then you're in the right place. I always try to encourage every medical student to go through residency. However, I also understand that some people simply aren't suited for clinical training. I wish you the best as you look for job opportunities that are geared for medical school graduates who don't wish to pursue residency training.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

915 members in the "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" social network

I think we will exceed 1000 members in our Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals social network before the end of the year. I'm excited to see how this social network has grown and I feel like we can leverage this network to help each other find non-clinical opportunities. Over the past several weeks, I've already sent several broadcasts related to different opportunities in medical writing, reviewing, and health IT.

I want to thank everyone who has told others about this network. I also want to thank those of you who has become a fan of the Facebook page. That's my own little social experiment because I know that most physicians are not leveraging social media, but I'm curious to see how many physicians are using Facebook, Twitter, and professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

If you haven't joined the Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals, what are you waiting for? Meet over 900 other health care professionals (mostly physicians) who are truly interested in learning about non-clinical career opportunities.

MSL positions are opening up all over the country

It seems like MSL (medical science liaison) positions are opening up all over the country as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies anticipate new drug launches. These companies are primarily looking for candidates who have some type of doctorate degree in the health sciences (MD, DO, PharmD, PhD, or equivalent)

In order to be an MSL, you need the ability to understand and speak a high level of clinical science as you interact with academic faculty members, physicians, pharmacists, and other scientific individuals. Be prepared to travel all the time if you're an MSL (roughly 50%, but some require more and some require less).

Not interested in traveling very much? Then you should not consider a job as an MSL. You simply won't be happy if you're constantly traveling. Field experience is very important if you're trying to climb the corporate ladder within pharma. This is one reason why some experienced corporate executives will transition into a field position to gain that experience.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Career transition and outplacement services for physicians

There are many different groups out there that provide career transition and outplacement services. However, how many of them focus on serving physicians? I don't think you'll find that many that specialize in physicians and other health care professionals who are transitioning from a clinical practice to the business world of non-clinical opportunities.

What can you find if you search on the Internet? Try typing words like "career transition" and "outplacement services" and let's see what we find. Not living in North America? Try searching for regional services. For example, if you live in Australia, you may want to type something like "outplacement services sydney" into Google and see what you get. If you live in another country and you're looking for jobs in the U.S., I still encourage you to leverage international resources that have experience helping people with career transition services in the countries where you're interested in finding a job.

Right now, one of the biggest challenges associated with outplacement services in the United States is that employers have limited funds to pay for these types of expensive services. Displaced employees generally don't have the funds to pay for outplacement services, so they are often left looking by themselves.

I always advise unemployed individuals to reach out into their social network and look for opportunities through the people they know. So many people have entered the non-clinical world through someone who knew someone who then arranged for a job interview. If you're not tapping into your social network, then you may be missing some valuable opportunities to find employment.

FDA’s Second Annual Science Writers Symposium

If you're a medical or science writer, consider attending the Science Writers Symposium. This year, the theme is "Writing About the Future of Public Health." 
November 4-5, 2009
FDA White Oak Campus
Silver Spring, MD 20993
The Second Annual Science Writers Symposium on November 4 and 5, 2009, will highlight how the FDA applies novel scientific approaches to critical public health issues and the products it regulates. The free symposium will give credentialed journalists a unique insight into the evolving field of regulatory science with an eye towards generating potential story ideas.

Click here for more information.

Learn how to improve the business of HIV pharmaceutical management

There's a free webinar coming up titled, "Solutions for Managing HIV in the Payor Community." This is a webinar sponsored by BioScrip and all the speakers are BioScrip employees. So, I hope it will be an informative webinar and not simply an infomercial. This is NOT a certified CME/CE event, so I am not expecting that it will be fair balanced and free of any commercial bias. However, if you wish to learn more about HIV management, then you'll probably find it informative. Those working in the public health sector may find this interesting.

This webinar will address:
  • Emerging trends in HIV patient demographics
  • Patient Diagnosis, Treatment and Compliance Issues
  • Government Initiatives and Guidelines
  • HIV business environment: Pharma trends, Costs, and  Copay Issues
  • Unique challenges for Specialty Pharmacy payors
  • Solutions for HIV disease management
The presenters are:
  • Elizabeth Engelhardt, RN, MSN, VP, Clinical Services and Product Development, BioScrip, Inc.
  • Sara Deno, Pharm.D., AAHIVE (American Academy of HIV Medicine HIV Expert), Director of Pharmacy Services, BioScrip, Inc.
  • Stephen Cichy, Executive Vice President, Managed Care Sales, Marketing and Product Development, BioScrip, Inc.
To learn more about this webinar, click here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Looking for a radiology consultant (health IT)

I'm looking for a radiology consultant for a company that provides health IT services for hospitals, insurance providers, and life science companies. Maybe you know a radiologist who has a passion for health information technology.

The individual could potentially work as a part-time consultant and may even have an opportunity for a full-time position. The individual must be a radiologist and must have a strong background in health IT because different projects may touch upon several areas that include:

- Data Warehouse and Data Mining
· Track workloads, efficiency, and turnaround time (based on radiologist, division, modality, location, time of day, patient class and report findings)
· Analyze indications and compare them against patient populations (age, gender, zip-code, etc) and cohorts
· Utilization rates of particular radiological procedures
· Compare finding and follow-up recommendation rates for radiologist and subspecialty groups
· Analyze historic trends and predict future events
- Implement ACR (American College of Radiology) Quality and Safety guidelines to improve patient care
- Billing and Revenue Cycle Management- reduce cash cycle (A/R days) by 20-30% thus improving the cash reserve
- Integration services
· Hospital & Physicians' office integration with Radiology center
· HL7/DICOM Integration
- RIS/PACS ongoing maintenance and support

Please contact me if you know any radiologists who may be interested in such consulting opportunities. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

End of Year Hiring

With the holidays coming up soon, you can anticipate that some companies won't be doing much interviewing and hiring in the months of November and December. However, there are some companies that are trying to complete their hiring before the end of the year. I'm getting contacted by executive recruiters all the time. They're looking for candidates who are ready to make a change within the next few months.

Are you one of those individuals who's eager for a change? If you're thinking about a career transition, remember that it often takes a considerable amount of time before you land in a new non-clinical job. If you've been looking for several months, then I hope you'll find a new job soon. The end of the year can be a slower time for hiring, but sometimes you simply never know what's going to happen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Become a fan of the Facebook page for the Non-Clinical Jobs blog

Since I'm a blogger, I'm conducting a social experiment. I set up a Facebook page for this blog. You can access that page by visiting this link: Facebook link.

Traditionally, I have reserved Facebook exclusively for personal use and not for professional social networking. However, since I'm getting to know more of my readers on a personal level, I've decided to start leveraging my Facebook account to meet my readers and to stay connected on a personal note. I'm a strong proponent of social networking and I believe that Facebook is evolving to incorporate more elements of business and professional social networking.

After all, the decision to transition to a non-clinical career often involves many personal elements. There's the work/family balance. Some people are more focused on meeting the needs of their families. I firmly believe that family should always come first.

So, if you'd like to connect on Facebook, start by becoming a fan of this blog.  Visit the Facebook link.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What if money wasn't an issue?

What type of career would you pursue if money wasn't an issue? So many physicians are buried in school-related debt. As a result, the sad reality is that money is an issue. You may not need an extremely high salary, but you'll need enough to pay your off your loans. Otherwise, you'll be filing for bankruptcy.

But what if money wasn't an issue? What type of career would you want to pursue? Would you be motivated to work? Perhaps you'd enjoy a teaching career. Maybe you'd pursue arts, music, or poetry. Write a book. Stay at home with the kids.

Some people are fortunate enough that money really isn't an issue for them. Many physicians feel trapped in their clinical "job" because they have to support their families, pay bills, and make loan payments.

When you're thinking about a career transition into the non-clinical world of medicine, it's important to consider your personal dreams, ambitions, and passions in life. What would you do if money wasn't an issue? If you spend some time thinking about that question, are you able to generate an honest answer quickly? Or, maybe you need to spend several days or weeks thinking about that question.

Was medical school a mistake?

How many dissatisfied medical students do you know? In certain cultures, young people are heavily pressured to attend medical school. Parents and other family members may place substantial pressure on students to apply for medical school. This happens quite often in the Asian American community, especially if your parent(s) is a physician. If you tell your parents that you plan to pursue a "non professional" career, you can pack your bags and say good bye to your family. Now, that may sound like an extreme example, but I know many people who feel like they would get disowned if they were to drop out of medical school.

My intent is not to discuss and debate parenting principles. Instead, I'd like to focus on those medical students who often feel "trapped" while they're in medical school or residency. They feel like they have no other options. They can't imagine a job outside of medicine. They have substantial student loans. They feel like they would be disappointing so many people if they leave the medical field.
  • Medical students don't learn about non-clinical career options in medical school.
  • Medical students feel trapped because of their debt burden.
  • Medical students may feel like they made a mistake about their career.
The good news is that you can apply your medical training and expertise to pursue some great non-clinical career opportunities. 

Free educational webinar on Dictation and the EMR by WinScribe

Physicians are always looking for opportunities to learn. If you wish to learn more about the world of technology and electronic medical records (EMR) and the use of dictation systems, then you may want to register for this upcoming free educational webinar on "Dictation and the Electronic Medical Record." This is not a certified CME activity and this is an industry-supported activity (which is why it's free). I find that these types of industry-supported webinars are often developed to market and promote certain products and services, but they can also be quite educational if they are done properly. This webinar is sponsored by WinScribe.

Here are some of the details about this particular webinar (info from LinkedIn):

Physicians who have transitioned to EMR systems from dictation platforms have reported significant declines in productivity as a result of using EMR systems without transcription support. Typical reported losses associated to EMRs equate to 1 - 2 extra hours per day, per physician spent on documentation, and 2 - 4 few patient exams per day, per physician despite claims by EMR vendors that template-based entry points will cut down on physician workloads.

Thursday, October 29, 2009
12:00 PM (EDT) - 11:00 AM (CDT) - 10:00 AM (MDT)
9:00 AM (PDT) - 8:00 AM (AKDT) - 6:00 AM (HST)

Presented via WebEx
REGISTRATION LINK (will open in a new window)
(If the registration link does not work, then you may need to be logged in to LinkedIn)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)

HCP Live is covering updates from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) annual conference in Denver. Glad to see that they're learning about social media and Web 2.0.

If you're interested in a career in medical management, then you should definitely tune in. You can also pursue a master's degree in medical management (MMM) if you're really serious about a career in this field.

To stay tuned, visit:

Here's some interesting history about the MGMA:
MGMA is the nation's principal voice for the medical group practice profession.

The Association started as a small network of clinic managers, called the National Association of Clinic Managers, which met for the first time in Madison, Wis., in 1926. The name was changed to the Medical Group Management Association in 1963 to reflect the diverse management roles found in group practice.

Working on a consumer health project

I sent an e-mail today to almost 900 health care professionals who are members of the social network "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals." I'm recruiting a team of physicians for a small project and I've gotten quite a remarkable response. I want to thank my readers and those who are members of the "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" for being so responsive to my request. I hope to help physicians and other healthcare professionals improve their exposure on the Internet and so they can find opportunities in different non-clinical areas. My hope is to find additional projects for physicians who are interested in "getting their feet wet" in different non-clinical areas of medicine. It's often difficult to "break in," but I may be able to help by providing opportunities where you can work on some projects, gain exposure, and list certain accomplishments on your CV.

This current project deals with consumer health, but future projects will focus on the use of electronic health records (EHRs), data integration, and other technology-driven solutions. I also anticipate other projects in medical writing, consumer health education, etc.

To hear about future opportunities, I encourage you to join the free "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals" network and meet almost 900 other physicians and health care professionals who have an interest in non-clinical careers. By joining this social network, you may find an opportunity to explore the non-clinical world of medicine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's the ROI of an MBA?

ROI = return on investment

That's not a term that you'll learn in medical school. And if you're like many medical school graduates who majored in biology, chemistry, or another type of science, then you may have never seen the term "ROI" used (hard to imagine, isn't it?).

So, for those who are contemplating an MBA degree, the big question is: "what type of ROI do you expect to see from an MBA?"

I think the answer really depends on what you plan to do with an MBA. If you're going to start your own company, then an MBA that focuses on entrepreneurship could yield an immeasurable ROI. On the other hand, if you're pursuing an MBA just so that you can "break into" the non-clinical world, then it may be much more difficult to evaluate what type of ROI you'll see. An MBA is not inexpensive - it's quite an investment when you look at all the time and money you'll be spending.

Monday, October 12, 2009

When will we reach 1,000 members in our social network: "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals"?

Our social network Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals currently has over 880 members. Do you think we can reach 1,000 members before the end of the year? I'm asking for your help so that we can get there.

Over the past few months, I've been referring physicians to various non-clinical opportunities (some are part-time, some are consulting projects, and others are full-time jobs). Over the past few weeks, I've developed connections in two separate companies and they are both looking for some part-time physician consultants to help with projects as they pertain to:
  • Medical communications: medical writing, editing, health education, consumer health, etc.
  • Health information technology (health IT): electronic health record (EHR)/ electronic medical record (EMR), data integration, etc.
Some of these part-time consulting opportunities may evolve into full-time positions. I encourage you to join the free Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals network and tell others about this resource. Let's aim to reach 1,000 members as we enter 2010!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

AMA - National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration

I'll be in Baltimore later this week for the AMA - National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration annual conference. The 20th Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, "Learning From the Past; Planning for the Future", will be held Oct. 14-16, 2009 in Baltimore.

In this rapidly evolving world of continuing medical education (CME), it's critical to stay current on all the discussions about certified medical education. I'll be quite busy during this meeting, but I hope to blog about some of my thoughts as I attend this year. Each year, the focus seems to shift to some "hot topics." In the past, those topics included things such as:
  • resolving conflicts of interest within the medical education industry
  • transparency
  • multi-support models for commercial support
  • collaboration instead of competition
  • the importance of educational design when developing CME
This year, the focus is on the future of medical education. Physicians will always need CME, but

You can learn more about this event by reading the conference brochure found here.

Leveraging your alumni network

When you prepare to transition careers, it's critical to leverage your alumni network. You may be surprised to discover that some of your classmates are now in powerful management positions. They may provide you with the right opportunity to make that leap into the non-clinical world of medicine. So, whether you graduated from college or medical school 5 years ago or 25 years ago, it's important to leverage your alumni network when you make such a significant life transition.

Not sure how to reconnect with old classmates and colleagues? Attend the next reunion. Join your alumni association and become an active participant. Utilize social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to find people and reconnect.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

MBA open house

Thinking about getting an MBA? To learn more about different programs, you may want to visit an MBA open house. There are several coming up in the next few weeks and you can leverage these great networking opportunities to meet current students and others who may be considering the path to business school.

I've signed up for a few in my area since I'm surrounded by many different b-schools. If you plan to get an MBA while you continue to work, then you may wish to consider executive MBA programs or part-time programs.

Part-time medical writing jobs for physicians

I've recently been exploring some part-time medical writing jobs for physicians. I'm not looking for more work for myself. I'm busy enough keeping up with all my blogs. Instead, I'm referring work to physicians who want part-time projects.

Earlier today, I contacted a handful of physicians who have a strong interest in the medical writing industry. They are not full-time medical writers. They are not professional writers. They are simply people who are looking for some part-time work to fill their time while they stay at home, watch the kids, or manage other responsibilities. These types of small jobs and projects won't sustain a family who depends on a physician's income, but they could act as stepping stones to larger projects and ultimately full-time positions. However, if you prefer to work part-time, then these small jobs could be perfect for you.

You may be wondering: "how do I find these types of jobs?"

I find them through my social network. Let me give you an example. In the past few weeks, I've been approached by four different people on LinkedIn who are looking for physicians to help them with several different part-time projects. I knew one person from my college days. One was a friend of a former co-worker. The other 2 people were complete strangers who happened to know one of my other contacts (so we had a mutual connection). So many opportunities may open up if you're able to leverage social networking resources appropriately.

Looking for some part-time work? Start networking.

Case study: from residency to pharma

I'd like to share a brief case study of a physician who transitioned into the non-clinical world of medicine:
SGK (I'll use these random acronyms to refer to this individual) graduated from a U.S. medical school, did an internship at a university-based program and a partial residency in internal medicine. SGK knew that she did not want to pursue a career in clinical medicine, so she started looking for a non-clinical job during her second year of residency. She began networking with her college friends and explored several possibilities including consulting and pharma. After interviewing at several different types of companies, she landed a position as a medical science liaison (MSL) in a major pharma company and worked there for 2 years. The travel burden was too great, so she transitioned into a marketing division of pharma and climbed the corporate ladder to head up a marketing division within pharma.
This case illustrates that the "entry" point into the non-clinical world was an MSL position within pharma. These positions are often filled by MDs, PharmDs, and PhDs who wish to gain field experience. You don't need a medical license and residency experience is beneficial but certainly not always mandatory. Speaking of pharma field experience, you can also gain this by being a sales representative. However, an MSL may be a more desirable role because you'll have more opportunities to dig into the science of medicine, disease treatment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, etc.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Angry reactions about the eBay doc

My blog gets syndicated through several different channels, and one of them happens to be the Trusted.MD network. After I wrote about the CNN story about the physician Dr. Jennifer Lickteig who makes more money selling items on eBay than in seeing patients ("Doc makes more cash selling clothes on eBay"), I received an onslaught of comments from people who must not have been satisfied with their eBay transactions with her. These comments could have been generated by only a few (or even a single) user - I have no way of knowing that. Some of the comments claim that she uses several different eBay user IDs. I tried to look up a few of them and nothing came up. So, I'm inclined to think that those comments may have been generated by a single angry customer.

In any case, I was trying to focus on the principle behind the story, not the actual story. The principle is that many physicians are looking for supplemental income because their day job isn't enough. They may find non-clinical jobs in the world of medical writing, sales, consulting, teaching, etc. Some are obviously more successful than others, but it's always interesting to meet physicians who have an entrepreneurial spirit. You can leverage common resources like eBay to build a business if you're creative and if you have the right business sense.

As for Dr. Jennifer Lickteig, I know nothing about her eBay activity beyond what's described in the CNN story. I've never purchased anything from her. I don't even know her eBay userID.

"Doc makes more cash selling clothes on eBay"

This was the title of a recent CNN story: Doc makes more cash selling clothes on eBay

Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? Well, the world of sales can be quite lucrative and some physicians find that their part-time non-clinical endeavors may be more profitable than the world of clinical medicine.

The CNN story is about Dr. Jennifer Lickteig who runs a clothing store on eBay. Here's a quote from the story:
The 35-year-old family practitioner says she earned $120,000 last year on eBay, more than she did practicing medicine.
I've sold a few things on eBay, but my profits have been nowhere near $120,000. I guess it's time to rummage through my closets again so that I can sell some junk. A few weeks ago, I sold some computer parts on eBay and made over $100 (you can probably imagine that my house is full of computer-related hardware and other types of gadgets).

Many full-time physicians make less than $100,000 each year, so it's not difficult to imagine how one could work part-time and earn much more "on the side." I know some medical bloggers (physicians) who make more money blogging part-time than seeing patients full-time. I also know many physicians who make more money consulting than seeing patients. The bottom line is that you can find those lucrative opportunities if you position yourself strategically and look for the right types of opportunities.

To read this interesting story on CNN, click here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Entry-level non-clinical jobs for physicians

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

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Complimentary webinar regarding the future of the medical device industry

Where is the medical device industry heading? Should you plan to pursue a career in this industry?
  • What are the implications of the Healthcare debate for the Medical Device community?
  • What emerging mandates, trends or innovations in consumer Health and Wellness will medical device and CE firms need to address?
  • Where is your organization making its strategic investments; product and services innovation; marketing compliance, agility and productivity; global growth?
  • How will your products and services be more instrumented, intelligent and interconnected into the healthcare ecosytem?
  • How will your organization achieve greater speed and agility to capture first mover advantage?
  • What are the keys to successfully achieve your business objectives from these investments?
There's a free webinar coming up that will hopefully address some of these issues. This upcoming webinar is sponsored by IBM and offered through the Center for Business Intelligence (CBI). To learn more and to register for this complimentary event, click here.

I missed an interview opportunity with CNN

A producer from CNN sent me by e-mail yesterday. She was interested in interviewing me for an article regarding physicians who have pursued a second career outside of medicine. I had also spoken briefly with a different CNN/ reporter several weeks ago on a related topic. I don't know if this is a continuation of a series or if this is something different. Unfortunately, I replied indicating that I was not available at the time due to other commitments. However, I wish the CNN team the best as they write about physicians and non-clinical careers.

Speaking of reporters and interviews, a few months ago I was interviewed by a reporter who writes for the American Medical News (published by the American Medical Association or AMA) and she graciously included a link to this website on her article titled, "Job-hunting in a recession: It may take some searching" (read the American Medical News story here). I wrote about that experience here: American Medical News mentions

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BIOMEDevice Forum

If you're interested in a non-clinical career that involves medical devices, then consider attending the BIOMEDevice Forum this December 9-10 in San Jose, CA. This conference isn't only about medical devices - it also covers biotechnology, pharma, etc. Here's a snippet regarding this upcoming event:
The third annual BIOMEDevice San Jose Executive Forum is the West Coast’s premier executive level conference focusing on cross sector collaborations among the biotechnology, medical device, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic industries and convergent medical technologies.

Exploring ways to improve quality and reliability, shorten time to market, and increase efficiencies is always good business practice–but perhaps never more so than in today's challenging economy. BIOMEDevice, an MD&M Event, provides your best opportunity of the year to meet hundreds of knowledgeable suppliers and return to your work place with the fresh ideas you need to make your business stronger and more profitable.
This year's Forum will address the following topics:
• FDA-effective enforcement
• New patent rulings and their impact on convergent technologies
• Communicating the complexities of convergent technologies to the investment community
• Anticipating and adapting for the future of life science cross-sector collaborations

These types of events are excellent social networking opportunities. I wish I could go to all of these, but there's no way I could afford to travel that much (plus, the registration fee isn't inexpensive). However, if you're considering a career change and you wish to explore your options, then this type of event could be a good place to gain some exposure and meet people.

To learn more about this upcoming Medical Device and Manufacturing (MD&M) event, visit this link.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Non-clinical physician jobs in HR

By HR, I'm referring to Human Resources. If you're a physician and you're considering a major career change, consider this: you can work as a recruiter in an executive search firm. Your job would be to place physicians into different types of jobs. You'd be a "head hunter" or a "search consultant" and if you're good, you may find that this type of job is financially rewarding. A job as a recruiter requires tremendous persistence, but you may have a head start if you have an extensive network of contacts and connections (do you know what all your medical school classmates are up to these days?).

Recruiting has been very difficult in this current economy. However, the world of health care is very different and physicians are still looking for new jobs and many are finding them through the help of recruiters. After all, how much time can a busy physician devote to finding a new job?

To learn more about the world of physician recruitment, you may want to read this book, titled:
Physician Recruitment And Employment

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Physician privacy and online social networking websites

Physicians need their privacy. Some patients would be calling their physicians all the time if they had the mobile phone number. That's why so many physicians use answering services and they block caller ID when they're calling out to their patients.

How can physicians leverage social networking websites and maintain privacy? What's the right balance for physicians who are trying to transition into the world of non-clinical medicine?

I'm not a fair example. My first name (Joseph or Joe) is one of the most common names out there. My last name (Kim) is the most common Korean surname (and also happens to be a very common first name among women). So, when you search for a Joseph Kim or Joe Kim on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other social networking site, you're likely to find many pages of results.

If you have a fairly common name, you may find that it's easy to network on these sites if you're using your name but you're not identifying yourself as a physician.

If you have a unique name, then you may choose to create an alias so that you can still use sites like LinkedIn and Facebook while maintaining anonymity (be creative and don't impersonate anyone). Of course, you wouldn't want to be anonymous to your friends, so you'd have to reach out to them and let them know what you're doing. This could get confusing for people. So, are there any other options?

Fortunately, many social networking sites provide many privacy options. Your name may not appear in any searches (so your patients won't find you). Your information may not be visible to anyone outside of your personal network. By leveraging these privacy options, you may be "invisible" to everyone who might be looking for you. However, it will give you a way to reach out to them and rebuild old relationships.

My recommendation is to create a profile and set all your privacy options to the "Max" level. Try it out, and then you may wish to ease up on the privacy settings after you leave the world of clinical medicine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pharma and Biotech companies are hiring MSLs

MSL = Medical Science Liaison

Depending on the pharma/biotech company, they may call the MSL something else (such as medical liaisons, medical science managers, regional medical scientists, and regional medical directors). However, for simplicity, I will use the acronym MSL.

Despite the recession, mergers, and layoffs, pharma and biotech companies are still hiring MSLs. Interact with KOLs (key opinion leaders) and find opportunities to teach clinicians about drugs. Expect to do an endless amount of traveling, but it's a great way to get "field experience" so that you can advance in the corporate world. If you're thinking about breaking into the non-clinical side of healthcare and you want a career in pharmaceutical medicine or biotechnology, then you may wish to consider a stint as an MSL.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Medscape is looking for a CME Scientific Director

If you have experience working in medical communications or medical education, then you may be interested in this job post. Medscape (one of the professional arms of WebMD) is looking for a Scientific Director to work on educational grant development. The world of certified continuing medical education (CME) is going through some significant changes these days and it's difficult to predict how CME will evolve over the next few years.

One of the most challenging aspects of generating a grant for CME is the needs assessment. If you're going to propose an educational activity on a specific topic, you have to prove that there's an educational gap that needs to be met with continuing education. Depending on the therapeutic area, it may be very challenging to identify such gaps. Then again, if you're an experienced CME grant writer, you already know that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Networking with medical writers

The other day, I attended a social function organized by the Delaware Valley Chapter (DVC) of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). AMWA-DVC is the largest AMWA chapter, with about 900 members and it was a great time to socialize and meet medical writers who work in clinical research, consumer health, regulatory affairs, marketing, and certified continuing medical education (CME).

I also met some people (who have a PharmD, MPH, PhD, etc.) who were exploring the field of medical writing. So many people don't realize that the medical writing industry is quite large and there are various types of opportunities ranging from writing as a freelance writer to working within pharma as a writer.

It's always great to meet new people, expand your network, and explore various opportunities within the non-clinical world of medicine. A considerable number of physicians often go into the field of medical writing and make a very successful (and lucrative) non-clinical career out of it. Of course, you have to be a good writer and you should enjoy writing.
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