Thanks to all our Facebook fans!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Over Thanksgiving, maybe you learned about some social networking websites such as Facebook. If you happened to create a profile on Facebook, please become a fan of our Facebook fan page. We've gained 85 fans since the page went up in mid-October as a social experiment.

If you're interested in expanding your social network, I encourage you to join our Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals (http://members.nonclinicaljobs.com) membership. This network currently has 1025 members and it's a great place to meet others who may share some common interests.

Did you network over Thanksgiving? (make sure to follow-up)


Were you proactive this Thanksgiving? Did you take advantage of the opportunity to talk with people and look for potential leads that may eventually lead to possible jobs? Well, if you didn't get a chance to talk with everyone, you now have a good excuse to follow up with those you may have seen across the room. Give them a call. Send an e-mail. Let these people know that you're actively considering a career transition (or maybe you're actively looking). Don't underestimate the power of your social network. These individuals may know people who can help you get a job.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. The day after Thanksgiving, my wife and I had to rush to the hospital to deliver a baby! I'm very grateful that we were able to enjoy Thanksgiving with everyone before going to the hospital.

You may be wondering why I'm such a strong proponent for social networking. There are two major reasons:
  1. Physicians in general tend to isolate themselves due to their busy schedules. As a result, they often neglect their social network.
  2. I've seen many career transition success stories that were ultimately dependent on a robust social network.

Blogging with a new baby at home

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yes, I now have a new baby at home (see: Picture of new baby Kim). She appears to be quite a "sleeper" compared to our first, so we'll have to wait and see. If she ends up sleeping really well, then I may find some time to continue with my blogs here and there. Otherwise, you can expect some gaps in my posts as I try to catch up on blogging and sleep.

Hiring slows down over the holidays


Hiring may slow down over the holidays, but this doesn't mean that you should give up. I personally choose to place family first, so if you share that value, then you may wish to spend some quality time with your family this holiday. However, if you're actively looking for a new job, remember that many HR (human resources) departments slow things down because they have difficulty coordinating and scheduling all the necessary meetings and interviews to move things along. Therefore, you may not hear anything for a few months while they're waiting for hiring managers to return from vacations. If you're a physician and you're applying for non-clinical jobs in various companies, you should expect several rounds of interviews with a handful of people. It can be very difficult to schedule these interviews if people are away on vacations. So, I'd encourage you to continue your job search, but cherish your time with your family this holiday season.

Risk, Reward and the Pharmaceutical Life Cycle

Friday, November 27, 2009


There's another free live webcast coming up titled, "Risk, Reward and the Pharmaceutical Life Cycle."
Managing Information as a Strategic Productivity Asset
Live Webcast: December 2, 2009 at 11:00 AM EST
This is an industry-sponsored event and is NOT a certified CME/CE activity. If you'd like to learn more about the pharmaceutical industry, then you may want to participate in this event.

Here's a summary:
Major changes are underway in the reporting and enforcement environment for drug safety, with new regulations now in place in the US and Europe that require sponsoring companies to provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to authorities, virtually on demand. REMS, RMPs, RiskMAPS, the Sentinel Initiative and other FDA programs geared to identifying product safety risks before they emerge as public health challenges raise the bar on what the sponsors must do to comply.

These include making significant investments in upgrading the quality and scope of surveillance data to track the impact of a medicine’s use on the patient community at every stage of its life cycle, from clinical trials to post marketing surveillance – in the latter case, this can now include obligations to monitor safety and risk well beyond the time of patent expiry.

In this new regulatory environment, relevant information must be accessible for analysis and reporting to meet strict regulatory time frames. In addition, the method of sharing this information with external parties must have controls in place to ensure the confidentiality of what, for knowledge-based industries like pharmaceuticals, is a key strategic asset. Technology and customized resource platforms can make this process more efficient by standardizing document distribution on a global basis, and allowing the detailed analysis demanded in sensitive areas like adverse event reporting.
Key Learning Objectives:
  • Learn how an understanding of regulatory methodology can facilitate rapid responses to safety queries
  • Learn how web-based document exchange platforms can facilitate access, distribution and submission of time-sensitive adverse event reports
  • Understand how to quantify the time and money savings realized by moving your safety document distribution process online
Chat Live with a Panel of Experts:

1. Christopher Milne, PhD, DVM, Deputy Director and Lead Policy Adviser, Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development

2. Gail Farfel, PhD, G Meredith Consulting, LLC

3. Dr. Jingping Mo, MD PhD, Senior Director, Epidemiology, Safety and Risk Management, Pfizer Inc.

4. Alison Shurell, VP, Life Science Product Marketing, IntraLinks

Click here to register for this free event.

Medical blogging as a non-clinical career


Medical blogging can be a great non-clinical career. For that matter, even non-medical blogs can bring in quite a bit of revenue if you're a good writer and you know how to market your content. For instance, perhaps you have a passion for golf or sailing. As a physician, you can write about certain topics from a medical perspective. That's how I got into the world of blogging. At one time, it seemed like I had more time for my blogs. I knew that it would be a lot of work to maintain 4 different blogs, but I thought that I could offer a unique service to health care professionals who have an interest in medicine, technology, smartphones, computers, and non-clinical career options. After all, where can you find all that information in a single place? Plus, doctors want insights into gadgets from other doctors if they're planning on using those gadgets in the clinical setting.

If you enjoy writing casually, you may want to start a blog. You can blog anonymously or you can use it to boost the visibility of your company, your clinical services, your medical practice, your consulting offerings, etc. You won't see results immediately, but if you're strategic and tactical, then your blog could end up being a great way to attract visitors to your personal or corporate website.

How to get started on this website (NonClinicalJobs.com)

Thanks for visiting NonClinicalJobs.com. If this is your first time on this site, here are several tips to help you get started:

Learn More about Non-Clinical Jobs, Careers, and Opportunities:
Meet Other Clinicians and Expand Your Social Network
Subscribe to Daily Updates
  • New articles are posted daily and you have the option to subscribe to e-mails or to an RSS feed. Look for the "subscribe" section on the right column of the website.
Read Articles on Specific Topics
  • You'll see another section on the far right side of this website titled, "Topic Categories." This is where you can start to read articles written on specific topics such as pharma, medical communications, biotech, consulting, medical writing, etc.
  • You can also use the section on the right titled, "Tag Cloud" to find articles on specific topics.
  • The "Blog Archive" is also an easy place to find older articles.
Search the Site
  • If you have a certain question or you're looking for a specific topic, then use the search box found on the upper right section of this site (under the banner image).
Find a Mentor/Career Coach
Visit Frequently
  • I encourage you to visit this website frequently. Each day you visit my site, your traffic supports my writing. I don't ask for donations. I simply ask that you visit regularly and tell others about this resource.
Explore my Other Sites
Contact Me
  • Finally, if you have a specific question for me, then I encourage you to contact me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving this holiday season! We often have a tendency to take things for granted, don't we? I'm so thankful for my family. If you've busy with job searching, then take a little break and enjoy some good food. Expand your social network as you mingle with friends and family and tell others about your career plans. You simply never know who you will meet.

Advice from TheLadders.com this holiday season

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Have you taken a look at some of the career advice that is available on TheLadders.com? This holiday season, the following may be the most important thing you can do to increase your chances for finding a job: "Making the Most of Holiday Networking Events."

As you mingle with people and reconnect with old friends and relatives, leverage the opportunity to make new connections. Don't underestimate the power of your social network. By reconnecting with people this holiday season, you may have the chance to "establish connections, strengthen ties, invigorate relationships, and share ideas." So, make the most out of those holiday parties. Make an extra effort to speak with people you don't know. Get to know spouses (since they may be key decision makers or may know important people who can ultimately help you with your job search). Open up and talk about your career transition plans. Explore different industries (pharma, managed care, biotech, medical devices, health IT, medical communications, etc.).

To read the article on TheLadders.com, click here.

What's the value of an online MBA?


We see ads for online MBA programs everywhere, don't we? Do you know anyone who got an MBA online? I know several physicians who have received an online MBA from schools such as U Mass Amherst (Isenberg), Drexel University (LeBow), Penn State, and even the University of Phoenix. As distance learning options continue to expand, more physicians are taking advantage of MBA programs.

What motivates a physician to get an MBA? In my earlier post (see: What's the value of an online degree?) I mentioned some general principles regarding online degrees. However, the MPH is a unique degree for physicians since we already have a considerable amount of health knowledge. In contrast, many physicians have little structured business knowledge. Business courses were not mandatory if you were pre-med during college. Many physicians have never taken courses in economics (micro or macro), accounting, statistics, etc.

If you're a physician and you're seriously thinking about an online MBA, answer these questions:
  • Why do you want an MBA?
  • How do you plan to use your MBA? (many people don't know how to answer this question)
Many physicians seem to think that an MBA opens doors to non-clinical careers. That's partly true, but an MBA does not guarantee anything. An MBA is also not necessary, depending on the type of career path you choose.

Some pursue an MBA with hopes of career advancement. If you're working in a private office or hospital, an MBA may open up opportunities in medical or health care management. You may enjoy dealing with aspects of practice management.

Perhaps you simply want to gain head knowledge. If you lacked business education in college, maybe you want to take those fundamental courses like accounting, statistics, economics, etc.

Many physicians find themselves drawn to Executive or EMBA programs because they see themselves being entrepreneurs and they want to connect with other business leaders to learn from them (now I'm drifting away from online MBA programs, so let me get back on track).

Over the next few days, I will publish my thoughts regarding the "pros and cons to an online MBA."

What's the value of an online degree? (MPH)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Have you considered an online degree? Maybe you're even pursuing one right now. What's the value of an online degree like an MBA? These degrees are not inexpensive. You may easily spend over $150,000 for an Executive MBA (or EMBA if you prefer). An MPH may still end up costing $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the school. Can you calculate an ROI (return on investment) on your education? (it should be ROE = return on education)

I personally think the value of an online degree ultimately depends on several different factors:
  • The type of degree
  • Why you're getting that degree
  • Where you go to school
  • How you plan to leverage your degree
Let's evaluate a few examples that are highly relevant for physicians who are interested in a career transition into the non-clinical sector:
  • MPH (master of public health)
  • MMM (master of medical management)
  • MBA (master of business administration)
People often pursue an MPH because they want to work in public health. There is a national shortage of public health professionals, so there is a growing demand in this specific industry. Johns Hopkins University has repeatedly been ranked as the #1 public health program by US News. Now, if Hopkins offers a distance learning MPH, then what does this say about online MPH programs? Also, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Emory University (ranked among the top programs on US News) also offer distance learning MPH programs.

My personal opinion is this: if you want to pursue an MPH, as long as you get your degree from an institution that is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), you will probably be OK with an online program. By the way, you will NOT find schools like Strayer University, Walden University, Benedictine University, Capella University, Kaplan University, or University of Phoenix on that CEPH list of accredited schools. (to clarify: Some of these schools may not offer an MPH, but if you type "online MPH" into search engines like Google and Yahoo, you will see some of these schools featured even though they do not offer an MPH degree. Some of these universities are accredited by other organizations, so I am not suggesting that these are not accredited universities. For example, the University of Phoenix is accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree.)

Many health care professionals pursue an MPH while they are working full-time, so they end up taking courses part-time. Others get an MPH by taking one intense full-time year of study. Some may take a year off from residency.

If you already have an advanced degree, then the MPH will add some value, but it won't be your primary degree, so you need to answer the next critical question: "how do you plan to leverage your MPH degree?" Do you really need an MPH or are you looking for something that will improve your qualifications for some type of position or career opportunity?

A distance learning MPH is a great option because it offers flexibility and you still have the opportunity to learn, interact with students, and write your papers. Most MPH programs are not filled with exams and quizzes. Instead, you're expected to generate papers, have facilitated group discussions, and work on some team projects. You can do all of this online.

Well, I've run out of time. Tomorrow (or the next day), I'll address my thoughts on two other degrees that often interest physicians: MMM and MBA.

My work-life balance struggles


As a husband, a father, a full-time employee, and a blogger, I continue to struggle with work/life balance issues. Some may suggest that I drop the blogging. Believe me, I've considered it. However, I was also that resident who did some extra moonlighting shifts to bring in some extra cash for the family so that we could go on a nicer vacation that year. So, like many other people out there, my tendency is to work too much and I recognize this.

I admit that there are times when my work/family life balance feels like it needs to get recalibrated. This fall and winter, I plan to spend more time with my family and less time on the computer. I've probably been spending too much time blogging at night and on the weekends.
Right now, I feel like I'm so busy that I can barely keep up with my blogs. The fall months are always a busy time and this year I've gotten swamped with blogging and consulting. It's a vicious cycle because as my blogs grew in traffic, consulting opportunities also grew. That's the nature of business. If you market yourself, then you'll gain customers.

So, as the new year approaches, I plan to make some significant changes to my extra-curricular activities. My wife is very important to me and I want to ensure that we have our quality time together. My children are getting older and I want to spend even more time with them.

If you also struggle with work/life balance issues, then I hope you'll reconsider your priorities as we prepare for the New Year. What do you need to change? Do you need to make sacrifices?

Private tutoring

Monday, November 23, 2009


Do you enjoy teaching? You may wish to consider some non-clinical private tutoring opportunities in your area. If you're retired and you miss those teaching days, then this may be the perfect opportunity for you to consider.

There are always medical students who are looking for tutors because they struggle with USMLE Step 1 or Step 2. There are other medical students who are seeking tutors because they're struggling with their course work (students always seemed to struggle especially with physiology). Don't live near a medical school? Then you may not have too many clients, but you'll still run into that occasional student who may return home to study for the boards.

When I was a college student at MIT, I began making some extra income by tutoring high school students (science, math, SAT prep, etc.). Then, when I was in medical school, I spent some time tutoring college students (biology, chemistry, MCAT prep, etc.). When I graduated from medical school, I found myself tutoring medical students (primarily with USMLE Step I). So the cycle always seems to continue. Now, I offer career counseling services for physicians, so I'm still teaching (it's not tutoring, but it involves some elements of teaching).

If you like the personal interactions of tutoring, then you may wish to consider this as a part-time venture. It's a great non-clinical job if you want flexibility. You may find that in your area, the need for medical tutors is quite great. As a result, you could have a busy business in no time. You may also find that high school and college students may be very interested in your educational services. If you're a motivated entrepreneur, then you may be quite successful.

How do you "break in" when you lack experience?


Almost every non-clinical job description will indicate that you must have some experience in that field. After all, it's extremely rare to find a true "entry level" position in pharma, biotech, consulting, health IT, etc. However, the reality is that everyone has to "break in" from somewhere. Everyone starts by having zero industry experience. So, how do you get started? Do you need to start really low and then slowly climb the corporate ladder? Start with some freelancing assignments? Do some independent consulting?

This is where I have found that personalized career coaching can be extremely beneficial. Why? Because you need guidance on this topic if you fit into that category of someone who lacks significant industry experience. Career counselors and coaches can help you find suitable ways to break into certain industries. You need to know how to create a career map that outlines both short-term and long-term goals. What are feasible expectations? What types of salaries should you expect to receive? How can you transition from one industry to the next?

For instance, you may spend 1-2 years in pharma and realize that you don't want to build a career in pharma. Can you transition easily into health IT? What about medical consulting?

What if you gain 1-2 years as a medical writer? What can you do then? Are you stuck as a medical writer?

What's the best way to enter pharma? Sales rep? MSL? Drug safety?

Once you ask one or two questions, you quickly realize that there are so many additional questions that quickly follow. To find answers to your questions, consult a career counselor/coach or mentor. Discuss these issues with people who have personally gone through these types of transitions and who have helped others with these career decisions. Find a Non-Clinical Physician Mentor

Strong computer skills are vital for most non-clinical jobs

Sunday, November 22, 2009


How are your computer skills? What if you had to rate yourself? Novice, intermediate, or expert?

Strong computer skills are almost always vital for most non-clinical positions. Why? Because business productivity requires the use of computers and mobile technology. You will probably be expected to use smartphones such as the BlackBerry, iPhone, or even a Windows Mobile device. If you travel for work, you'll find yourself doing quite a bit of work on the airplane. Your productivity will largely depend on your level of computer proficiency. Hence, if you're really slow on the PC and you don't know how to use keyboard shortcuts, then you may be spending a lot of time on your documents or other deliverables.

Learn to be efficient using the Microsoft Office suite of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). You can view free multimedia tutorials online if you're not very familiar with these applications.

Companies are looking for people who can be efficient since you'll have many different tasks and responsibilities. If you can effectively demonstrate that you have strong computer skills, then you will have a competitive advantage over many other candidates.

What are you reading these days?

I wish I had more time to read. There are so many good books out there with new ones coming out all the time. Here are a few of my "top pick" books that I would strongly recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about the business side of health care. You can get most of these titles from Amazon.

The Best "Spare-Time" Business Schools (BusinessWeek)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


If you follow BusinessWeek, you'll see that they recently identified the Best "Spare-Time" Business Schools for 2009. It's hard to imagine having any spare time, isn't it? However, if you're a physician and you have plenty of spare time and you're looking for some business education, then you may want to consider these:
If you're like many non-business physicians out there, you may not be very familiar with business schools (or B-schools). Although Executive MBA (also known as EMBA) programs are not full-time programs, they are not considered "part-time" programs because EMBA programs are structured very differently from traditional part-time MBA programs. Many business schools offer both a part-time MBA and an EMBA. The coursework structure in the traditional part-time MBA program is often a didactic classroom learning environment. In contrast, an EMBA program is generally more structured around team projects, case studies, group assignments, and the application of existing business knowledge among seasoned business executives. EMBA programs often have much higher tuition fees compared to part-time MBA programs.

So what's the right fit for you? Perhaps you're considering an MBA that focuses on health care issues. Some MBA programs are designed with a concentration around medical management of general healthcare. For instance, Harvard Business School (HBS) has their Healthcare Initiative where you'll have the opportunity to "Interview with leading biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and health services organizations." Now my discussion is moving away from part-time MBA programs, but perhaps a full-time MBA program may be a better fit for you. I'd love to immerse myself in a full-time program, but that's simply not a practical option for me at this phase of my life. Therefore, I'm considering several part-time and executive MBA options.

What about you? Is business school on your radar? The funny thing is that B-school was not on my radar until roughly 3-4 years ago. I've spent the last few years doing research and this year I started visiting several business schools in my area.

Career counseling for physicians leaving medicine


Here's a Google search phrase that we don't see very frequently: "career counseling for physicians leaving medicine." I wonder how many physicians are thinking about leaving clinical medicine. Is it time for you to leave the bedside?

Google and other major Internet search engines are becoming the dominant source of career information. The phrase "career counseling for physicians leaving medicine" is not one of the top 10 keywords or phrases that drive people to this site. However, it's interesting to see that some people are typing things related to "career counseling" or even "leaving medicine" to find information about potential job and career options.

The search terms that drive the majority of people to this site have not changed over the past 6 months. They consistently remain the following:
1. non clinical physician jobs
2. non clinical jobs for physicians
3. non clinical careers for physicians
4. non-clinical physician jobs
5. non clinical jobs
6. non-clinical careers for physicians
7. nonclinical physician jobs
8. nonclinical physician jobs, california
9. non medical jobs for physicians
10. non clinical jobs for doctors
Notice a pattern? Currently, visits from major search engines represent roughly 40% of the traffic to this website.

Before I wander too far, let me return to the original topic of discussion. If you're a physician and you're looking for some non-clinical career counseling, you've come to the right place. Whether you call it career counseling, coaching, or mentorship, the goal is the same: to transition into a non-clinical career. Since there are so many different career options out there, it's important to find someone who can guide you in the right direction and help you chart your path so that you're not wasting time or losing efficiency. If you're serious about a career transition and you're looking for some personalized guidance, contact me so that I can point you to the right resources.

What are the best jobs in America?

Friday, November 20, 2009


What are the best jobs in America? I suppose the answer really depends on who you ask. According to CNN Money.com, the best jobs are those that provide "great pay and growth prospects." Care to see the list of 50 jobs? Let's start with the top 10:
1 Systems Engineer
2 Physician Assistant
3 College Professor
4 Nurse Practitioner
5 Information Technology Project Manager
6 Certified Public Accountant
7 Physical Therapist
8 Computer/Network Security Consultant
9 Intelligence Analyst
10 Sales Director
Notice how 3 out of the 10 are in the health care field? If you continue down the list, you'll also see Anesthesiologist (#11), Pharmacist (#13), Occupational Therapist (#14), Nurse Anesthetist (#15), Physician/General Practice (#19), Physician/Obstetrician/Gynecologist (#22), Clinical Psychologist (#23), Psychiatrist (#24), and the list just goes on...

To see the complete list of the "best jobs in America," click here.

Do you feel like you have a "best job?" How is your job satisfaction? You could have a nice salary and you could even have growth potential, but that doesn't define a great job in my opinion. You need to find satisfaction in your work and you also need to consider your stress level and the impact on your personal life. How important is work-life balance to you?

One of the biggest reasons why physicians are choosing to leave clinical medicine is because they want to reduce stress and improve their work-life balance. Many are even willing to reduce their potential income if they can be happier.

We've reached over 1,000 members!


Our social network “Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals” has reached over 1,000 members! In celebration, I made some exciting changes to the site and as the holiday season approaches, I hope you will take advantage of the resources that we have to offer.
• The URL has changed to http://members.nonclinicaljobs.com (the old URL will still work, but it will forward to this new domain). You’ll see that this is now a subdomain on http://www.nonclinicaljobs.com
• We have reached over 1,000 members! I hope you will spread the word this holiday season as you interact with family and friends. If you know anyone who would be interested in non-clinical opportunities, please encourage them to join.
• Our Facebook fan page is growing. Have you become a fan? What are you waiting for?
• New tabs with links to social media/networking resources such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the main site: http://www.nonclinicaljobs.com
Thanks for participating in the forum. It’s great to hear people’s stories and to encourage each other as we all go through transitions in our lives. We’re always actively exploring consulting opportunities and other collaborative partnerships.

We really need your participation to keep this website active, so please visit http://www.nonclinicaljobs.com and http://members.nonclinicaljobs.com frequently to show your support.

Wishing everyone the best this Thanksgiving.

Disappearing doctors

This video came out earlier this month and I just could not resist sharing it because of the title. Are doctors really disappearing? Where are they going? We know that some are getting out of patient care and moving into non-clinical careers. Are doctors really "naive about the financial aspects of practice?" Watch this video and you decide.

Non-clinical jobs in the UK and Europe


The other day, someone asked me, "do you know of any non-clinical positions in the UK/Europe?"

I replied: Join LinkedIn and you'll see discussions on this topic in various groups related to pharma, medical communications, medical devices, health care consulting, etc.

Many of the major pharma companies are based out of Europe. Plus, US pharma companies have offices in Europe. Therefore, there are many positions especially within pharma. Keep in mind that this means that there are opportunities within companies that provide services for pharma. Some examples include: medical communications companies such as advertising agencies, education companies, and more. There are companies that deal with market research. You'll also find many professional medical writers working in Europe.

So what's the best way to find these opportunities? This is where social networks like LinkedIn can play a vital role. It's a very quick way to build your network, meet recruiters, and find positions and opportunities that may be the right fit for your skill sets.

Health IT webinar (hospital workflow)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


There's a complimentary live webinar/webcast on the topic of wireless communications technology and hospital workflow. It's titled, "Cooper University Hospital Cuts Costs and Improves Workflows."

December 1 Webcast
11 am PST, 2 pm EST

During this one-hour live webcast, Dr. Snehal Gandhi, Director of Medical Informatics at Cooper University Hospital, and Joanne Porter, R.N. and Administrative Director, will describe how they use wireless technology to:
• Integrate real time contextual information into their workflow
• Avoid spending $1 million on medical equipment
• Slashed telephony costs
• Wirelessly-network smart IV pumps to distribute drug dosage updates in real time
If you ever attend HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), you'll see Cisco Healthcare Solutions everywhere you go.

To register for this free event, visit the Cisco Healthcare website (this webinar is sponsored by Cisco Healthcare Solutions) and look for the registration link on their site. I can also e-mail you an invite for this webcast, so feel free to contact me.

Attended an Executive MBA Open House


The other night, I spent some time chatting with students, alumni, and prospective students at the Villanova University Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) Open House. Executive MBA programs are often referred to as EMBA programs. Don't get these confused with "part time MBAs" or "evening MBAs" even though the EMBA is technically obtained part-time through weekend classroom sessions and group projects.

This particular program is 21 months long and involves every other weekend. Are you willing to give up your weekends? Like many business schools, the GMAT is not required for admission if you have a terminal degree.

The curriculum is based on a "Systems Thinking" approach. The admission process involves 4 rounds and tuition for 2009-2010 is $90,000. If you're not getting any company sponsorship, then that's quite a large amount to be funding by yourself. Many EMBA programs are over $100k! The EMBA program at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) costs $160,000. EMBA programs are traditionally substantially more expensive compared to standard MBA programs (even at the same school).

I really enjoyed attending the EMBA Open House. I met students and alumni who work in pharma, medical devices, diagnostics, and many non-health related industries. It's always interesting to hear their stories: Why did they get an MBA? What are they doing now? What was the most valuable aspect of their education? Why did they pick this particular school over other schools in the area? How are they leveraging their alumni network? What types of career growth opportunities did their MBA open up? What would they do differently if they had to go through it again?

Medical Economics


Do you read Medical Economics? It's one good way to stay current on some important medical management issues. Considering a career change out of clinical medicine? You may want to consider some ways to change and improve your medical practice before you make a radical move like a career transition.

The November 20 issue is available here as an electronic magazine:
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/medec_20091120

You can also access old issues in the "archives" section

International medical consulting opportunities

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There are many international health consulting opportunities out there. Do you know where to find them? How well do you understand the health care issues that other countries face? Are you familiar with the needs of Honduras? Kenya? Italy? What about China? Thailand? Vietnam? In many countries around the world, we see models of universal health care coverage. Other countries have huge health care disparities due to a lack of access in rural areas. Here in the U.S., we often see gaps in care related to different cultural and ethnic factors that may influence patient behavior. As we try to tackle some of these public health issues that are culturally rooted, it often feels like an international health consulting project.

I've recently had the opportunity to work with a small group of physicians on an international health IT consulting project. Many countries are looking for ways to effectively leverage information technology to improve health care delivery. As computers become more affordable throughout the world, there are a growing number of consulting opportunities where we can help countries improve their health care delivery and educate consumers about disease prevention and self management.

So, back to the original question: do you know where to find these types of consulting projects? It has to start with your connections. One of my recent projects came about through a friend from my MIT college days in Boston. He was working on something with several business school classmates and had pulled together a group of physicians and IT consultants. This is a classic example where a team was formed through a series of professional and alumni social networks. If you're not expanding your social network and reconnecting with old friends, then you may be missing some great opportunities.

How will health care reform impact your job satisfaction?


If you're a health care professional involved in direct patient care, how will the proposed health care reform impact your level of job satisfaction? My wife is a primary care physician and we often talk about how a reformed health care system would impact her practice. Would you be more inclined to leave clinical medicine to pursue a non-clinical career?

I have met so many disgruntled physicians who feel "trapped" by their career. They can't imaging doing anything else. They don't know how they can make a career transition and they can't afford to take huge risks.

How closely are you following the discussion on health care reform? Even if you hate politics, it's very important to understand what's being proposed. It's not just about Medicare or the Public Option. It's not just about managed care companies and denied coverage. Perhaps all the recent discussions have renewed your writing passions as you draft letters to your senators. Perhaps you've recognized that you have a passion for health policy and politics. Maybe you're seeing the forest instead of the trees and you're planning to pursue a career in public health.

I've noticed that I can't see the trees anymore. For me, it's mostly about the forest. Blame that on my MPH. When we compare population health against individual health, we can't deny that our nation needs a new health care system. I just don't know that we've identified the right way to approach this problem yet.

Tough market for non-clinical jobs

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It's a tough job market all over the country. The non-clinical sector of health care has been hit harder than the clinical sector. After all, we'll always have sick patients who need medical care. Hospitals will always need workers.

Corporate jobs have disappeared as companies have merged and reorganized. More non-clinical jobs have been lost as companies close and shut their doors. Unemployment is rising and even seasoned executives are being laid off. Sometimes you may see several jobs being consolidated into a single job. Current employees are being asked to reapply for their existing positions.

There's no doubt that the clinical side of health care offers more long-term job stability. However, does it offer you job satisfaction? Are you happy with your current job?

In some ways, I see 2010 as a great year for people to transition from the clinical side to the non-clinical side. You may not get a job in 2010, but you may in 2011. This type of career transition can easily take over 12 months, so it's important to maintain a stable source of income while you prepare for the career switch. Once you leave the clinical side of medicine, it can be very difficult to re-enter. There are formal re-entry programs for physicians who have been out of clinical medicine for several years, but that requires an investment of time, energy, and money. You would not want to repeat a year of residency, would you?

Interview questions at Google

Monday, November 16, 2009

You probably won't encounter these types of questions during your medical school interview. However, if you're applying for a job at Google, you can expect some questions like these:

Source: The Business Insider.

BioSpace 2009 Career Fair today

The BioSpace 2009 Career Fair is today.
Park Hyatt Philadelphia
Monday, November 16, 2009
11am to 4pm
EXHIBITING COMPANIES
  • Actelion Clinical Research, Inc.
  • Enzon Pharmaceuticals
  • Forest Laboratories
  • Galderma Research & Development, Inc.
  • GE Healthcare
  • Human Genome Sciences, Inc.
  • Judge Group, Inc.
  • Kelly Scientific Resources
  • LifeCell Corporation
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Novo Nordisk, Inc.
  • Octagon Research Solutions, Inc.
  • Pharma-Bio Serv
  • Pharmaceutical Clinical Associates, LLC
  • PPD Inc.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Vertex

Soji's List of non-clinical jobs


There's a list out there called Soji's list. According to its website, the list is operated by an anonymous physician who works in industry (pharma). Some of the proceeds generated by the list get donated to the American Red Cross and Doctors without Borders. The list began back in April 2008 and you can view the archives by visiting their site.

To view Soji's List, visit: http://www.sojislist.com

Executive Health Resources (administrative medicine)


If you're trying tired of practicing clinical medicine, how about a career switch to administrative medicine? Consider this as a blend between medical management and business management. After all, I think we all recognize that health care is a business. You won't find any residencies or fellowships that focus on the specialty of "Administrative Medicine."

Executive Health Resources (EHR) is a company that provides different types of services, including:
• Medicare and Medicaid Clinical Compliance Management
- Concurrent Admission Review and Certification (Inpatient vs. Observation Status)
- Surgical/Procedural Setting Review and Certification
• Medicare and Medicaid Denials Review & Appeal Management
- QIO, MAC/FI and RAC Denials Management
• Concurrent Commercial Payor Denials Management
• Retrospective Commercial Payor Denials Management
• Length of Stay Management
• ER Admissions & Transfer Center Mgmt.
The acronym "EHR" is widely used to refer to electronic health records, so don't get that confused with this company. Here's a bit of history regarding this EHR (from their website):
Founded in 1997, EHR, The Physician Advisor Company™, is nationally recognized as the leading provider of real-time, point of care, expert Physician Medical Management Solutions that improve hospital revenue integrity and maintain the highest level of quality of care and regulatory compliance. EHR's expert physicians, the EHR Physician Advisors, provide hospitals and health systems with an outsourced operational, technological, and clinical resource to achieve the hospital’s goal of effectively managing clinical care while maintaining sound financial performance.
They appear to be hiring for a Physician Advisor. What are the qualifications? M.D. or D.O. with 3+ years of post-residency inpatient clinical practice preferred. Medical licensure mandatory; Board Certification preferred. To learn more, visit: http://www.ehrdocs.com

Add your Twitter account to LinkedIn (#in)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


LinkedIn now allows you to add your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile. Feed your Tweets to your connections and keep them updated on your status.
You can choose to filter Tweets that use a hashtag #in or you can display all your Tweets.

MBA application deadlines


I've been speaking with several people who are planning on applying to business school (B-school) for full-time MBA programs. The deadline for many top-tier full-time programs has already passed for "Round 1." Some schools have Rounds 2 and 3 coming up over the next few months.

If you're open to part-time, distance/online, or executive programs, then you often have much more flexibility with the application deadlines. By "flexibility," I mean that you can apply for a program at the last minute and still get accepted. You don't need to apply 10 or 12 months prior to the start date.

So, is B-school on your radar for 2010? Full-time or part-time? Have you taken the GMAT? (Remember that some schools will waive the GMAT if you have a terminal degree such as an M.D. or D.O.)

Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators (APPI)


The Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators (APPI) is an organization that provides a host of resources for physicians who are in the pharmaceutical industry. They hold conferences, they provide education, and there are many membership benefits associated with the APPI. You can even achieve a certification as a Certified Physician Investigator (CPI). The APPI has a very close relationship with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). Don't get that confused with the Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE). The first few letters of the acronym are the same "ACR" but the last letter is a P instead of an E. Here's another interesting bit of trivia: The APPI used to be the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians (AAPP).

Another organization that may be of interest is the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians (IFAPP).

Membership for the APPI is $300/year and to join:

All pharmaceutical physicians and all physicians in good standing (MD, DO, MBBS, or equivalent degree) who, in addition to their other professional work, devote a substantial portion of their time to:
  • Performing studies of drugs, biologics, devices, vaccines or diagnostics
  • Activities related to research, development or regulation of these products
  • Teaching the subject of pharmaceutical medicine and who will uphold the policies of APPI and subscribe to its bylaws
To learn more about the APPI, visit: http://www.appi.org

Do you "work" on the weekends?

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Most physicians work on the weekends. You may not work every single weekend, but unless you're a dermatologist or pathologist (some of those specialties that have a great lifestyle), you can expect to work an occasional weekend here or there if you're a physician and you have direct-patient responsibilities. My wife is a primary care physician and she works a fair share of weekends. Fortunately, that primarily consists of answering a few phone calls during the day. Weekend work for physicians often involves visits to the hospital, rounding, cross-covering, etc.

Well, the world of non-clinical medicine may not be too different, depending on the career path you choose. There are some areas where you'll be working into the nights and weekends if you have project deadlines and last-minute deliverables. In the business side of medicine, you may be traveling on the weekends to meet clients. You may be checking your BlackBerry or other smartphone on the weekends. So, work often follows you into the weekends if you let that happen.

I blog on the weekends. Does that constitute "work" by your definition? Some people watch television or read fiction on the weekends. I blog because it's rewarding on different levels. However, I also try to make sure that I'm not neglecting the precious work-life balance since it's easy to get caught up with busy schedules.

If you'd like to have more freedom in your weekends, perhaps you may want to consider a hybrid approach: maintain some clinical responsibilities, but find non-clinical sources of income (health care administration, health IT, writing, etc.) so that you can balance your work schedule and have more flexibility with your life.

990 members in our growing social network


We're in mid-November and we now have 990 members in our social network "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals." We will definitely hit 1,000 members before the end of 2009. If you'd like to meet other physicians and health care professionals who are also considering a career change, then you may wish to consider joining (free membership).

As the end of the year approaches, are you considering a career transition? Is that a New Year's resolution for you as we prepare for 2010? You can get advice and support from each other and grow your social network by learning from other physicians who may share similar stories. Join our growing online social network: "Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals."

How can you make money blogging?


I get this question quite often: How do I make money blogging? The answer is simple: advertisements

There are many different advertising models out there. Some are known as "pay per click" or PPC where you get a sum of money every time a reader clicks on an ad. Other ads are "cost per impression" often abbreviated CPI or CPM (per thousand impressions). Users don't have to click on these ads. They just have to look at them. Other ads rely on some type of action (such as a click through, a lead, or a sale). These are often abbreviated as CPC (cost per click), CPL (cost per lead), CPS (cost per sale), or dCPM (dynamic CPM). My ads go through different advertising companies and they use different models, so I try to stay out of those details.

So, there's your five minute lesson on generating revenue through blogging. I realize that I have many ads on my site, but it's the only way I can justify the time I spend away from my family to blog. Thank you for putting up with all my ads. A portion of my blogging revenue goes to charities; another portion goes to family vacations; another portion goes to household expenses and savings; and another portion is going towards my business school fund (so that I won't feel so guilty paying for business school).

"non clinical careers for physicians"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Did you land on this website by typing "non clinical careers for physicians" into an Internet search engine? (Google, Yahoo, Bing) Maybe you typed "non clinical physician jobs" or even "non clinical jobs for physicians."

If you're new to this website, then I suggest that you start with this article:
Then, if you're serious about a career transition, you may wish to consider this:
After you've read those articles, you can find content based on various Topic Categories that are listed on the right column.

I also encourage you to join our social network that is currently approaching 1,000 physicians:
Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals

Finally, make sure to subscribe to future articles by e-mail or RSS feeds:

Enter your email address:

RSS Feed

Become a fan on Facebook (non-clinical jobs)

Have you looked at our Facebook page?

Medical Fusion Conference this weekend


This weekend is the Medical Fusion Conference in Las Vegas. I want to wish Greg and the team the very best as they hold this event. The topic of physician career change is really popular these days and this conference will be a powerful resource for those physicians who are seeking alternative career paths and non-clinical options.

I'd love to hear your stories from the weekend, so please don't hesitate to send me a Tweet or e-mail. Maybe we could even chat on the phone and I may share your story (de-identifying any personal information).

To learn more about the Medical Fusion Conference, visit: https://www.medfusionconf.org

Pfizer is firing but Roche is hiring


Who can keep up with the world of pharma/biotech? Pfizer had some major lay offs in the area of Research and Development (R&D). According to the PharmaExec Blog, Roche Pharma Research is preparing to hire scientists in New Jersey.

How many non-clinical physicians do you know?


I've met many physicians who don't personally know any physicians who have left clinical medicine (I'm not counting those who've retired). Do you know many physicians who are now working in different health care industries? The list is very long: pharma, managed care, consulting, medical communications, legal medicine, etc. How strong is your social network?

There are some physicians who start embarking on some entrepreneurial projects and then they eventually leave clinical medicine to devote their time 100% to non-clinical work. Others make a clean break and look for something new in their lives.

When I was in college, I knew a handful of physicians who had left clinical medicine to pursue careers in industry. Then, when I was in medical school, several of my college friends decided that clinical medicine wasn't the right fit, so they left medicine to pursue other careers. Over the past several years, I've had the chance to meet so many physicians who have ventured into different non-clinical industries. Some now run their own companies. Others are full-time independent consultants.

The value of social networking simply can't be underscored enough. The insights you gain by meeting others and exchanging ideas is invaluable. If you're considering a transition out of clinical medicine and into the business side of health care, then expand your social network and get to know other physicians who have pursued similar paths. You never know what types of opportunities you'll find through other people within your social network.

From R&D to Venture Capital

Thursday, November 12, 2009


John LaMattina, PhD, was the former Pfizer president of global R&D (Research and Development). He has now joined the Boston-based venture firm PureTech Ventures as senior partner. LaMattina spent 30 years at Pfizer and I wonder how many years he will spend at PureTech Ventures. Several members of the PureTech Ventures team are MIT graduates (if you're in Boston, that's going to be expected). Some of the associates and partners have PhDs or MDs. Considering a non-clinical career with a venture capital (VC) firm?

Here's a brief snippet about PureTech Ventures:
We specialize in company creation and early-stage investment in novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and research technologies. We focus on major unmet medical needs that have yet to be addressed by emerging science. Enlisting the world’s leading academic and industry experts, we identify novel technologies (often prior to publication) and create companies that drive those discoveries to commercially and clinically driven milestones. Once those milestones are achieved, we build out the leadership team, create syndicates for later stage financing rounds, and position the technology to make the broadest impact through public financing or acquisition.
Going back to Pfizer now: Pfizer is splitting its R&D operations into a biotherapeutics division which will be headed by Mikael Dolsten and a pharmatherapeutics division which will be headed by Martin Mackay.

Off-Label Risk Areas on the Internet


Do you engage in social media? Perhaps you do and you don't even realize it? If you're spending several hours on Facebook, then you're probably addicted to social media. Well, the FDA is meeting today and tomorrow to discuss how social media should impact drug promotion. (FDA Public Hearing: Promotion of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools)

To that point, there's an upcoming webinar (this one is NOT free) titled, "Off-Label Risk Areas on the Internet – Updates on FDA’s Meeting on On-Line Promotions"

Here's a brief summary of this webinar:
This webinar, provides participants with the opportunity to review current industry practices regards to the complexities of promotional review for online channels and other off-label risk areas on the internet, including discussion surrounding the latest social networking sites and other non-traditional media channels.
Key Questions to Be Addressed:
• What happened at the recent FDA meeting and what if any hard information resulted
• How much listening vs. monitoring and commenting should a company do of user-generated information/social media?
• What are the business reasons for engaging in social media?
• What are the pros and cons of being involved in user-generated content on balance to the risks for off-label discussion and adverse event reporting?
The Center for Business Intelligence has been reviewed and approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

To learn more about this event, click here.

Risk, Reward and the Pharmaceutical Life Cycle

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Despite all the recent news about job cuts and lay offs, are you still interested in a non-clinical career in pharmaceutical medicine? Then you may be interested to know that there's another free live webcast coming up: "Risk, Reward and the Pharmaceutical Life Cycle: Managing Information as a Strategic Asset"

Live Webcast: December 2, 2009 at 11:00 AM EST
REMS, RMPs, RiskMAPS, the Sentinel Initiative and other FDA programs geared to identifying product safety risks before they emerge as public health challenges raise the bar on what the sponsors must do to comply. These include making significant investments in upgrading the quality and scope of surveillance data to track the impact of a medicine’s use on the patient community at every stage of its life cycle, from clinical trials to post marketing surveillance – in the latter case, this can now include obligations to monitor safety and risk well beyond the time of patent expiry.

In this new regulatory environment, relevant information must be accessible for analysis and reporting to meet strict regulatory time frames. In addition, the method of sharing this information with external parties must have controls in place to ensure the confidentiality of what, for knowledge-based industries like pharmaceuticals, is a key strategic asset. Technology such as configurable web-based exchange platforms can make this process more efficient by standardizing document distribution on a global basis, while adding a layer of control and reporting capabilities.
Key Learning Objectives :
• Learn how an understanding of regulatory methodology can facilitate rapid responses to safety queries
• Learn how web-based repositories and document distribution can facilitate access and submission of time-sensitive adverse event analyses and reports
• Understand how to quantify the time and money savings realized by moving your safety document distribution process online
Speakers:
Christopher Milne, PhD, DVM
Deputy Director and Lead Policy Advisor
Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development

Gail Farfel, PhD
GM Group Consulting

Robert Reynolds
Senior Director, Drug Safety and Regulatory Affairs
Pfizer, Inc.

Allison Shurell
Vice President, Product Marketing
IntraLinks
To register for this event, click here.

Pharmaceutical Executive November 2009


Do you read journals? I mean industry journals? Actually, I guess these are called magazines and not journals. In any case, if you'd like to learn more about the pharmaceutical industry, then I would encourage you to start reading some journals (magazines) that are specific to this particular industry. There's one out there called "Pharmaceutical Executive" and you can view an electronic version of the November edition by clicking here.

Once you get there, you can view older archived versions by clicking on the "Archives" tab on the bottom of the screen.

Master of Science in Medical Informatics


Where can you go to get a Master of Science in Medical Informatics? Let's see what happens if you search on Google. Here are the first three that pop up:
  • Master of Science in Medical Informatics Program at the School of Continuing Studies of Northwestern University
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin/MSOE Master of Science in Medical Informatics (MSMI)
  • Master of Science in Medical Informatics at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in collaboration with the NSU Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (SCIS)
Whether you call it medical informatics, clinical informatics, or biomedical informatics, you're likely to get similar education and training.

If I had to go back to school to get a degree in informatics, my first choice would be to go back to Boston and study at MIT:
  • The Biomedical Informatics (BMI) Master's Program through the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
This degree comes from MIT, but you'll be training and learning from the researchers at Harvard, so what better combination could you ask for? I miss my earlier days in Boston and I would love to go back and immerse myself in the MIT/Harvard environment again.

Pfizer to cut 2,000 jobs

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


As Pfizer and Wyeth prepare for their merger, six out of the 20 combined research facilities will get closed. You can expect to see a heavy amount of reorganizing, consolidation, etc. This will result in the loss of 2,000 jobs (scientists, lab technicians, etc.).

These are very difficult times for people working in pharma. As jobs get cut, where do people go? Most look for other jobs in pharma. There's no security wherever you go. You could be a very loyal employee and your job may still get cut. I wonder if these pharma stories are causing some physicians to think twice before they leave their "stable" clinical careers.

Increasing demand for professionals


The unemployment rate among professionals dropped from 5.2% in September to 4.7% in October. Watch Marc Cenedella (Founder and CEO of TheLadders.com) on Bloomberg TV discuss the increasing demand for career professionals. Will we see 3.5 million hires this recession? Click here to access the video on YouTube.

The Shorter, Faster, Cheaper MBA (BusinessWeek)


Have you considered an MBA? I've been researching MBA programs for several years now. There are so many different options! Perhaps you've seen some ads about accelerated MBA programs. Get your MBA in a year and save 50% on tuition. Sounds quite tempting, doesn't it?

The problem for physicians and other health care professionals is that most of us don't have a strong business background. If you were a non-traditional medical student and you came from a strong business background, then you're probably the exception and not the rule. Physicians who went straight from college into medical school into residency and into fellowship lack a tremendous amount of "real world working experience." The clinical setting is not like the corporate setting. Some experiences and principles may translate into the working world, but most physicians really lack a strong business sense until they open up their own practice and realize how to balance the art, science, and business of medicine.

Why are you considering an MBA? If you could freeze time and get an MBA for free, you'd probably do it, right? I doubt that most physicians can invest time for a two-year full-time MBA. You can probably devote some evenings and weekends for an executive MBA program. Some may be considering other forms of part-time programs and even distance learning programs.

Read The Shorter, Faster, Cheaper MBA on BusinessWeek.

Thanks for supporting my blogs

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'd like to thank all my readers who support my four blogs. These blogs have evolved considerably since they began. Yes, I maintain 4 blogs: Blogging is a passion. It can pay quite well, but I think I would quickly burn out if I were a full-time blogger. At one time, it seemed like I had more time for my blogs. I knew that it would be a lot of work to maintain 4 different blogs, but I thought that I could offer a unique service to health care professionals who have an interest in medicine, technology, smartphones, computers, and non-clinical career options. After all, where can you find all that information in a single place?

Right now, I feel like I'm so busy that I can barely keep up with my blogs. The fall months are always a busy time and this year I've gotten swamped. As a result, I may shuffle my resources so that I can maintain my blogs.

I admit that there are times when my work/family life balance feels like it needs to get recalibrated. This fall and winter, I plan to spend more time with my family and less time on the computer. I've probably been spending too much time blogging at night and on the weekends.

I want to thank those of you who visit my sites and tell others about my blogs. Every time you visit and spend time on my site, that helps me in many ways. My family appreciates the financial aspects, but I also really enjoy meeting and helping people through these sites. So, thanks again for supporting my blogs and I hope you will continue that support by visiting frequently and telling others about my sites.

Jobs for Physicians with No Residency Experience


Updated: Jan 15, 2011

I've met many medical students considering the non-clinical path. They're thinking about alternative careers because they don't want to practice medicine. The infamous question that always seems to come up is: "What types of non-clinical jobs can I get if I don't do a residency?" You see, some medical students simply don't want to even try residency. I'm not referring to MD/MBA grads who are set on consulting, finance, etc. I'm referring to the "average" medical student who discovers that clinical medicine simply isn't the "right fit."

The answer to this question really depends on many other factors. The question is not a simple one, since if you're interested in the business/finance side of the world and have an MBA with some real-world work experience, then you may be fine without doing a residency. In fact, many very successful people have gone that direction.

However, if you don't have an MBA and you don't have any real-world work experience, then it may be more difficult (but certainly not impossible) to find some really promising careers that align with your goals and interests. This will largely depend on your geography (and your ability to relocate), your flexibility with work hours, and your willingness to learn new things and to explore your talents and capabilities. If you really feel lost, then a mentor or career coach/counselor may be invaluable.

Ask yourself a few things:
  • Are you absolutely certain that you don't enjoy clinical medicine? It may be much more difficult (practically impossible) to go back to a residency later in your life if you simply graduate and enter the working world. Have you explored Preventive Medicine/Public Health? Have you considered part-time clinical work? To get to some of the best non-clinical career opportunities, you may need to start in a clinical career, get some experience, and then transition out of clinical medicine.
  • How important is salary? I realize that people don't like to talk about salary, but it's very practical if you have student loans, a family, etc. If you have another source of income or if you're married and your spouse makes plenty for both, then you're in a totally different category when you're looking for work. This is why some people love part-time or even freelance jobs where they can work from home. I hate to also mention that some couples end up getting separated and then one person finds him or herself in dire need for work (but I hope that never happens to you).
  • What do you really enjoy? Some love/hate business. Some love/hate writing. At the end of the day, your work/life balance may be the most important thing to you. After all, if you have the opportunity to pursue a clinical career, the main reason driving you away from that must be because you don't enjoy that type of work.
If we were to drill down and consider some practical possibilities, here are some of the jobs that some medical school graduates were able to obtain:

Medical communications (including continuing medical education, promotional education and marketing, etc.): medical writer, medical journalist, grant writer, new business development, medical strategy, CME director, and much more.
Consulting companies: business analyst (another name for consultant)
Pharma/Biotech companies: medical science liaison (MSL), medical writer, sales representative (I think you get the idea)
Clinical research organizations: medical writer, research coordinator or manager, drug safety monitoring, research associate, and more.
Market research: research analyst, writer,
Health information technology: medical consultant, sales consultant, program manager, and more.
Health care/medical recruiting: physician recruiter


    This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. Instead, this is meant to give you a glimpse of some alternative career possibilities. It's important to do your research and to learn about the possibilities that may be appropriate for you.

    Make sure to read this article:  Non-Clinical Medical Opportunities for Physicians and Other Clinicians

    If you're interested in finding a mentor, then I hope you'll look here: Find a Non-Clinical Physician Career Coach who can mentor you through the process.

    Balancing work and life

    Sunday, November 8, 2009


    I've found that even though I'm now working in the non-clinical setting, I'm still challenged to balance professional work with my personal life. I'm married. I have a family. I have yard work (I was out in the yard all day on Saturday getting rid of many leaves).

    I enjoy spending time with my family, but I'm also quite busy with my day job, my blogs, and some formal and informal consulting opportunities. One way to increase my free time at home is to reduce my blogging, so as my the "busy meter" goes into the red zone labled, "way too busy and spread too thin," the blogging will be the first thing to go. I enjoy writing and I can do it fairly quickly, but I'll need to find some technology that will take my thoughts and automatically transcribe them to a blog post.

    Some of you are considering non-clinical careers because you think these options will allow you to have more time with you family. What many people don't realize is that some non-clinical careers will reduce your free time even more because you'll be expected to work late evenings and weekends. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, the difference is that you won't have partners who can cover your shifts.
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