Friday, April 30, 2010

ACPE 2010: Health IT breakout session led by Dr. Harry Greenspun

I'm in Washington D.C. attending the 2010 ACPE (American College of Physician Executives) Annual CME Conference. This afternoon, I attended the Leadership Summit breakout session titled, "Meaningful Use: An Update on Healthcare Reform." Before the session began, I had the chance to sit down and have a great conversation with Dr. Harry Greenspun, Chief Medical Officer for Dell Services. To learn more about Harry, click here and make sure to follow him on Twitter (@harrygreenspun). Keep an eye out for his new book.

The session began with a conversation about access to care and health care reform. Since we were in Washington D.C., we spoke about politicians like Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Where and how did they get their medical care? What can we learn from their decisions and how does that information impact the ability for average consumers to access care? We had a lively discussion about healthcare reform, politics, and health information. To achieve better health outcomes, we need to evaluate medical data. That's what "meaningful use" is all about.

Harry also spent a few minutes speaking about sometime called "Value-Based Insurance Design." The discussion returned back to a focus around value (which reminded me of the keynote from this morning by David Cutler). How do we simultaneously improve access, cost, and quality?

ACPE 2010: Leadership Summit

Here at the 2010 ACPE (American College of Physician Executives) Annual CME Conference, one track is the "Leadership Summit."

Today, the following breakout sessions took place in the morning and in the afternoon:
  • The Role of Information Technology
    Join Harry G. Greenspun from Perot Systems, for a look at how information technology will be used to make health care reform a reality.
  • Quality and Patient Safety: Working as a Team
    What can health care learn from aviation and engineering? ACPE CEO Barry Silbaugh will moderate a lively discussion on the value of teamwork with Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, when it crashed into the Hudson River in New York, and Rollin “Terry” Fairbanks, University of Rochester.
  • How Quality Improves the Bottom Line: CFO and CMO Working Together Reduces Costs and Increases Value
    John Byrnes, MD present a case study on two Michigan hospitals where a partnership between cardiology, nursing, and quality leaders resulted in significant financial savings.
Tomorrow there's a workshop session titled, "Complexity Science" with Dave Snowden. A leader’s framework for decision-making, complexity is poised to help current and future leaders address the challenges and opportunities they face. Tomorrow afternoon, there's a trip to the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

Click here for highlights from ACPE 2010.

This coverage of ACPE is sponsored by Practice Fusion EMR. Practice Fusion’s Electronic Medical Record system includes charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, secure messaging and lab connections – all at no cost. Join the fastest growing EMR community today!

ACPE 2010: Physician in Management Seminar (PIM): Finance in Health Care Organizations

This morning, I attended the Physician in Management Seminar (PIM) here at the 2010 ACPE (American College of Physician Executives) Annual CME Conference. 15 to 18k physicians have gone through this seminar to become stronger leaders within their organizations. You can learn about the PIM seminar here.

The first session today was titled, "Finance in Health Care Organizations."

Learn key financial concepts and basic economic principles that will earn you respect from administration and admiration from clinicians.
    * Blow away the smoke when dealing with CFOs and accountants.
    * Interpret financial statements-they don't say what you think they say.
    * Discover what costs are really relevant for decision-making.
    * Create cost and payment structures that work to your advantage.
    * Learn why you can make a profit and still go out of business-and how to avoid it.
    * Faculty: Hugh Long, MBA, PhD, JD

Interested in learning more about finance? You can participate in this ACPE course titled, "Finance in Health Care Organizations" by clicking here.

Click here for highlights from ACPE 2010.

This coverage of ACPE is sponsored by Practice Fusion EMR. Practice Fusion’s Electronic Medical Record system includes charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, secure messaging and lab connections – all at no cost. Join the fastest growing EMR community today!

ACPE 2010 Annual Conference: Keynote by Professor David Culter

Today is the first day of the 2010 ACPE (American College of Physician Executives) Annual CME Conference.

This morning's keynote was delivered by professor David Cutler (Harvard economics professor and senior health care advisor to President Barack Obama, Cutler was recently named one of the 30 people who could have a powerful impact on health care by Modern Healthcare magazine.).

His presentation this morning was titled, "The Coming Health Care Transformation." Professor Cutler spoke of reform and focused on how we can improve the value of care. There will be an unrelenting focus on value.  Affordability and accessibility are the keys to coverage and we've seen this in Massachusetts. However, the federal deficit in on a collision course with a vast growth occurring in health care expenses.

The challenges we now face include:
  • Insurance reform
  • Coverage expansion
  • Improving the value of care
How do we improve value? When we think of value, we must think of the clinical dimension along with the service dimension. The clinical dimension involves the cost-effectiveness of the care provided. Service quality still needs improvement. Patients are not satisfied with the service aspects due to: long wait times, inaccessibility to providers, etc.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Generate Supplemental Income by Teaching for Kaplan Medical

Here’s a great non-clinical opportunity where you can generate supplemental income by teaching part-time.

Kaplan Medical is searching for qualified, energetic physicians to join as expert part-time instructors. If you have a passion for teaching and enjoy helping others reach their goals, teaching USMLE review might be right for you! With over 40 years of experience in health sciences education, Kaplan Medical is the leader in USMLE and COMLEX preparation.  This is a very rewarding opportunity and you can have the opportunity to shape the next generation of doctors. 

Ideal candidates will have completed medical school, obtained licensure, finished residency and should have some teaching experience at a medical school and/or hospital. A dynamic, creative personality and a love for teaching are a huge plus. Click here for a full list of qualifications

5 Great Reasons to teach for Kaplan Medical:

1.    Make a difference in students' lives by helping them excel on their licensing exams
2.    Earn excellent pay
3.    Enjoy flexible, part-time hours
4.    Work with well-respected peers in a stimulating environment
5.    Travel

Actuarial science

The other day, someone asked me if I was familiar with career opportunities for people who wish to pursue actuarial science. Are you familiar with actuaries?

Here are some interesting snippets from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics website on Actuaries:

Most actuaries are employed in the insurance industry, specializing in either property and casualty insurance or life and health insurance. They use sophisticated modeling techniques to forecast the likelihood of certain events occurring, and the impact these events will have on claims and potential losses for the company.

Within the life and health insurance fields, actuaries help companies develop health and long-term-care insurance policies by predicting the likelihood of occurrence of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and other chronic ailments among a particular group of people who have something in common, such as living in a certain area or having a family history of illness. Such work of actuaries can be beneficial to both the consumer and the company because the ability to accurately predict the likelihood of a particular health event among a certain group ensures that premiums are assessed fairly based on the risk to the company. Additionally, life insurance actuaries help companies develop annuity and life insurance policies for individuals by estimating how long someone is expected to live.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Medical Writing Jobs for Physicians

If you're interested in the medical writing industry, make sure to view all these Medical Writing jobs listed here.

The medical writing industry is very broad. You may pursue writing opportunities in regulatory writing, drug safety, journal articles, clinical trials,  research, medical education, consumer health, medical blogging, grant proposals, sales training, medical marketing materials, and much more. The medical communications industry is constantly changing, so you'll experience new challenges and new opportunities if you're highly qualified and experienced. I'd encourage you to join the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) if you're interested in learning more.

View Medical Writer jobs listed here on the Job Board.

Search for $100k+ jobs offers online job search resources and content for the $100k+ job seekers and recruiters.  Search Jobs That Pay Over $100,000 Their specialized job search engines are an invaluable asset to top-earning job seekers in Sales, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Law, Technology, Operations, and all other $100k+ fields. brings $100k+ job seekers real, open executive-level jobs across the US and around the world. Their targeted sites list more than 35,000 new $100k+ jobs each month across every industry, in companies of all types and sizes. They only list jobs that pay more than $100,000/year, including many C-level, VP, Director and Manager jobs. If you're in the market for a $100k+ job, you won't find a better resource anywhere.

Find $100K+ Jobs at 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Share your story for a book: 50 Interviews with Physicians in Career Transition

Richard F Fernandez MD, MPH is working on a project and he needs your help.

This project is one of 20 different topics in the “50 Interviews book series” founded by Brian Schwartz in 2008.You can check out these other topics at

Brian wrote the first book entitled, “50 Interviews with Entrepreneurs.” He learned:  “Through the process of interviewing, a truth emerges as to why some people act and others do not. Their answers offer real life wisdom, insight and an honest glimpse into the mindset of true entrepreneurs.Readers will explore the perspectives of ordinary men and women who took destiny into their own hands and pursued their entrepreneurial stirrings.”  Brian Schwartz

Also, the high number of interviews (50) provided a critical mass of truthful information.

Studying for the GMAT

Many executive MBA programs don't require you to take the GMAT if you have a terminal degree (MD, DO, PharmD, PhD, etc.). However, there are some programs that won't waive the GMAT. Plus, some universities will also offer a significant scholarship if you perform well on the GMAT. For instance, Drexel University offers a Dean's Fellowship scholarship if you do well on the GMAT. You could save up to 15% of your tuition. Given that the tuition for the executive MBA at Drexel is $78,000 this year, maybe I could save $11,700 if I score above 690. Do I have time to study for the GMAT and how will I score if I take the GMAT?  What if I don't end up going to Drexel? Will it be a waste to take the GMAT?

So, over the weekend my wife and I pulled out a few sample GMAT test questions (my wife and I went to MIT, so we live for these types of nerdy opportunities). We went through a few sections and actually had some fun (instead of watching TV, we go through practice GMAT questions for entertainment).

I also thumbed through "GMAT for Dummies" and I went through that book in one afternoon. My plan right now is to take a series of practice exams and if I think I'll do reasonably well, then I'll spend $250 to take the GMAT. If I can't find the time to study for the GMAT, then how will I find time for B-school? I've been talking about business school for over 4 years. It's time for me to bite the bullet and enroll in a program.

I've also thought about GMAT prep courses, but I don't think I'll be investing in any of those. I can get GMAT books from the library and I can also download free GMAT prep software from

Monday, April 26, 2010

My ReachMD commentary about physicians in leadership

At the end of this week, I'll be attending the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) annual conference. Isn't it fitting that I should also discuss physician leadership on ReachMD? You can hear my ReachMD commentary titled, "Physician Executives & Healthcare Change."

Some of the biggest problems we face in health care revolve around increasing costs, medical errors, resource overutilization, poor population health management, and wide gaps in access to healthcare in many parts of this country. I don’t think anyone would argue against the claim that our health care system needs improvement. And one way to bring about positive change is to have physicians step up and take executive positions.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article titled, “Turning Doctors Into Leaders,” Dr. Thomas Lee writes that “health care today needs a new breed of leaders” who are focusing more on “value-oriented, performance-driven health care.”

10 Reasons to rethink leaving medicine to be an investment banker

This is a guest post by Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

10 Reasons to rethink leaving medicine to be an investment banker

1. You will no longer be paid for effort rather than results
2. You will no longer be able to rely on a steady pay check
3. You will have to get a FINRA license to do deals and sell securities
4. You will not be valued just because you have MD after your name
5. You will eat a lot more breakfast,lunch and dinner and probably gain weight
6. Your dog will bark at you when you get home late
7. You will be the only one wearing a tie at member firm meetings
8. You will substitute one boss for another
9. You have to take continuing education courses to be relicensed (not so in 2 states for doctors)
10. Every email you send to a client will be saved for 3 years.

Hope you enjoyed clinic today.

This is a guest post by Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA; Professor of Otolarynogology, Dentistry, & Engineering, University of Colorado; Founder of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

Consulting workshops for physicians at BCG (Boston Consulting Group)

If you've been thinking about an alternative physician career in consulting, you may be interested in the upcoming Bridge to Consulting BCG Workshop. How many of you would like to work for BCG (Boston Consulting Group)?

These workshops are specifically for advanced degree candidates (PhDs, MDs, post-docs, and JDs) expecting to finish in 2011. If you are currently a practicing MD or in residency, or a post-doc, the 2011 graduation date requirement does not apply. For all Bridge applicants, we are looking for people interested in potentially starting a consulting career in 2011. This is a global program and open for full time candidates for our North America, Asia Pacific and European offices.

The workshops will occur over the summer. Here are the dates and locations:
  • July 8-9 in Boston office
  • July 22-23 in Chicago office
  • July 22-23 in New York office
  • July 29-30 in San Francisco office
Applications for Bridge to BCG will be accepted online until Friday, May 7, 2010. You can learn more here:

BIO Career Fair Chicago

BIO Career Fair
Hyatt Regency Chicago – East Wacker Drive
Monday, May 3rd 2pm – 7pm

The BIO Career Fair will be held on May 3rd in conjunction with the 2010 BIO International Convention, May 3-6 in Chicago.

The BIO Career Fair is intended for professionals in the bioscience industry. Job seekers can spend the afternoon with regional, national, and international HR Representatives and hiring managers from top biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies who are looking to hire talent in various fields and levels.

Learn more here:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things you need to know about disability insurance

This is a guest post by Donald Brown D.O.

Things you need to know about disability insurance

Your need for disability insurance is greater than your need for life insurance. Most people have no problem purchasing life insurance yet they hesitate to purchase disability insurance. Physicians like anyone else are not invincible. 43% of all people age 40 will experience a long-term disability event before age 65 (JHA Disability Fact Book, 2006)

Without a disability plan in place, will you be able to maintain your standard of living if you are not working? Can your family survive on one income when most families struggle with two people employed? How long before your savings are decimated?

Student loans are a concern for physicians who are just starting out. These loans are not discharged in the event of bankruptcy. Paying them off or expiring are two ways to eliminate them. You are responsible for them even if you are disabled. states on their web site that loans may be "discharged" if you are disabled. They continue to state that even if you qualify for social security disability (extremely difficult to qualify for) you may not qualify for "discharge", and it will take a minimum of three years due to Federal Regulations, during which time you are still responsible for the debt.

Project managers and salary survey results

How much could you make if you went into project management? Bloomberg Businessweek recently published a story titled, "Inside Project Managers' Paychecks: Salary Survey Results." The data is from the Project Management Institute's (PMI) recently released 2009 Project Management Salary Survey.

Here's some interesting data:
The median base salary for a project management professional in the U.S. is $100,000. Three-fourths of survey respondents earn more than $84,000 per year, and one-fourth of survey respondents take home an annual base salary of more than $120,000.
PMI's salary survey also reveals what project management professionals earn according to a variety of variables, including:
* their title
* educational background
* whether they hold a PMP certification (and how long they've held it)
* the department they work in
* their industry
* the type of project they work on (e.g. construction, IT, R&D)
* the average size of their project team and budget
* gender (here we go with the gender-salary gap again!)
If you're curious, you can read the full Bloomberg Businessweek article here.

So how is this information relevant for physicians and other health care professionals who wish to pursue alternative careers? Project management is critical in every industry, but there are some industries where physicians may be expected to have stronger skills in project management. For instance, the health information technology or health IT industry is one particular industry where project management experience is very valuable. What type of experience you do you have managing an electronic health record (EHR) implementation? What about transitioning from paper orders to computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems?

A difference of $3.5 million

There's a great story on Bloomberg Businessweek titled, "For Health Care to Work, These Doctors Need a Big Raise." It starts with this:
Specialists earn $3.5 million more, on average, than general practitioners over the course of a career. A federal panel wants to reduce the discrepancy.
In this story, James Warren writes how a family physician or general internist averages about $160,000 a year, according to the nonprofit Robert Graham Center. A specialist averages $267,000 (seems low to me). That means the generalist will earn about $3.5 million less over a lifetime.

If we do the math (sorry, I can't help it because I went to MIT), we'll see that the difference is $107,000 per year. If we continue to work backwards, we see that to get $3.5 million, the average doctor is working approximately 32.7 years in his or her career. Does that seem right? We must remember that a generalist has a 3-year residency whereas most specialists have a longer residency (anywhere from 3 to 10+ years if we're including fellowships). So, is this calculation accurate?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rewrite your CV to get your next job

If you are job searching, you need a resume that lands interviews and opens doors. Today’s job market demands hard hitting resumes that sell your skills, not just list past history.  A strong resume gives you the confidence and tool you need to make your first impression count. If you aren’t getting interviews, it could be your resume.  Our resume partners at GetInterviews can provide you with a complimentary resume critique (a $75 value) to determine if your resume stands out or if it needs help. Their writing service even comes with a guarantee: interviews in 30 days or they will re-write for free.

A professionally written resume can make all the difference!
While the critique is free and will help you to know if your resume is on target, you'll also learn how a professional writer might successfully re-vamp your resume and refine your job search strategies. You'll learn exactly what their professional services would cost and also how their services can help you find a new job faster. Remember, the interview lands you the job, but the resume lands you the interview!

Don’t chance your career to a so-so resume. Make sure yours is worthy of your talents!

Contact the experts — and take the first step to your next success.

Another EMBA (Executive MBA) classroom experience

I recently had the opportunity to experience another executive MBA classroom experience. I enjoyed sitting through a business school class and meeting the current students. They're all working professionals and they're also balancing work/life/and B-school. Drexel University LeBow College of Business has an EMBA (Executive MBA) program that is built on a schedule that offers more flexibility. Instead of being in class every other week, you'll be in class each week on either a Friday or a Saturday. Also, the classes over the summer are online, so you get to spend the weekends with your family. You can complete the entire program over 20 months by attending classes on the weekends.

The Drexel Executive MBA program also features:
  • Exclusive Individual and Group Communications Coaching customized to your individual needs.
  • The Industry Perspectives Speaker Series, which integrates real-world knowledge into the classroom experience.
  • Our International Residency is a unique capstone experience that breaks new ground for the fusion of higher education and leadership development. 
Meets Only One Friday and Two Saturdays per Month

Differences Between Business & Medicine

Author: Bob Priddy, President of third_Evolution.

I was recently writing a note to a client and I started a sentence by saying, “You need to appreciate the essential differences between business thinking and physician thinking.” As I continued I began with, “business values risk taking…” and so a list ensued, and I decided it was a message more than my client needed to hear.

What follows is not an exhaustive list, it’s certainly not scientifically verifiable, but it’s a reasonable opinion from a reasonable business person – me. As I thought about this, and I must admit even during the course of writing the article, I found myself adding descriptive words or phrases based on the hundreds of physicians I’ve spoken with over the last seven years, not to mention those I worked with during the previous 23 years in hospital and healthcare administration.

What I’d like you to do with this list is fill in the “You” column with an “up” or “down” arrow: “up” for yes I embrace this and “down” for no, it’s a negative or I can’t/don’t want to think this way. See how many of the business genes you carry. Next add to the list based on your own experience. What personal assets or behavioral genetic predispositions do you have? Do you believe business would embrace them and see them as an “Up” or “Down” arrow? What about other physicians – how do you believe the profession as a whole would respond?

From MIT to Arkansas to UMass Amherst to where?

This is my education history so far:
  • Undergrad (BS): MIT
  • Grad (MD): University of Arkansas College of Medicine
  • Grad (MPH): UMass Amherst School of Public Health
  • Grad (MBA): ??
Given my journey so far, where will I end up next year? Which graduate school? Which MBA program? What type of MBA program? These questions don't keep me up at night, but they are questions that I often think about when I'm driving to work in the morning. I've been listening to business podcasts from iTunes during my commute and the ones that focus on entrepreneurship have me captivated.

Over the weekend, I attended a Penn State Smeal Executive MBA information session and recently I've been looking at a few other executive MBA programs in the area. Should I take the train and attend a school in NYC? New York University (NYU) has a great executive MBA program and they also have a part-time MBA that allows you to take courses only on the weekends. I could use the time on the train to get some work done, so I'd prefer that to driving to a campus. Decisions, decisions...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adaptive leadership in medicine

Next week, I'll be in Washington D.C. attending the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) annual conference. Make sure to follow my blog to read about some of the highlights from that meeting.

Speaking of ACPE, there's a recent article in the Physician Executive Journal titled, "Medicine Needs Adaptive Leadership." Jean-Marc C. Haeusler, MD, MBA, writes about the power of adaptive leadership. It can trump technical problem solving when you're tackling medical issues.

To read this article in the Physician Executive Journal, click here (PDF).

MGMA: Physician recruiters are filling vacancies more quickly, efficiently

Healthcare Finance News recently published a story titled, "MGMA: Physician recruiters are filling vacancies more quickly, efficiently." Here's a snippet from the story:
The MGMA’s report, “In-House Recruitment Benchmarking Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2008 Data,” showed that most specialties reported a decline in the cost and number of resources associated with filling these positions. Survey analysts have attributed this to the economic downturn and an increase (30 percent, according to this year’s report) in the use of Internet job boards as a primary recruitment method.  
The MGMA collaborated with the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters on the survey.
Notice the comment about the increase in the use of Internet job boards? Make sure to check the job board found here. We have new non-clinical jobs appearing all the time.

Have you ever worked with a physician recruiter? If you're looking for a job in the healthcare industry, you may have more luck by working with recruiters who may know of unadvertised job openings. Executive search firms can help you save a significant amount of time.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices.

"Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" a free monthly telephone discussion (group conferece call)

Update: Registration for May 12 is now closed. The next "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" will be on Tuesday, June 1st, at 9 pm eastern. You may register for that event here.

I'm starting something new and it's called: "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs." This will be a free telephone group discussion where we will discuss different types of non-clinical jobs for physicians. The conference call will last approximately 45 minutes and I'll be facilitating an interactive discussion about non-clinical career options. I'll also be available to answer some questions.

If you're considering  alternative physician careers but you're not sure how to proceed, you won't want to miss this call. If you're a medical student and you hope to learn more about non-clinical career options, I hope you'll join me for this call.
The first "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" will be on Wednesday evening, 9 PM Eastern, May 12, 2010. To register for this "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" conference call, please click here (sorry, but registration is now closed for the May 12 call).
The next "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" is scheduled for Tues, June 1st at 9 pm eastern. You may register for that call here.

"Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" will be a monthly event. To view the "Let's Talk NonClinicalJobs" schedule, make sure to join the membership network  ( and click on the Events tab to view the monthly schedule.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Preview a Thunderbird Distance Learning MBA class

Some of you may be considering an online MBA, but how do you visit an online class? Well, Thunderbird is providing prospective students an opportunity to preview an online MBA class. 
Thunderbird’s unique Distance Learning Global MBA provides the convenience of Web-based learning with the power of interactive courses that connect you to classmates and faculty no matter where you are in the world.
Is distance-learning right for you? Preview an actual class: Introduction to "Global Political Economy" by Dr. Roy Nelson [18:57]

Click here to preview this class.

About Thunderbird's high-tech/high-touch Distance Learning Global MBA:
* 75% of program consists of Web-based recorded lectures, Webcasts and chats
* 25% takes place on campus and international study tours abroad
* You'll meet your cohort during orientation week on campus – then study with them through the entire program
* You'll graduate together with your cohort on Thunderbird’s campus
* Use your personalized web space to network with students, staff, faculty and alumni
* Listen to lectures on-the-go with podcast functionality
When it comes to online MBA programs, Thunderbird School of Global Management again has been named by The Economist as one of the top business schools worldwide for distance learning.

Thunderbird's Distance Learning MBA blends 75 percent Web-based learning with 25 percent on-site regional business seminars abroad to provide a truly global learning experience that's both high-tech and hands-on.  Students must take courses in lock-step sequence, progressing through the program as a group with prescribed coursework. The program has 46.5 academic credit hours of classes and can be completed in 19, 12 or 36 months.

You can learn more about the Thunderbird Distance Learning MBA here.

MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing

MIT offers a one-year master's degree program in science writing. What is science writing? Here's a snippet from the MIT website:
Science writing means writing about science and technology for general readers. It appears in ordinary newsstand magazines and newspapers, in popular books, on the walls of museums, on television or radio programs. It grapples with genes, fractals, synapses, and quarks, but always with grace and style. Its practitioners worry as much about how to tell the story of science as the science itself—and yet, in maddening paradox, as much about the science as its telling. Science writing tackles big ideas, important issues. It's ambitious, creative, hard to do—harder yet to do well.
Among the alumni, some have written books, others have published in magazines and newspapers, several of them have science blogs, and others are working as full-time science writers.

Recently, I've received many questions related to careers in medical writing and medical communications. If you enjoy being creative and you like to write, then you might really enjoy the independence and autonomy you can experience as a medical writer. Several other universities offer graduate degree courses in science writing, biomedical writing, medical journalism, etc. For instance, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) offers a Master of Science in Biomedical Writing and also offers Certificates in Medical WritingBoston University offers a Master of Science Degree in Science and Medical Journalism. The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill also offers a Master's Program in Medical & Science Journalism.

To learn more about the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, click here.

Pharm Country Career Fair Today (Philadelphia)

The Pharm Country Career Fair is today in Philadelphia.
Marriott Philadelphia Downtown
Thursday, April 22, 2010
11am to 4pm

Biotech * Pharmaceutical * Medical Device & Diagnostics

Job seekers can spend a day with HR representatives and Hiring Managers from top biotech, pharma, medical device and diagnostics companies in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Exhibiting companies are recruiting for positions in areas such as: QA/QC, clinical research, engineering, manufacturing, biostatistics, clinical data management, chemistry, regulatory affairs, and research.

Learn more here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Featured Job Post: Medical Director

Medical Director

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals - The Woodlands, TX 77381

This position will be responsible for the medical support of ongoing clinical trials across a variety of therapeutic areas and indications. These responsibilities will include, but not be limited to: being the primary medical representative to development teams; participating in study design, protocol drafting and indication assessment; interfacing with clinicians/sites for ongoing clinical trials to ensure appropriate study conduct from a medical perspective; responsible for site interface concerning inclusion/exclusion criteria, adverse event management, SAE management and reporting; and other duties as assigned or required.


• MD from accredited medical school
• Board certification in a primary care discipline
• Prior clinical trial experience preferred
• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
• Ability and desire to work in a team-oriented
• Ability to travel up to 25%

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Blogging jobs

Many people have asked me, "How much money can you make blogging?" The answer really depends on multiple factors such as website traffic, advertisement arrangements, sponsorship, etc.

Professional bloggers make a very wide range of salaries. Part-time bloggers make anywhere from $50/week to over $1,000/week. So, if you're thinking about getting started with blogging, you should be familiar with the market rate for blog posts. Many publishers and organizations will pay freelance bloggers up to $20 per article/blog post or $20/hr. Blogs that focus on health care may pay more ($30/article), but once you get experienced and established, you can find some publishers that are willing to pay over $100/article.

I know several people who currently have full-time blogging careers. Most people start out as a freelance blogger and then as they find more opportunities, they may slowly transition into a full-time blogger.

If you're looking for some part-time work and if you enjoy writing, then maybe you'll want to get involved with blogging. You should be warned because blogging can consume quite a bit of time. Once you get established, the income potential can go up significantly if you create your own blog, publish innovative content, and generate a high volume of traffic each month. Your income will be based primarily from selling advertisements on your site and Google makes this very easy (and automated) through Google AdSense.

Curious about the blogging world? You can find some blogging jobs here

Hospital Administrative Fellowship Programs

For students who are graduating with an MPH, if you're interested in a career in hospital administrative medicine, then perhaps you'll want to pursue a hospital administrative fellowship program. For instance, the Massachusetts General Hospital has a great program and you can view a list of current and past fellows here.

Also, the Cleveland Clinic has a hospital administrative fellowship program and you can see what the former fellows are doing by visiting this link.

Hopkins also has an Administrative Fellowship Program. You can learn about it here. You'll notice a common theme here: the fellows have an MHA or MHSA or MPH degree. Also, most of these fellows are not physicians but they are graduate students who have a strong interest in hospital administration or health administration.

Fortune 100 Companies that are hiring (60,000 jobs)

According to this story on CNN, these 20 Fortune 100 companies have at least 200 openings each, totaling more than 60,000 jobs. Let's take a look at a few of these companies that revolve around the health care industry:

Fortune 500 rank: 77
Current openings: 4,000
We're looking for RNs, ICU clinical managers, pharmacists, physical therapists, radiologists and laboratory specialists, as well as IT business analysts, health information technology managers and a wide variety of consultants and systems designers

UnitedHealth Group
Fortune 500 rank: 21
Current openings: 3,200
While we have openings across various functions and geographies, our greatest needs are within information technology and clinical (medical professionals).

Abbott Laboratories
Fortune 500 rank: 75
Current openings: 346
Abbott is hiring in a number of areas, including research and development, regulatory affairs, manufacturing engineering, sales, business development, marketing, finance, legal and IT.

Medco Health Solutions
Fortune 500 rank: 35
Current openings: Several hundred
Medco and its subsidiary operations of Accredo Health and Liberty Medical are seeking candidates to fill a range of opportunities, from entry-level customer call-center positions to physicians, pharmacists, nurses, researchers and computer technologists.

Medical writing jobs for physicians

If you're considering a career transition into medical writing, click here to view some current medical writing jobs. Medical writing is a great alternative physician career if you want to have the flexibility to work from home, set your own hours, and be your own boss.  Some physicians also work as part-time medical writers.

Click here to view medical writing jobs here on To learn how you can get started in the medical writing industry, consider working with a career coach who can guide you through that process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Novartis to cut 383 jobs in the U.S.

Jobs in the pharma industry are not quite "stable" these days. Even with strong companies, we're seeing reductions in the pharma workforce. Jobs are being reduced and executives are looking for new positions. Novartis released a press release today that started with some good news:
Novartis healthcare portfolio generates strong growth in first quarter of 2010, progress on delivering innovation, growth and productivity
If you continue to read the press release, towards the bottom you'll see that they plan to reduce 383 jobs in headquarter-based functions:
In anticipation of changes to the product portfolio in the US, which includes expected approvals for a number of new specialty medicines but also the loss of market exclusivity for Diovan and other medicines in the next few years, Novartis has further streamlined its US business in Pharmaceuticals to maximize the potential of the changing portfolio in both primary care and specialty markets. This initiative, announced in April 2010, will create three national specialty businesses focused on multiple sclerosis, respiratory diseases and neuroscience to complement the existing Oncology business unit. In addition, a fourth business for primary care medicines, including the cardiovascular portfolio, will be consolidated into four regional units (reduction from the current five units). Approximately 383 full-time equivalent positions, primarily in headquarter-based functions, are to be reduced in a socially responsible manner, with 35% expected to be achieved by not filling vacant positions. A one-time charge of USD 24 million is planned to be taken in the second quarter of 2010, with annual cost savings of USD 56 million anticipated from 2011.
The pharmaceutical industry is going through some radical changes these days. As more pharmaceutical companies consider mergers and acquisitions, we'll certainly see more changes in the pharma job market.

American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians

Have you considered a career in disability management? Perhaps you're already a member of the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians (AADEP).
The AADEP is the premiere society, serving physicians involved in disability management. Our activities will include ongoing teaching of the management of disabled patients and impairment and disability evaluation to physicians, other health care providers, attorneys, regulators, legislators and others involved in the care of the disabled and coordinate research in the area of disability management. Our multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach will make us unique in this arena.
The founders of the Academy were dissatisfied and frustrated by the inadequate state of disability evaluation 17 years ago. They advocated for uniform disability assessment methods and the development of uniform standards for the determination of maximum medical improvement, the rating of impairment, and the determination of the ability to return to work. Their mission was education.

Learn more about the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians (AADEP) by visiting:

Gender and salary

In general, men tend to earn more than women. Is that true when we control for job titles? What if they have advanced scientific or business degrees? Researchers have explored this issue of salary differences between men and women and they seem to consistently find that men are earning more and their salaries are rising faster. Women who have MBAs are earning roughly $4,600 less than men who have MBAs. I don't know how this compares when you're looking at MD/MBAs instead of standard MBAs, but I doubt we'll get any data on that anytime soon.

Here are some interesting points from one HBR blog post:
  • The most surprising finding was that unequal pay starts with first jobs.
  • Women, it turns out, were far more likely than men to leave their first job because of a bad manager. In fact, as many women were leaving because of their manager as were leaving because of other opportunities.
Here's another HRB blog that approaches this issue from another angle:
  • Why are we focusing on the negatives associated with the gender-salary gap?
  • In 2010, the US labor force was majority female.
  • 26% of wives out-earn their husbands
  • More women than men are starting American companies
  • Women earn 6 in 10 bachelor's and master's degrees
Here's a great resource for women working in the healthcare industry: the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. There are more than 1,000 members of AHCJ.

This week, the AHCJ is having its annual conference: Health Journalism 2010
04/22/10 - 04/25/10
Chicago, IL

Learn more about the Association of Health Care Journalists here:

5 frequently asked questions from physicians considering non-clinical career transitions

I speak with many physicians who are interested in leaving clinical medicine to pursue an alternative career (non-clinical job) and they always seem to ask the same types of questions. Let's dig into some of those "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" by exploring some common questions that are rooted in myths and misconceptions.

Here are some questions that I get all the time from physicians who are considering a career transition:
  1. How do I "break in" to the industry (such as pharma) when I don't have any pharma experience? All the jobs seem to require industry experience.
  2. What type of salary ranges can I expect?
  3. Do I need to complete a residency? 
  4. How much travel is generally involved with these types of jobs?
  5. Do I need to get an advanced degree like an MBA, an MPH, (or an MS in informatics for a health IT job)?
The answers to some of these questions can be rather complex, but let me address a few issues:

First, you don't need to complete a residency or get an advanced degree to be successful in the non-clinical world. Board certification is helpful (and is necessary for certain types of positions in medical management, managed care, etc.). An MBA, MPH, or MS offers no guarantee that you'll succeed. It may provide you with additional resources,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

EHR's Cocktails & Conversation

Executive Health Resources (EHR) invites physicians to join us for an evening of Cocktails & Conversation to explore a career in the medical management field. At this event, you will have the opportunity to explore a new direction for your medical career in a causal environment, meet Robert Corrato, MD, MBA our president and CEO, members of our physician teams, and network with other local physicians. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

We have full-time and part-time positions available in our Columbia, MD office, or remote work from home opportunities. We offer no call hours, a great work/life balance, extensive training (no prior medical management experience required), competitive compensation and benefits and professional growth opportunities.

EHR's Cocktails & Conversation

April 21, 2010
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore
550 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
May 5, 2010
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Dolce Hotel
301 West Dekalb Pike
King of Prussia, PA 19406

To RSVP, log onto or contact our recruiting team at (484) 362-1996 or

Mark your calendar to join us for our hiring/interview conference in Newtown Square, PA, on April 26 and 27!

Where you can find alternative non-clinical physician jobs

Are you looking for an alternative career? A full-time job? Part-time? Maybe you're looking for some alternative sources of supplemental income?

If you're looking for non-clinical job opportunities, make sure you're looking on the Internet. You'd be surprised how many physicians forget to search on the web to find these types of job opportunities.

There are thousands of non-clinical jobs listed on this job search page:  Search for Jobs  

It's also critical to expand your social network and to leverage your connections if you're planning on making a career transition.

International Society for Medical Publication Professionals

The vision of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP - which is pronounced "iz map") is to be the recognized and respected authority for the medical publication profession.

They are getting ready for their 6th annual meeting:
April 19-21, 2010
Arlington, Virginia

You can learn more about the ISMPP by visiting:

The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) is increasing its leadership role in establishing professional standards and promoting adherence through the provision of a formal, voluntary, professional certification examination to become a Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP).

Two weeks left before the ACPE Annual Meeting

I hope to see you in Washington D.C. for the ACPE Annual Meeting, April 30 - May 4.

2010 ACPE Annual CME Conference in Washington D.C.

This year, there are four new courses. I'll be covering some of the major highlights from the meeting so I hope you'll stay tuned.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Executive MBA information session

Executive MBA programs are frequently structured with weekend courses that meet on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. Today, I attended a Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program information session. I sat through 2 classes, had lunch with the students, and chatted with the Managing Director of the Executive MBA program. It was great to experience a day in the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program.

This year, I've taken the time to attend 4-5 different MBA information sessions and I'm trying to make some decisions regarding business school. I'm trying to find the right program and the right format that makes the most sense for me given my family schedule, my work schedule, and my ultimate career goals. Some physicians pursue MBA degrees because they want to have more medical management responsibilities in the world of administrative medicine. They want to be better physician executives. Others may get MBAs because they have some unique business ideas and they wish to be entrepreneurs. I also know several physicians who don't have a great explanation as to why they got an MBA. As for me, my reasons for wanting an MBA seem to evolve each year. Last year, I wanted to focus on marketing and business issues that revolved around the health care industry. Recently, I've found myself more interested in the world of entrepreneurship and I've been listening to more business podcasts from iTunes. How about you? Have you been thinking about B-school?

Certificate Programs in Pharmaceutical Management

Don't have time for business school? Maybe you'll benefit by participating in some certificate programs. Rutgers Business School currently offers two different types of certificate programs related to the pharmaceutical industry:

Two-Day Certificate Program in Pharmaceutical Management

Rutgers Business School’s Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Management Program offers A Two Day Certificate Program in Pharmaceutical Management. This Program provides a framework for understanding the structure and competitive profile of the industry, and includes a review of key regulatory issues, applicable patent law, drug pricing and reimbursement including the design of prescription drug benefit plans, DTC advertising, mergers and acquisitions, public policy initiatives, and financial evaluation.

An Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education certificate can be received from attending.

One-Day Certificate Program in Pharmaceutical Management

One Day Workshop on the Complexities of Managed Markets: Managed Markets – Current Topics on the Evolving Healthcare System
September 30, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Society of Disabled Healthcare Professionals

I'm working with several people to informally launch a new website that will be an online portal and a resource for disabled healthcare professionals. For now, we're informally calling it the "Society of Disabled Healthcare Professionals" and our goal is to make it into a non-profit organization.

You can visit the website here:

If you'd like to get involved, please contact me. In the meanwhile, I hope you will help me spread the word about the Society of Disabled Healthcare Professionals.

Networking tip: connect with one new person each week

The transition to a non-clinical career is never easy. In fact, it's important to build and establish a robust social network of professional colleagues who can assist you through that process. One practical tip is to connect with one new person each week. You don't have to spend much time to do this, and if you're actively looking for a new job or a career change, then perhaps you should aim to connect with a new person each day.

There are easy ways to connect with people in this modern world of social media and online social networking websites. You can:
  • Twitter: Send a tweet to someone or RT someone's tweet. Start ultra-short conversations with others and stay connected. It's a relatively non-threatening way to get to know someone.
  • LinkedIn: Contact someone directly through LinkedIn (or through an established connection). You can even leverage the groups on LinkedIn (like the group on LinkedIn).
  • Facebook: Use Facebook to get introduced to someone. Or, you can have a conversation with someone through the fan page.
  • Blogs: Post a comment on someone's blog and share your thoughts and opinions.
  • E-mail: Keep it short and have a purpose. Don't make it a sales pitch.
  • Phone: I always enjoy connecting with people over the phone.
After you connect with someone, make it a habit to follow up after a designated period of time. Perhaps you will meet someone who will eventually end up introducing you to your next boss. Maybe you'll find new business opportunities through your new connections.

    Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine April 2010

    If you're interested in an alternative physician career in the biopharma industry, then I would encourage you to read Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine. This magazine will help you stay current on business issues that affect the pharmaceutical industry. This month's cover story features Deirdre Connelly (President, North American Pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline) as HBA's 2010 Woman of the Year.

    You can read the digital edition of  Pharmaceutical Executive (April 2010) by clicking here.

    Finding a public health job

    When most people think about job opportunities in public health, they tend to focus on government organizations such as the FDA, the CDC, the NIH, the WHO, or a state-level public health department. If you can demonstrate public health competency as a physician, then you won't need an MPH to get a public health job. Make sure you brush up on epidemiology and biostatistics.

    The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) has a public health job search engine at

    Some physicians also forget about public health jobs in the private sector. Many jobs focus on population health management by including elements of disease management and patient education. Some organizations rely on the Internet to disseminate health information while others may use innovative approaches to impact population health.
    • Interested in the private sector? Make sure to explore some of the links found here.
    • Wish to work for a non-profit organization? Take a look at the links found here.
    • How about federal government jobs? Make sure to visit the links here.
    The other day, I was speaking with a physician who accepted a public health job with the state department of public health.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Preparing a resource for disabled physicians and other healthcare professionals

    I'm currently working with others to prepare an online resource for disabled physicians and other healthcare professionals.

    If you know any disabled physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, therapists, clinicians, or any other healthcare professional, then please tell them to visit because I'll be posting updates as we get closer to launch.

    Featured Job: Physicians - Full or Part-time-Various Specialities

    Physicians - Full or Part-time-Various Specialities
    Tri State Occupational Medicine - Jackson, Corinth, Oxford, Clarksdale, MS

    I am looking for a physician to join a group performing Consultative Exams for Social Security Disability in Mississippi. We have opportunities for full or part time work. My group provides all administrative needs including scheduling, transcription, assisting, and billing. Pay for the day's work is guaranteed regardless of turnout and is paid promptly regardless of time of collection. There is no call and no weekend work. Most full time physicians see patients 2 to 4 days a week. Physicians working for us have various background and training including IM, FP, pain mgt., surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiology, and general practice.

    World's best distance learning MBA programs

    You won't find too many published rankings of online MBA programs. BusinessWeek lists online MBA programs, but they don't rank them. US News and World Report also lists distance learning MBA programs, but they also don't rank them. The Economist is willing to rate schools, but doesn't want to use the word "rank" since their list of schools is not exhaustive. In an online article titled, "Why distance-learning MBAs matter," the Economist says:
    If, perhaps, the very top tier of universities are yet to offer distance programmes, still some very notable ones do: Carnegie Mellon or Thunderbird in America, Warwick or Insitito Empresas in Europe, for example.
    You can view the complete report that includes ratings of selected distance-learning MBA programs by clicking here (PDF). Only 5 US business schools made it on that list and those were:
    • Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
    • University of Florida (Hough)
    • Indiana University (Kelley)
    • Thunderbird School of Management
    Two programs received a rating of "excellent" by the Economist: Florida’s Internet MBA and the International Executive MBA offered by IE Business School. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Indiana’s Kelly school, and the Euro MBA got honorable mentions and got "excellent" ratings for program content.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    American Organization of Nurse Executives

    The American Organization of Nurse Executives just had its 43rd Annual Meeting and Exposition in Indianapolis. In case you're not familiar with the group, here's some information about the AONE:
    • Founded in 1967, the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association, is a national organization of over 6,500 nurse leaders who design, facilitate and manage care. The organization provides leadership, professional development, advocacy and research in order to advance nursing practice and patient care, promote nursing leadership excellence and shape health care public policy.
    • Our Vision: Shaping the future of health care through innovative nursing leadership.
    • Our Mission: To represent nurse leaders who improve health care. AONE members are leaders in collaboration and catalysts for innovation.
    Learn more about the AONE by visiting:

    Why some medical students may hesitate to pursue an MBA

    Over the weekend, when I was in Boston attending the Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference, I bumped into several medical students who were hesitant to pursue an MBA. They were afraid that the MBA could actually hurt their chances of getting into their desired residency. Have you ever heard that?

    This was actually a very interesting discussion topic because some medical students who wish to pursue a clinical career may wonder how an MBA would help them be a better clinician. If you're considering a career in medical management or business, then an MBA clearly has its benefits. However, how will residency program directors and other faculty members view your MBA? Will they think that you're focused on pursuing an industry career? Will they think that you'll leave clinical medicine and get seduced by the "Dark Side" of medicine? Are such assumptions still prevalent among physician faculty members and program directors? Or, have attitudes shifted as more physicians have pursued MBAs over the years?

    What I'm learning is that the MBA can be a tremendous asset when you're applying to residency, but it could also be a hindrance if you don't have a compelling explanation for the MBA. I know many physicians (MD/MBAs) who would strongly urge medical students to get their MBA after they graduate and gain some working experience. I also know others who would strongly encourage medical students to get the MBA before residency. At the end of the day, you have to know why you're pursuing an MBA and you have to have a solid explanation when the question comes up during your residency interviews.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    50 Most Powerful Physician Executives for 2010

    Modern Healthcare / Modern Physician has published its annual list of "50 Most Powerful Physician Executives." You won't be surprised to see that Dr. David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health information technology at HHS, holds the No. 1 spot on this year's ranking.

    You can view the photo gallery of the "50 Most Powerful Physician Executives - 2010" by clicking here. How many of these physicians do you know? I've had the opportunity to personally connect with some of these individuals.

    If you're interested in becoming a leading physician executive, then I'd encourage you to get involved with the ACPE (American College of Physician Executives). You'll notice that the CEO of the ACPE, Dr. Barry Silbaugh, is on that list of 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives. Speaking of ACPE, I look forward to seeing some of you at the annual ACPE meeting at the end of this month in Washington D.C. I'll be providing some blogging coverage of that meeting.

    Applying to business school

    I've been thinking about pursuing an MBA for several years and now it's time for me to take the next step. This year, I plan to fill out several business school applications for MBA programs. Considering that I have a family and young children, I want to finish my MBA as soon as possible so that I can spend all my future weekends and evenings with my family. Most executive MBA programs will eat up 2 weekends each month (so you can expect fewer blog posts once I start my MBA courses).

    Here are some of the MBA programs I'm considering in the greater Philadelphia region:
    • Drexel (LeBow)
    • Penn State (Smeal)
    • Temple (Fox)
    • Villanova

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