Thursday, February 10, 2011

Considering a Non-Clinical Career? Here's a Book for You

Author: Heather Fork, MD, CPCC

One of my first recommendations to clients wanting non-clinical work is to read Mike McLaughlin’s book, Do You Feel Like You Wasted All That Training? Questions from Doctor’s Considering a Career Change. No one has felt that buying this book has been a waste of his or her time. On the contrary, the responses have all been highly positive!

The book is based on Dr. Michael McLaughlin’s personal career transition from plastic surgeon to owner of a highly successful medical communications company. I read this book as soon as it came in the mail and found it to be an excellent starting place for those first contemplating a career change.

In the book he writes,

“I felt stuck for so long, as though I had spent most of my life moving in the wrong direction. I was frustrated with myself. How could I become so trapped? … I wanted to do something different with my life, and had no idea where to start. I then spent most of my spare time during the last two years of my surgical practice struggling to identify and explore alternative career paths.”

One of Dr. McLaughlin’s intentions in writing this book is to save other doctors from having to struggle so hard and spend unnecessary time making a career transition.

A question and answer format is used to convey most of the material. McLaughlin candidly weaves his own story throughout the book, which makes it an engaging, and inspiring read.

Some of the 60 questions answered in the book are:

• How did you decide what you wanted to do?
• What are my options outside of clinical practice?
• What skills transfer well to a non-clinical job?
• How much money can a physician make in a non-clinical job?
• Should I get an MBA?
• What medical specialties are in high demand?
• Looking back on the transition, what would you do differently?

Key points emphasized are:

• Making a transition takes time and preparation. Patience is necessary.
• Having the support of your spouse/family is invaluable.
• Don’t just take any job to get out of an unhappy situation.
• Networking is key and can make each step much easier.
• Doctors have more skills and abilities that are transferable to non-clinical jobs than they realize.
• Getting support through a mentor or other experienced individual is highly recommended.

The book can be purchased at the Physician Renaissance Network website, which offers useful information, resources and networking opportunities for doctors interested in non-clinical careers.

Heather Fork, MD, CPCC, is owner and founder of the Doctor’s Crossing. As an ICF certified coach, she works with physicians who are seeking to renew and reinvigorate their careers and avoid burnout. She helps doctors tap into their natural abilities and passion to create new and inspiring opportunities within clinical medicine or through non-clinical options. Knowing that too many physicians are suffering from stress and burnout, Dr. Fork is dedicated to improving physician well-being collectively, as well as individually. Read about Dr. Fork here.

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