Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's a "high-paying non-clinical job?"

You may have heard the phrase, "high-paying non-clinical job." What does that mean? How do you define "high-paying"? Are we talking about base salary? Performance-based compensation? Commission plus bonus? Stock options?  In the business world of consulting or pharma, the term "high paying" really has no cap (see: CEO salaries in the pharmaceutical industry)

I doubt that most primary care physicians will jump right into a CEO seat in any major corporation, but there are some non-clinical jobs that pay more compared to others. Are you thinking about a career transition just so that you can earn more? Is money the main motivator?

For most professionals, money (unfair compensation) ends up being a de-motivator. Now, does that mean that high-paying jobs end up being great motivators? Not really. Clearly, some people are motivated by large salaries, but I think we all know wealthy people who aren't happy with work or life.

If you're looking for a high-paying non-clinical job, you may need to be patient. If you're making a high salary as a physician, the reality is that you may take a pay cut if you transition into the non-clinical world. This won't happen to everyone, but it will happen to some. I've worked with individuals who were making over $200k each year, and they took a job paying $150k annually. They were much happier because work/life balance and overall job satisfaction was more important than a high-paying job. Maybe you're in a similar situation. Maybe you'd be willing to reduce your salary so that you can experience more enjoyment in life.

So, what's your definition of a high-paying job, and what are you willing to give up?


  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative article.

  2. How about over $100/hr, or $150/hr...maybe even $200/hr (which is high for most docs)...