Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How a physician mentor can help you transition out of clinical medicine

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

I struggled with my own transition over ten years ago. I had no idea where to turn or what to do and I made a few bad decisions along my path to total non-clinical transition and my “dream job”. I used to feel desperation, anger and fear as I faced every day and now I look forward to my work and life every day. It still blows my mind when I stop to think about where I was and where I am now.

Because of my struggle, I started helping other physicians in their own transitions or diversification of their career. I’ve been doing this for seven years now and had the privilege of helping hundreds of doctors all over the country.

Working with me is simple – there is no travel involved and there is constant support and communication with me. I serve as a physician mentor and we work together as physician colleagues. I don’t have a “cookie cutter” approach because every doctor is different and is coming from a different place. Some are 1-2 years out of residency and others have been in private practice for 10 years or more before coming to me. It’s been my experience that 80-90% of the time, a physician who works with me will have clear focus and career direction within 6-8 months. Most doctors have been struggling with this on their own for years, if not decades.

Some common questions I get initially from doctors are:
• What can I do that I enjoy and still generate the income I need for my family?
• How do I find and use the right resources to get me where I want to be?
• Do I have to go back to school or relocate?

I help you identify where it is you want to be, but more importantly, I guide you through the practicalities of how to get there.

Contact me here for help – I’ve done it and I’ve helped many other physicians do it too.

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. Read about Dr. Mudge-Riley here.


  1. Do you work only with physicians? How about non physician providers (PAs/NPs)?

  2. Nicholas, many of our mentors have experience working with PAs, NPs, pharmacists, and others. I would encourage you to reach out to them and see how they may be able to help you reach your goals.

  3. Dr. Kim, thanks for the advice. What is the best way for me to go about contacting them?

  4. You'll find them here: