By Dr. Naval Asija
India’s healthcare has witnessed several transitions in last two decades with a trend towards Privatization, Commercialization and Globalization. This has opened newer avenues for physicians in several industries. Non-clinical positions for physicians now come in different shapes and sizes, with most of them being linked to specific career paths.
The traditional types of non-clinical opportunities were more organized and secure; whereas the newer ones offer the promise of faster growth and higher financial rewards, sometimes at the costs of job insecurity and competition from non-physician candidates.
Traditional Non-Clinical Opportunities
Chief Medical Officer: The CMO is a public servant and is sometimes known as the Civil-Surgeon/Health-Officer. These officers are not directly recruited, but instead, get promoted from the medical officers employed with the government, who are primarily involved in clinical duties in initial few years of their service.
Medical Scientist: The medical scientist works with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and its affiliated institutes. Since its inception, with a network over 25 research institutes, ICMR has employed scores of medical scientists in bio-medical research.
Medical Teacher: Medical teachers are the faculty members in medical colleges that produce fresh medical graduates of modern medicine. They teach basic sciences subjects to medical students, before they get ready for clinical medicine. Besides the medical colleges, medical teachers are also employed by the dental colleges, nursing colleges, and paramedical colleges.
Pharmaceuticals: India is known as the pharmacy of the developing world due to its successful pharma companies. The marketing/sales departments of domestic arms of these companies require services of a medical affairs physician. Similarly, their compliance departments require the services of a regulatory affairs physician.
Information Technology: India has witnessed an IT/BPO services boom over last two decades. The exponential growth of India’s healthcare IT-BPO market and its globalized nature has led to emergence of the role of a med-tech physician who aids in new product development, training of executives and project management.
Insurance: India has also seen rapid expansion of private health insurance, and more recently with advent of government provided health coverage schemes the number of insurance beneficiaries and claims have multiplied manifold in last two decades. The physicians employed by the industry take care of the underwriting, authorization and claims processes.
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