Maryam Beltran Shapland MD went from working as a busy emergency medicine physician to a medical director for Securain Financial Group. While it is not an intuitive leap, the fast paced work and the wide variety of challenging cases in her current job as a medical director and at her former job as an ER physician make the settings surprisingly similar. Hard working and ambitious in every job she has had, she doesn’t shy away from diving into complex new situations.
Dr. Beltran Shapland enjoyed her work in emergency medicine, was involved in administration and often worked more hours than she was contracted to work because of last minute doctor shortages and scheduling changes. She was the most productive doctor in her group, pulling in high numbers of RVU’s and bonuses. But, while she was able to handle the intensity of medically unstable patients and what she describes as the occasionally threatening environment that was an inherent part of her ER work, Dr. Beltran Shapland found that balancing the irregular shift hours was unsustainable for the long term. With two young children, she went part time to 0.8 and then to 0.6. While she spent enough ‘hours’ with her family, she was exhausted and often preoccupied with thoughts of patient results, even while she was away from work. She also was interested in other aspects of medicine, and she was already involved in disaster relief when she took an online global health course to get her post graduate global health certificate.
She considered ways to incorporate global health into her work and had fleeting thoughts of looking for a non-clinical position as a more workable long-term prospect. Then her own outlook abruptly changed when she was named in a lawsuit. A patient who developed a medical condition sued everyone who had been involved in her care, including Dr. Maryam Shapland, who had seen her a week earlier in the ER. Like many physicians faced with a lawsuit, she was devastated and heartbroken. The lawsuit was a pivotal moment in which she felt such a sense of betrayal after having worked so hard to save the life of a dying patient. It was the tipping point that started her seriously looking at non-clinical positions.
She scoured websites, read books, and looked at job sites. When a recruiter looking for a mid-career physician with clinical experience to work contacted her, she was intrigued. After confirming that the job offer was something she wanted to know more about, she applied. Now she works as a medical director for Securain Financial Group, a life insurance and disability company. Her daily work involves teaching underwriters about medical conditions and guiding them through the complexities of claims. She often looks at autopsy reports and police reports while giving her opinions on claims and a variety of cases. She says that every case is different and that her work is never boring. She says that the job she does requires 5-10 years of clinical experience and maintenance of board certification as well as an active medical license.
Dr. Beltran Shapland stays in touch with former colleagues (who often ask about how she got her position) and is very happy with her current job. She enjoys her day-to-day work and can see longevity in it, where she couldn’t see that in her work as an ER physician.
Physician Success Stories