I have received this question hundreds of times from doctors in the US and abroad:
'I am a doctor looking for a career switch. I can provide medical advice for any company. I can speak, write, advise, and consult. I can do just about anything you need. Can you recommend something for me? I need to continue to make at least my current income.'
Ironically, expressing too much flexibility in your job search can backfire.
Indeed, most doctors really can do anything quite well! Yet, many doctors cannot easily find non clinical positions. At the same time, I also hear regularly from recruiters who tell me that they can't easily fill well-paying positions. Why are there so many doctors who want non-clinical jobs while there are unfilled jobs? The reason is that doctors and recruiters often don't speak the same language. I have learned that there is a wrong approach to looking for a non-clinical job and there is a right approach. It saves time and agony to stick to the right approach.
There are no job descriptions for 'a doctor who wants to change direction, great pay.' Recruiters are very specific in their needs. One of the first questions recruiters ask is, 'do you know someone who is a good fit for this position?' The wrong way to transition out of clinical medicine is to look for, ‘anything else’ without specifying what it is that you are looking for. If you state that you can 'do anything' (especially that you can provide advice) you are less likely to be taken seriously than if you are specific and targeted in your approach.
Managers and recruiters try to avoid hiring people who seem like they want to 'get away' from something.
The right way to obtain a non-clinical job is to:
1. Honestly evaluate your goals and professional priorities
2. Study your options and narrow down your choices to the type of jobs that match your professional and personal objectives. Finding the right fit is the most important part of landing the right job. Doctors who are changing direction need to reevaluate their goals before, not after, they start looking for the right non-traditional job.
Each type of non-clinical job requires a different approach. Before applying for any non-clinical position, you should become familiar with the work environment, typical salary, expectations, and, of course, the best approach for finding a job in that specific field. Find the salaries of the most common non-clinical jobs in Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine and learn how to become qualified for the most common non-clinical jobs here. You could sabotage yourself by offering to do 'anything' or 'provide advice'. You can use Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine to find more detail about how to effectively tailor your job search for the job you really want. This will give you a huge advantage.