As a physician, you are a highly educated and trained medical professional who carries the most prestigious educational qualification—and you have earned a highly sought after license to take care of patients when they have medical problems. Yet there is no reason that any doctor should be limited to a particular career blueprint.
If you want to take a professional path that allows you to achieve your professional and personal priorities, you have a variety of options.
*Dr. Snyder is a clinically busy gastroenterologist who is very active and influential on local hospital committees and boards. A private practice physician in a group of 8, he has built strong relationships with the senior level hospital administration and has been able to negotiate a convenient and optimal scheduling process for his group's procedures. He also oversees a strong financial arrangement at the hospitals where his group has privileges. He has a great deal of influence on the group practice decisions as well as on hospital wide decisions.
*Dr. Perez is a nephrologist who runs three clinics with adjoining outpatient treatment facilities. He employs 68 staff members, 7 of whom are physicians. Dr. Perez no longer sees patients and he personally manages all of the contracting with payers. He has had to deal with costly staff turnover at the busiest of his facilities due to mismanagement of staff relations by one of the mid level managers. While morale is down at that location, revenue has remained healthy. He is working on adding clinical research services to his business as another revenue stream.
*Dr. Levine is a family practice doctor who works part-time for a private group in a suburb of a medium city. She does not manage financial contracts and has arranged for a convenient schedule and a modest part-time salary. She knows many of her patients from the neighborhood or from her children's school and she is loved by her patients and by the staff, who always strive to make her day go smoothly.
*Dr. Lee is a neurologist who has a full-time tenured appointment at a major university. She has obtained research grants and runs a basic science research lab, occasionally consulting for pharmaceutical companies. Her work consists of about 10-20% patient care, with the remainder of her time devoted to research and teaching.
*Dr. Lamii is a surgeon who worked full-time for a start up medical device manufacturer after obtaining an MBA a few years into practice. He worked on the financial side of the company for three years, and was laid off after the company was purchased by another company. He then took a job as the head of scientific communications for a pharmaceutical company and has generous vacation time, works remotely, and earns a salary equivalent to the 50th percentile of physicians in his specialty.
*Dr. Stucco is an OBGYN who no longer practices medicine and works as a full-time administrator in a medium sized suburban hospital. She has already changed professional administrative titles twice in the past 3 years, and, while she loves her job and is compensated generously, she does not have a guaranteed position for more than one year at a time.
*Dr. Johnson is a PMNR specialist who holds a full-time job working for a national publisher. He edits medical books, educational videos and medical research articles. He also works with several medical schools on curriculum development.
*Dr. Kumar is a pediatrician who is one of 20 partners in med/peds group that covers 5 hospitals over a large geographic region. The financial reimbursement of each doctor in the group is based on volume. Dr. Kumar is proud that she works between 10-12 hours per day, seeing patients whenever the office is open. She takes more call than most of her partners, as the reimbursement for call is generous and straightforward, and some of her partners prefer not to take weekend and night call. She also takes emergency room shifts about twice per month. She is very happy with her arrangement and is building a large patient base.
*Dr. Halgon is an internist who has just opened her own medi-spa as part of a medi-spa franchise. She plans to rent an adjacent space and to add more medical services and a fitness center to her business within the next 2 years.
Do you see yourself in any of the above stories? Or do you see a completely different career trajectory for yourself? One of the strategies I often tell doctors to use in constructing a realistic career path is building a narrative. Write a few paragraphs describing your own ideal bio 2 years from now so that you will have a defined objective in your sight as you work towards building your career.
Explore nonclinicaldoctors.com to find job openings, and company links and to learn more about the methods you can use to reach your goals as you work towards making your ideal professional bio a reality. Or use Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine to learn the details behind each type of non-clinical position.
As an added incentive for yourself- send your future bio to nonclinicaldoctors.com today and then send in your story in 2 years to be featured as a physician success story!