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Full-time and consultant physician jobs with increasing demand due to COVID-19

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jobs for doctors

COVID-19 has unfortunately led to many doctors experiencing salary cuts, getting laid off, or struggling to save their practices. Overall demand for doctors through recruiter engagement has declined by over 30% since March. Of independently practicing physicians, over half reported that they were worried about the sustainability of their practices amidst COVID-19. In spite of this, there are some types of jobs and consultant physician work for which the demand is actually increasing because of the pandemic. This includes both clinical and nonclinical opportunities, with a broad range of work settings and organization types.

Here are a dozen types of in-demand jobs to consider, whether you’re a consultant physician or seeking full-time employment, as well as some examples of recent job postings that I’ve come across for each.

Vaccine and drug development and medical affairs

As of the time I’m writing this, there are 578 vaccines and drugs in development targeting COVID-19 (per Statista). With so many biopharmaceutical companies making efforts toward COVID prevention and treatment, there is an increased need for medical doctors within the industry. Physicians are needed for several aspects of a product’s life cycle, including drug or vaccine research & development, medical affairs, and pharmacovigilance.

Generally speaking, medical directorships with pharma companies are geared toward doctors with specific medical specialties, depending on the therapeutic area of the drugs being marketed or developed. When it comes to vaccines and infectious diseases, however, there tends to be somewhat more leeway. Training in ID is ideal, but internal medicine, preventive medicine, emergency medicine, pulmonology, and other specialties may be acceptable for some positions, as well.

Physicians who are knowledgeable about COVID-19 who are seeking a side gig, rather than full-time work, can consider speaking for pharma medical education programs or serving on advisory boards.

Examples of recent job openings:

Medical Lead, Vaccines & Infectious Diseases

We are seeking a candidate who has strong technical, scientific and medical knowledge of the brand to drive understanding of the medical strategy across the organization and to lead medical activities for the brand including advisory boards and symposia to advance clinical practice.

Medical Science Liaison – Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

The Medical Science Liaison (MSL) functions as a subject matter expert on current Infectious Diseases products and Infectious Diseases & Vaccines pipeline research to internal business partners and external customers.

Senior Manager, Medical Affairs / COVID-19

Focus on compliantly enhancing patient management of COVID-19 through non-promotional activities such as: clinical trials support, education, disease awareness, appropriate programs (including data generation), supporting diagnosis and management.

Litigation related to COVID is already on the rise. This includes medical practice lawsuits related to COVID management, but also related to workplace health and safety, prison conditions, labor and employment violations, and more. Lawyers in a variety of practice areas will be relying on physician expert witnesses to review documentation, answer questions, and form opinions about the medical aspects of these COVID cases.

Expert witness referral firms and directories are advertising their ability to match expert witnesses to COVID-related cases. Take a look at the examples below from the Expert Institute and AMFS Experts. Physicians with expertise in one or more topics related to COVID-19 can easily sign up for a directory or make a profile with these companies. Mentioning your areas of expertise on your Linkedin profile is another way to land expert witness work.

Examples of expert witness directories advertising their services related to COVID-19:

COVID-19 Medical Expert Witness

When a COVID-19 medical expert witness is key to building your case, AMFS is the only name you need to know. Complete the form now to secure the high-quality medical expert witness your case deserves.

COVID-19 Expert Witness

Our COVID-19 expert witnesses practice across a wide range of fields, including nursing home administration, hospital administration, infectious disease, critical care, epidemiology, insurance, finance, and more.

Healthcare system infection prevention and control

Hospitals and healthcare systems are broadening and strengthening their infection control efforts as a result of COVID. For many, this means forming one or more administrative positions filled by leaders with a clinical background. Such roles may or may not require an MD, and can sometimes be fitting for physicians without residency training or without full licensure.

Examples of recent job openings:

Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease

Seeking an outstanding physician-leader to serve as the Head of the Division of Infectious Disease. This individual, appointed at the Associate or Full Professor level, will lead the clinical, educational, research and other programmatic missions of the division within the Department of Medicine and will be responsible for the fiscal management of the Division.

Director, Infection Control and Prevention

The Director of Infection Prevention & Control is an administrative and clinical director who is responsible and accountable for the program development, implementation, and evaluation of the infection control program. Supports the Infection Control activities of the organization as it relates to disease transmission, and infection control initiatives for residents and employees, in collaboration with the Chief Medical Officer and the VP of Quality Management.

Director, System Infection Prevention & Control

This position is responsible for engaging and working collaboratively with key administrative leaders, patient care services leaders and staff across the organization to develop and implement infection prevention and control services.


Prior to the pandemic, telemedicine wasn’t as successful and widespread as it should have been, due in part to reimbursement issues and insufficient infrastructure within many organizations. But then COVID-19 forced both healthcare systems and regulators to find alternative ways to provide healthcare. Telemedicine has been a natural and ideal solution. As a result, there are more opportunities for physicians in telemedicine than ever before. These cover a breadth of practice areas, including urgent care, specialty care, and virtual primary care.

Examples of recent job openings:

Nocturnist Telemedicine Physician

We want you to be a part of building the company’s Telemedicine service line as we launch the first nationally-scaled, fully-resourced, hospital medicine focused telemedicine program.

Telemedicine MD or DO

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, there is an urgent need for endocrinologists who are available via phone to help patients with diabetes and multiple comorbidities.

The rise of telemedicine has brought about not just clinical telemed jobs for doctors, but also leadership jobs with telemedicine and health technology companies.

VP, Virtual Care and Engagement

The Vice President, Virtual Care and Engagement will collaborate closely with multiple stakeholders to drive the strategy, implementation, and ongoing management of our Enterprise wide Virtual Program.

With so much R&D related to COVID prevention and treatment taking place, pharma and health tech companies need insight into the market, current physician practice patterns, and perceptions of professionals practicing in the field. This means opportunities for doctors and other healthcare providers to take paid surveys from the comfort of their own home, typically for $50 to $100 honorariums per survey.

Now is a great time to sign up for market research panels, such as M3 Global Research, ZoomRx, and InCrowd.

I recently received this survey invitation in my inbox:

Subject: Please take this paid survey

We’re assisting one of our clients in researching an area in which your expertise could prove very useful. I’d like to invite you to participate in a paid, confidential, online survey.

Survey Title:  US Hospitals – COVID-19 (Survey #530953)

Anticipated time to Complete:  5 minutes

Compensation:  $50.00

Locums and temporary clinical work

Locum tenens assignments and temporary clinical positions are options for doctors who have lost (or decided to leave) their positions as a result of COVID-19. There is a need for physicians specifically to manage COVID patients as well as an increased overall need for providers due to healthcare centers re-opening and staffing changes.

Examples of recent job openings:

Physician – COVID Rapid Response

We are recruiting for a temporary contractual assignment for Physicians to join our COVID team to staff alternative care sites. We have an urgent need to staff this center in order to address this healthcare emergency. This will be a 24/7 operation with 12-hour day and evening shifts.

Urgent Care Physician

Our client in New Jersey is looking for a Physician who can provide locum tenens coverage for about 1 month beginning in August. The provider will work at three different locations for a variety of weekends and weekdays, seeing cases of Cold and Flu, Suturing and Splinting, and COVID-19 for patients of all ages.

Medical epidemiology

Public health departments have really been stretched to the max over the past several months. They have had to shift priorities, funding, and staffing to address their jurisdiction’s health needs amidst the pandemic. Many are hiring entire teams of contact tracers to limit the spread of disease and connect people with health services. With this comes the need for effective oversight and medical leadership – including positions requiring a medical degree or other advanced degree or training.

Examples of recent job openings:

Outbreak Response Epi/MD Team Lead

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is working to manage potential outbreaks at congregate living sites in order to reduce spread of COVID-19 in high risk environments. The Epi/MD Team Lead works as part of a multi-disciplinary team in these efforts. This is a temporary, grant-funded, full time, benefited position.

Medical Epidemiologist

Supports the Epidemiology Program by providing strong clinical knowledge and practices to the Epidemiology Team. Participates in planning of programs, policies or objectives for own work group and department. Assists in the development of the Clinical Epidemiology Policy. Assists in creating surveillance and monitoring systems to track communicable diseases.

Student health, workplace wellness, and mental health programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has come with a lot of stressors. Many people are facing financial stress related to losing their jobs. The inability to get out of the house and socialize has uncovered mental health concerns and relationship issues for some. The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is mentally taxing. As a result, many organizations are adding, improving, or revamping the mental health services that they offer. Universities are taking measures to safeguard students’ health. Employers are realizing the need to put their employee’s health at the forefront.

Mental health programs, workplace wellness programs, and student health centers need directors and many also need oversight by medical professionals.

Example of a recent job opening:

Medical Director – Employee Health/Wellness Clinic

The goal of this position is to improve health outcomes in employee population and to provide more access points to high quality care to both employees and patients in the community.

Health and science freelance writing

Research related to COVID-19 is taking place at a rapid pace, and our understanding of the disease is constantly evolving. There is a need to effectively educate the public about health and science topics related to COVID. Physicians looking for some income on the side might enjoy medical writing opportunities on these topics. And they can help counteract some of the false information about COVID that’s out there!

Examples of recent job openings:

Health/Science Writer

You will write for a variety of audiences, from the general public to scientific experts, about topics such as the science of COVID, advances in gene therapy and editing, stroke risk factors, and clinical research participation.

Proposal Writer, COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program

The successful Proposal Writer will have experience writing winning proposals at the federal, state, and local levels, preferably related to health care or public health fields). He or she will interview subject matter experts to develop accurate and compelling proposal content and write capabilities statements, proposals, and/or proposal sections.

Expert consulting

With so much innovation taking place as a result of the pandemic, investment and consulting firms are in need for expert insight regarding certain topics, populations, markets, and trends as they relate to COVID. Physicians wanting to earn extra income through expert consulting engagement can sign up for any of several large expert consulting panels and make a profile that highlights their expertise that is either directly or tangentially related to COVID.

Here is an example from an invitation I recently received to apply for an expert consulting engagement related to COVID:

Consulting Opportunity – Prison / Jail Care | COVID19 Impact

One of our clients, an analyst at an investment management firm, would like to speak with a Council Member who is familiar with the prison / jail care space. Specifically, our client is looking to discuss some of the following: How has COVID-19 impacted profitability across the industry and how has COVID-19 impacted outsourcing / insourcing decisions across the country.

Many nonprofits and small startups with limited funding are also working to solve problems and address unmet needs related to COVID-19. Pro bono consulting can be a great use of your time and expertise – and one to feel especially good about.

There are options for full-time and consultant physicians despite (and because of!) COVID-19

Any doctor whose work has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 has my sympathy. My hope is that the job areas listed above with bring you some optimism that there are great options for you – some of which are actually increasing in demand, despite not involving patient care in a hospital setting. Whether you’re a consultant physician looking for a side gig to compensate for a recent salary cut or you’re looking for a new full-time clinical or nonclinical job, there are a number of great options to consider.

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