I’m starting the new year off with a bang here at L4Z by bringing you a marathon series of profiles for non-clinical careers for physicians and other medical professionals. We’ll post a new one every Monday, at least through mid-May. There will be links to all of them here, as well as elsewhere on the website.
Career transitions from clinical medicine to non-clinical work are of interest to doctors feeling burned out or simply wanting a change in work tasks, schedule, or mental stimulation. Careers focusing on non-clinical medicine or incorporating some aspect of non-clinical work are growing in popularity among new and early-career physicians. There are a few reasons for this, including diminishing returns for clinical jobs and the ever-increasing rules and regulations that govern clinical work. But the reason that I feel trumps all the others is a mounting emphasis among young professionals and students on the importance of maintaining balance in life and cultivating a career that aligns with our ideal life, rather than allowing our jobs to dictate what our lives look like.
Look for Zebras is by no means solely about non-clinical jobs, but it’s definitely a common theme. Our mission is to help medical professionals lead happy, fulfilling careers. And the truth is that a job or a side hustle outside of traditional medical practice often allows for that deep satisfaction.
What you can expect from a non-clinical career profile
Each profile provides:
- An overview of the field or career type
- A description of job responsibilities
- Information about the typical work schedule and working environment
- A list of required skills and training
- Examples of job titles for physicians in the field
- Types of organizations that hire physicians
- Questions to ask yourself to decide if the field is a good fit for you
The challenge in writing a brief overview of any general area in non-clinical medicine is that the factors listed above tend to vary from company to company and role to role. One organization may hire medical directors with 5 years of experience, while another company may require 8 or 10 years of experience for a position with some overlap in duties. A physician advisor in one corporation may have a very different set of responsibilities that someone with the same title working somewhere else.
I did my best to summarize broad fields into a set of easy ~5-minute reads. Be aware that not every career will match these profiles exactly.
Types of non-clinical careers for physicians
Post topics for the upcoming weeks:
- Governmental and Public Policy
- Public Health and Population Medicine
- Global Health and the Not-for-Profit Sector
- Utilization Management and Managed Care
- Healthcare Administration
- Medical-legal Consulting
- Financial Consulting
- Business Consulting and Management Consulting
- Speaking and Coaching
- Health and Medical Education
- Medical Journalism
- Medical Illustration and Design
- Medical Communications
- Scientific and Regulatory Writing
- Clinical Trials and Drug Development
- Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance
- Medical Device Industry
- Clinical Informatics
- Biotech Startups
Are there others that you want to learn about? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to write on topics that you’re interested in!
How to use this information about non-clinical jobs
Like I alluded to above, these are overviews of expansive career areas. I wish they could include all the nitty gritty details that you need to make a career adjustment or pick your next dream job. But they can’t. So use them as a jumping-off point. Find something that interests you and use it to start a deeper exploration, pinpoint industry experts to meet, or look for your next freelancing gig. If the information you read leads to more questions than you started off with, definitely write me a question in the Make it Black and White section.