Published on February 4, 2019 | Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Lookforzebras
Q:Any advice on how best to find nonclinical MD positions? Eg, online companies (like Indeed.com or Monster.com), or are there headhunters who work more in that realm? Thanks much!
A:Yes, I do have some advice! Unfortunately, there’s not a single magic clearinghouse of all the best nonclinical jobs. But there are a bunch of great resources.
To use them as effectively as possible, have a solid idea of what you’re seeking before you go looking too far. The world of nonclinical jobs for physicians is quite broad. You need to know more about what you want than just “something nonclinical.” Once you’ve done some soul-searching and initial research, you’ll be able to best identify which of the approaches below is your best bet to get started.
Online job boards
I love online job boards. To answer part of your question directly, yes – the big players of job boards like Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder are great places to look, even for doctoral-level positions. These are good sites to peruse if you’re looking for work with a well-established company in an industry other than healthcare delivery.
Physician-specific job boards are a better option if you’re interested in nonclinical work in hospital administration. PracticeLink and NEJM CareerCenter are a couple of my favorites. The former has an option to search specifically for administration positions, and the latter has a “Chiefs / Directors / Dept. Heads” category. Both of these make it easy to narrow down extensive lists of openings to the ones that are most likely to be nonclinical.
Then there are industry-specific job boards outside of healthcare. If you know what field or type of setting you want to work in, look for related websites or organizations that offer job listings. For example, BioSpace is a leader for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and AngelList is a well-known site for startup companies who are hiring. USAJobs is where you should go if you’d like to work for the federal government.
Many professional associations have job boards on their websites that are worth checking out. A few that may be of interest to physicians looking for nonclinical jobs are:
- American Medical Informatics Association for those interested in clinical informatics
- National Association of Physician Advisors for physician advising and utilization management opportunities
- Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions for medical writing
Finally, I need to put a plug in here for Look for Zebras‘ own job board, in which we post jobs for physicians that are nonclinical, remote, part-time or consulting, or otherwise unconventional. Also sign up for our email list and we’ll send you The Stampede – a weekly email digest of job opportunities.
Recruiters come in several flavors. Typically they are compensated by the employer they’re hiring for. This means you don’t need to pay them, but it also means they’re not working for you specifically. That said, though, it’s in their best interest to find excellent candidates. They want repeat business and satisfied clients. Moreover, their compensation may be a percentage of the salary for the position they fill.
Many recruiting firms list open positions on their websites. Take a look at the list to see if there are positions that jive with you. If so, you may want to get in touch to let them know you’re in the market and what you’re looking for.
Several recruiting firms in the healthcare space frequently fill nonclinical roles. A few that often have hospital administration jobs are:
Here are a couple that fill positions in other niches of interest to nonclinical physicians:
- Pipeline Consulting focuses on medical communications jobs
- TMAC Direct specializes in medical science liaison positions for pharma companies
General executive search firms are also an option for those seeking leadership positions in or out of healthcare delivery settings. Take a look at:
Word of mouth, LinkedIn, and networking
An estimated 85% of jobs are filled via networking. So don’t underestimate the value of your network in finding nonclinical jobs. Reach out to former colleagues, classmates, acquaintances or others who may be able to connect you with someone else, suggest a company to look into, or otherwise offer some insight.
If you can’t think of anyone off the top of your head, virtual networking is completely acceptable. Search on LinkedIn and grow your connections. It’s easy to see who’s associated with what companies, as well as their interests and skills.
Alumni services as your college and medical school can also be a resource – even if you graduated a long time ago. If they don’t know about specific openings of interest to you, they can at least help you network. Many of them keep detailed databases of alumni whereabouts and positions.
Lastly, reaching out to a company directly is an option if there’s a certain organization that you’d like to work for or that you know hires physicians for nonclinical careers. If you can get in touch with a current employee through your network, that’s ideal.
Some HR departments are open to hearing from potential candidates even if they don’t have job openings at the time. Check the career page on the company’s website, as they’ll sometimes include general contact information.
Some organizations will even allow candidates to submit a general application for future job openings through their online portal. For example, Oscar allows you submit an application for your “dream job.”
Best of luck in your search!