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Entries in Nonclinical Career (29)


Physicians Who Feel Relevant

I'm always surprised at the number of physicians I work with who worry about, discount, or do not see their relevance outside of clinical practice. I do, of course, recognize their relevance - the trick is to get the docs to.

For many physicians, venturing into positions of leadership, becoming a Department Chair, VP Medical Affairs or even Chief Medical Officer) is a logical step for those looking to expand their skills and take on new responsibilities that grow their career.  The physicians that pursue these roles have obvious relevance in this arena, particularly when they bring the years of relationships and their history with the hospital into the role.

But for docs actually leaving the familiarity of the hospital environment, the fear of being irrelevant seems to be a common (if not typically expressed) theme.  Many physicians worry that while they have developed very deep skills and expertise, their repertoire is relatively narrow, and this makes them fear that they lack the requisite skills to be successful in the non-clinical world.  For most, this is simply not true.

Physicians come to the table with a myriad of transferable skills, as well as a wealth of needed knowledge and expertise.  Many times organizations are hungry for what the doctors have to offer, and for the value that they provide.   

In my experience, one of the best parts of working with physicians interested in non-clinical pursuits has been accompanying these intelligent, creative and energetic professionals as they realize that they have a lot more to offer - and are more in demand - then they ever thought they would be.  

The truth of the matter is that you, as a physician, bring years worth of skills and experience that can position you to be a tremendous value to organizations that lack your unique combination of ability and expertise.  Value comes in the form of younger docs with years of disciplined schooling under their belts and a willingness to "jump in", or mid-career physicians who have enough experience to know what they didn't know in the beginning (and how to use that for the best outcome), or seasoned docs that bring decades of experience and perspective with them into their role.  

Many of the physicians I know that have transitioned completely outside of medicine into start-ups, biotechs, or pharma companies often remark that they cannot believe the organization functioned without a doc in their role.  It gives them a window into the need for physicians' skills and knowledge base outside of clinical work, and how they can impact many more lives than they would seeing patients one-by-one.

They feel validated.  And indeed, they feel relevant.


Physicians In Transition: Learning To Bounce Back

Overcoming setbacks to succeed in your career and in life

If we’ve learned anything from history, it’s that nobody goes through life unscathed—no matter how rich, how smart, how talented, or how fortunate they may be.  One way or another, we can all relate to the raw emotion that strikes people when they are knocked down. 

Perhaps you’ve been fired.  Or you’ve been side-stepped for the promotion you wanted.  Maybe you reached for a golden opportunity—and did not get the nod.  Perhaps you’ve finally made it to the top—don’t like what you see—and you want out.    

These sorts of things may be setbacks—but they are only permanent if you allow them to be.  We can let the negative overcome us—and those around us—or we can plot a course to “bounce back” to make a life transition.  

First, know that you are not the first, worst, or only.  Others have been where you are, and they’re doing just fine now.  But it took some time and effort.

Tips and Action Steps

Evaluate, come to grips with what has happened
Acknowledge the event, but don’t be limited by it.  Learn from experience.  Let your emotions run their course, and then focus on starting to bounce back with a positive attitude.  Take stock of what has happened, and be prepared to attack your transition

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Are You Stuck? Here Are FIve Ways To Help You Get Unstuck!

Instead of writing a blog post about getting stuck, I thought I would do something in the spirit of Freelance MD and create a video slideshow.

In this video I go over some common reasons you may be getting stuck and ways for you to think about getting unstuck! My intention here is to show you that you can always think outside of the box--even with the very blogs you write!

We all get stuck in our lives and it can be difficult to get unstuck at times. I hope you enjoy and leave lots of comments--my contact info at the end of the video was merely me having fun and playing with video effects.

When was the last time you felt stuck? What did you do?


Making Things Happen As A Physician In Transition

Overcoming the obstacles between dream and reality.

You’ve thought a lot about leaving clinical practice and transitioning to a non-clinical career.  You considered starting your own internet business or writing a book or investing in real estate.  You thought you had a good idea at the time.  So, what’s keeping you from making it happen?   

As a physician, you’ve probably considered many great ideas—or dreams—about your future.  But those dreams have little value, if you don’t follow through and make them a reality.

If you have encountered obstacles in executing your ideas, you are not alone.  Countless ideas with the potential to transform lives—concepts for new medical products or models for new businesses—are probably conceived and misspent in the hands of talented physicians every day.  The ideas that move people forward are not the result of tremendous creative insight—or inspiration—but rather of masterful planning and management.

Successful entrepreneurs tell us that ideas don’t just happen by accident—or because they are great.  Whether you have a solution for an everyday problem or a bold new concept, you must transform your vision into reality.  Far from being some stroke of creative genius, this capacity to make ideas happen can be learned and developed by anyone. 

Success depends on making things happen

Whether you are in clinical practice or in industry, success depends on developing and executing new ideas.  You may come up with creative solutions to medical problems every

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Doctors Underestimate Their Options

Most of us who studied medicine went into medical school thinking that they were going into the coolest profession that was ever invented. It’s exciting, it’s intellectually stimulating, it’s well respected, it’s well paid etc. etc.

Many of us started to work as physicians after medschool and realized that there were parts to our work that we did not like that much: the long hours, death, grief, paperwork, administrators, bad pay (but everyone told us that doctors were rich?).

Some of us did not get over these undesirable aspects of the physician life, they are unhappy with what they are doing but unable to quit….after all, this is supposed to be the coolest profession (remember?). Plus, what would my friends, parents, grandparents, …. (fill in blank) think of me?

Very few of us jump in at the deep end and either don’t start to work in medicine or quit this highly respected profession to do whatever feels best to them. Many of those who are stuck, who don’t dare to exit think that there is really nothing else they can do. Think twice. You are highly educated, smart, creative, eloquent, analytical. Otherwise you would have never made it into medical school.

There are tons of jobs out there waiting for you: be it as a medical writer, entrepreneur, public health expert, medical advisor to the industry, teacher, speaker, blogger, coach, psychotherapist, angel investor etc. etc. etc. If you are one of those people who think that you are not creative enough to come up with alternatives to your current job, this video is for you.


Doctor, Do You Have The Right Attitude?

Do you feel like you have nothing to show for the efforts you’ve put into your career change?

It’s easy to feel frustrated and lose motivation when nothing seems to be coming from all the work you put into things like Linked In, calling recruiters, revising your resume or networking.   

There are two possible reasons why things might not be working for you.  Maybe you are doing the right things but you lack a solid strategy.  Or perhaps you are doing everything right – but your attitude isn’t right.

I want to talk about the second scenario.
 First, let me explain what I mean by “attitude.” When you look at the people who successfully transition despite their own personal obstacles or any external obstacles (like a bad economy), the thing they typically have in common is an upbeat outlook.  They are engaged in their own personal success and motivated to move forward despite continued rejections or dead ends.  They are also serious about not projecting desperation. 

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Find Out What You Love As A Physician

Freelance MD is about finding out what you love as a physician outside of clinical practice, and then going there.

Here's what Steve Jobs had to say about it where you should be.

You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.... Don't settle...

...Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs - Commencement address, Stanford University, June 12, 2005

If you feel that you're not following the path that you want, it is possible to cut a new path and find the career and lifestyle that you want. But you have to start.

If you're looking to understand your options outside of clinical practice and get some personal face-time with others who are where you want to be, come to Medical Fusion. Not only will you get a fantasitc understanding or what's available out there, but you'll have mucho face-to-face access to every speaker (and other attendees) during breaks and accellerator sessions. (Take a look at who's speaking at Medical Fusion.) I hope to see you there.

The Medical Fusion Conference - November 11-13, Las Vegas

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