Tips for Residents Contemplating New Directions
Residents who are contemplating taking a
non-clinical pathway are unique among physicians in their soul
searching. Certainly the
stress and fatigue of training would make anyone want to bail.
Add to that the angst at watching their college buddies well en
route with corporate, banking, consulting, government and non-profit
difficult to have perspective, so here are thoughts to consider after
you’ve had some rest:
practice experience beyond residency will give you valuable insights
into the business, culture and challenges of medical practice.
If you’ve had at least four years of clinical practice beyond
residency, you will have a specific “value-add” as an
“experienced physician” because of these insights.
Without clinical experience, you will not be a candidate for
some positions, particularly in medical management.
Furthermore, your clinical practice experience will give you
credibility with clinician clients if you do end up representing a
medical supplier/vendor some day. The clinical experience could well
be as general practitioner---even if you have trained as a
said that, there are many possibilities for a non-clinical career
path if you are willing to start at a junior level, e.g. with
consulting firms, technology firms--assuming you have other skills
to offer. Your
knowledge of medicine will still be an asset.
More importantly, any work experience prior to residency such
as research, clinical trials, project leadership, informatics or
non-profit board participation, will enhance your ability to find
you are quite certain about pursuing a non-clinical career and you
are well under the age of 40, consider an MBA program and following a traditional career route like your non-physician
friends. Leverage any business experience you have had during
medical school and residency, such as committee participation and
leadership positions to enhance your resume. Learn more about
industries and companies that suit your passions and interest. Your MD degree may be a pit stop on the road of
self-discovery, rather than your ticket to fulfillment.
It will have been valuable experience nonetheless.
R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach
for Healthcare Leaders firstname.lastname@example.org,