Medicine has turned corporate and few viable private medical offices are operating. Corporate healthcare isn’t a lot of fun but you can use your corporate job to build your medical resume in order to have future career options.
A corporate healthcare professional is someone who has worked for a large medical group as an employee – as a physician, dentist, pharmacist, NP, or PA. Often times our supervisors are non-healthcare professionals and we are expected to focus more on numbers and less on the patients.
This makes corporate medicine a tough career option to pursue long-term. In this post I will discuss how to use your own time and your medical group’s resources to build the kind of resume which allows you all sorts of future career options.
Changing Career Focus
As a healthcare profession you can be on the ground delivering health care or you can be orchestrating it in a leadership role. You can also be on the innovation side, improving upon medical services and products or reinventing systems.
The point of this blog is to get healthcare professionals to achieve financial independence early on in their careers so that they can have freedom of time. This allows you to pursue whatever you want in the future – whether retirement, part-time work, a whole different career, or simply to practice medicine the way you want.
This flexibility is possible because you have less to risk as a financially independent medical professional. It’s much harder to risk a career change if you have a lot of debt or haven’t gotten your black belt in budgeting.
It’s one thing to be able to afford a career shift or a career change, it’s another to have the right kind of resume which affords you such an opportunity.
Future Career Options
To get a job in corporate medicine all you need is a medical degree and a pulse. With large medical corporations buying up all the private offices, they have no choice but to hire us.
In order to get more desirable niche jobs it’s helpful to have a colorful resume. The best time to build this resume is when you are still working full-time.
There are so many different things we can do as healthcare professionals. I have created the list below but I’m sure there is a lot more that I haven’t even come across:
- modifying current technology
- management (medical director, CMO, CEO)
- project management
- inventing medical devices
- teaching as a professor
- consulting for a medical device company
- working in the pharmaceutical industry
- lobbying for medical sectors
If you are working full-time for a large medical group right now then you may not be aware of these requirements for a potential future job. It’s not until you leave your current job when you’ll realize what resume items are sought after.
The point of this post is to start on building your resume now when you don’t have a need or urgent desire for those more favorable future career options.
Milking Your Corporate Job
If you are a pharmacist working for CVS or a physician working for the Mayo Clinic then you have access to top-notch career advancement training.
There are numerous free courses that these companies have developed to train their employees in hopes of advancing them.
Many jobs, such as Kaiser Permanente, will pay their employees to pursue other degrees. If you want to get an MBA then you can do it online or in person on your company’s dime.
MBA is a popular one but so is a JD or MPH. Consider Health Informatics as well.
Hiring, onboarding, and retaining a healthcare profession is an expensive process. By offering internal career advancement training, medical groups can hire from within and save a lot of money.
These leadership trainings are designed by 3rd party vendors and incorporated into the corporate structure. They are offered to interested employees for free.
If your medical group doesn’t offer anything formal then you can submit a proposal to either create that leadership course or you can request admin time which is often reimbursed time that you spend away from direct clinical work.
Maybe 10-20% of your salary will come from your admin time and that’s the time you’ll spend over the next few years getting your MBA or JD. The value proposition is that your medical group would stand to profit from your newly acquired skills.
Perhaps you are interested in a new surgical technique that’s done by only one person in another state. You can use this admin leave to obtain this skill, place it on your resume, and bring it to your current medical group.
Doing it for Free
2 years ago my NP friend asked me how to get an admin position in her medical group which is MD/DO dominated. She was interested in recruitment/retention of new hires. So we sat down and came up with a plan for her to do this for free in hopes of it taking off and for her to be compensated for it in the future.
She has been doing it free for the past 2 years and she informed me this week that it has been so successful that she will now be paid admin time to continue doing this. She’ll even get her own admin assistant for this.
Whatever you think your medical group will benefit from, try to implement it for free. Anything you do for free which has true value will eventually be remunerated by someone.
Diversity is more important on your resume than mastery. Unless you have a deep passion for something specific – such as becoming the next CEO for a hospital group – it’s best to get exposure to the following things:
- hiring/firing employees
- project management
- contract negotiations
- dealing with budgets
- implementing strategies
- quality assurance
These items are the most sought after skills that a healthcare professional can posses with which they can choose among a plethora of job titles when pursuing future career options.
These terms might sound inflated but it’s not hard to gain exposure to such things whether directly or indirectly.
One of the best things about having a colorful resume is that you’ll stand out. Most healthcare professions with your degree will likely have nothing more than some moonlighting and traditional employment experience.
Marketability allows you to get the better jobs which pay more and have more flexible hours. These will also be jobs that are more interesting.
Example: If your medical group is looking to build its own surgical center and looking for a physician to lead it then they will likely look favorably upon your resume if you have had some experience dealing with JCAHO.
My buddy Dr. O has a 9-page resume. He is an Obstetrician with a ton of experience. He has consulted for various groups and medical device companies and he has published a ton of articles. He has taught in medical schools and residencies and he’s only 50.
He never worries about changing jobs. He knows that he is incredibly marketable. If his current job isn’t satisfying him then he is bold about asking to move into a different position and if he’s not given that opportunity then he readily moves on to another job.
Getting Laid Off
As healthcare professionals we aren’t affected the same way by layoffs as other industries. But problems still occur even in our professions where we need to leave a toxic work environment or have to resign due to lawsuits, investigations, or burnout.
A healthy resume will ensure that we don’t fall into another shitty gig. It will allow us to get the top career choice.
Indirect Resume Building
You don’t have to necessarily take on more responsibilities at your current job to gain the experience you need to pad your resume. You can do it on your own terms.
Blog About It
Start a blog and start writing about how to get a DM2 patient off insulin. Then reach out to diabetics on Reddit and see if you can find a person who is willing to be your guinea pig. Have this person try your methodology with their physician and record the process.
Review all the latest articles and dissect the research. Talk about the integrative or holistic approach which others have used. Remember that you are no longer limited to publishing research on JAMA – the internet has changed that and your own website can be your own publication platform.
Pick your audience. You can blog for other healthcare professionals, for professional students, for other researchers, or for patients.
Talk About It
Call up your local pharmacy school or dietician school and offer to give lectures on how to manage medications or diets in order to achieve A1C control without insulin.
Outside of professional schools you can put on free seminars through your local library. They will offer you the space to do it and will provide you with free marketing.
There is always another person somewhere out there who is doing something similar. Find that person and see where they need help with their project – what can you do for them that they can’t do?
Perhaps they are great at doing the research but they are a little aspy and need someone else who can properly deliver the knowledge to the end-consumer.
Write A Book
There are a lot of shitty books out there but the majority of books are really fucking solid. There is something about the process of writing a book, realizing that your name is gonna be on that it forever which forces a person to do their homework.
So publish a book on the topic you are interested in – you are now officially an expert on that topic.
How do you publish it? Ask your librarian or bookstore attendant and \ you will get several leads on local private publishers who will help you get your book to the market.
Like my OB/Gyn buddy, you may not be a monogamous career person. You may want to jump from job to job, staying long enough to see a project get off the ground.
This can be quite interesting and definitely a viable option. Startups consume a lot of such career nomads during the early stages of getting their company off the ground.