I get a very interesting group of physicians who contact me on my blog. Some are burnt out or have been fucked over by their medical group. Many are looking for easier ways to earn an income. Some are looking for ways to earn more money.
It’s easy to tell the difference between the self-motivated person and someone who is looking for hand-holding. It doesn’t necessarily mean that either polarity has a lower chance at success – it’s just a difference in personalities.
Physicians who earn the majority of their income through clinical work are commonly burnt out. Some are able to keep pushing through while others can’t hide the symptoms of burnout. It’s less likely for the happy clinician to seek alternative physician jobs and by the time they find themselves feeling burnt out, it’s a desperate search to get out.
The reason I share such alternate career posts with my colleagues is so that you know all the options out there. Even if a certain career redirection may not be the right fit for you now, it might save your sanity in the future.
I hope that if nothing else you share such resources with your colleagues.
Let’s discuss clinical jobs specifically for a Family Medicine trained physician in the US. Most such opportunities are discovered through word of mouth or heavy recruiter marketing.
Few residents have all the necessary facts and relevant experiences to choose the ideal clinical role after completing training.
Most physicians have a loyalty mentality to their medical school, residency, and will eventually develop the same for their future employer. Unfortunately, employers bank on this and know just what to say to keep physicians in clinical roles well past their burnout phase.
Alternative Career Jobs For Physicians
There are numerous posts on my blog dedicated to discussing various non-clinical options for physicians. I gravitate towards these potential opportunities because traditional medicine let me down – or perhaps my expectations were unrealistic.
However, I also like to practice just enough clinical medicine to keep up my skills and get my fix. But the income from such anemic work isn’t enough to pay for the hookers and blow which is why alternative career options are a plus.
Internet Search Words
If you’re doing an online search for jobs then consider the following search terms to get you in the right direction. After that you’ll gain a much better understanding of the various options out there:
- Medical Advisor (Adviser)
- Physician Advisor
- Physician Advisory
- Physician Expert
- Medical Expert
- Medical Case Reviewer
- Medical (Physician) Consultant
- Medical Appeals Author
This post could become another one of my behemoth posts if I talk about all the various alternative career options for a physician. Instead I want to focus on the bigger picture first before diving into a physician advisor role.
The Potential Employers
When you think about alternative career options for yourself, especially in the medical field, consider who might be looking for your expertise. In this case probably:
- a medical group
- a health insurer
- medical startups
- a pharmaceutical company
- a medical device company
- an electronic medical records group
- a medical health information website
- a medical research company
- groups which consult for medical groups (healthcare consultants)
- medical group auditors
- healthcare lawyers
A simple example might be Utilization Management. This is a service that is either in-house or farmed out to an external group in order to determine if the medical group spending is in-line with current medical standards.
In order to offer your services as a physician to such groups you would benefit from knowing what UM is. You can join a UM group, attend some conferences, pass a certificate course, and start blogging about it on a website to demonstrate your abilities and knowledge.
Physician Advisor Jobs
Here is a listing of a physician advisor job which I recently came across:
Reading this you might think that you don’t have independent knowledge of the responsibilities which are laid out. That’s not true. You wouldn’t be expected to jump into such a role without any training or support and the rest you already possess as a physician.
Here is another one:
How To Look
How to look is more important than where to look. “How” refers to understanding the physician advisor marketplace.
- What is it that employers look for?
- What kind of companies look for physician advisors?
- What does the work entail (responsibilities)?
- What’s the compensation?
- Are they remote or fixed-location jobs?
You need to learn the lingo that companies use to post these jobs. If they say ‘medical case reviewer’ but all the jobs are for RN’s then you’ll soon revise your search to ‘physician case reviewer’ or ‘case reviewer, physician’.
Where to Look
Also search the entire internet and not just specific websites. After a few internet searches you’ll realize which websites are best for these kinds of jobs. Most will allow you to also create job search notifications which will save you a lot of time.
Building Your Resume
This blog is my resume.
I can and have used it to become a medical editor for a magazine or I can use it to become a financial adviser for physicians.
Of course, I also have several different resumes depending on the job I’m applying for because I aim to highlight a particular experience and downplay another depending on the gig.
A cover letter is also highly advisable. There has only been 1 job which I applied for and didn’t get in my entire working history. Which maybe means that I haven’t pushed myself enough.
It shouldn’t be hard for you to come up with ways of being a physician advisor for free in order to build up your resume. If you cannot give your information away even for free then you have some work to do.
Physician Advisor Income Potential
This kind of job won’t make you rich but it will help you diversify your income streams. Diversification of income is a much more important factor for a highly specialized group such as physicians.
There are 2 payment models:
- paid per hour
- percentage of cost savings
If you decide to become an employee then you will likely be paid by the hour. The rates are somewhere in the $60-$150/hr range. Your level of expertise and the complexity of the work will determine your hourly wage.
If you are an orthopedist or oncologist then you might get much higher hourly rates but then the income opportunities might become scarcer as well.
In the second model you are paid a percentage of what you’ll save a company. Think of it as a productivity incentive. This is a harder gig to find as a physician advisor. If you are employed by a large independent group and you excel then it’s likely that you’ll be graduated to this income model in the future.
Here is one final sample listing to give you an idea of the various skills which are required and the tasks expected of you: