By James J. Mangraviti, Jr. 

Introduction: How to Find Non-Clinical Jobs 

Many physicians may be interested in transitioning to a non-clinical career.  The question then arises as to how to find non-clinical jobs.  We have had many hundreds of physicians who have successfully transitioned to non-clinical work present for us over the years at our annual Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference.  The most common and effective techniques these physicians have used to find non-clinical jobs are outlined below.   

How to Find Non-Clinical Jobs for Physicians: Nine Techniques 

Networking – Networking is unquestionably the most important and effective way to find non-clinical jobs for physicians.  You ultimately want to talk to people at non-clinical employers to find out about open positions and hopefully have them help you avoid human resources and put your resume in front of the decision maker.  LinkedIn is a tremendous resource to assist with your networking.  Also helpful are contacts that you may have of former colleagues who have already transitioned, connections of friends and family, patients, and your various alumni associations.  As an example of easy and effective networking one of our recent speakers actually found their job in Health Insurance by asking for help from a medical director from that company who was conducting a peer-to-peer call with the doctor.  The doctor asked the medical director how he got into working for an insurance company and if he could help the doctor transition. 

Non-Clinical Professional Associations – Many, if not most areas that physicians traditionally transition to for non-clinical work have their own professional societies. These professional societies can therefore be a good place to find non-clinical jobs. Their meetings can be great for networking and their web sites often feature job boards.  An example of a professional association for doctors working in a non-clinical field is the American Academy of Insurance Medicine.  The American Academy of Insurance Medicine is for doctors working in the life insurance industry. 

Online Job Postings – You can find non-clinical jobs for physicians on online sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn.  I just ran a test search on LinkedIn for “medical director” jobs in the pharma and device industry and there were over 600 postings.  You can also go directly to the websites of employers and many professional associations.  A good resource for job posting leads is SEAK’s free white paper on 500+ links to non-clinical job boards, employers, and recruiters. 

Contract, Part-Time Work – Often times physicians find non-clinical jobs by doing contract or part time work first. An example of this is someone who does freelance medical writing and then decides to become a full-time medical writer.  Another example is a doctor who performs contract utilization review who then decides to go work full-time as a utilization review medical director.  Contract work helps the doctor determine if they like the work involved and also helps build their resume.  Contract work can also help one develop important networking contacts. 

Recruiters – Many companies who employ large numbers of physicians have inhouse recruiters that they use to obtain talent.  At SEAK’s annual Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference we have recruiters attend each year and they often end up hiring a good number of our attendees for part-time and full-time work.  Once you identify a target company you may be able to determine and contact their physician recruiters through LinkedIn. So recruiters can be a good way to find non-clinical jobs. 

Become a Subject Manner Expert in An Area – Becoming a subject matter expert can be a great way to find non-clinical jobs.   When this happens, employers often come to you and recruit you to positions.  For example, my wife’s migraine doctor was a thought leader in treating migraines. He was recruited into industry to help work on the large number of migraine drugs hitting the market.  We also had a speaker whose blogging about EHR made him a thought leader.  He was recruited to work for a major EHR vendor. 

Go Back to School –  Going back to school can certainly help find non-clinical jobs, but it can be expensive and time consuming.  If you are interested in a career change you will want to think long and hard about what you are studying and where you are studying it. There is a big difference in careers prospects for someone attending a top-tier MBA or JD program which employers like McKinsey and Skadden Arps recruit from and less prestigious programs. Graduating from a top professional grad program can open a lot of highly-lucrative doors. 

Create Your Own – Many physicians decide to do their own thing and open their own business or consulting firm.  For example, countless of our alumni have become physician coaches.  Others start real estate businesses, tech companies, consulting practices, even restaurants.  So don’t be afraid to bet on yourself and create your own future. 

Have an Escape Plan – Some doctors have the good fortune of a job basically falling on their lap.  They are asked to be a medical director at their hospital, accept a teaching position, move into industry, work for an insurer, etc.  If you want to be able to seize such an opportunity (which may only happen once) you need to be in a position where you can leave your clinical practice in a reasonable amount of time.  You would want to be careful about signing clinical employment contracts which require extended notice periods before you can quit.  An employer looking to hire you may not want to wait that long. 

Conclusion: How to Find Non-Clinical Jobs 

The above are the proven ways physicians find non-clinical jobs.  As a first step, however, it is best to find out exactly which type of non-clinical career would be the best fit for you.  Once that is decided, you will want to devote time every week to your transition to make it happen. Making it happen requires work.  The harder you work at your transition and the more seriously you take the process, the more successful your quest to find non-clinical jobs will be. 

James J. Mangraviti, Jr. is the co-founder of SEAK, Inc.’s annual Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference, held each year in Chicago.  SEAK’s Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference features a faculty of dozens of physicians who have experience in non-clinical and alternative careers.  Many of our faculty are SEAK alumni.  SEAK’s Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians conference also includes free 1-1 peer mentoring, the opportunity to interview with employers and recruiters, and a robust networking experience.  Jim can be reached at 508-457-1111 or