Many doctors dream of leaving clinical medicine. In fact, a number of high profile surveys report that as many as 50% of physicians would chose to work in a non-clinical job if they could
Many doctors dream of leaving clinical medicine. In fact, a number of high profile surveys report that as many as 50% of physicians would chose to work in a non-clinical job if they could. Doctors need to know the facts about non-clinical work in order to really make an apples-to-apples comparison between clinical jobs and non-clinical jobs. Here are some facts about the differences between clinical jobs and non-clinical jobs for doctors.
There are Many Non-Clinical Jobs Available for Doctors
While the government and organizations such as the World Health Organization frequently release statistics regarding the number of physicians needed for a given population, such numbers are not available for non-clinical positions.
It is certainly much easier to calculate how many doctors are needed to care for the health of 50,000 people or 100,000 people than it is to determine how many physician reviewers companies need. It is even possible to estimate how many obstetricians, pediatricians, hematologists and pathologists are needed to provide health care for a given number of people in a particular region.
But there are no comparable estimates of how many medical directors or physician biotechnology researchers are needed. It would be virtually impossible for any organization to produce these numbers. There are, indeed, numerous non-clinical positions for physicians at every level and throughout the country, but, nevertheless, the demand for physicians in clinical roles far exceeds the demand for physicians in non-clinical roles.
Non-Clinical Jobs are Not Easy to Find
While there are a number of non-clinical positions for doctors, these positions are not easy to find. That is because these jobs span a number of industries in the health care sphere. Recruiters who look to fill non-clinical positions may also consider non-physician candidates to fill those positions. Therefore, although these job openings exist, you might not see a suitable job posted on a regular physician-focused job board.
There are a few emerging resources designed specifically for physicians who are looking for non-clinical work, including nonclinicaldoctors.com and drop out club.
It Takes a Focused Effort to Land a Non-Clinical Job
Non-traditional positions for doctors require a very polished application process. Almost every recruiter I have spoken to has told me that he or she receives numerous job applications from physicians that appear to have been prepared in a few minutes with little or no knowledge of the job, the company or the industry.
It takes some time to understand the company and job that you are applying for and to construct a cover letter that reflects genuine interest and relevant skills. But that time is well worth it. An applicant who truly seems ready to dive in and learn about what the job entails is far more likely to receive an interview than an applicant who simply sent a generic letter lacking genuine interest.
Income and Work Hours of Non-Clinical Medical Jobs is Comparable to Income and Hours of Clinical Medical Jobs
The salary of a full time non-clinical job is about equal to the salary of a clinical physician job. Most non-clinical jobs do require a full time schedule, along with possible travel time that may take you away from home for a few days at a time. Doctors who work in a full time non-clinical capacity describe their work as challenging and busy, to an extent that is similar to that of clinical work.
There is Less Job Security in Non-Clinical Work
Non-clinical jobs are far less secure than clinical jobs. While more and more physicians have had to deal with contract termination than ever before in the clinical world, this is extremely common in the non-clinical sphere.
Finding another non-clinical job after a termination is challenging and requires more footwork than finding a clinical job after termination. However, the experience, skills and familiarity with the process of finding a non-clinical job tend to make finding a job more successful and faster with each successive position.
A Lifetime of Learning
Regardless of what you choose to do, success in a clinical career or a non-clinical career path requires the ability to embrace change rather than running away from it. It can be difficult to face new workplace rules, regulations and procedures that are thrust upon you, and it is certainly worth your while to make the effort to change those rules that you believe to be unproductive.
Yet, fear of learning how to adjust to new developments should never be the driving force behind your approach to challenges and changes in the workplace. Becoming successful means mastering skills as well as adapting to master new skills as they emerge and become a part of your environment.