The Society of Physicians with Non-Clinical Careers (SPNCC)

An online portal for physicians interested in non-clinical careers

Join the Society of Physicians with Non-Clinical Careers (SPNCC) and learn about non-clinical jobs, careers, and opportunities.



Business clubs for medical students

Given that so many US medical schools offer MD/MBA dual degree programs, you might think that these schools may also have very active clubs for students who have a strong interest in business. I can't find a comprehensive list for students, but that's why we have Google. Here are just a few examples of what these business clubs are called:

According to its website, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has a Business of Healthcare student organization. I wonder if the club also includes students from nursing, pharmacy, and other health professions. Medicine is a team sport, so it would make a lot of sense to include them.

The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine,the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Northwestern University School of Medicine list their Business in Medicine clubs on their websites. I'm sure many other schools use Business in Medicine (BIM) as the name of their club.

The University of Toledo College of Medicine calls their group the Business of Medicine Organization.

At the NYU School of Medicine, the student club is called the Business and Economics In Medicine.

As Temple University, you may run into students who are involved in the Medical Entrepreneurship, Design, and Innovation Collaborative

The Florida State University College of Medicine has the right idea with BAM: Business and Medicine

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has a Business of Medicine Interest Group for students.

At the Georgetown School of Medicine, don't miss the BLIMP (Business & Leadership in Medical Practice).

My favorite student club is the Medicine & Business Association (M&BA) at the Boston University College of Medicine. Don't confuse that with MBA.

If your medical school doesn't have an organization to support students who also have an interest in business, consider starting one. After all, it's easy to start a student group. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine even has a Game of Thrones Society.

Create your own career transition story

We all know that a major career transition can feel daunting.

It's one thing if you have 3+ years to plan the transition, map out your different options, and have a robust roadmap along with a GPS. As long as you have plenty of gas and good tires on your vehicle, you'll eventually reach your destination. You may encounter a few unexpected detours, but you know where you're going and you know how you'll get there.

Unfortunately, some people find themselves needing to accelerate the process and they start their journey without a map or without a GPS. In many cases, they don't even know where they're trying to go. Are they driving to Boston, Dallas, or Chicago?

I'd like to offer one suggestion for any physician who is contemplating a major career transition: Be sure to expand your social network and surround yourself with people who can properly guide you.

I realize that one problem with my suggestion is that you're likely to encounter many different opinions from different people who have had different experiences. That's expected, but it can also lead to some confusion. Ultimately, you may need to perform your own little meta-analysis of all the advice that you receive. To review, a meta-analysis is:
A subset of systematic reviews; a method for systematically combining pertinent qualitative and quantitative study data from several selected studies to develop a single conclusion that has greater statistical power. This conclusion is statistically stronger than the analysis of any single study, due to increased numbers of subjects, greater diversity among subjects, or accumulated effects and results.
Every career transition story is unique and represents an anecdotal study (that includes qualitative and quantitative data). There may be some common themes and elements, but there are many different and creative ways to develop your career transition story.

Finally - remember that if you're planning a career into the full-time business world, it's always possible to pivot into different industries. An anesthesiologist can't easily pivot into a career as a psychiatrist. However, a physician who enters the pharmaceutical industry may later pivot and go into health policy or health information technology. Expand your set of transferable skills so that you can be a valuable contributor across different industries.

Management and Leadership Pathway at Duke

Duke University offers a unique Management and Leadership Pathway for Residents (MLPR). This program provides future leaders with the knowledge and skills essential to bridge clinical practice and management and become effective physician executives.

The MLPR is a 15- to 18-month rotational experience that allows trainees to work on high-priority initiatives across the Duke University Health System and the School of Medicine. MLPR trainees study across multiple disciplines, including health-system management and operations; financial management and planning; quality improvement and safety; informatics; technology transfer; global strategy and business development; research enterprise management; clinical service enterprise management; and supply chain management.

You can learn more about this interesting program here.

Most applicants apply in December/January of their internship year.

Interested trainees should have a graduate degree in management (e.g. MBA, MHA, etc.) or a minimum of two years management/administrative experience.

Seems like a great opportunity for graduates of an MD/MBA program.

Modern Healthcare's inaugural Leadership Symposium

If you missed the Modern Healthcare's inaugural Leadership Symposium (which was by invitation only), you can capture some of the key highlights from the recent meeting. Those in attendance spent time discussing issues such as:
  • The future of healthcare policy under the Trump administration
  • The evolution of value-based healthcare models
  • The concept of turning Medicaid into block grants for states
  • The market forces that will impact drug pricing
  • Innovations driving towards the triple aim
  • Competition vs. collaboration in healthcare
  • Fitting the pieces of a complex puzzle: clinical integration 
Stay tuned on these topics as we prepare to enter the new year. 2017 will be full of changes and ongoing discussions as the landscape of healthcare reform enters a new chapter.

Navigating a career transition

Many physicians who plan a major career transition end up being successful. It may take them some time, depending on their experience, their specialty, and their geographic location. In many ways, a career transition is similar to a driving experience. If you have a map, you'll get there fairly effectively (as long as you know how to read the map and know how to find your location on the map). Using a GPS is probably more efficient and requires less effort. Plus, a GPS will automatically redirect you when you veer off the course, so you end up wasting less time.

Travel Time

Navigating a career transition is like going on any type of journey. Are you familiar with the landscape and do you plan to use a map to make sure you reach your location? Or will you invest in a GPS that can get you there as quickly and as efficiently as possible?

Career transition navigators are coaches or counselors who can guide people and also predict how long a career transition may take. A drive from Dallas to Houston may take 3.5 hrs on an average day, but if you hit traffic or end up taking many detours, then you may be in the car for 5+ hrs. Similarly, a career transition may take 1-2 months or may require 6+ months of planning for some individuals.

Your Destination

The other key component of navigating a career transition is to understand all your options as you plan your destination. If you're planning a drive to California, do you plan to visit LA? San Francisco? Yosemite? The beach? Using a map or a GPS, you can know that it may take 1 hr to drive to San Francisco or 6 hrs to drive to Los Angeles. There are so many different types of destinations for physicians who wish to transition to a new career. Identify realistic destinations and understand what they truly have to offer. Then you can start mapping out your journey.

Traffic and Delays

In general, major roads experience traffic during weekday rush hour. However, an occasional accident can jam major freeways on the weekends. Also, construction may occur at night when traffic is lighter. It's important to anticipate that you may hit some traffic in your career transition journey, especially if you're departing near rush hour. There are many physicians who are planning their departures from clinical medicine because they are burning out, they don't want to deal with the administrative paperwork (electronic records), or they are nearing retirement but they still want to maintain a certain level of productivity.

Use a GPS

If you plan to venture into uncharted territory, be sure to use a GPS. A GPS can reduce delays, minimize frustrations, and ensure that you'll successfully reach your destination. A GPS will also provide you with real-time feedback telling you how soon you can expect to reach your destination. Similarly, a career navigator will be able to give you feedback regarding your progression toward your destination. If you experience detours or delays, you'll know how to navigate around them so that you can plan your life accordingly.

Crowdsourcing Information

There's a reason why Google purchased the social GPS mobile app called Waze for $1.3 billion back in 2013. When you have a critical mass of users who are willing to share information about real-time traffic and accidents. Imagine if you could tap into that type of resource as you plan your career transition journey. If you had multiple navigators who could see your progress and provide input, then this type of crowdsourced feedback could be much more accurate than a single resource.

Coming Soon

Stay tuned to hear more as these ideas come together. We are planning to offer a "next generation" career transition navigation service for physicians interested in pursuing a change that aligns with their personal and professional goals.


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