A Career in Health Management: Serving Your Way to Open Doors Part II

Your transition may have already begun, you just don’t know it yet. Dr. Ramon Varghese’s transition began even while in Sabah doing administrative duties such as managing budgets, rostering ambulance drivers, looking after certain hospital units etc. He did this while still on ward duty, handling casualties and more. The very task that is assigned to you might reveal your strengths and propel you forward in your career.

Prepare yourself for the transition ahead. Despite the circumstances surrounding where you’re placed in clinical service, make every attempt to build yourself up at that place. At the same time, doctors who wish to transition must set their sights on the profession that they’re passionate about and gravitate towards that career goal. If a doctor is interested in business than he or she ought to upskill and reskill him/herself in the field of business. It’s crucial then to know about PnL (proft and loss) and the business of medicine or finance etc.

Every journey begins with a single step. Things don’t happen overnight. Even so, keep being the best where you’re at while looking out for opportunities.

When doing his best at CKAPS, opportunities presented themselves to Dr. Ramon for career possibilities. CKAPS as it turned out, was a good place to network with the private sector.

Have realistic expectations when making a career transition. When transitioning to a field such as the pharmaceutical industry, don’t expect your colleagues to address you as “doctor” or expect to be paid higher than a person who’s been with the industry for 7 years or more. These are unrealistic expectations. Wishing for a good salary and a 40-hour work week as soon as you begin your career is another unrealistic expectation. It is advisable to be humble and be willing to start at the bottom of the rung in a new field.

Don’t make emotional decisions and throw away the years of your life because of an extenuating circumstance. It is wise to ride the waves of life, complete your Housemanship and the MOship , get your Annual Practising Certificate (APC) while at the same time setting your sights on a career that you’ve been interested in. That way, whether your dream works out or not, you’ll have a medical career to fall back on.

Know where your strengths lie. Despite the different job offers from private medical entities, Dr. Ramon chose the Qualitas offer which wasn’t the position with the highest pay but one that felt right for him. The highest paying job may not necessarily allow for the honing of your talents and strengths.

Dr. Ramon has experience in health management and he understands doctors well. The doctors who report to him are people just like him and they speak the same “language”. The Qualitas position was a perfect fit for him. His role is to manage the doctors while meeting corporate goals. Therefore, know your inclinations and your strengths when choosing a career.

As with all transitions, there are many things to learn when entering a new field. Dr. Ramon had to study about PnL, cost of sales, profit before tax, profit after tax, gross profit, and  revenue among others. But this is to be expected in a career transition.

The obstacles in your life are there to propel you forward. The hiccups you face in life are meant to strengthen you. “So, don’t regret the negative things affecting your life but keep your eyes on the goals you have” says Dr. Ramon. Every obstacle you face is a stepping-stone that gets you closer to your goals. Besides, your experiences only serve to make you wiser in life.

Doctors transitioning to private health management need to know that the field is  a relatively small but expanding one. There are opportunities for management roles in this sector. This requires that doctors upskill themselves about the field of management and understand PnLs and the business of medicine.

Disruptive Doctors sincerely hopes that this article has offered doctors an in depth understanding and insight about the implications of the choices you make in life and about career transitions.


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Wanting to explore the options you have out there? Do download Dr Selina’s Switching Careers for Doctors eBook here to get you started on your journey and don’t forget to catch our podcast and videos on our Spotify and YouTube channel

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