Mentors Play an Important Role in Helping Doctors to Diversify in Their Careers

There are several themes that keep coming up when surveying the gamut of information on doctors who have diversified to other careers. First, they started their careers being set in their ways to remain in clinical work thinking this would be it for them until they talked to a mentor who had diversified in his/her career.

Second, deep within these physicians was a longing to contribute more to their field and challenge themselves in research rather than limit themselves to clinical work.

Forbes magazine in 2020 carried several stories of doctors who had transited to the industry. One was of a paediatrician who had moved to nonclinical work after speaking to a mentor. She found that there are many areas within the pharmaceutical business where her skills were needed. She found her niche in the safety and regulatory division and feels her job is so much more rewarding as she continues to keep her little patients safe. Although she had transited to another career, she was able to keep her clinical education and experience relevant. She also recalled her mentor telling her that if she could study medicine, she could easily learn anything she wanted.

Another was a board-certified internist and public health specialist who became a physician editor. She advises that doctors who want to write, need to first read, then write, then edit on a regular basis. A mentor played a crucial role in helping her diversify to a fulfilling career.

Next, was a practicing gynaecologic oncologist who wanted to have a greater impact on women’s health. Her impetus to diversify in her career came when she watched her mentor do it. Following in her mentor’s footsteps, was able to work with two top pharmaceutical companies on a number of crucial studies that offered her a wealth of experience in clinical trial development and interpretation as well as regulatory experience. She eventually became the Chief Medical Officer at a pharmaceutical company.

There are six conclusions we can derive from these stories. First, mentors play an important role in giving doctors the courage to transit to other careers. Second, if there is a sense that more can be done with one’s medical education and experience than clinical work, follow that prompting within. Third, those who have transited have found their careers to be more rewarding. Fourth, doctors are able to transit to other careers and still make their education and experience relevant in their new careers. Fifth, if a doctor can get through medical school, he/she can learn anything they set their hearts on. Last and most importantly, there appears to be a boon of opportunity in industry waiting for doctors who want to diversify. It’s time to start looking…

If you want to know more about how to transit to another career or talk to a mentor, do visit our Disruptive Doctors website


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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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