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Hi everyone, this week, Kent McMackin, President of Physician Leaders for Today, will be talking about a question that I recently received from an anonymous person from Facebook. I thought it was a great question because the individual thought it was so unique that she/he personally messaged me. The truth is, I got several messages asking me to ask Kent this question! The key is YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Help, I didn’t finish residency. How do I explain this on my resume/CV/interview? Let’s back-up a moment and focus on the positive of what you did before residency. A lot of your questions for this blog series have suggested situations where you have experienced or expect difficulty seeking jobs. Answering this question, in my opinion, should have absolutely no effect on seeking a non-clinical position. The absolute most envied, respected, and sought after degree in the “World” is an MD or DO. In my career of working with and for physicians I think of you as heroes. I found this week’s question very difficult to respond to, other than to address how the organizations I led looked at physicians that did not complete residency. I made sure that anyone who worked with or for me remembered that we were not in the judgment industry; we were in the ask the question, get the answer, and move on business. I further insured that we kept our focus on the MD and DO degrees and reminded everyone that none of us had either one. While I continue to fog a mirror on this planet, no one without an MD or DO degree will minimize physician education where I am involved. I have been honored and blessed to speak with physicians who have practiced around the World; The United States of America, which I am proud to call my country, is not the only country that produces heroes. Finally before I answer this question, I have spent a career/lifetime in awe of and champion for my heroes in life; it is a privilege to know physicians and spend time with them. “Your sacrifices are many and most often unseen.” My passion for putting patients in the absolute best situation as they seek care, as I understand healthcare through my career, without hesitation or doubt gets better when physicians are in leadership positions. I have dedicated the last 12 years building a method that takes the value from what a physician does from medical school on and transitioning that experience to an administrative document that focuses on the quantitative variable of a clinical practice that clearly shows that an MD or DO trained executive is absolutely the postgraduate degree that is most capable to lead all aspects of our industry. Simply put an MD/DO is the best executive to lead any product or service that practicing physicians need to treat patients. The four common reasons organizations hear for not completing residency are:  Life: the physician or someone in the family is sick; had a child; did not want to be in clinical medicine; did not like the specialty they matched in; taking a break; going to match in a different specialty. Clinical: malpractice, license issues, sanctions, drugs, alcohol, and spouse/child abuse. Financial and immigration: self explanatory. Behavior: drugs, alcohol, and spouse/child abuse, other aberrant behavior. How to answer questions: If Life, Financial, or Immigration: I would briefly discuss in a short cover letter, but, I would also provide language that would focus the reader on the value you will bring to the organization in an administrative role with your clinical experience as an MD or DO. Life, financial, and immigration are common situations where most of the people who are reviewing your CV should be experienced with receiving this type of information. Clinical and Behavior: The main concern for an organization will be malpractice, since you are moving away from Clinical medicine that leaves behavior such as addiction, anger, or abusive behavior, or violence. This will attract their attention as it would for any job seeker. Share whether you have completed counseling or treatment. Phone Interview : In a phone interview, whether the question is or is not asked I would prepare a response. If the organization does not ask, because you answered their question in your cover letter; or, even if you did not provide a cover letter, when it is your turn to talk about your career, I would absolutely qualify why you stopped; and again, follow that short concise response with why your clinical experience gives value to your ability to be successful in the new position. I hope this was helpful. One of the toughest things about transitioning into non-clinical roles is your mindset. Stay positive and focus on how you can use your own individual experiences to bring value to the role and the company. Remember this is general advice for everyone, if you want to see what Kent would advise based on your own specific situation, you can email him at  kent@p  Kent can also be found on  LinkedIn If you have a question you want to see answered next week, you can directly submit it  here! See you next week!
Hi everyone, this week, Kent McMackin, President of Physician Leaders for Today, will be talking about the dreaded CV! We all know we need to keep it updated and have the perfect CV so we are found by recruiters and hiring managers. but what does that mean and how do we do that? I need help with my CV, but I have no idea what to do. What do hiring managers look for in CV’s?  Hiring managers most often do not see your CV initially; the initial screen is either automated or completed by someone with little to no clinical or operations background or experience. In most healthcare organizations applications are screened by a Recruiter or Human Resource employee (screener).  They will be focused initially on the following information: Contact Information: Name, degree(s), location, cell phone, and email address Experience/Expertise Cue List: If you utilize experience/expertise cues (a cue lets the person who screens your CV/Resume know that you have experience or expertise in the job you are applying for and suggests that they will see that experience within the body of your “job history”) under the name section that represent services and products where you have experience; ensure that you list those that are included in the job description or advertisement; for example, Utilization Review. Work History: If you do or do not list experience cues, the screener will be looking for the title of the job classification (Utilization Review, Patient Safety, Physician Informatics, etc.) as a position title in your work history or in the bullets you provide that outline what you did in the positions you list in work history. Example: If you are a Physician applying for a job in Utilization Review (UR), and do not have work history of managing or working in a UR position/role; you will need to connect the dots for the screener of how what a physician does as a clinician involving UR that would give a physician a higher understanding of and capability to lead in that space. Education and Certifications: The screener will next look at education, certifications, or continuing education that directly relates to the service or product that you are applying for; in this example UR. Cover Letter: You will absolutely have to include a cover letter in most cases. In following the above scenario for UR, the cover letter must have three components clearly outlined: First, how your value proposition (Expertise/Experience) as an MD or DO would push the second component of how that would bring value to a UR program; and third how you understand how “The Ripple Effect of UR moves through other departments within a healthcare organization.” When and if the hiring executive gets your CV it must have concise qualitative and quantitative proof that your career as an MD or DO meets or exceeds their job design and description for their position: Example: as a medical student how many patients did you see and in what specialties; while seeing patients were any of the job variables of the type of position you seek in play? Finally: You need to analyze and transition your CV from a traditional clinical CV to a CV that operationalizes and highlights your exposure to the key performance indicators of the position or career path you are seeking. This document would need to give examples of how you as a physician have experience with improving access, quality, and equity for patients; and how, as a non practicing physician you would lead/manage communication, cooperation, and collaboration with practicing physicians and other stakeholders to improve the hiring organization’s service or product (the key here is that as a one-time medical student, resident, or practicing physician who has practiced medicine your new value proposition is driven by the likelihood that you are the most qualified to improve the medical staff’s cooperation and collaboration with programs, policies, and procedures). I hope you guys were able to follow along and work on your CV while reading this post. If you did, you're that much closer to transitioning into the next role that best suits your experiences and goals. Remember this is general advice for everyone, if you want to see what Kent would advise based on your own specific situation, you can email him at  kent@  Kent can also be found on  LinkedIn If you have a question you want to see answered next week, you can directly submit it  here! See you next week!
Hi everyone, this week, Kent McMackin, President of Physician Leaders for Today, will be talking about how to use LinkedIn to help you in your transition into non-clinical roles. I have seen so many questions, posts, courses, and general advice about LinkedIn that it's time to ask the expert who has helped thousands of physicians position themselves successfully on LinkedIn. Question: "So Kent, what the heck am I supposed to do with this LinkedIn profile thing?" Think of LinkedIn as being the marketing firm you just paid money to market your new business offering with. On LinkedIn your business is you: what you did in the past, what you do now; and where you are heading (value proposition). Your LinkedIn profile, like your new leadership/administrative CV needs to clearly define your value proposition. Unless you are well known in the industry; you have to connect the dots by including well known industry metrics that clearly show that as an MD or DO your value proposition includes an advanced understanding of the clinical or nonclinical career path you have listed. I use “The Ripple Effect” as a vehicle to accomplish this transition (The Ripple Effect: a situation in which one event produces the spread of further events; or, a series of things that happen as a result of an initial event; such as seeing a patient during their initial visit). Once your LinkedIn profile is complete it becomes an offensive weapon to secure a job. Notice I said secure a job. LinkedIn has a robust job board, but there is a big difference between applying for jobs along with hundreds of other applicants and being selected for a job.   LinkedIn provides a platform that can be used to increase your likelihood of being selected for a job. It has an advanced platform/social network that can immediately assist you with strategically improving existing relationships and new relationships with people in positions that can further your career. LinkedIn layers in the capability to network and career path by joining blog sites, professional sites, organizational sites; and, academic sites both clinical and executive. There you have an opportunity to again share your value proposition; finally, you can write about and share with others literature that defines who you are as a person, physician, and leader in the industry. Find a gap in a service or product within the healthcare industry and start a discussion.  So, be optimistic, be original, speak to your audience, use your voice. If you are looking for a job, here are five (5) things that you can do to assist you: 1. Under “See contact information” make sure you key in your cell phone number and email address.” 2. If you click on the pencil that allows you to “Edit Introduction” and add information about yourself under your picture. Under Headline, key in (for example: Physician seeking administrative positions in Utilization Review; Physician Informatics; GME; Government Relations, etc. 3. Continue Edit introduction: Under “Summary” list no less than three and no more than five services or products experience you have in the professions you listed in the “Headline” section. For example list: Utilization Review as one, under that add three specific services or products where you have expertise that would draw a hiring organization to you. 4. In the query box (where you search for people and jobs key in, one at a time, the professions you have an interest in; for example: “utilization review.” This will bring up jobs, people who currently work in UR that you could network with; organizations in UR; and, groups that you can join to network and share your voice in UR discussions; and finally a section titled “People also searched for section where you can expand your networking and knowledge in UR. 5. Articles & Activity: Write an article about the new profession you are seeking to transition to: share your voice about how you would improve access, quality and equity for patients to services and products. This article should clearly show how your MD and experience would allow you to improve the service and product by improving communication, cooperation, and collaboration between all stakeholders; tie in physicians, nursing, ancillaries, administration, etc. DO NOT think that defining how bad a product or service is will elevate you; instead share optimism in your leadership and method/process for application of something better.  I hope you guys were able to follow along and work on your LinkedIn while reading this post; because if you did, your LinkedIn profile may already stand out more than many other people's and you might start hearing from recruiters with just these simple changes. Remember this is general advice for everyone, if you want to see what Kent would advise based on your own specific situation, you can email him at  kent@p  Kent can also be found on  LinkedIn If you have a question you want to see answered next week, you can directly submit it  here! See you next week!
Have you ever wondered what a physician advisor does? I sure have. So I reached out to someone who has been doing it for the past couple of years, check out my interview with him/her below: 1. Why did you decide to transition into a physician advisor role? Were you considering any other non-clinical roles? I was looking to move away from clinical medicine. I was open to any non-clinical job but I was not actively looking for a position. Our hospital was bought by a company that has in house physician advisors at all their hospitals. They were looking for one adult and one pediatric physician advisor with at least 5 years of hospital based clinical work. 2. What did you do before you started this role? Did you have experience doing it before? I was an outpatient pediatrician for 3 years and then I became a Pediatric hospitalist which I had done for 5 years before becoming a physician advisor. I had no experience. 3. Do you have any resume advice for applying to these roles? Every hospital has to have a Utilization Management committee (CMS mandate) so a good place to start is to join that committee. Get to know your hospital Case Management Director and find out how your hospital does secondary medical necessity reviews and how they handle insurance medical necessity denials 4. What kind of credentials are required to be a physician advisor? Is board certification required? We are required to be board certified, but the specialty does not matter (I am board certified in Pediatrics). We must also hold an active medical license. 5. Do you have to have a certain number of years of clinical experience? 5 years of hospital-based practice, does not have to be exclusively in the hospital. Many in our group were hospitalists but our group includes anesthesia, Endocrine, Pulmonologists, General Surgery, ENT, and OB/GYN 6. What are your day to day activities like? I review all admissions that came in overnight. If status looks wrong I email the case manager and she talks to the residents to get more info. We then discuss all observation patients and new admits at 10AM. I usually have a couple of meetings throughout the day. In the afternoon I attend MDRs (multi-disciplinary rounds) on 2-4 units. All patients are discussed. My afternoon Observation rounds are incorporated into the rounds. I look for an opportunity to upgrade any observation patient that is not going to be discharged that day. For any patient that has a status change, from Observation to Inpatient or from Inpatient to Observation I have to write a secondary medical necessity review. Throughout the day I will also be sent cases from our Utilization review nurses if they are unable to get the current ordered status to meet MCG criteria. If I cannot determine the correct status by reviewing the chart I will call the treating physician, I will also be sent all concurrent denial cases to review. If I agree that Inpatient is appropriate I will call the treating physician and discuss the case with them. I will give them tips on what to say to the insurance company medical director to help explain why inpatient status is appropriate. A lot of time there are key words/phrases that will help. 7. Was there training when you started? Yes, I spent a month shadowing different physician advisors that work for our health system. It was great to see how everyone did the same job a little bit different depending on the needs of the facility and style differences. 8. Do you deal with patient care at all? I still work one weekend a month as a peds hospitalist. In my role as a physician advisor I do not have any direct patient contact. 9. Is the role stressful? Yes, sometimes physicians are not nice. They do not want to talk to you about status and don’t care if their patients are in the wrong status. Also I help with complex discharges and unfunded patients. 10. What do you like the most about your role? I like the work and my colleagues are great. It is intellectually challenging, and I really loved learning about hospital finance. I see every day how my job helps our hospital financially. 11. What do you like the least? Most physicians are very nice to me but sometimes they can be discourteous 12. What is the career trajectory like for a physician advisor? Several people in my group have become CMO’s and system wide Vice Presidents. This is a great starting point for advancement in hospital leadership. 13. What is the salary like (if you’re comfortable disclosing)? Starting salary is $110 an hour plus annual bonus (around $20k) with no prior physician advisor experience. Since starting 4 years ago I have received annual raises of $1-4 an hour and then 2 other raises to help match national wage parity for physician advisors. 14. Do you still carry malpractice insurance in this role? Yes 15. What surprised you about the role now that you’ve been doing it for some time? I do a lot more than just status reviews, status reviews are only about 30% of my work. I attend many meetings, I am very involved in hospital length of stay, throughput and discharge timeliness projects. I also provide regular education to attendings and residents about documentation, status and denials. I am also involved in hospital wide and pediatric quality improvement committees. 16. Is this a typical 9-5 role? More like an office job? Do you ever bring home work with you? I do work from home in the mornings though most others in my group do not. Luckily we have a lot of flexibility so if my kids are sick I can work from home those days. There are moonlighting shifts on evenings and weekends and those are all done from home. There are also members of the Core team and they all work from home. The Core group does retro-denials and they do status reviews for the hospitals that are too small for an on-site physician advisor or the on-site person is off. 17. Do you miss the traditional patient care role at all? I do not miss the traditional role, I am actually looking to cut back on the number of clinical shifts I am working. I hope that helped you learn more about what being a physician advisor is like. If you want to learn more how to start being a physician advisor part time and transitioning into a full time role, check out Aerolib Learning Management System: an On-demand E-learning system for Clinical and Regulatory education for Physicians, Physician Advisors, Case managers, Utilization Review personnel and Hospital Administration.
As I was going through the Board Certification in Medical Affairs program, I received a lot of inquiries from other physicians. One of the most common questions I received was, what happens to people who have taken the course. Where are they now, after having taken the course? I was curious myself, so I went onto LinkedIn and typed in "BCMAS" and "Board Certified in Medical Affairs". Then I reached out to individuals on LinkedIn who have BCMAS listed as part of their descriptions. I noticed that many of these certified individuals are currently in clinical affairs roles in some way. This is a good sign for those of us taking the course because it means, people who took this course found jobs in medical affairs! Or if they were already in medical affairs and took the course, it helped them do their job better. One thing is certain, ALL of them are very impressive and dynamic individuals with extensive educational backgrounds! I was happy to find myself in the company of such awesome people.   The first individual who responded to my request to interview him about his experience from the BCMAS program is Dr. Corey Schuler. Dr. Schuler not only serves as the Director of Clinical Affairs for Integrative Therapeutics, but he has also been featured in several podcasts and spoken nationally at seminars and conferences on various topics involving nutrition and science. Check out his experience with the BCMAS program here: 1. What is your background?                           a. Advanced practice nurse                           b. Nutritionist                           c. Chiropractor                           d. MBA 2. Why did you decide to take the BCMAS program? I wanted a broad understanding of pharmaceutical and medical device industry from a medical affairs perspective. 3. What do you currently work as right now? Are you in the pharmaceutical industry? I am Director of Clinical Affairs for Integrative Therapeutics. 4. How long did it take you to complete the program?  About 6 weeks 5. Did the program help you break into pharma? Or helped you find a job, or be contacted by recruiters that you would not have if you did not take the program? I was already working in the industry. 6. If you work in industry right now, would you say the program helped prepare you for your role? Certification has helped do things differently in my current job. As a smaller biotech company, we did not have the same structure as far as how medical science liaisons and sales and regulatory all worked together. After completing the BCMAS, it was clear to me that organization structure could improve how these units work together. I was able to implement changes to the structure. We also developed SRDs more formally rather than on an as-needed basis and trained our MSL team differently in order to ensure compliance to regulatory environment. 7. Why do we need to take a program for pharma? Wouldn’t my education and experience already give me everything I need to know about pharma and I can learn on the job? Learning on the job is important, but I think it is also important to learn if you are being taught best practices. 8. Did you get what you wanted out of the program? Yes 9. Were there things about the program that surprised you once you started taking it ? It is very broad. In fact, it may be too broad. The case studies were helpful for learning though. 10. I am on the fence about enrolling in the program because I have enrolled in a lot of programs in the past and they didn’t really get me anywhere, what advice would you give to me? I wouldn’t rely on it to “get you a job.” However, it is well recognized and certain hiring managers may see it as an advantage with all other variables equal between candidates. 11. What is the one advice you want those desiring to break into the pharma industry to know? One of the greatest needs of medical affairs is content generation, whether that is internal or external content. Developing a portfolio of technical writing is one solid approach as this can be presented during interviews. The other consideration is to network with others in medical affairs. We are a unique fraternity in that we are clinically trained with an eye towards business. I have found that it is a welcoming network and you can learn a lot from those already doing the work.
Hi everyone, starting this week and every following week (until we run out of questions), I will be asking my friend Kent McMackin, President of Physician Leaders for Today, a question that I've been asked by physicians thinking about transitioning out of clinical medicine. I know Kent is the best to answer this question, and every question I've come upon, because he is unbiased, is not affiliated with a particular pathway or company, isn't a recruiter, etc and has helped thousands of physicians successfully transition from clinical into non-clinical and executive roles. He carefully assesses each aspect of a physician's resume to help guide the physician to the right next step.  Sometimes he may recommend a higher degree. Sometimes he may recommend against it. It's all based on the physician as a whole person. Because these questions are so general, it's hard to be specific to your situation, so if you'd ever like to reach out to personally ask Kent about what advice he may have for your situation, I have his contact information at the end. (Please don't spam him :D) Onto this week's question: Would getting additional degrees help me transition? If so, which degrees do you recommend? How do I decide? I literally hear this question ALL THE TIME. I see it posted on every Facebook group and the advice is all over the place. People who have taken all types of graduate or additional degrees and certifications tout that theirs is the best and you should go enroll asap too. I've seen recommended degrees like the MBA, acupuncture medicine, various types of personal coaching certification, leadership graduate level degrees, etc. I myself have enrolled in an online certification program Board Certification in Medical Affairs Program (BCMAS), which I have outlined my experience in a previous blog series. My reasons were basically this: it was online, affordable, and I have no idea if pharmaceutical industry could be something I might even like or want to transition into it one day so I needed to find out more about it. One thing is very important and clear, I did not take the course because I thought it would help me get a job. No program can guarantee that. No school, recruiter, coach, certification, or anyone can guarantee you will get a job. Overall, I thought the program was worth it and met my expectations. But those are my own reasons. Okay, enough about me and let's hear from the true expert, Kent! Kent's response: It would be unethical to respond to this question without first assessing your career work history, education, and goals for the future. This is a crucial step in the transition process.  Remember, having an MD or DO degree already makes you “the best” candidate for any administrative/executive position in healthcare; after all, your business is clinical medicine! I find the challenge many physicians face when transitioning from clinical medicine, is not understanding the need to transform their clinical CV to include the business/financial impact they created while accessing services and products for their patients. I recommend, before you waste your time and a significant amount of money on a graduate degree that you initially focus on defining the business acumen you already possess within the most valuable clinical experience you have already gained. If you choose to pay and work with an advisor or consultant who is an expert in transitioning physicians; insure that they have both clinical and operations experience. Healthcare organizations, to include physicians who own clinical organizations covet physicians for one major purpose;  a physician’s ability to generate revenue. Once a medical school graduate, resident, fellow, or practicing physician decides to transition away from clinical medicine and “generating revenue” to a non-clinical role, where they will not “generate revenue”, their value to the industry significantly declines or is lost in total without intervention. Prior to making a transition I work with my clients to clearly define their value proposition as a non clinical physician. How do you do that? First, by quantitatively connecting the dots between the correlation of how your medical degree and clinical experience added economic value to the healthcare industry and second, by applying that experience to the ripple effect. The ripple effect simply defined is the process physicians “start” to access the services and products they will need to treat their customer; the patient. This process clearly defines the economic value proposition each physician generates; and how this proposition will be a major component for you landing a new job. Prior to selecting a graduate level degree your decision is tied to answering the following questions: 1. What was/is your value proposition and span of control as a clinician (this includes those who only completed medical school or part of a residency program)? 2. What is your new value proposition? 3. How did you utilize the three C’s, communication, cooperation, and collaboration with physician colleagues and healthcare organizations, as a clinician, to provide services and products for your patients (must be clearly defined both quantitative and qualitative)? 4. What are the measurable, independent variables that will get you hired as a physician in an administrative role? If you don’t understand or can’t answer the above questions, starting a graduate level degree might be a waste of money and time. If it is your plan/goal to remain in the healthcare industry, your core experience is clinical medicine which gives you an advantage. A graduate level degree is an offensive weapon that should enhance your clinical experience through a laser focus to improve a healthcare process, service or product. Remember this is general advice for everyone, if you want to see what Kent would advise based on your own specific situation, you can email him at  kent@P Kent can also be found on LinkedIn If you have a question you want to see answered next week, you can directly submit it here! See you next week!
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