Do you need to go back to school or seek out a new certification to land a non clinical physician job? Is an MBA required to become a physician leader or work in healthcare industry careers? So many doctors who want nonclinical careers are asking these questions.

If you’re wondering if you need additional training to get a nonclinical job, this episode is for you.

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • 4 Questions to figure out whether you DO need another degree or more training
  • Where and how to research the real requirements for the career path you want
  • When you should apply for the job you want and how to approach an interview

Today we’re talking about a question that comes up often about potential new skills or training you might need to make the switch to a nonclinical job. Listen to this episode and answer the four questions that let you know if heading back to school is the right path for you.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know what questions to ask yourself so you can know what additional training is right for you. Write down your answers as you go!

In this Episode:

[0:50] Don’t make this mistake!
[3:00] How to find out what you really need to be a competitive candidate
[4:30] A key output of educational programs isn’t actually the education
[5:16] Critical things you’ll need to demonstrate first
[6:20] Make a great case for companies to take a chance on you
[7:40] Even if you need to learn new skills, you may not need a full degree
[9:20] Will this help your resume or interview chances in a real way?
[11:30] Find other ways to communicate your value in Industry Insider

Links and Resources:

Industry Insider – learn exactly how to land a rewarding nonclinical career without a new degree, connections on the inside, prior experience, or a pay cut

Transition to Industry Webinar



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Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 82 – Do I Need Additional Training to Get a Nonclinical Job?

Hey there. I’m Marjorie Stiegler and you’re listening to The Career Rx Podcast, where we tackle the important things they don’t teach you in medical school. Like how to treat your career, like the business it really is, with strategies to accelerate the kind of success that you want, because you deserve a career you love, and a career that loves you back. Are you ready?

Let’s get into it.

Okay, welcome back, what a great question we have to tackle today. This is a question that again, I hear really, really frequently, so much so that I can’t quote, I’m not going to quote today for this episode, a specific person. But the question is, do I need additional training in order to get that non clinical job. So a lot of people who are interested in pivoting their careers, make the mistake in my view of first going back to school, right, first deciding to go back and get a different degree, and then decide, you know, what kind of opportunities arise out of that.

And if you know me, you know that I think it’s super to go back to school if you love school, but not as a first step when you’re beginning to explore a different career trajectory. So I’ve got four questions for you today that you should ask yourself, in order to know whether or not you need additional training to help you get that non clinical job.

Before we dive into those questions, I do want to invite you to check the show notes, and come on over to my website, to see my free webinar, as well as my course Industry Insider, which is going to tell you everything you need to know from that exploratory phase to landing a job to negotiating a job, really, really a well received course that has helped a lot of people get great job offers and transition out of clinical medicine to industry, even when they felt like they didn’t know anyone and they didn’t have prior experience. So if that’s you, please come check it out. You can do it, I can absolutely help you.

All right, to the meat of today’s podcast for questions, to ask yourself to decide whether it’s a good idea for you to go invest in some additional training.

  1. So the first question you should ask yourself is Do other people in the role that I aspire to have this additional training. So if you’re looking around, and everybody that you can see that has the job title that you would like to hold eventually does indeed have an MBA or an MPH or some other certification, then yes, perhaps that is something that is just a basic requirement. But I will say that for many, many physicians who are aspiring to transition into healthcare business, an MBA is not necessary, they aren’t hiring you for your business acumen, they’re hiring you for what you bring to the table medically. So it is very often, you know, a misconception that that’s needed. And I know very, very few physicians who work in industry who have an MBA because even at the highest levels, that’s often not a core part of the skills that are necessary.

1a. So when you’re thinking about other people have it I mean, there’s a few ways you can look at this one is you can really leverage LinkedIn, then you can look not only at job descriptions, but also at you can search for people by the job title. And when you find actual people who hold those titles, again, these may not be people that you know, that people who hold those titles, you can look through their LinkedIn profile to kind of see what are their educational histories? What are their certifications, if they have anything additional? That will be right there? And if you see that it is very, very frequent. It’s a repeating theme, then the answer is maybe.

1b. And if you see it requested as a requirement, or as a nice to have in job postings, again, for that job title that you really want,then the answer is, you know, maybe and getting kind of closer to probably. And certainly if you build a network, which I know many of you don’t feel like you have today, but you can fix that you can build one from scratch, robust network of the inside folks that you need to know who have the job that you aspire to hold.

1c. And once you have built that network, you can find out from them. Is this something that they have is something that they would like to have? Is it something that would add value that a hiring manager would look favorably upon? So those are sort of three sub ways right to answer the question of whether other people have it. That’s question number one.

  1. Question number two about if you need additional training to get a non clinical job, ask yourself will this help me network? So sometimes the biggest value to the educational or training experience is actually the group of people that you will meet. So it’s less about the content and less about the skills that you will gain and more about who your classmates are and who your teachers are, and what kind of activities will connect you to what kind of people so it’s possible that the value in some additional trades meaning is actually in the network building itself. So that is the second question to ask yourself, will this help me to facilitate the network that I need? And will that help me achieve the role that I aspire to?

  2. Alright, the third question to ask yourself is, will this help me to demonstrate my dedication, or to make my candidacy feel more robust? And what do I mean by that? Generally speaking, when physicians have had long and successful clinical or academic careers, and then they are interested in transitioning into industry, folks on the industry side have a key question, which is, why do you want to come and work in a different type of environment, what they definitely do not want to see is that you want to leave clinical medicine, because you’re burned out now.

And you want to do something different, because you’re running away from clinical, that is not compelling to someone who is thinking about hiring you, because they don’t want to hire you, as sort of your escape route, they want to hire you, because you’re interested in doing the work and you can bring value to the company. So what it is in the back of their minds always is, why does this person want to make this change.

And then as sort of a corollary to that, will they be happy once they’ve done so because if a company and a team and a specific hiring manager are going to choose you as their candidate, then they’re going to be investing quite a bit in training you and upskilling you and bringing you in and teaching you a lot.

And they really, really would like to also then retain you, right, they want to be able to keep you. And so they do want to know, in as much as possible, that you have looked into, you know, unexplored, the industry that you’re thinking about joining that you have a pretty good idea of the kind of work that happens.

And I know that’s very hard to do. It’s not like there are shadowing programs really where you can truly know what it’s like to do a completely different kind of work that you haven’t done before. But there are ways to get more familiar with the kind of work and to really be able to demonstrate that this is not like a fleeting whim for you that this is something that you have been sort of building and pursuing. And it’s a natural trajectory of your career, it’s a natural next step in terms of building and growing your professional activities. And so if doing some of this additional training, can help you to demonstrate that, that might be a reason to do it.

Now, keep in mind that not all of this training needs to be another degree. I know, I’ve mentioned things like getting an MBA or an MPH. But there are a variety of different training types of courses that are industry specific that a person might do, that are much, much shorter than that, you know, much smaller time commitment, much more focused on the specific industry niche that you’re looking at. And so it may be possible that doing something like that helps you to really solidify and demonstrate your interest as part of your, you know, solid career trajectory.

So even if part of what you are motivated by is, you know, wanting to have more autonomy or seeking to, you know, get away from the kind of burnout that you have, perhaps it’s the hours that you’re working, perhaps it’s the conditions in which you’re working, whatever the case may be, that might be going on as well. But really important before you make a big leap like this, that the grass is not, you know, always greener if you’re not going to like that work. And people want to know that you have explored and that you can, you know, show with some confidence that this is not a passing whim for you. It’s something that you know, if you are selected as the candidate that you’re likely to work out. So that’s the third question to ask yourself.

  1. Okay, the fourth question that I think is worth asking, is, will this help me in my resume or my interview process? So will the additional training helped me now at the surface? That might sound like an obvious question? Will it help me by adding additional training on my resume? Or in the interview? I mean, obviously, if it’s a requirement for the job, and you don’t have it now, then the answer to that is yes. But that’s not really what I mean, here. I’m thinking about this in a different way. Will the additional training help you to sort of speak the language of the industry that you’re interested in? Will it help you to understand in a different way, the lexicon and the terminology that are used in those job postings?

Many, many of my students come to me, you know, before they’ve taken Industry Insider, or before we’ve done any kind of coaching, and they’ll say, you know, I’m interested in this job, and I really have no idea what this means. So I have a very vague sense of what the actual day to day duties would be like, I don’t really know. And I don’t know how I would answer a question to say that I know I could do that or that I would like to do that because I don’t, I don’t get it. And that’s not surprising, because there is a very different language that’s used across the difference. sectors in health care, industry and in business, and different ways of describing the work.

So if you’re looking at job descriptions, and you don’t really feel like you solidly know what they mean, then that’s an important thing for you to get more familiar with, because you want to be able to have intelligent conversations with people who might be screening or interviewing you. And you do want to be able to tailor your resume and your cover letter to help do that kind of translation. Here are my prior skills, and here’s why they’re relevant to the future job that I want. So it’s really important to be able to do that. And if doing some of the additional training, if you think an output of that is that you will understand better the sort of day to day jobs duties, and the language and lexicon that’s used to describe those, so that it will help you be more effective in your resume in your interview, that might be another reason to engage in some additional training.

So in summary, I know many, many people who have made transitions from clinical or academic jobs into the business or industry side of healthcare, without any prior experience. And without additional training, without going back for additional degrees. And really, without even doing any of these certificates, or any of the things I’ve mentioned in this podcast, I know plenty of people who have been very successful in doing that, because they have found other ways to be able to communicate their value and grow their network and all those things that we dig into in Industry Insider.

But if you are debating this yourself, and you’re trying to decide, you know, is this something that would help me, I think those four questions are the ones to ask yourself, right. And again, to recap, it’s, do other people in this role, have that degree or that certificate that training? Will it help me to network? Will the process of the training help me grow my network? Will this make for a compelling demonstration, right, beyond what I can already show that I am, you know, all in professionally, that this is part of a deliberate, professional curve? For me, it’s not just a whim, and that I’m likely to work out as a long term candidate. And then number four, will it help me in my interview, and in my resume materials?

Those are four questions where if the answers to all of those are yes, then it may be worthwhile for you to consider taking that additional training. Don’t let it hold you back, though, between now and whatever it is that you decide to start that or finish that training process. I wouldn’t let that be sort of the gatekeeper or the rate limiting step for you to begin your career transition. So it certainly is fine to get additional training.

But rest assured that if you got a job tomorrow, in industry, they would train you on everything you need to know, you would get on board, you would get upskilled, you would learn all the things that you need to know to be successful in that job. You don’t necessarily need to get it in an external training before you apply. So I hope that helps you answer this question for yourself. That’s it for today. Bye for now.

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