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Nonclinical Careers (Part III): Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship for clinicians used to be the norm. However, more and more healthcare professionals find themselves in a nine to five job. Some need a change. If you're one who does, here are some ideas and success stories to get you started.

Last Updated: 30 March 2019

Nonclinical side jobs for MD PA DO NP PharmD

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Entrepreneurship for Clinicians

Have you ever thought there might be more to a career in medicine than clinical practice? If so, you are not alone in seeking a nonclinical career.

In the first two articles in this series of ours, we discuss teaching, writing, speaking, sales, and market research panels as ways of earning non-clinical income.

Today, we’ll explore entrepreneurship for clinicians as a non clinical career option. We’ll hear stories of the successful clinician-turned-businessperson, discuss the rise of PA and NP entrepreneurs, and finish off with some ideas you can use on your journey to a non-clinical career working for yourself.

For the section on PA and nurse practitioner business ideas and entrepreneurship, there is a special interview with Clinician1 editor-in-chief, Dave Mittman, PA to go along with it. Our conversation is especially relevant to these clinicians, but his points can be used by anyone. 

David Mittman has been a PA leader for over 40 years and has founded several successful business in medical publishing. He is also the 2019 – 2020 president of the AAPA. The views expressed are personal in nature and not meant to represent any specific organization.

The interview is from the Clinician1 Podcast, a show from Clinician1, the largest online community of PA’s and NP’s. It is recorded, produced, and hosted by yours truly, so we’d love it if you subscribed.

Healthcare Professionals Leaving Clinical Practice

Why would a clinician choose to leave the bedside (or, let’s be honest, the EMR-side)? 

A healthcare professional might feel like leaving clinical practice for any number of reasons. A desire to do something different. Burnout. Maybe it turns out medicine just wasn’t for you. There are as many reasons are there are clinicians. Moreover, these are all good reasons, and we should support, rather than judge, our colleagues when they make this decision.

Many healthcare professionals who want to leave medicine feel they can’t. Many are under the mistaken impression that their skills are not transferable beyond their clinical role. Some clinicians think they are not cut out for entrepreneurship. 

However, this cannot be farther from the truth. At its core, business is about solving a problem. Our jobs as clinicians are, at their core, about solving a problem. And as we all know, there are an abundance of problems in the healthcare system.

Therefore, this translates into opportunities for entrepreneurial clinicians who want to make the system a better place for everyone, including themselves.

Once you’ve made the decision to leave medicine, you need to create your exit strategy. How does one do transition into a nonclinical career?

Physician Entrepreneurs

Physicians are often inherently entrepreneurial. Before the days of giant healthcare systems, most physicians were in business for themselves and answered only to their patients. Depending on who you ask, these were the ‘good old days’ of medicine. 

Despite these days being so good, and for reasons beyond our comprehension, healthcare was infiltrated with folks with no clinical training. It has been tolerated for a long time, but many healthcare professionals have just about had it. 

Thus, we have seen a recent uptick in entrepreneurial ventures and calls from physicians and other healthcare professionals in response. So much so, in fact, that physician entrepreneurship is downright mainstream now.

The aptly named Society of Physician Entrepreneurs is one organization dedicated to physician and other healthcare professional entrepreneurs, with several state-level chapters across the US. 

Furthermore, the American Medical Association launched its Physician Innovation Network in 2017 to connect physicians with digital health companies and other entrepreneurs.

With all these exciting developments, here are some physician entrepreneurs you will want to know. 

Medical Education

Andrea Paul, MD – Board Vitals

Aaron Bright, MD – Hippo Education

More on the way…

Non Clinical Careers

Derek DuBois –  DOC Jobs

Sylvie Stacy – Look for Zebras

The Rise of PA and NP Entrepreneurs

Physicians aren’t the only ones in healthcare who have gone on to start successful businesses. The drive is just as strong among today’s PA and NP entrepreneurs. Here are a few. 

Medical Writing

Churchill Medical Communications is a boutique medical communications agency offering a variety of services. Founded by Frank Rodino, PA, this firm specializes in medical writing and outcomes research.

Their outcomes research takes everything that extra step further. In fact, that is one of their many attributes setting them apart from the competition.

Medical writing is a lucrative, and therefore, popular non-clinical option for good reason. 

Learn more about getting into this industry yourself here

Medical Education

Fitzgerald Health Education Associates is an online resource developed for NP’s. It’s a place to get continuing education, including clinical courses, pharmacology, and refresher training for nurse practitioners at any level of practice.

For more medical education resources, including special discounts, click here.

Medical Publishing

Several clinicians have made a habit out of sharing their knowledge with the world. A select few have managed to turn it into a (quite helpful) business. Here are a couple:

Korber Enterprises

Bob Blumm and Roberto Kusminsky

More to come…

Correctional Medicine

Conmed Healthcare Management provides correctional healthcare services to county and municipal detention centers. It was founded by Ron Grubman, a New York PA.

To listen to an interview with a correctional medicine NP who helped found a staffing company as well as a career consultancy, click here

Business Ideas for the Entrepreneurial Nurse Practitioner, PA, Physician, Pharmacist, etc...

Build an app, even if you don’t have coding skills. What apps do you wish existed? Why wait for someone else to build it? And if you need help with content, we’re here to help.

Create an online course that showcases your expertise and sells. 

Start a revenue-generating website. If you don’t have any experience, here’s how to launch a website in a weekend.

Learn some basic business skills in a weekend and open a Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice. But, you know, take your time before investing huge sums of money. 

Get started in Telemedicine so you can work from home and continue to practice.

Use your skills to become a freelancer and earn money in your spare time. 

Clinician Entrepreneurs Giving Back

The interview wraps up with some golden nuggets of wisdom; non-clinical pearls, if you will. Find out what the definition of “Mittman’s Law” is, and pick up some concrete ways to start your transition into a non-clinical career.

Lastly, Dave implores us to give back to our profession. We joined this community for a reason, and others will follow us. Please ensure that those who follow in your footsteps have the same, if not better, opportunities than you did in their professional career.

The best way to do this is to support your state, specialty, and national organizations. Every membership helps these groups advocate for you and your colleagues so that more opportunities become available to you. 

You Might Also Like:

Non Clinical Side Hustles for Healthcare Professionals (Part I)

Resources for Clinician Entrepreneurs

Because we know you are all about increasing your level of knowledge, we put together some helpful resources here.

Learn about easing into a nonclinical role with medical-legal consulting

There is an organization called SEAK that has a guidebook on all the non-clinical careers you could imagine. It was written for physicians, but in my view, can apply to all healthcare professionals.  

Lastly, because we knew you’d ask, you can take a course on entrepreneurship to learn more. Here’s one from the Wharton School of Business you can take online.

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The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of any company, board, or organization. Clinician1 and its affiliates, as well as ModernMedEd and its team have no relevant financial relationships with any of the companies, products, or services discussed in the podcast.

Recording, editing, production: Jordan G Roberts, PA-C

Editing, sound design: Kristina Saric

Support: Clinician1 & Barton Associates.

Special affiliate offer from Medelita scrubs & lab coats: 20% off your order with promo code: CLINICIAN120

Music: By Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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