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Introduction

In the last of our 3-part series on nonclinical roles, we review executive and board roles. If you are ready for change and want to step up to a more challenging role, do you know what options are available?

In today’s healthcare landscape, an increasing number of doctors are looking for opportunities to step into strategic, nonclinical executive roles. Whether it’s due to a desire for more flexible hours, a preference for working behind the scenes or a simple interest in taking on a new challenge, there are many reasons why doctors might be interested in pursuing an executive nonclinical role. It’s an option often overlooked. But what exactly is an executive nonclinical role? And what industries should doctors be considering? Here’s a quick overview.

What is a nonclinical executive role?

These roles are typically high-level positions within an organisation where the doctor uses their medical knowledge and expertise to contribute to strategy and decision-making, without having to see patients or perform clinical duties. Nonclinical executive roles are found in both the private and public sectors, and can be full-time or part-time positions.

Why consider a nonclinical executive role?

There are many reasons why doctors might choose to pursue a nonclinical executive role. Whether it’s to have a greater impact on healthcare, reducing clinical hours, or wanting to be part of something great, the role can offer many rewards and greater job satisfaction. In addition, nonclinical executive roles can come with competitive salaries.

As a senior executive you can make decisions that affect the direction of the company. You help develop plans and strategies  – both critical to ensure the company doesn’t lag behind in technology, processes and competitive edge, and instead can achieve its desired outcomes.

As a doctor, you are trained to think critically and analytically. You are also accustomed to working within tight budgets and time constraints. These skills will be useful as you develop and implement those strategic plans.

Board roles also have important responsibilities for the organisation by providing guidance and oversight at a holistic level, rather than operational level.

One of the benefits of nonclinical roles is that there are so many to choose from, even at a senior level. This in turn means you have more chance of getting the role you want.

Where to find nonclinical executive roles

Here are a few places where you can start looking for executive roles:

Although nonclinical executive roles are commonly found in the healthcare sector, there are many new opportunities in other industries that value the unique skills and perspective that senior doctors can bring to the role.

Some of these industries include:

Benefits of senior executive roles

Additional benefits to consider when looking for an executive or board role include:

There may be other benefits that are more important to you, and you should always consider them when looking for another role.

How to prepare for the transition to an executive role

Things you need to do prior to applying for nonclinical executive and board roles include:

If you’re ready for your first executive role or to step up into a more senior executive role, you should start preparing now. These opportunities can take years to present again so you need to act quickly to make sure you won’t be rushing your application with an inadequate CV. Being proactive and fully prepared gives you an edge over other candidates.

Support from your employer

Some employers will provide support to doctors for career planning and executive coaching. It is worth asking your employer if they can include these in their training budget.

Recent client success story

I recently worked with a client who applied for an executive role and didn’t get it. However, the organisation asked her to apply for a more senior role as they thought she had sufficient skills and experience, and the capability, to take on the senior role. This is what putting yourself out there does – it opens up new opportunities you would not have found otherwise. Remember, you will never get the job if you don’t apply.

 Conclusion

If you’re a doctor who is interested in pursuing an executive nonclinical role, there are many options available to you. Consider what motivates you and what kinds of organisations you’re interested in working with before making your decision. And remember, while healthcare is always going to be a popular option, don’t forget to explore other industries as well as they value the skills and perspective of senior doctors. Who knows? You might just find career fulfilment outside of the traditional healthcare sphere.

If you are interested in exploring this option further, please contact me at [email protected]

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