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In today's episode, John shares 5 unique careers to learn about that you may not have previously considered.

This episode will be devoted to sharing with you the careers that were the most unusual and fascinating and why.

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5 Interesting and Unique Nonclinical Careers to Learn About

Here are the 5 fascinating and distinctive careers to learn about with some of our favorite guests.

Founder and President of a Professional Organization

There are hundreds of professional organizations, often called associations, societies, or colleges. New organizations are founded every day, generally in response to a need of a particular group of potential members. And for those involving physicians, the leader of the organization is usually a physician as well.

Examples of such nonprofit professional groups include:

  • American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
  • Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons
  • American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society

Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, the founder and president of the Psychedelic Medicine Association, exemplifies such a guest. Our interview originally aired in Episode #247.

Online Coach and Course Creator

There are many physician coaches. It is common for a physician coach to add group coaching to their individual coaching business. Some go on to write a blog or produce a podcast or YouTube channel. And some eventually build popular well known online courses.

Dr. Katrina Ubell, who produces the website and podcast called Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, represents a very successful online physician coach. Dr. Ubell's interview can be found in Episode #35.

Part-Time Consultant

This is a tried-and-true strategy for applying your abilities and passions once your practice is well-established. If you have special skills and an interest in helping others with a  nonclinical challenge, you can be a part-time consultant. Once established, you can decide how much of your time you want to devote to each aspect of your professional life.

Dr. David Norris is a classic example of a physician consultant. His side business gradually grew to be the dominant part of his career. My conversation with David is available in Episode #111.

Independent Disability Insurance Broker

Dr. Stephanie Pearson left clinical practice because of her own disabling injury. She found that many of her colleagues did not understand the importance of disability insurance, nor how to select the best policies. So, she decided to assist residents and other physicians understand such insurance and how to protect themselves from the effects of a disabling injury. She is now a successful full-time disability insurance broker.

You may learn more about this in Episode #23.

Chief Medical Officer for a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC)

As the CMO at a hospital that was heavily reliant on CMS funding, I became very familiar with MACs. But I didn't recognize that MACs employed Chief Medical Officers until interviewing Dr. Meredith Loveless in Episode #165. The work is mostly done remotely, which gives the CMO a lot of flexibility, and it pays well. 


These are 5 of the most interesting and unique nonclinical careers to learn about that also generally pay well. 

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode. 

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 275

5 Interesting and Unique Nonclinical Careers to Learn About

John: I was recently interviewed by Dr. Bradley Block on his podcast Physician's Guide to Doctoring. It was a lot of fun, and I'll be sure to put a link in the show notes to that podcast because I think you'd like it. And as of this recording though, the episode's not been released. So, what it is, I'll be sure to mention it here and in an email.

But during our interview, after telling a little bit about myself, you can imagine that I answered a few questions about nonclinical and non-traditional jobs. And one of the questions Brad asked me, actually, was more than one had to do with specific jobs. Like what was the best paying position, what was most esoteric or unique, et cetera, and things like that.

That got me thinking about devoting an episode here to discussing the jobs that I find most interesting and why, and include links to the episodes for those who want to do more investigation into those jobs. These are jobs that one wouldn't necessarily think about right away. So, that's what I'm going to do. What follows is a list of the jobs that physicians are doing that surprise me and why I find them so interesting. So, let's get to it.

Now, there are some jobs that are pretty well known to any physician who has started to look around at a non-traditional position. Those jobs are such as utilization management, and physician advisor, that's a common entry-level job. Or in the hospital world, medical director or chief medical officer. Most of us have encountered those kinds of positions just in our daily practice sometimes if we enter the hospital. Or in the pharmaceutical industry, the medical science liaison, it's a very popular entry-level job, or the medical director in medical affairs.

Those are kind of well-known. But now I like to present a short list of nonclinical jobs that I've learned about that I think are interesting, often unique, and not commonly encountered when starting to learn about nonclinical jobs. Maybe I can get you thinking about these and maybe one or two of these will be of interest to you such that you can do a little more digging into them.

And so, let's get going here in no particular order. The first is the founder and president of a professional organization. Now, there's a broader group, and that's just any physician leading a professional organization. But the reality is there are several opportunities out there apparently for us to create our own professional organization. And then most of the time they're nonprofit, and you can be then the president or CEO.

There are thousands of organizations like this in the United States, and I often came into contact with them when I was volunteering as a CME site surveyor for the Accreditation Council for CME or the ACCME. I did that for I think about 20 years. I interviewed folks from at least a hundred different organizations, and many of them were associations or similar organizations. They obviously catered to physicians and they produced educational content for which they wanted to provide CME credit. So, they had to be surveyed basically every four to six years.

We'd review the programs and collect information about their compliance with the requirements of the ACCME. Now, many of these organizations that are credited are medical schools or large medical publishing companies, CME companies, and hospital systems, but a significant number of them were academies, societies, and associations. Sometimes they were called colleges whose members included physicians. And I was just intrigued by this because I could see their background when we were doing the survey. Some were pretty unique, pretty small, and were recently started. They're mostly structured, as I said, as nonprofits. And sometimes they represented members in some pretty narrow fields.

I'll give you just some examples of the titles of these organizations just to show you that they're not like the AAMA or the ACP. We're talking about niche areas. Examples. American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. I'm just scratching the surface here.

So, you get the idea. There are new organizations that are started every day, usually in response to a specific need. I was asking a colleague the other day who's in locum tenens if there was any organization for locum tenens physicians. And he said, as far as he knew, and he was active in locums, he actually spent on my podcast a couple of times as a guest. That's Andrew Wilner. He wasn't aware of any, so that kind of shocked me.

But anyway, most of these organizations for physicians will have a paid physician leading them. And I wouldn't have brought this up unless I had a guest that had done this very thing. So, the guest who best exemplifies this job was Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, who is a founder and president of the Psychedelic Medicine Association. You can find our interview in PNC podcast episode number 247 from May of this year, 2022. You can imagine why she started this because there have been some really interesting studies in using psychedelics to treat depression and PTSD with some pretty remarkable results.

And so, it's becoming mainstream and there are physicians who would like to participate in some way. And so, this is a very interesting job, and as far as I know, she's still in that position. Something you might think about is either stepping into an association or society that already exists or developing your own and meeting a need. And all you need is 20, 30, or 40 people who might join and it'll probably be self-supporting until it grows even larger. All right, that's number one. And you can find that at But of course, I will put links in the show notes.

The second job I wanted to mention is that of an online coach and course creator. Now, a lot of us aim for that kind of thing. There are obviously many, many physician coaches. I'm familiar with dozens of coaches, and I've seen lists of up to 200 physician coaches for different types of coaching. It's common for successful physician coaches to add group coaching to their individual coaching business.

Some go on to write a blog or produce a podcast or a YouTube channel. Some create a community via Facebook or other means to support and teach their clients and to generate sales leads for their services. And some also develop their own online courses or combinations of live and recorded online programs that can really reach a much larger audience.

This group becomes very small because it's difficult to become highly successful in this. There are a select few who create a sustainable online presence using some or all the previously mentioned online services. They put it together so that they can scale it and then somewhat automate part of it so that you can generate some income and not get burnt out in the process of doing it.

Some of these people who are really successful generate income that meets or exceeds that generated in their career as a physician. And I find it really inspiring and compelling when I find such physicians. And the one that's represented among my interviewees is Dr. Katrina Ubell of Weight Loss for Busy Physicians. That's the name of her website and of her podcast. She's been offering now for several years a comprehensive six-month program called Weight Loss for Doctors Only, which is very popular and successful. I don't have access to her books or anything, but I know that she's successful because others have mentioned it, and kind of as secondary support for that.

I know she's extremely busy and very successful. It has a lot of clients. She practiced pediatrics for many years, but now focused primarily on her coaching and her weight loss programs. And on top of everything else, she recently published a book called How to Lose Weight for the Last Time. It just came out in September of 2022. You can find that on Amazon and every place else. And it's really quite a remarkable accomplishment because it was traditionally published. And so, you've heard from authors and writers here in the podcast before, that's not an easy task. You can listen to my interview with Katrina in episode number 35 from May of 2018. If you want to go directly to that, you can go to

The third interesting career today is that of a part-time consultant. I've interviewed several physicians who are doing consulting of one type or another. You can be employed as a consultant, you can start your own consulting company, part-time, full-time, remote, live, face-to-face and what have you. It's all kinds of things, and it's a common business that physicians do create. But really to do it well and to demonstrate that you can practice first full-time and then transition slowly over time as you build this part-time clinical or nonclinical consulting firm, it's really unique when you can find someone who has accomplished that and has made it work for an extended period of time.

I found that my interview with Dr. David Norris was very compelling because it represented such an iconic part-time side gig, which he's continued to do since he was interviewed back about three years ago. David continues to practice anesthesia along the way. He obtained an MBA and a certification as a physician executive because he's interested in those kinds of things. It's not necessary to do that to be a consultant. But he offers business and management consulting services to medical practices and other healthcare businesses, and he produces a podcast called the Financially Intelligent Physician. He is gradually increasing consulting over time as he's reduced his clinical hours.

Again, it's a classic way to leverage your skills and interests once your practice has been well established. And then as it does so, you can decide how much balance you want in one versus the other. It's kind of like expert witness consulting. You can do very part-time or do a lot more, cut back on your practice, but you can find that balance that works for you. Anyway, you can listen to my interview with David in episode number 111 from October 2019, which can be found at

The fourth career that I found interesting and compelling, to me at least, is that of an independent disability insurance broker. Dr. Stephanie Pearson was a busy obstetrician when she suffered a work-related injury. She discovered that her injury, and after her injury, the disability insurance coverage was not always as it appeared to be. And we get into that a lot on the interview. I'm not going to go into that now but what happened was she wasn't able to go back to do her same clinical work. And because of the struggles that she had with disability insurance coverage, she became committed to helping residents and other physicians understand the importance of such insurance and what to look for in a good policy that would fully protect them in the event of a disabling injury, such as the one she had.

She was giving people advice about this for free for a while, but then she jumped through all the hurdles that enabled her to become an independent broker, and she continues to promote and sell insurance mostly to physicians today. And I've yet to meet another disability or life insurance broker who's also a physician. So, I think it was quite unique. And my interview with Stephanie is in episode number 23 from February 2018. And if you go to, you'll be able to find that episode and I think you'll find it very interesting.

The fifth and final career for today's episode is that of Chief Medical Officer for a Medicare administrative contractor. It's also known as a MAC. And I was well aware of MACs because they're very important to my role as Chief Medical Officer for a hospital, which like most hospitals, was heavily dependent on CMS payments.

Medicare and Medicaid payments are critical to most hospitals, and you really need to understand what the MACs are expecting so that you can get paid properly. But before speaking with Dr. Meredith Loveless, also a former full-time OB-GYN, it never occurred to me that there were physicians working for the MACs and at that leadership level position. So, it was an interesting interview. I've not interviewed anybody doing anything like that since.

The neat thing about the job too is that it does pay well as most CMO jobs pay in almost any industry, and it's performed remotely for the most part. The reason she took the job and found that job and took it was because it gave her a little more flexibility so she could be home with her family, not because she was burnt out. She really loves the job. She says that it's interesting, it's fulfilling. And you can listen to our conversation episode 165 from October of 2020, and that's at

Those are the five I wanted to mention today. Again, if any of those five are interesting, you've got episodes you can listen to. There are a lot of links in each of those episodes. I'm pretty sure I have transcripts of those for each episode as well, which you can use if you prefer not to actually listen to it. You can just read through it. And you can get all those resources at


Many of the links that I refer you to are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you.

The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life, or business.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. I do not provide medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counselor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career.