Interview with Dr. Sylvie Stacy

In this episode of the PNC podcast, Dr. Sylvie Stacy returns to discuss how physicians can dump an awful career and find a career that is right for them. She also tells us about her brand-new book 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians.

Sylvie was a guest on the show for the first time almost two years ago. Since then, her blog, Look for Zebras, has grown. And she has created a Nonclinical Career Quiz and published her long-awaited book.

Our Sponsor

We're proud to have the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program, offered by the Haslam College of Business, as the sponsor of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest-running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. And, unlike other programs, which typically run 1 – 1/2 to 2 years, this program only takes a year to complete. Recently, Economist Magazine ranked the business school #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA.

While in the program, you'll participate in a company project, thereby contributing to your organization. As a result, the University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations. And they've become entrepreneurs and business owners.

By joining the University of Tennessee physician executive MBA, you will develop the business and management skills needed to find a career that you really love. To find out more, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or go to

Look for Zebras

The name of Sylvie’s blog comes from a saying common in medicine that goes, “When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not for zebras.” Sylvie says to do the exact opposite in your career.

In too many situations, doctors settle for what she calls the horse careers. Horse careers may be stressful and unrewarding; they may not compensate well or offer room for advancement; they may not value your specific skill set, but they are easy to come by.

Instead, Sylvie says that physicians looking to dump an awful career should look for zebras. Zebra careers are the rare opportunities that perfectly fit your interest in skills, help you achieve work-life balance, compensate you fairly, and make you feel valued.

“For many physicians who aren't really satisfied with their current jobs, a transition to a nonclinical career may be an excellent solution for the frustration that they're facing. But for others, really all they need is a change to a different type of organization that has a different culture.” – Dr. Sylvie Stacy

Find the Right Career for You

Now, Sylvie has added another resource to Looking for Zebras: the Nonclinical Careers Quiz. This personality-based assessment asks 50 questions, such as:

  • What type of work makes you feel most rewarded?
  • What activities do you enjoy participating in?
  • Are you introverted or extroverted?
  • How do you enjoy spending your free time?
  • Are you willing to travel for your job?
  • Is it important for you to be able to work from home?

After completing the questionnaire, you receive a nonclinical career option that should align with your skills and interests. Included is a job description and a list of some typical responsibilities of the position. Pursuing it will certainly help you dump an awful career.

Read the Book and Dump an Awful Career

Lastly, Sylvie discusses her recently released book, 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians: Fulfilling, Meaningful, and Lucrative Alternatives to Direct Patient Care.


She wrote the book to help physicians:

  1. Understand what nonclinical career options are available to them,
  2. Help them match their skillsets to the right opportunity, and
  3. Distinguish the important differences between careers, which can frequently be lumped together under the nonclinical umbrella.

In each of the ten major sections of the book, Sylvie also included a profile of a professional working in that field. 


In the episode, Sylvie also answers questions common for physicians who want to dump an awful career and find a new one. She offers suggestions to those trapped in the mindset that they are unqualified to take on a new role, and those who feel a moral obligation to practice medicine, even in the face of their unhappiness and burnout.

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The Clinicians Career Cooperative Official Launch Was June 1, 2020.

This is the ONLINE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS for nonclinical, and unconventional clinical, jobs and side gigs. We have started with some of the most influential names in clinical career transition, including:

  • Maiysha Clairborne
  • Michelle Mudge-Riley
  • Tom Davis
  • Marjorie Stiegler
  • Phil Boucher
  • Mike Woo-Ming
  • Jarret Patton
  • Jill Wener
  • Christopher Loo
  • Lisa Jenks
  • Mandy Armitage
  • Brent Lacey

There is an automatic 7-day Free Trial. So, this is a no-risk opportunity to connect with experts and begin your career transition today.

To check it out, head to the Clinicians Career Cooperative.

Follow 4 Easy Steps:

After clicking the link and heading to the Cooperative and watching the Welcome Video…

  1. click the Teal Colored JOIN NOW button, then,
  2. select the annual or monthly membership by clicking the Sign-Up Link, then
  3. add your registration information, and
  4. click REGISTER HERE to join the Cooperative.

It's that simple.

Imagine what it will be like 6 to 12 months from now to start a fulfilling career, and leave behind the headaches, long hours, and constant threat of a lawsuit. Joining the Cooperative is the first step on that journey!

So head over to the Clinicians Career Cooperative.

The Nonclinical Career Academy Membership Program just added a new MasterClass!

I've created 16 courses and placed them all in an exclusive, low-cost membership program. The program provides an introduction to dozens of nontraditional careers, with in-depth lessons on several of them. It even includes my full MSL Course. There is a money-back guarantee, so there is no risk to signing up. And I'll add more courses each and every month, addressing:

  • Mike Woo-Ming's 4-Part Masterclass about freelance consulting.
  • Writing Masterclass with Charlotte Weeks.
  • Locum Tenens Masterclass  with Dr. Andrew Wilner
  • Nontraditional Careers: Cash-only Practice, Telemedicine
  • Hospital and Health System Jobs
  • Pharma Careers
  • Home-based jobs
  • Preparing for an interview, and using LinkedIn
  • And more…

And to make it even easier, listeners to this podcast can get a one-month Trial for only $1.00, using the Coupon Code TRIAL at

Thanks to our sponsor…

Thanks to the UT Physician Executive MBA program for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It is just what you need to prepare for that fulfilling, well-paying career. You can find out more at

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Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton


Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, 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, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

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. It should not be construed as 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.