Interview with Dr. Dana Carpenter

I really enjoy speaking with physicians who have found a nonclinical career they love. I’ve seen that in life insurance medicine, teaching, and now in medical communications. The other aspect of this career that excites me is that it’s one in which you can express your creative side along with your scientific and technical side.

Before I get to the interview, I want to acknowledge our sponsor…

The University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA

I'm very thankful to have the support of the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program offered by the Haslam College of Business. You’ll remember that I interviewed Dr. Kate Atchley, the Executive Director of the program, in Episode #25 of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. Unlike most other ranked programs, which typically have a duration of 18 to 24 months, this program only takes a year to complete. And, it’s offered by the business school that was recently ranked #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA program, by Economist magazine.

University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations by contributing at the highest level while earning their degree. The curriculum includes a number of major assignments and a company project, both of which are structured to immediately apply to each student’s organization.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations and have become entrepreneurs and business owners. If you want to acquire the business and management skills needed to advance your nonclinical career, contact Dr. Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or going to

Today's Guest

Dr. Dana Carpenter is Senior VP, Director Medical & Scientific Affairs at CDM New York, a leading healthcare communications agency. She's an experienced OB/GYN, medical director and health communicator combining expertise in medicine, management, and medical communications within the health communication/medical marketing arena.

She's recognized as a subject expert and strategic consultant in women’s health, with additional marketing experience across many therapeutic areas. She obtained her medical degree from Rush Medical College at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and her residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Moving Into Medical Communications

Dana decided she wanted to pursue a medical career while in high school. But in medical school, she realized she did not want to spend her entire career providing direct patient care.  After working for almost a decade in an all-women OB-GYN practice (and paying off her student loans), Dana began her journey from medicine to medical communications.

She left her practice and started a consulting business. As part of the business, she created an online presence with a website, podcast and published articles. And she did some public speaking. All of these activities demonstrated her skills in medical communications, and a recruiter contacted her about working in the field. That led to her landing a job as VP, Associate Medical Director with CDM New York, a medical marketing company.

Dana's story is inspirational. And she provides great advice if you're considering a career in medical marketing and advertising,

Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • What Dana loved (and didn’t love) about clinical practice;
  • The projects that helped her transition into medical communications;
  • What appeals to her most about the world of medical marketing;
  • The skills, experiences, and assets that healthcare agencies are looking for;
  • What training and support to expect from within the industry;
  • The wide array of possible roles in communications, and who’s a good fit for each;
  • The three main sectors in medical communications, and how to choose yours;
  • How to stand out to recruiters and break into the field; and,
  • The kind of lifestyle and work-life balance communications professionals enjoy.



We’ve talked before on the show about medical writing, but my latest guest shares her insightful perspective on the world of medical communications: what it is, how to get into it, and why it’s a great fit for many physicians looking for a change.

Dana was passionate about her career in obstetrics and gynecology. And it's clear that she carried that enthusiasm into her current career. It was great to get her perspective about her career transition.

She was able to clarify a lot for me about the communications industry, which can seem pretty confusing from the outside. As you heard in this episode, there’s a wide range of opportunities in this field. If you’re interested, you can explore each sector, and select one based on your skills and personality.

Dana emphasized that the most important thing you can do to get the attention of recruiters: start communicating. You should publish health and medical content through;

  • a blog,
  • in published articles,
  • on a podcast,
  • via YouTube videos,
  • in your local newspaper, or
  • on social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Learn more about CDM at CDM New York. You can connect with Dana on LinkedIn and via email at, or

The University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program

I want to sincerely thank the UT Physician Executive MBA program, again, for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It might be just what you need to prepare for that joyful, well-paying career. You can find out more at

Thanks again for listening. I hope to see you next time on Physician NonClinical Careers.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, share it on Twitter and Facebook, and leave a review on iTunes.

Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton


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 counsellor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career. 

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