'I've Had It With Medicine!' 16 Options for Second Careers

Leigh Page

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July 10, 2014

In This Article

12. Become a Physician Recruiter

One unusual but financially rewarding job is to recruit physicians for various jobs, such as clinical research, hospital employment, and group practice. As with many other jobs that require interaction with a lot with doctors, it helps to be a physician and understand what makes them tick.

John Goldener, MD, runs a company that recruits doctors for drug trials. Although it took years of hard work to get Goldener Executive Search Associates, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, off the ground, he said he's now making more money than he did in clinical medicine.

In 2000, Dr. Goldener traded his lab coat for a position with an executive search company that worked with pharma companies. It meant giving up clinical work, because "if a client calls and wants to talk to me, they don't want to hear that I'm seeing patients," he said. Three years later, he founded his own company, but a noncompete clause in his contract meant he couldn't solicit any of his old employer's clients. "I had to start at the bottom," he said.

That meant making cold calls to pharma executives asking to do their physician searches and driving up to New Jersey to meet with them. "I'm rather introverted, so I had to learn how to call people one after another," he said. It took him six months before he landed his first search.

As with any job that involves working with physicians, it helps to be one of them and demonstrate that you understand medical concepts, Dr. Goldener added.

Pluses: Physicians who are willing to be patient and work their contacts can earn a high income.

Minuses: It can be a tough field to break into.

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