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

Leigh Page


July 10, 2014

In This Article

3. Start a Practice Management Consultancy

Thousands of physicians have started practice management consultancy firms, based on a skill they learned when they ran a practice, such as coding, claims processing, or practice efficiency. "This is good for people who are self-starters," Babitsky said.

For example, David Zielske, MD, an interventional radiologist in Tennessee, founded a company that addressed the difficult coding requirements of his specialty. "The coding for interventional radiology is unusually complex and error-prone," he said, but he enjoyed the challenge. "I've always had a passion for coding."

In 2000, Dr. Zielske took his coding skills and cofounded ZHealth in Brentwood, Tennessee, to help physicians and hospitals deal with interventional radiology coding. For a while, he operated out of his home and had to continue practicing for a few years to keep up his income. The transition was "a very expensive, long-term process," he said. "You can't just quit and think you can be successful right away."

The company has prospered since then, branching out into coding for vascular and cardiac care, and Dr. Zielske has also written books, hosted webinars, and given speeches and seminars on coding.

Some physicians who start consulting firms keep practicing medicine. For example, L. Neal Freeman, MD, a practicing ophthalmologist in Melbourne, Florida, is President of CPR Analysts, coding and physician reimbursement analysts.

The work can build on basic skills learned in clinical care. "Consulting is like the problem-solving you do in medicine," Dr. Fork said. "You have to take a project from beginning to conclusion."

Pluses: You can build on a skill you learned in running your practice.

Minuses: It may take many years to establish your business.


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