Expand Your Resume in 5 Simple Steps - For Doctors, Nurses, and Healthcare Professionals
As a community, we have increasingly placed more value on diversity, not only in the cultural sense but also in a professional one. While conventional medicine encourages healthcare professionals to become more specialized as they delve deeper into their careers, today, it has become increasingly popular for clinicians to seek out non-traditional paths either still within their chosen specialty or as a move to build a portfolio career.
Just Fidgety Hands?
Medicine is a holistic field - all bodily systems are intricately interconnected and the best physicians are not only experts in their own chosen specialties, but have an understanding of all the body’s health systems as a whole. Perhaps this is why it is so important for clinicians to diversify.
Even pre-COVID, physician burnout was estimated to be around 44%. One OBGYN study showed that 75% of physician-mothers were unsatisfied with the time they had for their hobbies. Having a diverse portfolio allows clinicians to have more varied work schedules and/or combine part of their hobbies with their work, improving mental health.
But how can clinicians, who have spent years building their portfolio to be experts in a specialty, diversify without spending another few years doing a degree or training in a different specialty? Here are a few, less time-consuming ways in which clinicians can consider diversifying their portfolios in just a few days to under 6 months.
1. Take an online course
With the digital democratization of education, it is now possible to access quality education remotely and in one’s own time. Thousands of prestigious institutions - like Harvard University, Australian National University, or University of Oxford - now offer free or low-budget online courses through online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, or FutureLearn. The time taken to complete different courses may range from 2 weeks up to months and vary depending on whether they offer course certificates or diplomas at the end. Healthcare professionals can also learn in their own time, fitting this in better with their busy schedules. A wealth of medical and health specialties are covered, including anatomy, infectious diseases, surgery, internal medicine, mental health, and more. Clinicians who want to explore topics not covered in conventional medical training can opt for courses about health entrepreneurship, humanitarian aid, medtech, and health management, amongst other novel topics.
2. Join a healthtech project
What better way to diversify a portfolio than to include working experience? With companies like Medcase, healthcare professionals can partner with corporate companies, and contribute to exciting innovations. Not only does this allow for remote work, but again, allows clinicians to work flexibly depending on their clinical hours. Healthcare professionals do not need prior knowledge in tech to take part in these projects and can choose from a wide range of tasks such as data annotation, fighting medical misinformation, or telemedicine.
It is estimated that over half of healthcare professionals are on social media for professional networking and purposes, with roughly 6.2 million using Linkedin. With experience in these projects and the use of these platforms, healthcare professionals can also widen their professional circles to take advantage of global expert network effects. In turn, this adds benefits to their clinical and academic careers. Here is a free workshop for healthcare professionals to optimally build their professional portfolios on Linkedin, leveraging headlines, skills, and endorsements.
3. Exams: adding credentials to your name
Though most specialty exams require years of studying for, sitting multiple papers, and prior membership in those specialties, there are other specialty diplomas that can be acquired in a shorter time span, often by any healthcare practitioner. Training physicians, in particular, can take advantage of their placements in different specialties and the breadth of knowledge they acquire, to study and gain experience for those particular exams. The Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK), for example, takes roughly four months to study for. There is also no set requirement for hours of study or clinical experience, meaning that clinicians can study for this at their own pace. Another example includes the Clinical Diploma in Palliative Medicine (Australia), which takes roughly 6 months to study for. Doctors, nurses, or paramedics interested in travel or humanitarian aid can also opt for the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This is sometimes a prerequisite for volunteering with certain aid organizations.
4. Short Clinical Skills Courses
There are numerous in-person weekend courses that can be completed to gain additional clinical skills. With the medical aesthetics market set to double by 2028, it is no surprise that doctors are increasingly eager to certify in medical aesthetics. Each course can usually be completed over one or two weekends, with additional certifications for different clinical skills.
In recent years, medical evidence has increasingly supported the use of acupuncture for a growing list of diseases. Medical insurance providers, like Medicare and Medicaid in the US, or NHS in the UK, have begun funding for these treatments. The British Medical Acupuncture Society, offers introductory acupuncture courses over 2 weekends for licensed doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, and more. This allows clinicians to remain in their current clinical environment while providing value-added treatments for their patients.
5. Train to Work in A Non-Conventional Environment
Though working in non-conventional environments is not necessarily a new idea, medical routes such as expedition, aerospace, or cruise ship medicine, have gained a lot of attraction, particularly on social media recently. Organizations such as World of Extreme Medicine offer weekend or week-long courses in Mountain, Conservation, and Ocean Medicine. Though these courses come at a cost, they allow clinicians to combine medicine with traveling and other meaningful activities that they enjoy outside of clinical medicine (such as trekking, working with animals, etc). Furthermore, they provide unique networking opportunities, to connect with like-minded people, paving a path to working on a related project.