Sunday, April 03, 2011

Career advice sought

A friend writes below. She is in the municipal bond world, working as an associate in public finance at an investment bank. As indicated below, she is currently contemplating where she wants to go in her career. She seems to want more from life than being an investment banker. Perhaps you would like to offer advice in your comments?

I'm thinking I'd like my next job move to be health care focused. Given my interest in policy and my desire to work in a field that I feel is socially important"and yet also challenging, health care seems to fit my needs.

I am curious. Do you have any recommendations for the types of roles that are interesting in health care finance today? Since I'm getting my CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst, a designation for investment professionals] it needn't necessarily be
public finance. I am wondering what type of job I could pursue now that could transition into working for a policy think tank or a not-for-profit advocacy group down the line. I just wanted to do some exploring. Recommended reading for keeping up on health care would also be great!


Dirk Stanley, MD, MPH said...

Look for an informatics position in healthcare! There is serious need for good policy writers in healthcare, the problem is most hospitals don't realize the need. Informatics is slightly more "trendy" right now, and is a good way of getting a foot in the door. By focusing on fixing informatics issues, a person with good policy writing experience will be able to make a big difference. My only other advice : Get *SOME* clinical experience, even if it's volunteering at your local ambulance corps. You will gain perspective about what your clinical people are dealing with on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

If you want to make an impact, think public health. Unlike hospitals, whose politics muscle is better developed than policy muscle, public health has been developing economics and policy engines over decades. Harvard, BU, Tufts, and many others have policy areas and faculty that are mobilizing significant resources for local and global health. The perspective is broad and more diverse than can be found in clinical settings, but still apply there. Public health is undergoing dramatic shifts in application and reach, and payment systems in healthcare are shifting there, too (e.g. ACOs, evidence- and population-based care). Hospitals and medicine are inherently conservative in the pace of change, so if there is no job title for what you want to do, it probably won't be there in a decade either.

GreenLeaves said...

I would suggest that your friend review what HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association, HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, have to offer in publications. Yahoo Groups may also be an excellent location to discuss Healthcare Finance with other similarly minded people.

The organizations are leaders in their field and colaborate extensively. Yahoo has a group to satisfy everyone's need.

LinkedIn is an excellent place to research organizations and people.

All the very best!

Paul Levy said...

Very funny tweet from @movinmeat:

I once interviewed a candidate whose CV said s/he was interested in health care policy. I asked which parts. "Mostly the policy."

I am sure you will do better!

Olga said...

Consider working for or running the foundation of a non-profit org that provides health care.

Carole said...

In addition to LinkedIn, explore some of the health care hash tags on Twitter. I've built my own Health care list, but I also follow #hcsm (health care social media). It's amazing what you can learn in 140 characters.

Rachel Smith said...

Working for a policy think tank often requires significant experience in the field (which you don't yet have) or a graduate degree (often a PhD). Maybe start your journey with some volunteering overseas, perhaps in a developing country, where your social capital would open up some access to people in these positions that you are unlikely to have in the US with your current level of experience. Or you could go the humble traditional route of reading healthcare career advice online :-) This blog is a great start.