a physician liaison talking to a patient

Tips for Pursuing a Physician Liaison Career

The uncertainty and turmoil of recent years have led to many rethinking their career paths — especially in the medical field. 

Physician liaisons are outreach professionals who focus on bringing new referrals to medical practice. This allows practitioners to focus on patient care while delegating the marketing side of the organization. A high-paying and in-demand career, it’s no wonder,so many professionals are shifting to this role.

Here’s everything you need to consider when exploring a job as a physician liaison.

Invest in Training

The role of a physician liaison is at the intersection of marketing and medical care. This makes it a specialized position that requires knowledge and experience in each area. Unfortunately, most professionals either have a background in either marketing or medicine — not both.

Investing in physician liaison training will help you develop the specific skills you need for this career path. Training covers concepts like building a rapport with medical practitioners, getting past gatekeepers practice, and creating a robust referral program. 

While the training itself is helpful in preparing for this role, the certification also adds clout to your resume. 

If you have experience in either sales or the medical industry, consider investing in courses for the other. Learn the basics of health communication or negotiations to build your skill set. 

Consider Your Focus

Physician liaison is an umbrella term that covers many fields and practice types. Determining which area of focus is right for you can help you direct your new career path accordingly.

For example, you could become a physician liaison for an orthopedic specialist who works to bring in new patients by establishing relationships with local GPs. Alternatively, you could be a physician liaison for the local medical school to secure relationships with established facilities for student placements and clinical work. 

Sometimes liaisons take on a consulting position to help create and establish a plan for a medical practice. Others work with government organizations to improve medical outreach and access for marginalized groups.

Clarify your goals and values, and determine what type of work is best for you. Note that it’s better to get experience and build on it toward your dream job rather than waiting for something to become available in your desired field.

Check Your Qualifications

Physician liaison job postings typically have robust qualifications. You’ll likely require a degree in health science, health communications, or possibly a medical doctorate. Other practices hire based on marketing experience or education in business with experience in the healthcare industry.

There are plenty of liaison jobs for people with a nursing background as well. Don’t let the qualifications stop you from applying if you have a certification and relevant experience. 

Explore Mentorship and Internships

Getting established as a medical liaison is often the most challenging aspect of pursuing this career. Look for mentorship and internship programs to help you get some experience and references on your resume.

Applying for an adjacent job in the medical field can also create the foundation for securing a physician liaison job. 

Patience and dedication to continuous education are essential for securing a physician liaison job. Be clear in your path forward, use your networking skills, and invest in extra training to be successful.

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