Working With Diverse Teams And Environments

Many non-clinical MBBS/MD doctors work with teams of people who resemble very little with them in education, training, and may have completely unrelated skill sets. Quite often, they may be the only doctor in their team or perhaps the only doctor in their organization.

Image Credit: John Hain from Pixabay

Working with diverse teams and environments produce many operational challenges in the profession of non-clinical doctors. Some of the important challenges are described below: 

Loneliness and lack of community feeling

Working Alone
Image Credit: Grae Dickason
For somebody who is used to be around doctors transitioning to a new culture can lead to a lonely feeling. If not loneliness lack of community to associate with can be experienced, especially when there are pre-existing communities of people with different qualifications and work profiles. For somebody who is accustomed to being around doctors, mixing with nondoctor peers could be difficult and there may be permanent invisible walls that the physician may need to break to be a part of the team.

Lack of  a pre-existing career graph in the organization

Career growth
Image Credit: Mohamed Hassan
In many organizations, the cadres and career graphs for doctors may not be well defined, unlike other employees. The physician may feel that he was hired at a junior level or role than his qualification leading to dissatisfaction. There may be the opposite case also, when the physician though younger in age may be hired at the middle or senior level in the organization generating resistance among other employees.

Challenges due to the nonmedical subordinates

Image Credit: Colin Behrens
The physician may be leading or managing paramedical people, administrative employees, and sometimes totally unrelated positions like an office peon. Those people may not fully appreciate the job and responsibilities of their boss. They may compare him to former nondoctor bosses or to a clinician whom they know. They may try to judge the clinical acumen of the non-clinical doctor and question his competency. They may ask for favors like a second opinion, prescription, or a medical certificate from their boss not fully realizing the non-clinical nature of his work.

Challenges due to the nonmedical bosses

There may be a case that the boss has never worked with a physician before. On the contrary, there can also be cases when the boss has worked with multiple physicians before but he could not get along with them due to ego issues. Both these situations will present several challenges for the non-clinical doctor. For a non-clinical doctor, it may take much longer to establish a healthy work relationship with a non-medico boss. The boss may not be fully aware of the technicalities of the job and may hate medical jargon. The boss may expect oversimplification of the outputs produced by the physician's ordinary tasks. The boss may not use the prefix of "doctor" while addressing the physician which he/she may be so used to.

Frequent changes in the nature of the job and team composition

Image Credit: Gerd Altmann
The non-clinical doctor may be frequently reassigned new tasks over the course of time and due to project needs. Multitasking and working with newer teams may be demanded by the job more often than expected. There may be back to square one position several times. The physician may be transferred across roles or geographical places or products. The team may see conflicts and have unrealistic expectations of work or compensation which the physician would have to manage.

Challenges associated with business travel

Image Credit: Rudy and Peter Skitterians
For many non-clinical roles, travel is an important variable to be considered by the physician. While occasional travel for conferences of meetings may be a standard protocol for most senior positions, some positions may have high requirements of local, national, or international travel. People who have medical or personal problems may find it difficult to meet such obligations. With travel, the challenges of living in multiple physical environments do arise. Speaking newer languages, eating newer foods, meeting new people every day can be equally draining for some while pleasing for others. 

While not every operational challenge can be eliminated, with time and experience, one can overcome these challenges by believing in yourself, your team, and the organization. While everybody onboard has to contribute to making their journey smoother, a lot depends on the value system, social and communication skills of the non-clinical doctor that how much the team will respect him while he is around and miss him after he has left the organization.

Did you get a pulse of the work profile of a non-clinical doctor? Feel free to share your views.

Views expressed are personal

Last Updated On 08/22/2019 07:30 PM

Author Profile: Dr. Naval Asija is a New Delhi based non-clinical doctor having health administration postgraduate training. Since 2018, he has been writing/blogging full time on health issues. In the past, he has worked for a decade in healthcare, in different organizations, namely Innodata India Pvt. Ltd., Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd., National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project and the National Polio Surveillance Project.
The author can be contacted through
journey of a non clinical doctor

Disclaimer: By using our website, we imply that you agree to its terms of use and privacy policy. For full details, you can refer to these documents by clicking the links: Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Posts Recommended For You 

  1. A Typical Workday Of The Physician In A Healthcare IT Company
  2. A Medical Affairs Physician's Typical Workday
  3. Dr. Harsh Mahajan: Front Runner of Modern Imaging Techniques in India