Since its establishment in 1999, the Drop Out Club (DOC) has served as a forum and a support platform for professionals who have left their respective healthcare fields in hopes to pursue a different avenue. It started out, interestingly, when six former classmates from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons gathered for drinks 18 years ago. This group of friends had all left their traditional medical paths to pursue a career in business. What started out as a casual meet among a few friends – to exchange notes on their experience in the new career adventure – had gradually grown into a bigger group. Just a few weeks later, the group met again – this time with twice the number of participants. The subsequent gatherings had over 30 participants.

Curious to learn more about its inception – and just “how did they do it?” – we got in touch with Heather Clisby, Press Secretary for DOC. In this Part One of our exclusive interview, Heather relays the origins of DOC and provides us insights into the job opportunities available for dropouts. Read on!

Beyond the medical field: DOC aspires to unite the global community of certain professionals who seek to shape healthcare through innovative careers, according to Heather Clisby (pictured). Photo credit: DOC
Beyond the medical field: DOC aspires to unite the global community of certain professionals who seek to shape healthcare through innovative careers, according to Heather Clisby (pictured). Photo credit: DOC

MIMS: How did the concept of Drop Out Club (DOC) come about?


Heather: DOC was officially established when two members of the original party created a simple website for the group. The community naturally grew through word-of-mouth. Employers soon discovered the group and submitted job opportunities that were circulated by email. As the online community thrived, the site was built out, and the job posting process was formalised to meet recruiters' needs.

Given the New York roots of DOC, there was a strong initial presence of finance-oriented members and opportunities (e.g. investment banking, equity research, venture capital, private equity and hedge funds). However, the group has since become more diverse. Our geographic footprint has expanded from the Big Apple to include every US state and 122 countries. Hence, making DOC the most connected and diverse networking destination for biomedical professionals and employers.

MIMS: What are the main objectives of DOC, and what are its future goals?

We aspire to unite the global community of certain professionals who seek to shape healthcare through innovative careers outside of traditional clinical and research tracks. We focus on three specific objectives – to connect members with great opportunities that leverage their unique backgrounds and experience, to help employers rapidly source talent with highly specific biomedical and business experience, as well as to facilitate the online and in-person exchange of ideas, insights and opportunities among our members. In a nutshell, we aim to foster a supportive community.

Ultimately, we expect that DOC will improve the healthcare system by placing those who understand the real content of healthcare in leadership positions.

DOC regularly organises networking mixers to enable enthusiastic members to share their experiences and discuss the availability of new opportunities. Photo credit: DOC
DOC regularly organises networking mixers to enable enthusiastic members to share their experiences and discuss the availability of new opportunities. Photo credit: DOC
 
MIMS: Is this website open to all healthcare professionals, or just doctors?

The DOC membership is intended for doctors, scientists and other biomedical professionals interested in innovative career options. Our membership includes many individuals with a wide range of advanced biomedical degrees from Medical Doctors to Masters and PhDs in various sciences. Thus, pharmacists, nurses, dentists and veterinarians also make up the DOC community. Statistically, approximately half of DOC members are medical doctors, one quarter are medical science PhD holders, and one quarter have dual graduate degrees.

MIMS: Is it free to join and advertise on the website?

Yes, DOC membership is free. Employers do have to pay a fee to post jobs on the website. Following this, jobs are emailed to interested members (based on their profile settings and preferences) and will remain on the website for 90 days.

MIMS: What are the types of companies/industries that choose to advertise on the DOC website?

Over 1,000 employers have used DOC to scout unique talent. They run the gamut of the healthcare industry. A few examples include Pfizer, McKinsey & Company, New York University, Remedy Health, Franklin Templeton Investments, Piper Jaffray & Co., Nomad Health and JUICE Pharma Worldwide. Increasingly, we have seen opportunities with start-ups, telemedicine and information technology companies, as those sectors are growing rapidly. However, we have strong representation from all traditional health care industry sectors from finance to consulting to industry. MIMS

In our Part Two of the interview, Heather shares with MIMS the possibilities apart from medical field available out there – should one decide to have a change of career path. Read the interview here!

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