Take the Nonclinical Career Quiz and Discover the Career That’s Right For You!


I’ve never seen a quiz like this before.

You answer some questions and out comes a potential nonclinical career.

When I took the quiz, my result was Wellness Program Director. My guess is that “career coach” is not a possible answer so this seemed like a reasonable answer to me.

One of my friends who’s a cardiologist and medical writer was given the answer of Medical Publisher Editor-in-Chief.

A client of mine who was recently hired into a great job at a health insurance company received the answer of Managed Care Medical Director.

The quiz was created by Dr. Sylvie Stacy, the founder of the nonclinical job site, Look For Zebras and author of the new book, 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians.

If you’re exploring nonclinical directions, this quiz might be helpful in several ways:

One – seeing what answer the test comes up with for you.

Two – seeing what your answers to each question tell you about yourself.

The quiz asks questions that help you think about your work preferences and what’s important to you in a job.

For example, a question may be assessing your preference for working independently or with a team.

Or whether it’s important for you to use your medical knowledge and training in your next job.

Or whether it’s important for you to advance in your job.

When you come up with your answer for each question, take time to reflect on what it is saying about you. And then ask yourself a follow-up question –


Why do you or don’t you want to work with a team?
Why does it or doesn’t it matter if you use your medical knowledge?
Why is or isn’t it important for you to advance in your job?

Taking this extra step may slow you down a bit as you read through the quiz, but it will give you a lot of additional value and insight than having just one answer at the end.

If you want to take this quiz, it’s free and takes about 10 – 15 minutes.

If you’ve already taken it, you can always go back to revisit the questions and ponder your responses.

If you get a result that isn’t even close to anything you’d want to do – take heart. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a great direction for you.

I’m not sure what the possible answers are for test-takers at the end, but I do know that there are quite a variety of nonclinical jobs, more than would be included in a test.

Also, within one job sector, such as medical writing, pharma, or working for a start-up, there are quite a diverse range of options.

In my work with clients, I’ve seen physicians do everything from all the major traditional nonclinical roles, to start-ups, to entrepreneurial pursuits.

Some of the less traditional areas I’ve seen doctors going into are –

·  Online education through courses and programs
·  Integrative, weight loss and aesthetic practices
·  Investment banking
·  Wealth management, equity investing, CPA
·  Coaching for physicians and non-physicians
·  Telemedicine start-ups
·  Other healthcare-oriented start-ups
·  Speaking
·  Franchises – educational, food, and fitness
·  Real estate
·  Patient Navigator
·  Abe Lincoln Impersonator 😄 (just seeing if you’re still reading.  My mom’s late husband Dan, who was 5’6’’ did this quite successfully for his hurrah career).

Dan became an Abe Lincoln impersonator after he was sitting in a café and he overheard two college students saying how they thought his profile looked like Abraham Lincoln!

While he was not a doctor, I included him for several reasons.

-> It’s good to remember we can do things that don’t need a medical education.
­->We can do out of the box things
->You never know where an idea for your next job or career is going to come from.
->Others may see things in us we don’t realize or take for granted.

The last point is something I wanted to emphasize. When I do my coaching calls, I’m always talking to a very smart physician who has a lot of skills and experience.

But each physician is different and one of my favorite things is to reflect to that person what is unique and different about them in terms of their combination of interests, personality, experience, and talent.

They often don’t fully realize these things because when you live in your own skin, you often underestimate what is special about you.

Maybe you don’t have Abe Lincoln’s profile, and that could be a GOOD thing, but I KNOW there are some things about you that make you a great fit for a job you will enjoy.

Here are three questions that can help you identify some of these unique things about you:

What do you do that feels effortless and is harder for others?
What do people tend to compliment you on?
What do you like doing even if no one is paying you?

Look for clues in these answers.

Like a bird in flight, it’s hard to know our own gifts because they come so naturally to us. 

I’d love to hear what you come up with about yourself!

‘Til next time, Carpe Diem

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  1. Sue Zimmermann on October 1, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I think it’s pretty interesting – I took it and my result was “Medical Education Content Developer” – which is one of the jobs that I’m already doing and enjoying!

  2. Heather Fork on October 1, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    HI Dr. Sue! How cool! I’m glad that the test corroborated something that you are doing and enjoying. Dr. Silvie will be excited to hear this. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your results! Happy content creating and teaching.

  3. Tracey on October 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    I’m with your Mom. There is room for quizzes and coaching retirees. Life isn’t over when you retire from
    medicine or from any career. I’d step up but I haven’t figured out my second act yet.

    • Heather Fork on October 1, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Tracey! You make me laugh! I love it. You are so right. I like the word “rewire” instead of “retire.” It’s not like we have to be put out to pasture and just eat clover. If we have our marbles and have something that motivates us, there is good we can do that gives us satisfaction and others benefit. So much wisdom in those who have seen a lot of life. Thanks for reading!

      For those who did not see my mom’s comment in the blog email, here is what I wrote: PS. When my mom, who also happens to be the editor of my blog, read this post, she remarked that she needed to find a quiz to help her figure out what to do next in her life! I love that idea, a quiz for retirees. Any takers?

  4. Lucy on March 9, 2021 at 4:56 am

    It’s really cool, actually!
    I’m not thrilled with non clinical jobs overall, but the quiz found the one I have already subconsciously determined as “tolerable”😄

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"Heather’s approach was great! She would listen to me and helped me appreciate who I am."

I remember when she said ‘do your resume before our next meeting’, I was about to push back but she gently nudged me along and I’m glad I did exactly what she wanted me to do. We also did interview prep via Zoom and I was offered a great job in UM. She has continued to follow up even after I was offered this job, helping me with pointers about negotiating. I will totally recommend the Doctors Crossing and Heather to anyone feeling stuck like me and looking for a great coach! Thank you Heather!

- Modupe Oladeinde, MD

Family Medicine
Tim O

The coaching I have had with you has been life changing."

You helped me find the courage to seek out leadership positions and become a medical director as well as a physician advisor. I am grateful we crossed paths and am a different person because of it. You have inspired me to "believe" in spite of my inner skeptic. I consider you one of my most important mentors and am proud to also call you a friend. This says a lot given the apprehension I felt when I took a chance with our first coaching session. Even though I have already made a successful transition, I still value your ongoing mentorship and can enthusiastically attest that the value of your services is tremendous!

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Family Medicine
Lynette Charity

“I was at a crossroads in my medical career. I asked myself, "Do I stay or do I go?" 

I met Heather at the SEAK conference. She and I revisited this question.  Did I want to quit being medicine completely? She helped me to identify my needs, wants, and my vision for my FUTURE, not just in medicine, but in life!!!

She was able to listen to my "ramblings" about becoming a stand-up comic, lounge singer and voice-over actor and translate them into action steps.  I chose to become a composite of all of these. Now I am a more confident, healthier, happier person. I credit this in its entirety to the tutelage I have received and continue to receive from Heather.  She cares. She listens. She was there for ME.  She will be there for YOU!

- Lynette Charity, MD

Gail Miller

“I am forever grateful to Heather for helping me to recognize, I am more than just my M.D." 

Heather helped me understand that I am more than just a doctor and that my experiences in clinical medicine are valuable in so many arenas.  As a result I realized that there are other ways to use my background, still be able to help people and continue to challenge myself and grow.  To that end I discovered coaching - specifically health coaching.  I am on my journey becoming a health coach and truly loving it!

- Gail Miller, MD

OB/Gyn physician

“Thank you, Heather, for helping me transform my career, my faith and my life."

What started out as an initial thirty-minute consultation call turned into an amazing four-year journey that transformed my life, personally, spiritually and professionally. 

Heather helped me to discover my passions...by doing so, I discovered I still had a calling for medicine but it now came from a place of truth...

Today...my wife and I are opening our first concierge medicine clinic in a community we love. I’m actually excited to have the opportunity to practice medicine the way I believe it’s meant to be, with a focus on the doctor-patient relationship and an emphasis on faith. I know if I had not reached out to Dr. Fork, my life would not be where it is at today.

- Steve Lapke, MD

Papillion, NE
Sue Zimmermann

“Heather gave me the confidence to create a new livelihood by following my heart."

She is incredibly knowledgeable about the range of careers available to physicians and provided me with advice and connections which I would not have found on my own.  From the start she encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try different things.  I was laid off unexpectedly in early 2017, and Heather gave me the confidence to create a new livelihood by following my heart and making decisions based on trust, not fear.  Now I am enjoying working part-time in a clinical setting in addition to teaching and writing.

- Sue Zimmermann, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon
Devki Patel

After months of struggling to find a non-clinical career that matched my values and passion, I stumbled upon Heather's website which truly changed my life."

Heather's insightful and personalized approach to career coaching made me think outside the box since she took the time to evaluate my personality, values, interests, and preferred lifestyle.

Through her encouragement, practical advice, and professional connections, I was able to find a non-clinical position at a state Medicaid agency that aligned with my passion for population health and serving low-income communities. In addition to her coaching sessions, Heather has built a community of like-minded physicians through her blog, and I feel honored to recommend her to friends and colleagues who seek to make positive changes in their professional and personal lives.

- Devki Patel, MD

Jay Macregor

Working with Heather ultimately helped me leave my job in corporate healthcare and find a path that was much more fulfilling."

My career was going reasonably well but I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling I could do better; or at least find a better long-term career fit.  

I was able to find a surgery job that better aligned with my goals and professional interests.  Additionally, Heather helped me start a consulting business which has allowed me to pursue a true passion: helping medical students, residents, and attendings surgeons navigate the challenges of high-stakes standardized exams.    

If you are reading this as a “Type A” surgeon who doesn’t think coaching is for you, I would encourage you to give Heather a shot.  I’m very glad I did!

- Jay MacGregor, MD

Colorectal Surgeon

“I gained the confidence in myself to develop an action plan that blended the best parts of my experiences and interests into a cohesive career." 

Through our work, I learned to trust myself to make good decisions for my own future – something I hadn’t realized I was struggling with because as an emergency physician, I make life-changing decisions with patients every day. 

By feeding my creativity and interests in other realms of my professional life, I’ve found renewed compassion for my patients and myself, making every shift an opportunity to actually care for people. Thank you Heather. I really couldn’t have made these changes without your help!

- Liz McMurtry, DO

Emergency Medicine Physician

The simple truth is - Heather Fork totally helped me change my life."

I never would have had the courage to make the changes I’ve made without her unwavering support, wealth of knowledge and commitment. 

When I first started working with Heather, I was downtrodden...I’d been practicing medicine for 20+ years and yet had never quite found my place.  During the first year I worked with Heather, I left the practice I’d been working at, and recreated an entirely new professional purpose.

I’m now an executive and leadership coach, a university professor, and a Brené Brown Daring Way facilitator, and I have never looked back.  I love what I am doing more than at any other time in my professional life and I credit Heather with seeing in me what I was never able to see in myself, until now.

Don’t hesitate, don’t doubt yourself, schedule your time with Heather as soon as possible- she can help you reconnect to your purpose and reinvent your life.

- Amie Langbein, DO

Family Physician
KB Karen Barnard Photo

"After 30 years in academic medicine, I wanted a career change but had no idea where to start. Medicine was all I knew."

I signed up for coaching with Heather and it transformed my life. She helped me get clear on what I wanted my life to look like. We reviewed my skills, values, and strengths. She instilled hope in me that change IS possible after 50 years! 

The outcome is that I have created a life I love! I practice endocrinology part-time and own a life coaching business! Coaching with Heather is one of the best investments I have made in my life. 

- Karen Barnard, MBBCh, MPH

Endocrinologist and Life Coach

"Heather was my source of hope during a time when I felt stuck and confused. She gave me the permission and confidence to reach higher than I believed I could."

After graduating from residency and starting a family, I lost sight of why I became a physician. I struggled to convince myself to stay in a career that was clearly the wrong fit for me and my family. My anxiety about work was at an all-time high when I reached out to Heather. She provided something that my mentors, friends, and family could not – rather than just offering career advice, she changed the way I think about my life so that I could understand how my career would fit into it. I realized I wasn’t ready to give up on medicine and eventually found a job in academic medicine. I finally feel that excitement for medicine that I used to feel when I was in training. More importantly, I feel like I can be the role model to my young daughter who may one day also face similar challenges between career and family. Thank you, Heather, for all your kindness, support, and skillful coaching! The experience was life-changing!

- Yuri Shindo, MD

Internal Medicine Physician
Camille Gardner-Beasley

"As a Physician, your personal and even professional needs are often overlooked. I learned how to prioritize my career goals by working with Dr. Heather Fork."

She taught me how to put into practice what I knew in theory, that taking care of myself was a priority. I learned to give myself permission to make the career choices that would give me the work-life balance I desperately craved and needed. The process of confronting fears and insecurities was a bit scary, but well worth it in the end. I am now a happier version of myself with a non-clinical job that I truly enjoy!

- Camille Gardner-Beasley, MD

Family Medicine
Anna testimonial

"After 10 years in outpatient family medicine I felt stuck and knew I needed a change but I didn’t know where to begin. Thankfully I found Heather and she guided me every step of the way."

She helped me carefully assess my interests, strengths and passions while also providing me with constructive changes to implement in my job search and resume. With Heather’s help, I just landed a fully remote UM position and I am also exploring coaching as well. Now I feel like the possibilities are endless and I’m excited for this next chapter in the nonclinical world! Thank you Heather for changing my life for the better.

- Ana Jacobellis, DO


"I'm truly thankful to have had the opportunity to be coached by Heather, she is not only a resourceful mentor but a wise and supportive friend. I'm honored to recommend Heather to all my friends and colleagues."

I had been a practicing Internist for 20 years when I reached a point when I needed to make a serious change in my career path. While I enjoyed seeing patients, I was not satisfied with my life-work balance. My job was taking me away from my family and left me little time and energy to do other things that are important and meaningful to me. I came across Dr. Fork's podcast; The Doctor's Crossing Carpe Diem Podcast, it is such an informative and enjoyable podcast for any physician who wants to do more with their career and life in general. Then I had the pleasure to get career coaching from Heather, it was truly an amazing experience. Heather has broad knowledge of all the different career paths that are available for physicians, she is so insightful and very easy to talk to. She helped me clarify my goals, examine my own mindset and definition of success. Together we developed a clear plan and actionable steps to reach these goals. I eventually made a career transition to a remote non-clinical position that allows me to do meaningful work which aligns with my personal and professional goals and priorities. 

- Abbey Awad, MD

Internal Medicine

"There have been a handful of people who have come into my life and changed it, and Heather is one of those people."

From the very first interaction with Heather, it became abundantly clear that she possessed a systematic approach and a methodology firmly rooted in my focusing on my goals and aspirations. Heather's coaching sessions helped me dismantle limiting beliefs and unearth the capable woman, mother, and physician within me. Under Heather's guidance, I began to dream again. I rediscovered my passion for writing, found the courage to share my stories, and even launched my own coaching practice. Today, I specialize in helping others conquer imposter syndrome and overcome burnout, empowering them to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Working with Heather fundamentally shifted my perspective and allowed me to show up authentically in every facet of my life, resulting in a profound sense of fulfillment.

I am deeply grateful that I can continue my work in the emergency department and serve my community as a physician as well as a coach. Working with Heather was a transformative gift that enabled me to rediscover my true self, find clarity in my life's purpose, and unlock my full potential. Through her guidance, I not only reignited the powerful, confident, and bold version of myself I had lost sight of but also realized the boundless possibilities that lay ahead.

- Maria Dominguez 

Emergency physician and coach