Working for Health Insurance – Is This Really the Dark Side?


doctor with brief case pixaby

“Work for a health insurance company? You mean go to the dark side? No thanks!”

This is what I hear a lot from my clients who are considering a non-clinical career. However, with the way things are going in medicine, some are reconsidering. They are willing to temporarily suspend judgment to at least learn about this area. What they are finding out is the dark side is not necessarily so dark after all.

To get the inside scoop, I interviewed one of my awesome clients who generously agreed to share her experience working for a major health insurer. For the purpose of this interview, I will refer to her as Dr. Crawford (not her real name).

Background: Dr. Crawford is board certified in internal medicine and practiced for over 10 years before transitioning into the health insurance industry.

HF: What is a typical workday like for you?
Dr. Crawford: I work from home, usually 8 am – 5 pm. I take an hour off for lunch. My work focuses on Medicare inpatient claims. I participate in case management rounds. These are generally for chronically ill patients that are in the hospital a lot. Nurses prep the information for me and we do rounds on the phone. A lot of times there are crazy social issues. There was a patient who had some medical and psych issues. The hospital tried to place him in 40 skilled nursing facilities to no avail, as no one would accept him due to behavioral issues. We had to push the case managers at the hospital to get him a guardian since his family was not caring for him. Finally they were able to place him in a nursing home. I also do some appeals for cases that have been denied and a few pre-certifications.

HF: Are you required to go into an office at all?
Dr. Crawford: No. I don’t go into an office. Instead, there are occasional meetings in surrounding cities where I learn about new Medicare policies and anything that affects my workflow. This is when I see my other team members. I work with 2 family practitioners and one oncologist.

HF: How do you deal with doctors who are angry because you are questioning their treatment plan or denying something?
 Dr. Crawford: I tell them I understand your frustrations and how with discharge plans social issues can get in the way. I don’t always nitpick down to the minute criteria. I let them know I understand that these things can come up with older folks, that I used to take care of them. It is only rarely that I have to speak to doctors who are upset. I’ve probably had 2 in the past 10 months. Of my cases, only about 10% require a peer-to-peer where I need to speak to the physician. One guy threatened to sue me personally for my decision. I said OK I am going to end this call because you are repeatedly threatening me and let him know of his right to appeal the decision.

HF: What do you like about your job?
Dr. Crawford: I love working at home. I like my team. I like my superiors and the management structure of the company. They take your concerns into consideration and try to make it work for you. The benefits and pay are really good. I enjoy getting to use my medical knowledge. It’s not a simple job, but there is so much less stress than when I was in clinical practice.

HF: What don’t you like about your job?
Dr. Crawford: There is a lot of typing and mousing. I was having trouble with my wrists before and I still do…I get up and take some breaks and move around.

HF: How are you treated?
Dr. Crawford: Really well. In my last job I was a corporate employee. This is vastly different experience. I was warmly welcomed. I have one-on-one meetings with my boss. When I was in practice as a corporate physician, they always forgot Doctor’s Day. This year I received 42 Happy Doctor’s Day emails. It’s a much better feeling.

HF: What kind of compensation could a doctor anticipate for an entry-level position?
Dr. Crawford: $200 – $220K. There are lots of good benefits. We have a nice 401K match, annual raises, a generous yearly bonus. Health insurance, dental, disability, some employee discounts. EAP. Financial counseling. 23 days PTO, 5 days CME, CME stipend and malpractice coverage

HF: What advice would you give other doctors who are interested in working for a health insurance company?
Dr. Crawford: I would not discount it based on any preconceived notions about insurance companies. I have always felt that the criteria they have is based on sound medical evidence. It made sense to me. I found it to be clinically sound and sensible. I never thought, “I can’t believe they are doing this.” My boss is always telling me, if there is any question in your mind, always err on the side of the patient.

HF: What are the opportunities for advancement?
Dr. Crawford: I could move up and become a senior medical director and then a regional medical director. I don’t think I want my boss’s job. There is a lot of HR you have to do in addition to regular job. They are big on career development. You have two reviews a year and you need to write down your goals and how you will accomplish them. They suggest you find a mentor in the company for support and guidance. One other area that medical directors can be involved in is the medical policy department.

HF: Do you see yourself doing this job long term?
Dr. Crawford: Yes I hope I can do this until I retire.

HF: What kind of doctor would make a good fit for this kind of work?
Dr. Crawford: Anyone who would appreciate the lifestyle improvement and doesn’t need to continue clinical care. There are all specialties. As long as they maintain board certification. We have a lot of primary care physicians, including pediatricians, as well as OB/Gyns, an anesthesiologist, a spine surgeon, one neurosurgeon, a dentist, and a pharm D.

HF: What kind of doctor would not be a good fit for this kind of work?
Dr. Crawford: One who wants to be clinical or who is not a team player.

HF: How is this job different than you expected?
Dr. Crawford: Much better than expected. Great company. They take their employees’ concerns into consideration. They have their HR stuff straight. There are less issues than at my last company. I have not found anything wrong in their policies.

HF: How much do you enjoy the work you are doing?
Dr. Crawford: It is not always the most intellectually stimulating, but I am reading medical cases, and applying the criteria. I get to use my medical brain. I won’t say I am passionate about it. But it is doable and easy.

HF: Do you miss anything from your previous work as an internal medicine physician?
Dr. Crawford: No!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Crawford’s job focuses on Medicare patients in the hospital setting. A physician working for the commercial side of insurance, and with outpatients, will have different duties. For those interested in applying for a health insurance position, the general requirements are 3 – 5 years clinical experience, active licensure, and board certification. It is helpful to have some type of utilization review or management experience, but this may not be necessary.



Latest Posts

Find what you're looking for:

Heather Fork


  1. Antoinette on March 25, 2016 at 6:15 am

    What are some companies to work for in this capacity and how do you find the work?

    • Heather Fork on March 25, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Any health insurance companies, such as Humana, Anthem, Aetna, Bluecross Blueshield, etc. You can search the company website as well on job sites such as and, and others.

  2. on March 25, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I find it interesting that the physicians “policing us” make more money working 9-5 than the physicians actually doing the care. It just seems wrong.

    • Heather Fork on March 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you for your comment Tracey. I can understand your feelings. Many doctors are underpaid, and do so much for free. Lawyers would never do all of the free things that doctors are asked to do, such as phone calls, and now texting and emailing. There are a lot of problems inherent in a system where there is third-party payor for services, and most people can’t afford to pay their own medical expenses if they are seriously ill or injured. It has created the need for all these layers of bureaucracy, which in part has resulted in decreased reimbursement for those actually taking care of the patients. There are a lot of plumbers who make more than physicians.

      • Abby on March 28, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        How can we fix it?

  3. Heather on May 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Does anyone know the movie where a female doctor left that business and worked for an insurance company and then left to start her own business

    • Heather Fork on May 27, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Hello Heather,
      I think you may be referring to Dr. Linda Peeno, who was featured in the Showtime docudrama “Damaged Care.” She was also featured in the movie “Sicko.”
      I hope this is what you were looking for. Heather

  4. Maria de la Cruz on June 16, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Would a recruiter be of any benefit to find these positions?

    • Heather Fork on June 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Hello Maria, Thank you very much for reading and for your question. Recruiters can be helpful. You can find them sometimes on LinkedIn by searching for physician recruiter matched with a variety of health insurance companies and also searching on your state. There are also some independent recruiters who are not affiliated with a specific insurance company who do recruiting as well. They can be a bit harder to find, but searching on different terms such as physician recruiter, health insurane, medicare, utilization management, etc. may produce some results. Heather

  5. TAMMY on September 20, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Would you ever work for an insurance company and declare a person not disabled because you were told to, even though they were

    • Heather Fork on September 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Hello Tammy, thank you for reading and asking a good question. My answer is “absolutely not.” As a physician, our duty is to the patient and whatever determinations we make need to come from an unbiased review of the medical history, examination and studies. When we make a determination, we have to sign our name saying that is our decision and know that we make that decision in full integrity. I am curious if you know of someone who has had this experience?

      • John T on March 22, 2021 at 8:03 pm

        Heather, I suspect you are in the minority. I am on the receiving end of a denial of coverage for my 28 year old daughter. She has CP, contracted a lung infection in December and is on a ventilator; a tracheostomy was performed in January. She has been on the ventilator for 3 months, preparing to be weaned in 2 weeks.
        Last week, when the coverage was up renewal for another few days, it was denied. Here’s the reason, arrived at by an Aetna Medical Director:

        “Little to no improvement in your condition is expected, coverage is denied”.

        I appealed it and again it was denied, same reason.

        So, to all doctors who think they are going to be “helping patients” working for an insurance company instead of practicing medicine, think again. Sure, it’s a cushy job, but you’re deceiving yourselves about helping patients. You will be helping the insurance company save money by denying claims. The CEO of Aetna made $59 Million dollars in 2017, they need the cash to pay big salaries to their top tier.

        • Heather Fork on March 23, 2021 at 12:36 am

          Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience John. I can only imagine how upsetting it is for you to have this coverage for your daughter denied especially to be told that little to no improvement in her condition is expected. It is heartbreaking to hear this. I do hope that she does improve and gets the care she needs. I know there absolutely there are times when the physician wants to approve care through the insurance but is not able to. And there are times when the physician is granted the ability to do what they feel is right, even if it doesn’t fit the guidelines. Our system is far from what it needs to be. I wish there were a great answer to healthcare delivery. In other countries where there is a national healthcare system, I have seen the waitlists and delays to get care. We need a system I will agree with you. And I do know that there are good physicians who work for health insurance companies who do their very best to get the care patients need.

  6. Adriana Canas-Polesel on February 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Dr Fork

    I just signed on to work for Anthem as a medical director. I went to the SEAK conference in Chicago in October. I’ve been thinking about leaving clinical medicine for some time. I love my patient care and interactions it is just the mental exhaustion I’ve experienced and the lack of being able to shut off completely when not at work. It helped me a lot to listen to the presenters at SEAK regarding their experiences and how varied the jobs they have taken are. At first I was afraid to work for an insurance company as it is the dark side of medicine but talking to other doctors and actually knowing 3 physicians who made this transition 3-5 years ago has helped me understand the role better and they feel they are helping patients in a different way. I also thank you for your inspiring presentation at the SEAK conference

    • Heather Fork on February 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      Hello Adriana,

      Your timing is impeccable! Today I had a planned call with the physician who presented on Health Insurance at the SEAK conference, and I passed on your message and good news! He was happy to hear that you found the conference helpful in opening the doors to a new perspective on working for Health Insurance, and that you have found a position. Congratulations! I hope you have a great start at Anthem and wish you well. We would love to hear back from you in 6 months if you would like to share an update. Thank you for reading on The Doctor’s Crossing and commenting, and your kind words about my presentation. Happy Valentine’s Day, Heather

    • Ann S on March 31, 2017 at 10:50 am

      How did you find the job at Anthems? Was there job fairs or recruiting desks at SEAK? Thanks

    • Ann Shang on April 5, 2017 at 6:17 am

      Hi Adrianaa,
      Did you land the job through a recruiter or another venue?

      • Heather Fork on April 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Hello Ann,

        Let me see if I can find out that answer for you. From my experience with my clients, some apply directly to postings listed on or the company’s website, and some through recruiters. Heather

        • Ann on April 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm

          I have not seen the appropriate listing on the company websites. I think recruiters would have the better access or they can direct me to the right people. Thanks for checking Heather.

          • Heather Fork on April 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm

            Yes good idea to connect with recruiters, they definitely have the insider tract, and as positions are available, some companies will post the positions on their sites, as well as on and other job sites.

      • David on October 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

        Hello Ann,

        I am a board certified pediatrician who made the transition into insurance medicine as a medical director. During my job search, I connected with several recruiters through LinkedIn. Most accepted my connection but never responded to my inquiries. I did receive responses from a few, and even a phone interview with one recruiter, but ultimately these connections never led anywhere. In the meantime, I also repeatedly applied for positions that were listed on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and the career websites from the insurance companies themselves. It was a very frustrating process.

        I ultimately began to connect with medical directors in leadership positions through LinkedIn. Any time I completed an application, I would try to find both a medical director and recruiter for the company I had applied to and follow up with them on my application. It was one of these connections that eventually led to my first interview, several months after I started my job search. This interview ultimately led to the position. The moral of the story is to network as much as you can and keep trying. These positions are much more competitive than clinical positions, and persistence is also key.

        • Heather Fork on October 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm

          Thank you David for sharing this very helpful information about your personal experience finding a position in insurance medicine. Congratulations to you. Persistence really does pay off. I’m impressed with your creativity and stick-tuitiveness. Other approaches that I have seen increase one’s chances is doing chart reviews and other U/R work on the side, as an independent contractor or PT employee. Recruiters and Hiring Authorities look for this experience as the work is often what one would be doing FT in an insurance job. If you are doing chart review, and liking it, the hiring company has more assurance that you will like working for them. Also, at the SEAK Non-Clinical Careers Conference, there are recruiters from insurance companies as well as Independent Review Organizations (IRO’s) and other chart review companies. Making an in-person connection at the conference can really help with getting hired!

  7. Dr. Rajgopal. V on March 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hello Heather.
    I need an urgent favor from you. I am now over 15 years in clinical medicine and tired of it. I am a GP and would like to shift to the health insurance sector. I am an indian citizen but living and working in Kenya. I also have some 4 years experience in the pharmacy industry. Where can I get information about jobs in health insurance (medical director or advisory roles)? Your help will be very much appreciated.

    • Heather Fork on March 28, 2017 at 3:13 am

      Hello Dr. Raj,
      I am very sorry to hear how burned out you are feeling. I can appreciate your feelings and strong desire to find some non-clinical options.
      Were you looking for jobs in Kenya? Where was your work in the pharmacy industry. If you could give me a little more information about where you were thinking of trying to find a non-clinical role, that would be helpful. Kindest regards.

  8. Dr. Rajgopal. V on March 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Continuing from the above comment I am now suffering from an acute burnout and can’t face seeing another patient!! I am keen to explore offers in Dubai or Europe or Singapore.

  9. AD Clinician on April 24, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    What are the entry level positions called (meaning what do I search for on these sites) for MDs looking to transition into the insurance field?

    • Heather Fork on April 24, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hello Audrey, the positions are usually titled, “Medical Director.” You can search on the individual company sites, such as Anthem, Cigna, etc. You can also look on

  10. Ida on May 13, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    This is very interesting. We have 2 children in toddler age (I’m in my early 40s). Tiring of clinical medicine and hoping to homeschool. Would this be a good transition?

    • Heather Fork on May 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Hello Ida,

      Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog. If some of what you read in this blog sounds interesting to you, then working for us insurance company might possibly be a good fit for you. As you might expect, physicians who work for insurance companies have different experiences and some find the environment works well for them and others decide that it’s not their cup of tea. If you are considering this possibility, it’s good to talk to a number of doctor’s who are working for insurance/managed-care and then draw your own conclusions. You could also do a total debt by trying out chart review as an independent contractor which can be similar to the insurance work and see how you like that. Good luck to you!

  11. Ala on May 20, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Hi, I am a GP who is looking for further degree after getting MBBS and 3 years practice, recently I am working as a medical director (they call it here insurance physician) in a healthcare provider, any suggestions?

    • Heather Fork on May 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Hello Ala, thank you for your inquiry. You mentioned you are looking for a further degree after getting your MBBS, and that you are working as a medical director. Could you kindly give me a few more details about your situation and your goals? Are you wanting to continue to work in insurance medicine? Are you in India? Do you know what your additional degree options are? Thank you in advance for the additional information.

  12. Catwoman on May 22, 2017 at 2:17 am

    People who are not seeing the patients are deciding who should have the Ct or MRI and people like us who sees the patients has to beg. Scary. But that s what the medicine has become

  13. Catwoman on May 22, 2017 at 10:35 am

    My hubby is a psychiatrist and I m a primary care physician.when we all became doctors, we promised to take care of the patients and be their voice if they are in trouble. I think it s ok to do any job but we have to be able to sleep at night. There will be a reaction or karma waiting for us at the end and there are many examples in real life.
    I am a partner in a group. We are busy. We forget to say happy doctor s day sometimes. Because we are so busy taking care of patients in need. It shouldn’t matter if patients don’t know or others forget about doctor s day. My conscience is clear and I m still a doctor whether it s doctor s day or not! Medicine has changed so much though.

    • Heather Fork on May 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Happy Belated Doctor’s Day Nilar. It sounds like you have a heart for taking care of patients and being their advocate. I applaud your effort and commitment. Being a doctor does have a lot of challenges, increasingly so, and each person has to find the right environment to care for patients and not become burned out and cynical. Wishing you and your physician husband all the best in your practices.

  14. Hilari L Fleming on June 8, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I am very interested in finding this work. at age 61, i need to slow down from neurosurgical clinical work. Are there jobs for neurosurgeons with extensive clinical experience and how can I find them? I’m not sure how they are posted, and generally just find clinical jobs. Thanks!

    • Heather Fork on June 9, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Hello Hilari, you have a very challenging specialty, and I can understand why at 61 you would want to titrate down on your clinical practice. In general, health insurance companies hire primary care physicians for their full-time positions, but some do hire specialists, including surgeons, although this is less common. Some third party companies that do benefits management/utilization review for insurance companies may specifically advertise for neurosurgeons, especially spine surgeons. These third party companies (also know as Independent Review Organizations) often hire neurosurgeons to be on their panel of reviewers, and this kind of work comes under the umbrella of “chart review” and can be done as an independent contractor on a part-time basis. Some insurance companies may contract with neurosurgeons on a part-time or as needed basis for reviews. One of the best sites I have found for these non-clinical positions is on Other areas to consider – Expert Witness, Independent Medical Exams (IME’s), Worker’s Comp and Disability reviews, Medical Writing and Consulting.

  15. Jodi Shields MD on August 20, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    I am a physiatrist, board-certified for 20+ years. A great deal of my work has been with worker’s compensation, veterans, lots of depositions, and now a lot of writing. I would LOVE to get out of doing any more patient care because I have found it increasingly unsatisfying. I have excellent writing and presentation skills and am, as a physiatrist, definitely used to being a team player in all aspects of care. Where would you recommend I start? Thanks, in advance, for any advice you can give me!

    • Heather Fork on August 21, 2017 at 4:42 am

      Hello Jodi, it sounds like you would be an excellent candidate to work for a company in the area of disability determinations, if this were of interest to you. There are jobs both in the private sector and for the government. Your clinical background in physiatry with board certification and 20 plus years experience, combined with excellent writing skills make you a very strong candidate. From what it sounds, you should be able to find PT or FT work that is completely nonclinical. For more information, please feel free to reach out to me at or through my website,

  16. Melanie Simard on October 22, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I just moved to the US. I worked as a family physician in Canada for 6 years, doing mostly in-patient (what is called an hospitalist here I believe) and some office work as well. I could get my right to practice in the US without any additional exams or anything but I am not sure I want to go back to clinical practice as things are a bit different here.
    That being said, I am considering all my other options now and working for an insurance company is definitely one of them. How much do you have to know about the US insurance system before you can get a similar job ? Do you think I would still have a chance to get a job if I apply even if I have not worked in the US ? What are your thoughts ?
    Also, since you work from home, I am guessing that you can work for companies that have their offices based pretty much anywhere in the country without having to move there, is that right ?
    Thank you so much for your help. Feel free to give me any additional information that you might think is useful.

    • Heather Fork on October 25, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Hello Melanie, I apologize for the delay in answering your question. I was at the SEAK NonClinical Careers conference this weekend, but I did have the chance to speak with two recruiters about your question. They both work for health insurance companies. They said that if you have a US license and live in the US and have board certification, you would potentially be eligible to work for a health insurance company. To be competitive with other applicants, it is helpful to have experience doing “chart review” which involves utilization review, medical necessity, peer and quality review work, as well as being on a utilization review, quality or peer review company. Some companies offer remote options, others have you go into the office periodically, and some are fully on-site. Hope this helps!

  17. Emad on December 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Dr.Fork
    I just moved to US and am board eligible in orthopedic from Saudi Arabia but not yet had the exam.
    I didn’t set yet for USMLE.
    Can I get tgis type of work without USMLE

    • Heather Fork on December 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Hello Emad, thank you for reading. You would need to have a US license to work in the capacity of a physician medical director for a health insurance/managed care plan. Most also require board certification. Some smaller plans will accept board eligibility. Hope this helps!

      • Emad on December 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        Thanks for your replay.
        Any idea about type of work does not require license till I finish the the USMLE

  18. Mick on December 28, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Hi. Very informative blog. I was wondering if there are any positions available to radiologists with insurance companies. And if not, any other non-clinical opportunities? Thanks!

    • Heather Fork on December 28, 2017 at 3:55 am

      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for reading and for your question. While some insurance companies focus on primary care specialties, others are much more broad-based in their hiring and do employ radiologists. Radiologists can be very helpful in utilization review and benefits management, as well as protocol and guideline development. I don’t know of any health insurers who are currently hiring radiologists but checking with recruiters from the various companies could be useful. You can often find recruiters by searching on LinkedIn. There are a number of companies that hire radiologists for benefits management of imaging studies, such as AIM Speacialty Health which is a division of Anthem. Magellen Health and Evicore also come to mind. You could consider companies that service and manufacture imaging equipment and mobile MRI companies. Good luck!

  19. Mike on January 4, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I currently am board certified in general pediatrics and completed a general peds residencty, but went on to a subspecialty fellowship, and have three years post-fellowship experience in that field. I will be sitting for my subspecialty boards in the coming year.

    Are there job opportunities for somebody with my certifications/experience?

    • Heather Fork on January 4, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Hello Mike, to answer your question, yes, there should be opportunities in health insurance/managed care for you. Having the general pediatrics experience, as well as subspecialty training and expertise is a good combination. If you can add in some experience (if you don’t have it already) doing chart review as well as serving on committees such as quality and peer review that can be helpful. It can also give you an idea of how much you like this work. Because pediatrics in general is not where the big expenses come in for health plans, there is not as high a need for pediatricians as there would be for internal medicine physicians or oncologists, but there is still a place. Thank you for reading and good luck to you!

  20. Jack on March 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I’m an OBGYN 6 months out of residency. Do you think there is any chance of finding this type of work this early in my career? Are there any certifications or additional training that would be worth me looking into?

    • Heather Fork on March 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Hello Jack, most health insurance/managed care companies want their physician medical directors to have 5 years post-residency in order to apply. They also strongly favor and often require board certification. The state you are licensed it can also make you more or less competitive depending on where their current needs are. Large population states such as TX, CA, FL and NY are often seen as desirable, but it can also just have to do with the company’need at the time. One of the best things you can start doing is getting experience with chart review. This can be Utilization Review and/or Disability and Worker’s Comp. Some companies do require a certain number of years post-residency to do there review – others do not. Getting on a utilization review, peer review or quality committee in your hospital system is also good experience. Anything that gives you some management or leadership skills beyond clinical practice is helpful.

  21. Mark on March 10, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    As a chiropractor with extensive background in impairment ratings for both the worker’s comp side as well as independent ratings and consultation for personal injury attorneys on how to increase the value of cases while dealing with insurance company valuation software such as Colossus, where would I fit in when looking for this type of position?

    • Heather Fork on June 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      You might want to check out Dr. Todd Finnerty’s website as he offers resources for physicians, chiropractors, psychologists and other professionals who want to do IME’s and review work for disability and worker’s comp.

  22. Abby on March 28, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Could you please give an example when a board certified US physician with 5-10+ years of experience ordered something after face-to-face patient care, and you corrected it (denied coverage) based on remote reviewing of his notes?
    From all my previous experience, a position like a medical director is created to save money for an insurance company. Doesn’t it mean “a team player”? There is a direct conflict of interest.
    I would possibly agree that a young fresh doctor might need some supervision from an experienced mentor from the same specialty with a good teaching feedback.

    • Heather Fork on June 21, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      I do not personally do reviews as a medical director but I speak with a lot of physicians who are medical directors and by and large their goal is to serve the patient and try to do what is best for optimal and appropriate care. They do need to work within the guidelines of the patient’s insurance plan, but there can also be given and take here depending on the situation. They have told me that when they do peer-to-peer calls, some physicians have even been grateful when they are able to recommend a study or treatment that is actually better for the patient than what they were intending. It is a given that in managed care, some treatments and procedures are denied when that is not in the best interest of the patient, due to coverage policies, but this is not the status quo and not the intent of good medical directors. You are correct that our system has a lot of problems and we have not found the solution. How to give the best patient that is cost-effective and a wise use of resources will be a questions we continue to try and answer for the foreseeable future.

    • Mac on July 22, 2022 at 5:32 pm

      I have had mixed experiences on this issue. The first time I worked for an insurer dealing with work comp claims, the medical director called me and said “I don’t care whether you authorize or deny a request; just have a good reason for your decision.” We were governed by workers compensation guidelines, so this was pretty straightforward. There were a few times when I strayed outside the guidelines to authorize claims for what I considered good clinical reasons. No one said a word to me.

      The second time I worked for an insurer, everything went swimmingly until I started authorizing a few requests. Then, all of a sudden I’m hearing from the medical director “well did you consider this, consider that; why don’t you go back and review your rationale.” My theory is that they marketed themselves to insurance company with the promise that we have a panel of doctors who will deny almost everything. Naturally the insurance company said “sign me up.” They were sleazy and unethical, and I didn’t last long there.

  23. Dr. Nguyen on June 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Which insurance company does Dr Fork work for?

    • Heather Fork on June 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      This is Heather Fork and I do not personally work for an insurance company. I do career coaching for physicians. Dr. Crawford (not her real name) is the one who works for the insurance company. The company is one of the major insurers, eg. BlueCross, Anthem, Cigna, UnitedHealth, Aetna. I was asked to keep the specific company name confidential.

  24. Aabshar on July 13, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Hello Heather,
    I completed my general surgery residency from India. Currently am doing MBA from a top 20 B school in US. Last week I was approached by Mutuals of Omaha for an informational interview. After reading your blog I have an understanding that I can’t work with them as a medical director as O don’t have US license. Please help me understand the positions they might be contacting me for. I still have my interview due.

    • Heather Fork on July 14, 2018 at 3:35 am

      When is your interview Aabshar? Are you able to ask for any additional information?

  25. Aabshar on July 14, 2018 at 7:13 am

    I have the interview on Friday. Will be asking questions during the interview. Only thing they mentioned was opportunities in financial advisory. Am trying to read more and more to understand that could possibly mean in my case.
    Thank You for guidance. Much appreciate.

  26. sravan on July 27, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for the informative article. Are there any opportunities for Gastroenterologists?

    • Heather Fork on July 29, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      My pleasure. If you polled all of the major health insurance companies, you would find that they hire from a range of different specialties. The majority will often be IM and FP, however, they do need specialists to round out their teams and expertise, hence there are also psychiatrists, surgeons, Ob/Gyns, peds, neurologists, subspecialties of IM such as GI, Cardiology, oncology, etc. When a company hires a specialist often depends on which specialties they already have and what kinds of cases they are getting for review. To be as competitive as possible, it is helpful to have some experience in chart review/utilization management, quality, peer review, etc. State licensure can make a difference as well, since the company may be looking specifically for a certain state license. The more populated states such as CA, TX and FL are often desirable. But that can really vary. Hope this helps!

  27. Jenna on August 25, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Hello! What opportunities are available for a physician without a US license or board certification?

    • Heather Fork on August 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Hello Jenna, you will find a lot more information on your question if you would like to check out several Facebook groups and search on this topic and/or put in a query. You can try the FB group – Physician Non-Clinical Career Hunters as well as Physician Side Gigs.

      A few areas for physicians without a US license or board certification are: medical writing, informatics/EMR, certain areas of pharma such as MSL (medical science liaison) and some positions in drug safety, coding, billing, life insurance underwriting, selling disability policies, administration, advising to health care start-ups, consulting, starting your own business, and of course anything someone could do with a college degree +.

    • Dr rihana on November 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Hello heather fork, this thread has been worth reading
      I have finished my mbbs and have worked as a family physician for 1year in saudi arabia and i already want to persue a career in the insurance field in the kingdom of saudi arabia
      Any entry level opportunities for me?

      • Heather Fork on November 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        Hello Dr. Rihana, I am glad you found the post worth reading. Congratulations on finishing your MBBS. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with opportunities for physicians working in the health insurance sector outside of the US. In the United States, the insurance companies often want the physician to have at least 3 – 5 years of clinical practice experience seeing patients before they will consider hiring them. You might try to find some contacts in Saudia Arabia through LinkedIn. I wish you the best of success.

  28. greath smith on September 22, 2018 at 6:44 am

    This was a useful post and I think it is rather easy to see from the other comments as well that this post is well written and useful. I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work.

  29. Dr rihana on November 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Hello heather fork, this thread has been worth reading
    I have finished my mbbs from Bangladesh and have worked as a family physician for 1year in saudi arabia and i already want to persue a career in the insurance field in the kingdom of saudi arabia
    Any entry level opportunities for me?

  30. Dr. Kingsly on May 4, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Could you please guide me in terms of how to get an entry level job in the insurance company as a recent medical school grad with just one year of residency? Thank you!

    • Heather Fork on May 5, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Hello Dr. Kingsly, thank you for your question. I would recommend talking to some recruiters for the various health insurance plans and seeing what kind of positions they would consider you for and what kind of experience they are looking for. One role to consider is being a physician recruiter, if that kind of job appeals to you. Your MD and medical experience would be a definite advantage when interfacing with other physicians interested in working as a medical director for a health plan. The recruiters and other physicians already working for health insurance companies are going your best bet for networking. You can do this through LinkedIn and some of the physician FB groups, such as The Physician Non-Clincal Career Hunters FB group.

  31. Lydia on September 24, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you for this interview with “Dr Crawford”, it was enlightening. I am board certified Family Medicine with over 20 yrs clinical experience. I am seeking a career change into health insurance as a medical director. Is there some negotiation room for starting income, or benefits such as PTO, etc? And do these positions sometimes offer signing bonuses? These are options I have encountered with clinical jobs, so wondering if this is also possible with non clinical positions. Thank you

    • Heather Fork on September 24, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting Lydia, much appreciated. Congratulations on your 20+ years of practicing – no mean feat. Most of the health insurance companies offer pretty good compensation that is often competitive or better than the average primary care salary. Some will have a bit of negotiation room for the starting salary if the physician has Utilization Review experience, and most do have fairly nice benefit packages. Signing bonuses are possible but not sure how common. Publically traded companies often include some stock option benefits. I do recommend negotiating if there are things you want to try and ask for. It’s helpful if you can make a value proposition for what you are bringing to the table when you do negotiate. Good luck!!

  32. Renee May on October 23, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I have found this article and comment feed very informative. I am a physician assistant with 10 years clinical experience. I am looking into transitioning from the clinical field and I’ve been told that there are opportunities with insurance companies. Do you know how often insurance companies hire APPs for this type of position? Is it just as competitive for APPs as it seems to be for physicians? Thank you so much for your time.

    • Heather Fork on October 23, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Renee, you are most welcome. I do not personally know the answer to this. I know they do hire nurses. I would recommend reaching out to some recruiters on LinkedIn who are at one of the major health insurance companies and asking this question! Good luck. Let me know what you find out.

  33. L. Sandi on June 11, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Are there any opportunities for Ophthalmologists at the big Insurance Companies?

    • Heather Fork on June 12, 2020 at 3:00 am

      Hi L. Sandi! Thanks for your question. Yes, insurance companies do hire ophthalmologists. They don’t hire as many as say IM or FP’s, but the big companies tend to like to have physicians representing a good cross-section of the specialties. A lot of the insurers will use external specialists for reviewers as well. This is a good way to get started with U/M work. If you can do chart review as an independent contractor for insurance companies or independent review organizations, you increase your platform and experience and also find out how you like the work (if you are not doing this already). There are costly procedures and medications in ophthalmology and insurers need help in setting policies and guidelines for these things and monitoring the use.

  34. Teresa Novak, PA-C, MPAS on August 6, 2020 at 4:00 am

    I so enjoyed your article, as well as the questions and answers. Continuing on the topic of Ms. May’s question, above, I am in my 30th year of practice as a family practice physician assistant, and I am suffering from severe burnout. My patients have been the joy and the bane of my life, following me through several clinics, and they are still referring friends and family to me. As you know, studies show that providers now spend twice as much time doing paperwork and documentation as they do in direct patient care. My typical clinic days are now 7:30 AM to 10 PM, because of this issue. I am very detail oriented, and I feel that I should have enough experience by now to have value to an insurance company or to some other non-clinical position.
    I had never before felt limited as a P.A., but now I am realizing that I would still need a collaborating physician to keep my state license active, even working for an insurance company and telecommuting. Have you learned of any other resources for non-physician providers?
    I am so grateful for your time and expertise.

    • Heather Fork on August 6, 2020 at 4:30 am

      Hello Teresa, thank you so much for reading on the blog and commenting. You have certainly dedicated yourself to your profession and I am truly sorry that it has become such a burden. Your hours are terrible! I have recently found a career resource for PAs. Her name is Jennifer Hohman and While the majority of her work is helping PAs find clinical jobs, she can also advise on nonclinical options.
      Below is a link for her website:

      Here is her email:

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to share some feedback on what resources you find helpful.

      All my best to you in your career pursuits!


  35. James Brown on March 17, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    I find it very disturbing that a physician, who doesn’t know the patient, nor the patient’s medical history, sitting from his home office reviewing a pre-authorization of the diagnostic procedure just can deny it because of some “general best-practice/cost saving guidelines” he /she is relying on. There is already a conflict of interest.
    – The attending physician –> wants the best for the patient
    – The insurance –> tries its best to minimize cost –> maximize profit
    – The physician working for the insurance has the insurance goals as his guiding principle, and therefore will always try to find a way to deny service. Maybe there is a bonus structure along the line of the more you deny the higher will be your bonus, etc.

    The biggest problem in the healthcare service: Having Insurance Companies working with profit-maximizing in mind while controlling the healthcare provided to the patients.
    This is not to say there should not be any checks and balances to mitigate the risk of fraud and waste!
    But I think everyone, if he/she is honest to themselves, knows what I say is the truth!

    • Heather Fork on March 23, 2021 at 12:39 am

      Thank you James for your input. You are right, the current system is not ideal. We need a better system. Maybe we shall see this in our lifetime.

  36. Michael J Katz MD on August 28, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    This is a polished alibi for one man’s experience. It is categorically false. Please note that the qualifiers were that he didn’t do peer reviews. Really? The Affordable Care Act mandates peer reviews. These are organized denial mills. Forget about the doctor. The contract holder is a human being. The schemes have given the insurers the opportunity to collect premiums and then deny coverage after accepting the premium. There is little transparency. Aetna denied 93% of ER visits in California. They were fined $500,000. They paid and continued to run the scheme. You have chest pain- Sorry. You have slurred speech – Sorry. The carrier has the advantage. Big Data is their proprietary treasure trove. The insured gave the carrier the data for free and the carrier used it against them. Aetna/CVS donated $500,000 to America First. That is the organization whose officer went off on a Racist tirade. CVS apologized. There are so many nasty disparities in Medicine. Is the Medical Director/Denier making them better or worse? You decide. The only one who wouldn’t like this work is “ someone more interested in clinical work or someone who is not a team player”. Not a team player has been defined by the courts. More interested in clinical work means you respect and like people. If you can’t issue pretextual denials and shut up, and you like people, this work is not for you.

  37. Sam on October 19, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Dr. Fork,

    I am a board-certified physiatrist one year out of residency, working in inpatient rehab, and getting my MBA. What does it take to get one’s foot in the door to these insurance companies? I tried applying to some opportunities. Namely, I am really interested in working for naviHealth (which is now bought by United Health Care) as they work chiefly in the post-acute space. However, I have not had much luck. I realize I don’t have much clinical experience just yet, but is there any hope for someone to get into this space without having years and years of clinical experience?


    • Heather Fork on October 19, 2021 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Sam, thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you are very motivated. You have a great specialty for working in health insurance and while not necessary, the MBA is a nice addition. Most health insurance companies want their physician medical directors to have worked 5 years post-residency in clinical practice. This is to increase your experience as well as your credibility for this role. You may find a plan willing to hire you before this time, but most do prefer the 5 years. You could however look into doing chart review on the side as an independent contractor, which is great preparation for working in health insurance full-time. Chart review companies vary on how much post-residency experience they require but I think you could find some that would take you on. You can listen to a podcast I did on chart review here:

      If you’d like a list of chart review companies, you can find a list under the free resource tab on my website:

      Good luck to you!

  38. N on November 21, 2021 at 3:27 am

    Hi Heather,

    I am an ENT surgeon in India. I need to switch to a non clinical field as I am burnt out completely from practising. Tried to connect with a lot of people on linkedin but I am a little lost as how I should go about it. Any suggestions will be great

    • Heather Fork on November 21, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Hello, I am so sorry to hear that you are burned out, it is such a company problem, all over the world for physicians. I sent you some resources to look into via LinkedIn. I hope these are helpful for you!

  39. Bern on December 1, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Are physicians that work for a health insurance plan as a reviewer able to switch jobs and work for another health insurance plan? It seems like noncompete clauses may prohibit this. What would the physician do in the meantime if they have already left clinical practice?

    • Heather Fork on December 2, 2021 at 5:30 am

      Thanks for reading the blog and asking a great question! In my experience from clients who have gone to a variety of different health insurance plans, having a noncompete is not that common. They do exist so it is important to review a contract carefully. One of my clients had a noncompete that was for a very specific type of plan work and after discussing with the internal recruiter, she did not think this would be an issue if she decided to leave and work for another company. Medical directors for health insurance companies and benefit management companies move around a fair amount and do not seem to be overly restricted from what I see. If it turned out you were restricted from doing a certain of UM work, you might be able to work in a different role, for example as a physician advisor doing utilization management as opposed to working for a health insurance plan.

  40. Kami on March 20, 2023 at 11:13 am

    Hi Heather! I am an 8th grade student researching for a debate. Insurance V Doctors. I have experienced the bad and the good of health care and insurance companies mostly with ADHD medicine for me and diabetic treatment for my mom. Would you say medicine is the best career for the next generation (gen z) to go into? Is it a career that is very demanding of younger generations? Especially with loads of doctors and nurses leaving the industry? Also what about insurance companies? Are people leaving that industry too? Thank you for writing this! I can’t wait for your reply.


    • Heather Fork on March 20, 2023 at 12:00 pm

      Hello Kami! How wonderful you are doing this research! I am curious what your own feelings are about a career in medicine? You are asking excellent questions and I must say one could write on book discussing and debating this topic. I can really only touch the tip of the iceberg here but what I would say is that there are people who are happy in medicine in spite of the challenges in the healthcare system and insurance, and there area record numbers of physicians experiencing burnout and wanting to leave medicine. As far as what is the best career for the next generation to go into, I think the best career is one that the individual has a passion for. There are many changes that need to be made for physicians to be better supported in caring for patients. When and how these changes will be made is hard to predict but I hope we can evolve to a system that is much better for both patients and those caring for them. I recommend anyone interested in a career in medicine to talk to a lot of different people in the healthcare arena and also understand what medicine looks like today will be different in 5, 10 and 20 years. Good luck with your project! Heather

      • Kami on March 21, 2023 at 10:51 am

        Thank you so much for your opinion! I am so glad to get both sides of the story. I will definitely consider these when deciding colleges, universities, and now writing my debate! Thank you!


        • Heather Fork on March 21, 2023 at 11:38 am

          You are very welcome Kami! My pleasure. All the best to you. Heather

Leave a Comment


"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!

- Tim Owolabi, MD

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 doing so, I discovered I still had a calling for medicine but it now came from a place of truth... 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