Healthcare Consulting, Management and Policy Careers
“A healthcare consultant acts as an analyst, learning about a healthcare-related organization’s operations in order to improve efficiencies. One of the big roles a consultant plays in any industry is to help an organization identify ways to reduce costs and increase revenue. These jobs are found in all varieties of healthcare organizations from hospitals and medical facilities to health insurance companies. Healthcare consultants can be hired directly by the healthcare company as an ongoing consultant or analyst, or they might work for an outside consulting company that sends people to consult at a variety of client organizations.” Read more at flexjobs.
“Health policy broadly describes the actions taken by governments—national, state, and local—to advance the public’s health. It is not a single action but requires a range of legislative and regulatory efforts ranging from ensuring air and water quality to supporting cancer research,” per Healthfully. “Health policy analysts (or health policy specialists) in the public sector assess existing healthcare programs and delivery policies and develop new legislation designed to improve access to healthcare, shorten wait times, or lower costs. Not all health policy analysts are employed by governments or government agencies. Health policy analysts also work for think tanks, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. Some develop new policies and lobby legislators to enact their innovations as law. Others spend their days developing internal policies for hospitals, insurance companies, and medical networks.” Read more about the responsibilities, skills needed, and earnings at Noodle.
“Health care administrators, also known as health services managers and health care managers, direct the operation of hospitals, health systems and other types of organizations. They have responsibility for facilities, services, programs, staff, budgets” and more per explorehealthcareers. “While few healthcare administrators interact directly with patients, they do develop and maintain systems intended to enhance the overall health of the community in which they serve. They also regularly work closely with a number of other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and even insurance agents. Most medical and health services managers work in hospitals, physician offices, residential care services, outpatient care centers, or government facilities.” Read common job titles, work setting, and earnings at Discover Health Admin.
Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include Alliance for Public Policy, ScienceDaily, MedPage Today, and Kaiser Health News. Subscribe to blogs and newsletters, follow industry insiders on social media and research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Company websites, O*NET, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are equally helpful resources. You must show not only an interest, but also knowledge about the industry.
- To learn more about careers, see the links above. In addition, ExploreHealthCareers.org provides various careers to learn about in this arena.
- Firsthand Guides (create a free account with your Georgetown email) share comprehensive information on various careers. Relevant guides include Healthcare Management, Healthcare Management Jobs, Health Care Consulting and Pharmaceutical Jobs, and Consulting Jobs.
- “Healthcare Consulting: Everything you Need to Know” provides a helpful summary of project and client types in this work. Check out this recording of a panel of alumni discussing their careers in health and life sciences consulting along with their insights into how to land a job in the industry. Cawley’s careers in consulting webpage provides a lot of information on the general consulting field including types, roles, skills needed, recruiting timeline, and case interview preparation.
- U.S. Health Policy Gateway is a comprehensive site to learn about the health policy community, including key players (government, research, trade associations, and more).
- Check out our YouTube playlist with recordings with alumni panelists in this industry sharing their careers in healthcare management, policy, tech, project management, and more. Also, check out our Health Policy on the Hill video to learn about one alum’s career healthcare policy.
Attend employer information sessions, industry events — on and off-campus — and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally. AcademyHealth, National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement are nonprofits seeking to transform healthcare. A relevant professional association for healthcare consultants is the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants. If you are interested in health care administration, get involved with the Health Care Administrators Association. For those interested in healthcare administration and/or healthcare consulting, network locally with the Maryland Association of Health Care Executives (MAHCE), which encourages student participation. And for those interested in healthcare policy, get acquainted with the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management and the the D.C. chapter of Society of Health Policy Young Professionals. Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational, and networking events. If the cost of membership is prohibitive, contact leadership and ask if there are sliding scale prices for students. Volunteering for a conference, educational, or social event is another great way to connect with leaders in the industry.
Develop a LinkedIn profile that communicates your personal and professional brand. For help building your profile, use LinkedIn’s profile checklist (PDF). Joining groups on LinkedIn related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask questions. Also, reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway and Georgetown’s alumni page on LinkedIn. Our website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing.
Making Connections at Georgetown
Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Joining a school club is an excellent way to learn more about the industry, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Some related clubs and councils include AcademyHealth, The Triple Helix, and other clubs associated with the School of Health. For those of you interested in exploring a career in consulting, apply to clubs such as Innovo Consulting or Hilltop Consultants. Participate in research and get published in the peer-reviewed Georgetown University Journal of Health Sciences or present at the Undergraduate Research Conference. You may want to participate in a group based on a personal interest and develop your professional skills. For example, if you are interested in gaining skills in data analysis or general business skills, join a student group of interest and volunteer to work on related projects. For more student club information, visit Campus Groups. On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills valued by employers.
To better understand what skills you need to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry level positions in these industries. Your resume should be one page. Use strong action verbs and focus on your skills and accomplishments to show (not just tell) an employer that you have the required abilities. Be concise. See our resume section for more tips and advice. Be energetic, intelligent and aware when writing cover letters. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities. The purpose of a cover letter is to convince someone to interview you. For more on cover letters, see our cover letter tips.
For healthcare consulting positions, you may be required to conduct case interviews during the interview process. Check out the Firsthand Guide to Case Interviews as a starting point. In addition, review our case interviewing page and this page of health and life science-related cases (though, many firms will use general vs. health-related cases). For policy-related jobs, a writing sample may be required.
- U.S. Health Policy Gateway: Provides a list of organizations working in healthcare policy, including government agencies (local, state, federal), foundations, research organizations, consumer groups, and more.
- List of healthcare consulting companies in the DC and NYC regions and Firsthand’s “Top Consulting Firms for Health Care Consulting”
- Key Employers: Health Maintenance Organizations (e.g., Kaiser Permanente), Medical Group Practices, Health Insurance Providers (e.g., Blue Cross/Blue Shield), Community Hospitals, Government (e.g., DC Health Department, Department of Health and Human Services), Think Tanks, International Organizations (e.g., WHO), Lobbyists, Research Universities, Biotech and Pharmaceutical Companies (e.g., Pfizer, Abbott Labs, J&J)