Healthcare Consulting, Management, and Policy

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. Health care policy is that piece of health policy that deals with the organization, financing and delivery of health care services. This includes training of health professionals, overseeing the safety of drugs and medical devices, administering public programs like Medicare and regulating private health insurance.” Read more at Healthfully.

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, relations with other organizations and other management functions, depending on the type and size of the organization.” Read more at explorehealthcareers.

Information Gathering

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. Join relevant listservs; follow industry insiders on social media and research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Vault, available to Georgetown students for free through the career center’s website, is a good place to start your search. 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.

Select Resources

  • Vault Career Insider Guides: Vault Career Guide to Health Care Management, Vault Guide to Health Care Management Jobs, Vault Career Guide to Consulting, Vault Guide to Consulting Jobs
  • To learn more about careers, see the links above. In addition, ExploreHealthCareers.org provides various careers to learn about in this arena.
  • 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) and who is working on particular issues you may be passionate.
  • Cawley’s careers in consulting provides a lot of information on the consulting field in general, including types, roles, skills needed, recruiting timeline, and more.

Making Connections

Attend employer information sessions, industry events – on and off-campus, and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally. Most relevant professional associations in healthcare consulting include National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. If you are interested in health care administration, get involved with the Health Care Administrators Association. And for those interested in healthcare policy, get acquainted with the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management and attend D.C.-area events hosted by the 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. Joining groups related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask questions. Reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway, Georgetown’s alumni page on LinkedIn, and Georgetown’s Alumni Career Network. The Cawley website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing and LinkedIn offers a checklist to help you build an effective profile (PDF).

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, Public Policy Student Association, Women in Public Policy Initiative, and the NHS Academic Council. 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. On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills valued by employers.

Preparing Materials

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.

Applying

For healthcare consulting positions, you may be required to conduct case interviews during the interview process. Check out the Vault Guide to Case Interviews as a starting point. In addition, we have a case interviewing page with lots of resources, including a tool to practice, CQ Interactive, and Sample Health-Related Cases on consultingcase101.com.

Select Employers

  • Vault’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, Abbot Labs, J&J)