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,” 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.

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. Subscribe to blogs and newsletters, 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 our 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

  • To learn more about careers, see the links above. In addition, ExploreHealthCareers.org provides various careers to learn about in this arena.
  • Vault Career Insider Guides (sign up for free with your Georgetown email address): Vault Career Guide to Health Care Management, Vault Guide to Health Care Management Jobs, Vault Career Guide to Consulting, Vault Guide to Consulting Jobs
  • Cawley’s careers in consulting provides a lot of information on the consulting field including types, roles, skills needed, recruiting timeline, and case interview preparation. The article, “Healthcare Consulting: Everything you Need to Know“, provides a helpful summary of project types. For more on healthcare consulting, check out the video of our healthcare consulting alumni panel.
  • 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).

Making Connections

Attend employer information sessions, industry events — on and off-campus — and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally. AcademyHealth is a relevant professional association to these related careers as it strives to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy and practice, and translate evidence into action. Another 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. 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. 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 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 sample health-related cases.

Select Employers

  • 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.
  • 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)