Non-clinical career options

Insurance Medicine

What is insurance medicine, and where do physicians fit in?
This is typically working within life, disability, and health insurance companies.  There are several roles you can take on as a physician/medical director:

  • Analyze medically complex applicant medical records to answer questions submitted by underwriters for insurability risk.  They’ll ask you to assess morbidity and mortality risks for the life and disability products.

  • Assist with life and disability claims

  • Read and interpret EKGs and stress tests (you don’t actually do the exams)

  • Administrative roles

  • Analytical research

  • Trainer for non-physician insurance underwriters

  • Product development and marketing (no insurance sales)


What skills do you need?

  • Breadth of knowledge of various disease states across systems (most are within internal medicine subspecialties)

  • The ability to interpret EKGs for life insurance applications

  • They will often train you on life expectancy estimation and risk assessment

  • Often require a certification in Insurance medicine (Diplomate in Insurance Medicine) - there is a Board which does oral and written examinations.

  • Often need to have been practicing medicine (residency trained, board certified, at least 5 years of clinical experience generally desired)


What kinds of opportunities exist?

  • Limited openings for full time positions, which usually require the Diplomate

  • Occasional or contractual part time opportunities for practicing clinicians


How do you find these positions?

  • Word of mouth and networking

  • Industry conference

  • Executive search/recruiting or LinkedIn


What salary can you expect to make?

  • Contingent on experience, but could be between $175,000-300,000