Continuing to my previous blog on ‘what all you can do with your BDS degree’ and what other career options are available without having to do any additional course or undergo a training etc, the career of a medical reviewer is for someone who is good at reading, understanding, and auditing any written material, so that needs a lot of focus, organization, and pro-activeness.
We as doctors are very reactive by nature and planning and organizing has a long-distance relationship with us. We are so accustomed to reacting (in terms of action) as the cases come, that we get wired to that kind of approach. When we need to plan something and go into precise details of it and to top it all, write those details down, it can seem like a lot of hard work. Thus if you choose a role like this one, you must be open to being very organized and detail-oriented.
If you are better than the rest of us and are already well organized and disciplined, this will be a cakewalk for you, but for those of us, who are not, we may require some practice till it becomes our nature.
It is a given that we must have a good grasp of English language since most of our work will be in English. Our written English and grammar should be very very strong. We must be able to correct sentences and rephrase them.
Apart from these, we should be able to get in the shoes of the reader or the audience (or whoever the written material is meant for) to comprehend the message from their point of view and we should be able to meet the expectations of the organization in delivering the intended message. This particularly stands true for educational and promotional materials meant of general public.
There are various kinds of reviewer work/ role to choose from
1. Clinical research reviewer
You will need to review research papers and clinical trial documentation, and you will be expected to identify if there are any gaps in terms of reporting, legalities or information.
I would advise this only to people who have an inclination towards doing dig-deep research themselves, like Ram. Ram is someone who, if comes across a word he hasn’t ever heard of, makes sure to do a Google search and find the answer. He is someone who will go to an extent of reading the history and origin of that word and will not stop until he himself is an expert on it.
If you have a tendency like that and you identify with Ram, you may enjoy doing a clinical research review.
2. Claims reviewer
Ah, this is very interesting, because you get well paid to do this! Haha! Not just that, this work is very much aligned to the natural doctors’ style. These are insurance claims that come to insurance companies, in form of a patient file. The file will have all the information of the patient admission and you need to read the entire file and approve/ reject the claim. You will need to review the medical history, relate to the reason for admission, and study the whole treatment process.
You may be employed in an insurance company, a hospital of a TPA (third party) organization. Where you are employed will determine what output would be expected from you.
There is no specific certification required here, but if you are even a little like Ram, you can do a forensic documentation course from any institute. They also have courses specific to insurance claims.
3. Medical journal reviewer
This role is generally suitable for people who have a good years of experience in their domain and can do peer reviews of papers and articles. More than English and grammer, this requires you to know the matter and provide medical and technical inputs.
4. Blogs and social media content reviewer
Many organizations, articles, and magazines hire for these roles. You will be required to review the matter for correctness and at the same time correct or reframe the content keeping the audience in centre. You will need to step in the shoes of the person who will be reading it and understand whether the message that they are comprehending is the same as intended.
5. Medical chart reviewer
This role is more relevant to USA, UK and Europe where a medical chart reviewer will need to review patient data, clinical charts and medications and approve or reject it. The reviewer’s approval /rejection affects the reimbursements of the doctors.
In some countries they require the doctor doing these reviews to be a physician, a BDS can be accepted wherever they do not have a physician compulsion.
All of these roles have one exciting benefit – if your organization permits, you can work from anywhere!
Thanks for reading. Do share what you think of this role.