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Speaking Opportunities for Physicians

doctors attending a meeting

If you’re a healthcare professional looking to share your experience and knowledge with the world, build your professional and social network, gain new opportunities, expand your resume – or even just start a side hustle – you should consider public speaking.

Many organizations and events are always on the hunt for insightful physicians to entertain, educate, and impress their audiences.

All you need is confidence and knowledge in your field to be a strong and charismatic speaker. There’s also the matter of finding a speaking opportunity.

That’s where we can help. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to break into the sphere of physician speakers, primarily:

  • Types of Speaking Opportunities
  • How to Identify and Secure Speaking Opportunities

Types of Speaking Opportunities for Physicians

As a physician, you’ll be used to always being in demand. The same is true for being a physician speaker, you just need to know where to look.

Here are some of the primary types of speaking opportunities you should look out for:

Medical Conferences and Symposiums

Medical conferences are always looking for keynote speakers, panel members, special presenters, and more.

What is required to speak varies widely depending on the conference. You may need to apply with an abstract or with a full copy of your research.

Either way, medical conferences are an excellent way to stay in touch with the latest developments in your specialization. They are excellent sources of networking, especially if you’re conducting research, trials, or experimenting with new treatments.

Reach out to the conference organizers and see if they’d like you to speak or assist.

You’ll have more luck if you narrow your search to conferences in your local area as well as in your specific field.

If you’re just starting out, it’s unlikely you’ll be paid to speak, but you may get your travel comped. These events are crucial for networking and building your resume, which increases the likelihood of getting paid opportunities in the future.

Grand Rounds and Academic Presentations

If you’re located near or associated with a local medical school, teaching hospital, or university or college offering pre-medical programs, that is a great place to find speaking opportunities.

Grand rounds allow you to present a current or interesting case of yours to a board of other medical professionals and students.

They’re an important contribution to the ongoing medical education of your peers and students, as well as a relatively low-stress way to gain public speaking experience.

Academic presentations are a broad category that covers everything from medical research conferences to guest lecturing.

Similarly to medical conferences, you may not get paid for these opportunities, but they are important for networking, experience, and giving back to your community.

They may also open up a spot for a visiting lecturer position, which would, of course, be paid and turn into a potential side gig. With many physicians turning back on their hospital jobs, lecturer positions might be worth exploring.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Events

CME events are an amazing opportunity to speak to fellow physicians about yourself, your cases, and your work.

These events are one of the best opportunities to meet your peers, impress them, and form mutually beneficial connections. Being invited to speak at a CME event is also an honor and a great addition to your resume.

Community Outreach Programs

Another amazing way to give back is to volunteer to speak for community outreach programs.

This could be in the form of a healthcare educator, advising about preventative measures, risk minimization, lifestyle interventions, etc., or as an inspirational speaker.

Industry-sponsored Events and Workshops

If you’re looking for paid, easier-to-break-into speaking opportunities, sponsored events and workshops are the way to go.

Corporate partnerships and sponsorships are always looking for engaging, motivated speakers to bring interest and validity to their events and are often happy to pay handsomely for it.

How to Identify and Secure Speaking Opportunities

While the options listed above indicate broad, overarching categories, there are many more specific speaking opportunities that you might come across in your day-to-day life.

Here are some ways you can find your own events and gain even more opportunities to speak as a physician.

Building a speaker profile and portfolio

Build experience, and make it publicly accessible. This could be on Linkedin or another more specific medical site, but also just as a category on your resume or on a resume tailored to attain speaking opportunities.

Make sure to take opportunities when they come, and don’t turn up your nose at small or unpaid opportunities, especially when you’re just starting out.

Leverage social media and online platforms

If you can get video coverage of yourself speaking publicly, this is also great to have on hand as a reference for future events. Self-promotion is a great way to get yourself out there and be more visible.

See if you can work in conjunction with your hospital or organization’s social media campaign, bringing mutual benefit.

Networking with event organizers and peers

Network, network, network. It’s easier than ever these days, and word of mouth is still the primary way you will secure opportunities.

Attend conferences and presentations even if you haven’t been asked to speak (and yes, even if you were rejected) to meet your peers and get an idea of the standards and expectations of the event or organization.

Crafting compelling proposals and abstracts

For many opportunities, your proposal or abstract may make or break you before they even have a chance to look up your previous experience or professional life.

Work hard to make engaging, clear, and fresh proposals and abstracts that set you apart and show your value.

Final Thoughts

There are many speaking opportunities for physicians available, you just need to know where to look.

Have an open mind, take what opportunities come your way, and use them to springboard to bigger and better things. Good luck and let us know what worked for you!

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