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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?
Erika del Pozo, MOT, OTR — Patient Engagement Content Manager for MedBridge, Inc.
Where are you located?
Port Townsend, WA.
Where did you go to OT school, and what year did you graduate?
Nova Southeastern University, 2013.
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
I took a few months to study for the boards. Then, I got my first OT job in a pediatric outpatient setting in Miami, where I lived at the time.
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
Pediatric OT was my primary focus. I treated patients with developmental delays, neurodevelopmental disorders, genetic disorders, and neurological conditions.
What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?
I enjoyed the strong support system I had early on.
I didn’t enjoy the stress and unpredictability of my schedule and working with patients that drain my energy. I had a lot of fear and unhealthy coping mechanisms back then.
What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?
On top of working as a per diem clinician and adjunct professor at my alma mater, I started my company, Joy Energy Time, in 2017.
Joy Energy Time was all about creating online education via various channels to help healthcare providers and teams mitigate burnout at a personal and organizational level. I also had my own podcast, Burnt Out to Lit Up, which you can still find wherever you listen to podcasts!
When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was terrible at detaching from my patients, which caused severe compassion fatigue. The burnout came from various factors; I was always on edge, anxious, and “on.” I was over-engaged at work—yet so depleted that I started feeling physical symptoms.
Also, patient care did not come naturally to me. The first few years, I always felt like I was on stage for a play I barely rehearsed. I could get through certain lines, but I never owned it. After all these years, I finally honed those people skills.
I found myself gravitating toward other aspects of care that really motivated me, such as writing, creating courses, teaching, etc. I created my own path which was VERY messy but rewarding. Now, I feel fortunate to be where I am, where I get to write and create programs for patients at MedBridge.
What are you doing these days?
As a content manager, I create patient-facing content, such as exercises and patient education. My job spans from high-level strategy and roadmap planning to production. This includes directing shoots at our studio and reviewing content once it has gone through editorial, design, and animation.
This year, I’ve been heavily involved with a stroke project—it was actually three smaller projects! I’ve been working with our customer success team and some our of large hospital system clients to collaborate on this project. Without their input and guidance, this project wouldn’t have been possible!
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
I am solely non-clinical, but I’m looking at doing some per diem clinical work in pediatrics again. I miss it so much.
How long have you been in your current content manager role?
Over two years.
What do you wish you would’ve known before going into this role?
I wish I would’ve know more about writing, presenting solid business proposals, speaking corporate lingo, reading between the lines, and having a professional presence—all things I’ve definitely grown in!
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your content manager role?
I used Non-Clinical 101 largely to help me with my resume!
How did you find your content manager job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?
I found my job through a connection in the Non-Clinical 101 network. 🙂
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
I’ve experienced mixed reactions. You will always have those that give you a hard time, like you’re doing something wrong or wasting your degree.
What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you as a content manager?
That varies from week to week. At any given time, I usually have one or a few projects at various stages of production.
For example, we are launching our dysphagia project this week. In a few weeks, I’ll be at the studio for a lymphedema project. I’m also waist-deep in content creation for our new product, Pathways, which is a self-guided program for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest reward is taking client calls and hearing how beneficial the content we created has been for their team.
The biggest challenge is putting effort into something that doesn’t pan out or get prioritized to move forward. I’ve learned that that’s showbiz in the corporate world—not everything takes off.
How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?
My clinical background has helped me tremendously! Even though I work with consultants that are experts in their fields, having a clinician brain helps me to see the bigger picture. Also, I make sure we get the details right, so the content we create will actually get used and make sense to clinicians and patients.
What type of person do you think would do well in your content manager role?
Someone who would do well in my role is definitely detail-oriented, able to think big picture, and has good writing and communication skills.
Do you work remotely or onsite?
I work remotely, but I go into our studio when I have a shoot. That can vary from once a month to once every other month.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?
Yes! For content manager roles like mine and other roles across the organization.
Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?
I mainly listen to Career Contessa’s podcast now! I like the practical advice that applies to where I am in my career.
What is a typical career path for someone in your content manager role?
Someone in my role could advance to program manager, product manager, content strategist, or medical writer.
What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?
I see myself becoming VP of Content Strategy.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
If the gap is too wide from where you are to where you want to be, find or create your own stepping stones.
Learn as much as you can.
Most importantly, you HAVE to believe in yourself.