This week’s non-clinical spotlight features Harrison Segall, a physical therapist who now works as a senior consultant with Atlas Research.
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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?
Harrison Segall, PT, DPT, MSHCM
Senior Consultant, Atlas Research
What additional roles do you currently have?
I am also a PRN outpatient physical therapist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Where are you located?
Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?
Long Island University, Brooklyn campus, graduating May, 2016.
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
Full-time outpatient PT at Johns Hopkins Hospital for five years.
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
Outpatient – vestibular, neurology, and orthopedics.
What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?
I didn’t enjoy the repetitiveness of patient care, nor the documentation.
I enjoyed the administrative and project management activities I was exposed to. I was able to get involved with a great deal of projects at a large medical institution (Johns Hopkins Hospital), including telehealth, innovation, research, digital health, clinic workflows (e.g. amputee), and EMR improvement initiatives.
What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?
Transitioned from a split role in PT/project management support to my current senior consultant position at Atlas Research.
When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?
I was finishing up my healthcare management degree and wanted to explore non-clinical roles that would highlight my transferable skills as a clinician and my interest for operations and management through my business school degree. That is where healthcare consulting became appealing.
What are you doing these days?
I work as a senior healthcare consultant, primarily with VA accounts. We work on implementation and transformation efforts, as well as data analysis initiatives to improve healthcare workflows at VA medical centers.
For example, my team helped streamline IRB protocols for over one hundred VA sites. Another example was assisting with the strategy for lung cancer screening and embedding physical therapists in primary care clinics to improve access to care for musculoskeletal conditions.
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
I still treat patients in the inpatient rehab (CIIRP) unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a PRN therapist.
What percentage of your time is spent clinically vs. non-clinically?
I work PRN as a physical therapist on two weekend days per month.
How long have you been working as a senior consultant?
I started this job in May, 2021.
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you become a consultant?
I completed a master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in December, 2021. I was not yet finished with the degree when I switched to a non-clinical role.
How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?
Networked through LinkedIn.
Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?
I worked with a few colleagues to generate a resume and cover letter for each job I applied for. I had a different non-clinical resume highlighting each role I applied and how my background could make me an asset to the company.
What was the interview like for the senior consultant position?
There were two interviews. One was with two individuals, including one who is my current manager. The second interview was with a VP in the firm.
What are some of the things you did to stand out, take initiative, and advance in your career?
Have not had a promotion yet.
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
Many people have not realized how transferable their clinical skills can be to areas of business.
What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you? What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?
I currently work mainly remote with a few trips into D.C. a month.
My day is a combination of meetings with clients, internal planning meetings, and individual work on current projects.
What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?
The rewards of my role is very little commuting, less burnout from clinical care, and no documentation. The biggest challenge would be keeping the team mentality through remote work.
How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?
All of my skills were transferable. Working with patients requires the same interpersonal skills as working with clients.
The combination of my business degree and my the innovation and transformation projects at JHH helped prepare for my new role.
What type of person do you think would do well in your role?
I think anyone in clinical care with a desire for performance transformation, as well as an interest in business, would do great in the healthcare consulting field.
Do you work remotely or onsite?
My role is remote.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles?
I was the first PT, but hopefully not the last.
Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?
See business school comments above.
What is a typical career path for someone in your role?
Stay in healthcare consulting or pivot into leadership down the road (e.g., hospital operations and leadership) in the future.
What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?
Would like to grow in healthcare consulting or pivot to industry as I build my skillset.
Do you have any special words of wisdom for the readers?
You have more transferable skills than you give yourself credit for!
What would you like to change most in your profession, and why? How would you propose doing so?
What would you teach to today’s graduate students in your profession, if you had the opportunity?
More emphasis of graduate schools on healthcare operations and strategy.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Clinical skills are transferable to other parts of healthcare.
Consulting is just one of the 25 non-clinical career paths we explore in Non-Clinical 101. I created NC101 to help you skip the confusion and overwhelm so you can land the job you want!