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   M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
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   Author  Topic: M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?  (Read 968 times)
scappellee
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M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
« on: Sep 16th, 2007, 10:36am »
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I am a double board certified Thoracic Surgeon who finished law school, abhors the Med Mal circus and doesn't want to practice in hospital/insurance law (like trying to put a functional government in Iraq!). I am sort of a geek and do best focusing on one interesting and technical area (that is why I did sub-specialty surgery). Yesterday, I received the PTO approval letter to sit for the patent registration exam in the next few months.
 
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan, expect to pass the Bar in Illinois (pending) and am applying to D.C. (test scores high enough to waive exams). I graduated from a 2nd tier law school this past December. I was too busy in law school, while working in medicine - to get any internship experience in IP.
 
I am used to a 6 figure income now, but plan to break free of medicine very soon. What do you think about my prospects in Biotech/Life Sciences patent law or related area of law?
 
Is there any opportunity to work for a firm or corporation part-time, as I transition completely from my medical practice?
 
Thanks!
 
John
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guest47
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Re: M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 16th, 2007, 7:41pm »
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I don't want to derail your thread, and I don't have an answer to your question, but I am awfully curious as to why you decided to quit being a surgeon to pursue law.
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MrSnuggles
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Re: M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 16th, 2007, 8:48pm »
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It's hard to speak to your situation, it's somewhat unique.  I know of have an MD who graduated med school and then went onto law school.  She's currently a 3L who is clerking, but I'm not sure if she'll stay in patent law.
 
She falls in a difficult situation.  She doesn't have a EE or MechE background to tackle medical device work, nor does she have enough chemistry/biochem to do pharma.
 
Sorry I can't offer more, but I thought I would convey this experience at least.
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guest57
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Re: M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16th, 2007, 9:01pm »
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There is a surgical art unit at the PTO - 3731. The classification of the patents they examine is class 604.  You might want to do a publication search of applications in the surgical arts to see if any law firms in your area work in that technology area and then give them a call.  
 
Be prepared to take a pay cut, even below the low 6-figures, as you are just getting started in the field.  Because of your background, you'll ramp back to a decent salary quickly, but you are starting in a new field and will have to learn how it works from the ground up. The pay is not as bad as a residency, but consider yourself starting at that level.  
 
Your MD will count for a little, but not a lot.  Sorry.  
I know several MDs who switched to law, then patent law, but most of them are back practicing medicine or medmal law.  There is actually more money in personal injury litigation and malpractice than in patent law, even with tort reform.
 
You might check out sites like medzilla dot com and run a search for attorneys.  They occasional post in-house jobs.  The association of corporate counsel might also be a place to start.  There is always lawcrossing and some of the other specialized job boards.
 
Good luck to you!
 
 
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biopico
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Re: M.D. for 12 years taking Pat Bar, Prospects?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 16th, 2007, 9:14pm »
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on Sep 16th, 2007, 10:36am, scappellee wrote:
I am a double board certified Thoracic Surgeon who finished law school, abhors the Med Mal circus and doesn't want to practice in hospital/insurance law (like trying to put a functional government in Iraq!). I am sort of a geek and do best focusing on one interesting and technical area (that is why I did sub-specialty surgery). Yesterday, I received the PTO approval letter to sit for the patent registration exam in the next few months.
 
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan, expect to pass the Bar in Illinois (pending) and am applying to D.C. (test scores high enough to waive exams). I graduated from a 2nd tier law school this past December. I was too busy in law school, while working in medicine - to get any internship experience in IP.
 
I am used to a 6 figure income now, but plan to break free of medicine very soon. What do you think about my prospects in Biotech/Life Sciences patent law or related area of law?
 
Is there any opportunity to work for a firm or corporation part-time, as I transition completely from my medical practice?
 
Thanks!
 
John

 
I have seen someone who graduated from Medical School and the Law School.  After few years, he became a Chief Operating Officer in the Institute overseeing medical research, patent matters, and research funding , etc.
 
I think this might be where you belong to?  Your life may be much more relaxing than that of a patent lawyer, I reasonably suppose.
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