I really enjoy Rita's Italian Ice (or Water Ice). I also like Rita's Frozen Custard. They have a product called the Blendini where they mix the Italian Ice with Frozen Custard. What do you think about the idea of blending those two things together? As I was eating a Blendini the other day, I thought about the concept of a blended career for physicians who wish to mix clinical with non-clinical work.
Some physicians achieve a very high level of career satisfaction by having a blended career. By "blended career," I mean a career that includes a combination of clinical duties and non-clinical responsibilities. You can achieve this in the hospital or outpatient practice, but what if you were found some non-clinical opportunities in other industries such as medical education, venture capital, health information technology, or management consulting? Would you be willing to work part-time in the clinical setting so that you can pursue a second part-time career in the world of business?
I know many physicians who are doing this and they're loving the flexibility and diversity they're experiencing. For instance, one emergency medicine physician may only work 10 shifts per month and spend the rest of the time consulting and traveling to meet with clients. An anesthesiologist may only work in the operating room 10 days/month and spend the rest of the time providing strategic medical leadership and direction for a health information technology company. An internist may work as a hospitalist and work 1 week out of a month to have 3 weeks where she can work on some medical writing projects and work from home. A pediatrician may work 10 hrs/week and spend the rest of the time privately teaching or tutoring medical students on nights and weekends. Some pharmaceutical physicians who work full time also maintain an active medical license so they can see patients a few times each month.
You don't have to leave clinical medicine if you wish to pursue alternative careers as a physician. There are many ways to maintain and establish a blended career. Perhaps Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN is a perfect example of a physician who maintains a very active blended career.