Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are you dissatisfied with the practice of medicine?

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

Do you feel like you are alone in being dissatisfied with the practice of medicine? I used to feel that way. Most of the doctors working with me initially felt that way. So, it was interesting to me to see the results of a study done at the end of 2010, conducted and complied by physician recruiters Merritt Hawkins and the non-profit Physician Foundation.

The report includes results from a national survey of 2,400 physicians. In the report, only 26% said they would continue practicing the way they are currently practicing in the next one to three years. The remaining 74% said they would retire, work part-time, close their practices to new patients, become employed and/or seek non-clinical jobs.

I used to feel alone and worry that there wasn’t a path for me and that I would be working behind the counter at Starbucks if I left direct patient care. But I decided to take a step forward and reach out. I asked for help because I didn’t know what to do. That led to my first non-clinical job at a medical device company. It was hard and it didn’t happen overnight but it helped me start to come to the realization I was not alone and I was not a failure. I see the same realization over and over in other doctors that decide to make a part or full time transition into a non-clinical career. Many of them now have their own websites/businesses or are in nonclinical jobs where they never dreamed they might be.

None of us are alone in this. I challenge you to reach out and explore what is out there. The faster you do, the faster you will realize how large the world really is and how much possibility exists.

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. To read more about Dr. Mudge-Riley, click here.

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