Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moms who pursue non-clinical careers to balance work and life

My wife is a family physician who works roughly 25 hours each week. She gets a day off each week and she gets to spend a significant amount of time at home during her half-days. She's never in the hospital since her practice is 100% outpatient. When she's on call, she practically never gets called after 10 pm. Now, how many physicians have that type of schedule?

Many moms who are also full-time physicians find themselves frustrated by their desire to spend more time at home. Depending on your medical or surgical specialty, you may have a hard time finding part-time opportunities. Those in family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine may find some part-time employment jobs. Those in emergency medicine can simply work shifts. But for many other women physicians, they may be limited to full-time clinical employment. So, does it make sense to pursue a non-clinical career to have a better work/life balance? For some, the answer may be "yes."

I've worked with many women physicians who've chosen to leave a full-time clinical career to pursue non-clinical opportunities so that they can spend more time with their families. Some of them have experienced significant reductions in income, but they've still been able to make ends meet. Others have found some creative part-time opportunities to generate supplemental income. Some women choose to have a blended career where they may spend some time in the clinical setting and some time in a non-clinical job.

So, if you're a mom and you're struggling to maintain a healthy work/life balance, maybe it's time to consider a career change. Perhaps you'll be happy working from home 3 days each week and working two ER shifts each month. Maybe you'll be happy moonlighting as a medical writer or medical tutor. Perhaps you'd like to find some opportunities to get involved with consulting where you're working with a start-up health company. What I find is that many people aren't even aware of all the possible options that exist outside of the clinical setting. If you spend some time exploring, then maybe you'll find the right balance.


  1. what are some recommendations for non-clinical jobs for MDs? I've been trying to find something fruitful to balance my home life and maintain a career

  2. It is hard to be on call and controlling your home at the same. I have been doing it for the past 6 months only and now I am worked up. Guess it is time to say welcome a to non-clinical job.

  3. Can anyone recommend a way to start in to medical writing. I want to transition in to non-clinical career in to medical writing but experience is an issue.