Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Turning Physician Volunteer Work Into a Job

This is a guest post by Jim Kelly

Turning Physician Volunteer Work Into a Job

Over the last decade the job market has been a bit difficult to predict. First there has been the economic slowdown due to the banking and financial crisis in 2007. In addition to that, companies aren’t doing as much full-time, or long-term hiring as they used to. By having more part-time employees they can save on benefits and healthcare costs.

Add to that there are more college graduates being produced these days causing the market to be over flooded, and it can make getting a good job difficult no matter what your profession is.

Job Outlook for Physicians
The general job outlook for doctors is pretty solid as we move into 2020 with an expected 24% “faster than average” growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau’s occupational outlook also shows that the average wage for a physician is around $166,400 a year. You don’t necessarily need prior work experience because you will have to earn a doctoral or professional degree which will also include and internship and residency.

How Volunteering Can Help You Land a Job
For people like doctors who are interested in a specialized or highly trained occupation, volunteering can help open doors into good job opportunities. An article by Alison Green in Money US News online points out a few reasons why volunteering can be an asset in getting a job:

• You will learn new skills. For doctors that can include procedures, bedside manner, or using new equipment like the Dexcom G4 Platinum continuous glucose monitor.
• Volunteering can expose you to a new field. This may be valuable in changing specialties or honing a difficult surgical skill like brain mapping or removing embedded tumors.
• You’ll become known to people in the field. This is a great way to network and find possible employers.
• You’ll increase your self-confidence. For physicians confidence is huge and practicing through volunteering can help build the assurance needed in a variety of professional areas.

Opportunities for Volunteering
Volunteering as a physician isn't as easy as just signing up for a few hours as a candy striper. Whether paid or unpaid the role of a physician can be difficult and specialized, but that doesn't mean there are opportunities out there. A few ideas can include:
• International opportunities like Orthopedics in Ethiopia, Emergency Medicine in Bhutan, and Oncology in Vietnam.
• Work on global health issues with the US Department of State as a Franklin Fellow.
• Serving through the National Association of Free clinics.
• Working in conjunction with The National Disaster Life Support.

Meeting a Mutual Need
There are places for doctors to volunteer their time where they can not only gain the skills and networking they need, but they can help fill a desperate need as well. Lawyer and writer Jonathan Rosenfeld points out that “under staffing in nursing homes remains a significant threat to the health and safety of the vulnerable people who rely on staff for their care”.

The American Association for Justice remarks that even the courts and their rulings have pointed to the fact that “economic interests and profit desires” override “the best interests and medical needs” of the facilities’ patients. As a volunteer you may not be able to change, or solve the problem of under-staffing but you would certainly help put a serious dent in it.

Volunteering is a great way to grow in your career and get a head. As a physician it is also a great way to help the world while you help yourself.

About the author:

Jim Kelly is an online blogger focused on education, career, science, and research. He has found online writing to be a passion of his due to the ability to write on numerous topic to numerous audiences. Kim has been reading and writing on those topics for years and you can find some more of Jim's writing at theeducationupdate.com

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