Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Physician business ideas - Optional Careers for Physicians

For the last 11 years, I’ve edited a monthly newsletter Physician Practice Options. You might want to go to website to read the latest edition, and in particular an article “Making Changes in Mid-Career.” The article says many physicians are making career changes in response to: 1) low reimbursement, 2) loss of autonomy. 3) bureaucratic red tape; 4) patient overload, and 5) loss of respect.

I suspect there’s another major reason – a desire to become the hammer rather than the nail. Physicians are weary of being pounded upon by critics and “the system,” of having the deck stacked against them, and they seek to give directions rather than taking them, to become leaders rather than followers. In essence, they want to make a difference.

The article also says doctors changing careers should possess these skills,

• Dealing with complex situations.

• Multitesting

• Communicating

• Educating (patients, staff, and other medical professionals)

• Remaining calm under fire

• Coping with adversity

• Absorbing information quickly

• Resolving difficulties

• Managing staff, interns, and residents

• Running a business

• Concentrating and staying focused for long periods

• Knowing computers and other technical equipment

It isn’t easy for a physician to change careers, and a little mentoring, counseling, and investigation can help ease the transition – or to reject the idea.


Dr. Bonis said...

Very interesting post.

I am planning to course a MBA after finishing my Family Medicine residency. For my surprise the "skills" the MBA schools request in their applicants (taking critical decisions under pressure and dealing with uncertainly, ability to communicate with people, stress indurance...) are those kind of skills you develop during a medical residency.

Instead of that, the managerial positions within health-care industry are coped by young lawsuits, economists and that kind of MBA people with no idea about what means to extract a faecaloma at 4 a.m.

It is frustrating when you understand at first time that the main problem you have is about "the system". You treat with patients, but no matter how much quality you apply as clinician, the system is organized in such a way that the patient is treated with no quality. So in some point of your career, if you think beyond "today" you want to enter in management positions to change "how the things work here".

Unfortunately you pay a big price: you loss the contact with your patients.

ben said...

When I read your post yesterday and stumbled upon the "hammer not the nail" concept, it became very clear to me why so many docs are facing burnout.

If you can't control your universe (and many physicians seem to be struggling with this), life is not nearly so much fun.

Nice post.

Ben Utley CFP®
Physician Family Financial Blog

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

I agree with you. Many call MDs passing over the other side as constituing the "Great Divide." Once you cross over, other physicians don't trust you - perhaps for good reasons.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...


Thank you for you compliments. It's nice to think I may have "nailed it."


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