Should I Stay or Should I Go? PART 2 - 4 Ways to Know It May Be Time For a Career Change

    The landscape of medicine is changing and I speak daily to women physicians and physician moms who are in the space of contemplation about whether they should quit their job or even quit medicine altogether. With environments becoming more toxic than ever, and reimbursements steadily declining it's no wonder doctors are seeking out other career avenues. However, the conflict is that while many of the Dr. Mommies I speak with are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and think it's time to quit medicine, they still LOVE the clinical part. This is a common conflict and when in my coaching of physician moms, there are 4 questions I ask that help me to determine whether it's medicine that is truly the problem or simply the job circumstance itself.

    1. What is it that really doesn't work about what you are doing right now? In this question, I'm looking specifically for the nature of the answer. It is problem focused, environment focused, or people focused. Knowing which helps me to determine if the problem is the workload (EMR charting, patient scheduling, paperwork, inbox), environment (bureaucracy, factory line feel, isolation, disorganization, lack of autonomy), or the people (toxic interactions with staff, patients, or leadership, workplace bullying, feeling of disconnectedness)

    2. Can you remember a time when you used to love what you did as a physician? What were you doing then? There are two purposes to this question. The first is to determine if the space of disengagement and disenchantment goes back beyond the circumstance. If there was NEVER a time when you liked what you did, then the task is to figure out whether you always had bad circumstances or you genuinely chose the wrong profession/specialty/pathway in medicine. If there WAS a time where you remember loving what you were doing, the question is what exactly were you doing? What was the environment like? The people? This a) gets you connected to what you used to love and b) serves as a torch to lead you down the path that may be in line with your values and preferences.

    3. If you had it ALL your way… if ALL of your obstacles (perceived & real) were removed, would you still be seeing patients? The key here is to determine whether the love for clinical medicine still exists. If so, it's not medicine that is the problem, it's the job. See the "5 Ways You Know It's Time to Quit Your Job" Article (link)

    4. If you had it all your way what WOULD your ideal career look like? Here I'm looking at what the primary interest is… clinical, consulting, coaching, research, process improvement, leadership, or something else. Often times in the answering of this question, one's desire for higher purpose begins to peek through. When you realize your purpose is beyond what you are currently doing and you are ready to "level up" then perhaps a career change (not necessarily outside of medicine) is in order. Answering a question like this (with the right person listening) often reveals the true nature of one's desires especially when the focus goes beyond the logistics of the job and into what you really want to accomplish or contribute in the world.

    This inquiry can be very powerful in getting you clear about what you really desire in your career.Often times, when we are exhausted and in emotional pain, we focus only on "getting the hell out" which can land us back in the fire (even when in a non-clinical setting). Taking time to reflect on these questions is the first step to really moving toward your ideal career.Keep in mind that when doing this type of inquiry, it's best done with someone else… someone who can empower you, listen to you without judgment, and bring you new ideas and help expand on those ideas.Often physician career coaches are good resources in this light if you do not have a personal mentor in your field that you trust to listen to you in an unbiased and empowering way.

    Reclaim Your Time, Freedom and Live a Life YOU Design.

    Watch the Free Online Training 5 Steps to Reclaim Your Time & Create A Career You Love (Without Neglecting Your Work or Sacrificing Your Income). Click here now to Learn More! https://goo.gl/BXjXyv

    Your feedback is valuable. Please Feel free to leave comments on this article with your insights and ideas about what we've written.

    Should I Stay or Should I Go? 10 Warning Signs T...
    Ready, Set, Prepare! 3 Things Physicians can do to...

    Comments 1

    Guest - Jordan G Roberts, PA-C on Sunday, 09 December 2018 16:14

    Great post and excellent reminder for us all to consider what we truly want out of not only our jobs, but also our careers, whether they are clinical or not. Thanks for sharing!

    Great post and excellent reminder for us all to consider what we truly want out of not only our jobs, but also our careers, whether they are clinical or not. Thanks for sharing!
    Already Registered? Login Here
    Tuesday, 21 March 2023

    Most Popular Post

    The Stress Free Mom MD, Helping Women in Medicine Create the Life You Design