Three Important Considerations for Doctors Contemplating a Career Change

Robert Tew, an American writer once said, “Sometimes what you’re the most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”

Over the years, Dr. Elijah Sadaphal, an Urgent Care Physician in New York has been giving advice and insight to medical doctors who have been unhappy with their careers. In an interview with KevinMD, the wise doctor had some sage advice for such doctors. He urged them to reassess certain firmly held viewpoints and ask themselves some crucial questions. Here is a summary of those questions and his responses, paraphrased.

The first question is, “Will I be throwing away my medical education if I left clinical practice”?

Leaving clinical practice does not mean you are throwing away your education. So, it is important to reframe how you see things. See it as taking all that you have gained that is, your education, experience, and skills into another field. Seen this way, you will also see your accomplishments and achievements go with you. You’re still a doctor making contributions but just in another field. Bear in mind, that leaving clinical practice might be a necessary act of self-preservation on your behalf.

The second question is “How much will I lose if I go and what more will I lose if I stay”.

If it is obvious to you that you will lose more by staying such as your health, the quality of life you can afford to those whom you support and yourself, and the more important matter of job satisfaction, then all by means, go!

The third question is “If I do quit medicine, does it mean I have quit creating value and being productive?”

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