Maybe you are at the beginning of your educational journey, or maybe you are mid-way through your residency. Wherever you’re at right now, if you are questioning your decision to become a practicing physician, you are not alone. Don’t lose sight however, that there is a good reason you are pursuing this course of education. Maybe the science or research energizes you. Or perhaps you had, and still have, a calling to help people. You don’t have to give up on those things if you decide that becoming a practicing physician isn’t the right choice for you.
Most medical students who decide that becoming a physician is not the right choice for them, don’t do so because they can’t cut it in medical school. Students who begin their undergraduate careers with the goal of eventually practicing medicine learn a lot over the course of their medical education. They learn about themselves and about the business of medicine, both of which can become the impetus for a change of heart.
Residents and doctors face a tremendous amount of bureaucratic overhead. You can’t be a doctor without becoming a cog in the wheel of the business of healthcare.
The health care industry in the United States is complex. Not only do you have to deal with insurance, regulations, and litigious patients, the actual practice of medicine may not be what you expected.
It can often seem to residents that playing by the rules is more important than providing the best possible patient care. One former-resident relayed the following anecdote as an example of why she made the decision to leave medicine during her last year of residency.
“I once consulted on a patient who’d tripped on glass, sustaining a laceration on his foot extending just above the ankle. The podiatrist sutured the foot, but he wasn’t “supposed” to go above the ankle. He literally stitched 90% of the laceration and left me the rest: two sutures.”
Another thing that new doctors may find disheartening is that the business of medicine is run by lawyers, insurance companies, and administrators. This is just a fact that new doctors have to accept. For some medical students, the impact this has on their ability to treat patients comes as a complete surprise, and causes them to rethink the direction they want to take their career.
If you’ve finished your medical education, and have come to the realization that the dream you’ve had for the past eight years is just not going to make you happy, don’t worry. There are a lot of alternative careers where you can put your education to work, and focus on the things that you are passionate about.
In this three part series, we’ll explore career options for medical doctors. You may be surprised at how many choices you have, and that there are as many options inside and outside of the medical field.
There is an increasing need for journalists with a scientific background. Your education makes you very well suited as a medical editor or journalist. You’ve got a perspective on patient care, new medical technology, and the business of medicine that someone who didn’t go to medical school doesn’t have. Many magazines and journals are in need of writers with just your sort of expertise.
You can do this job full-time or part-time while continuing to look into other career options. And, this is definitely one job where having expertise with a tool like the XebraPro app is going to help. Even with all of your experience, you’re going to want to be able to fact-check quickly, and make sure that you are up to date on the latest clinical and diagnostic data. Having XebraPro at your fingertips is going to make research a snap.
There are a number of options available to you in the educational arena. If you love science and have a desire to help people, this might be the right path for you.
Private high schools and other college-prep schools, need highly-educated teachers to give their students a leg up when it comes to getting into the best colleges. Teaching at this level can be very rewarding, and you can begin to explore this field while you are still in medical school.
Once you’ve completed your own post-secondary education, you can teach at post-secondary schools, start looking for opportunities in the paid speakers circuit for conferences and seminars, and teach at technical schools.
Physicians assistant programs are more rigorous than many other medical education programs, and most require some of their teachers and administrators to have medical degrees. If you’re thinking about a teaching career this might be a good place to start your research.
The XebraPro app is being used in the education of future doctors, and it is just as effective as a teaching tool for nurses, physician’s assistants, and other medical professionals. If you’ve had experience with the app as a student, it can quickly become one of your best resources as an educator.
In our next article in this series, we’ll explore additional career opportunities for medical school graduates who have had a change of heart, as well as for doctors who have decided to make a career change.