How to leave medicine - is in fact the wrong question
Sadly we increasingly hear the question "how do I leave medicine?" It is a question many doctors ( even those who are dedicated and end up remaining their whole career as clinicians) ask themselves at times of great stress or disillusionment. Sometimes the oscillating between "I love my career" and "I want to leave" goes on for a number of years. Dentists too and indeed any professional person can also reach this situation through no fault of their own. At times change occurs both internally and externally to oneself that is not in sync with ones current needs or expectations.
Even when the core career is going well - people can still aspire to new challenges and hanker after pastures new. There is nothing wrong with this - it is normal. Yes NORMAL !
Our approach is to immediately reframe things to..."How do I make the most of my potential using my best skills and interests today" . This is more positive and immediately shifts the emphasis from "leave" or "drop out" to "move forwards towards something that recognises "who I am as a person" not just as a qualification. In other words - it turns prevarication, frustration and helpless feelings into immediate action.
However bored or disillusioned you may be, however burnt out, however resentful you are at the government or however much you dream of new challenges - there are clear methods for dealing with a desire for "change". And these do not require tearing up the GMC/GDC certificate or jumping out of a plane without a parachute ( literally or metaphorically).
"I want to leave" is thus a common presenting complaint. However - much like smokers who say "20 a day doctor" but we look at their fingers for tobacco staining - it doesn't always make sense to take what people say as the complete and utter truth
( doughhhh - that clinical training just seeps in EVERYwhere - which goes to underline our view that one CAN NOT leave medicine - one can cease clinical practice but one can't stop thinking like a clinician).
Our approach is to question assumptions and look for ways forwards and NOT to facilitiate a precipitous or ill thought through resignation. We thus much MUCH prefer to speak to people well before it gets to the resignation stage.
So how does one reevaluate a career, generate a well tailored career plan and explore ones options without burning boats and whilst finding all possible ways to remain a clinician ( if that is still found to be attractive after in depth questioning - it may of course not be).
Firstly one needs a plan and a structure to follow. It is potentially terrifying to try to do this alone with no support and lack of information. What is very clear is that merely "picking" another career off a shelf is a very frying pan into fire thing to do.
We offer a number of ways of getting started which all compliment each other and provide varying levels of support and interaction.
If there is no rush join the guest membership, fill in the questionnaire on the home page or join one of our teleclasses. For those who are badly stressed we have a pre-career-planning eworkbook. For those who have a more urgent need to get cracking - there is our Career Review Programme
So the next time you have a negative thought about your career realise that this is probably a natural but knee jerk response to acute or chronic pain from your work. It means there is a need for some help and/or a reevaluation and you can do something about this. The most important thing is to not waste months or years of your life procrastinating, sensing a mismatch with what you are doing, feeling unhappy or that somehow you are not fulfilling your potential. The solutions may be far closer to home or easier than you may imagine.
Statistically most of the clinicians joining a programme with us continue if not clinically in some way or form then within health care - influencing it in the way that only clinicians can.
Career reevaluation with us is never about "leaving" but it is about feeling more in control of and happier in your working life. It may feel daunting to tackle this but we have 26 years experience in making it easier.