How to stay in medicine - that is the question
The balance has changed since we started in 1990 when the options for changing career if one needed to for any reason - were scant.
Nowadays the challenge is not so much how to leave but how to stay in a constantly changing ever increasing demand career.
Most medics just want to be medics. They would not have put themselves through the gruelling study and training if they were not passionate about or simply dedicated to their careers and aware of the how privileged they are to be working with people to assist their health.
At Medical Forum we find that the "presenting" request might be very much within the medical career options arena such as..
That last question is an interesting one. We have many cases where "how do I leave medicine?" has been the "presenting complaint" . However, after completing our full programme ( CRP +PCP) the outcome is that a clinical role is retained - often mixed with some other role. The most surprising thing to our clients is that they suddenly start ENJOYING clinical practice again.
A shift from "help I can't take being a clinician any more" to "I like my clinical role now more than I ever did" is not such a surprise to us.
But when someone who is at the end of their tether with a job ( one that may be quite dysfunctional in a number of ways) schedules time for proactive career planning and gains some respite from the inexorable treadmill that seems to lie ahead - something shifts.
They no longer feel trapped nor on a plateau ( or sinking!) due to a reframing of the clinical career. All of a sudden ( well - more like over a period of 3-6 months) a reinvigoration or rebirth of the career takes place. Work feels more contained and containable and...... even relaxing!! New goals emerge too.
This is not to say that some clinicians should not change completely - there is a place for that. But most medics dread letting go of what they have achieved and worked so hard for. Not surprisingly.
What this means is that there is a trend emerging for doctors to want to work part time. This is NOT the part time required for being a young parent - and not the part time required for ill health per se - but part time for NORMAL doctors - doctors who perhaps in the past would have accepted 80 hour weeks.
Why this is changing is worthy of a lot more mulling. Our blog often covers things like the changes in medical careers and why it is happening.
So - if you find yourself identifying with any of this page and you feel scared at the thought of "leaving" we would say emphatically that.....
career planning Medical Forum style is NOT about "leaving" anything.
It is however about facing up, taking stock, seeking support, following a well trodden system of career analysis and allocating time and energy to career exploration.
All in all a far more measured, steady, planned and organic way of steering a career with no kneejerk decisions and with a strong element of personal development.