What If You Could Start From Scratch – Doctor?

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How would you restart your career in medicine?

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

[By Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CMP™]

dave-and-hope9We’ve known this physician-client-friend for 10 years, and while he didn’t tell us what he wanted to discuss, we knew it was important.

After exchanging pleasantries, he shocked both of us: He said he’s totally unfulfilled in his current job and wants to do something new.

We were floored because he is an outstanding doctor – at the top of his game. From the outside looking in, he appears to be “living the dream”.

After that bombshell, we asked him the question we couldn’t get out of our mind: “Are you afraid?”

“Yes,” he said; “Afraid and relieved.”

His relief stemmed from the fact that he is going to shed the tremendous demands of being a doctor at the highest levels. He was afraid because he didn’t know what was next.

We thought afterward, “What a courageous and totally refreshing move.”

ME-P Doctors, Advisors and Consultants

A Fantasy Reboot

That dialogue triggered a larger internal conversation within; and with others.

  • What would you do if you could start from scratch?
  • How would you proceed if you could just wipe the slate clean and restart your career in medicine?

For those quietly pondering a similar path, three great opportunities seem crystal clear.

First, we would create our own practice playbook. Discard the ready-made choices served up by your old practice. For the independent physician today, there’s almost infinite variety. The pleasure in creating your own approach is that there are so many options. Your patients will appreciate the greater choice and flexibility, too.

Second, we would whole-heartedly embrace technology; but not necessarily EHRs at this time. Rather, build your own HIT framework to complement your medical practice. Innovate across your entire operations – everything from medical records, to online appointment access, secure FAX machines, to patient portals and laboratory results reporting to your own mobile phone app. Freeing yourself from your current archaic technology will be life altering by itself.

5 new rules for how doctors interact with health care IT

Third, cull the difficult people from your life. These are the naysayers who weigh you down – superiors, colleagues or patients. Negativity is corrosive, and it always lingers. It also distracts you from giving others your best. While you’re at it, cull the skills you mastered to survive in your career so you can focus on those that really matter.

Non-Traditional Doctors

Case Model

So, we wanted to share one of the all-time greatest reboots we know because it shows what is possible if you believe in yourself.

A decade ago, one of our osteopathic physician clients delivered some bad news. She was quitting her job as a medical associate, to transition into her own direct pay practice.

At the time, this was unheard of: No one walked away from a potential medical practice partnership to become a solo physician. But, Sue had a different vision. She wasn’t fulfilled and she knew it. With the support of her husband, she decided there was a better way. So she started from scratch.

How did it work out?

Unbelievably well – but NOT overnight!

With our meager assistance, Sue’s been cash flow positive for the last 7 years, and now earns more money than before, with less stress; and she is the captain of her ship. A few colleagues who have worked with her have even gone on to achieve comparable success. She’s become a role model to others too, and she remains one our heroes.

The Decision

Starting from scratch may or may not translate into more money, but it often means this: More happiness in your life. Sue’s decision, just like our friend who bared his soul to us over coffee, were both made for the right reasons.

We wish our friend well on his journey, confident knowing that a happy ending is just over the horizon for him, too.

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Send us your own success/failure story, so we might learn from you. Would you even stay in medicine or transition/begin another career; anew?


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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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2 Responses

  1. Medical students assess their future

    “How Medical Students Assess the Career Ahead of Them”

    For the ninth year, the Epocrates unit of athenahealth Inc. has published survey results on the opinions and expectations of medical students soon to enter the profession.

    By Joseph Goedert
    [December 16, 2014]


    Goedert: “In an era when physicians in small practices increasingly are transitioning to larger organizations, the students appear ready to follow suit. Seventy-three percent of respondents hope to join a hospital or large group practice; only 10 percent are aiming toward a solo or partnership practice. That’s up slightly from 2013, when 70 percent wanted to join a large organization and 17 percent wanted to stay relatively small.”

    Will dentistry follow?

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


  2. 1 In 4 New Doctors Would Change Careers If They Could Start Over

    Even as doctors enter a medical field with more paying patients under the Affordable Care Act and unprecedented numbers of job opportunities, 25 percent of “newly trained physicians” would still choose another field if they could, according to a new analysis. More than 60 percent of doctors-in-training who were in the final year of their medical residency last year received at least 50 job solicitations during their training, according to a survey by physician staffing firm MerrittHawkins. Another 46 percent received at least 100 job solicitations.

    The 2015 survey of residents in their final year of medical residency, which tallied more than 1,200 responses last year from a sampling of 24,000, indicates that young doctors are ready to enter a world of “9 to 5” employment rather than launching their own private practice. More than 90 percent said they preferred employment with a salary rather than an “independent practice income guarantee.

    Source: Bruce Japsen, Forbes [1/11/15]


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