I increasingly hear about physician burnout and job dissatisfaction.
Complaints of declining reimbursement, longer work hours, corporatization and mill mentality of the practice, leads many to rushing through the long queues of patients in the waiting room everyday.
While I previously knew many physicians making seven figures working 4 day work weeks with 10 weeks vacation, the heyday of private practice medicine is long past. The commoditization of the service and advent of the EMR has dramatically altered the landscape and workday.
Much of the discontent in medicine and among caregivers is related to managing expectations, See
For those expecting historic high compensation and generous time off, they will be disappointed for their entire careers. For those practices/individuals willing to trade compensation for better lifestyle the future is bright, See
Some clinicians spend a lifetime wishing they made more money, had more vacation and had more pleasant colleagues.
They are miserable everyday.
Others are happy to live within their means, celebrate the time they have off and enjoy the company of those with whom they have mutual respect. Too often we bemoan some trifling material inadequacies, a car, boat or electronic gadget and forget to enjoy our good health, friends and family.
Establishing the goals of your practice to create professional fulfillment is very easy but unfortunately too many are locked into both a lifestyle and expectations which are impossible to maintain in the current environment. We are blessed to be part a magnificent profession which I would gladly practice for a fraction of the money I was paid. Both my parents were college professors and my starting salary as a radiologist, $125,000 was more than their highest salaries combined after working for 40 years. I would pinch myself everyday, counting my blessings that I was paid very generously to do something I loved.
Rather than bemoan the current situation, refocus your work and practice to make your job fulfilling and create goals and expectations that will make you happy to go to work everyday.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Copyright Nicolas Argy, MD, JD 2017