The crises in healthcare have formed a perfect storm and physicians are drowning. Due to our success as physicians, the aging population is exploding while the pool of healthcare providers is shrinking. 500,000 healthcare workers left practice during the pandemic and another 40% will retire by 2032. An already strained system will suffer further staffing shortages, but will it survive?
We have been forced to respond to increasing government regulations and continual reductions, delays and denials in insurer reimbursement. Meanwhile, face-time with our patients is dwindling as screen time and data entry on time-consuming electronic medical records rises. Furthermore, student debt continues to balloon and overhead is rising faster than the increasing rate of inflation. These financial pressures force us to see more and more patients.
We are overworked, demoralized, exhausted, isolated, and many feel hopeless.
This tsunami has forced us into a place starkly different from where we were at the start of our careers. Consequently, 75% of physicians have turned to employment by health systems and hospitals where we relinquish our autonomy, freedom, and growth. Many of us find ourselves stuck with no options and victims of a system in which we no longer control or even have a say. It is tragic that one physician every day ends his or her own life.
With endless obstacles, it can be easy for us to no longer see many options. To feel trapped, frustrated and limited.
But we still have so many choices.
There are so many choices we have made and continue to make. Here are 10 categories of choice we all make.
MEDICAL SPECIALTY. The specialty you choose has an enormous impact on your life and future. What specialty do you choose? What is the life in that specialty like? How many emergencies are there? Who is your patient population? What is a day in the life like? What are your work hours? What is the average income?
LOCATION. The city, state and region in which you choose to live has far reaching consequences. What state do you choose to live in? What is the weather like? What are the state income taxes? Property taxes? Cost of living? Quality of living? Cost of a home? What is the earning potential generated by your specialty in medicine in that location? Where is your family located? Where can you enjoy your hobbies and life?
MARRIAGE. Do you get married or stay single? Does your spouse work in medicine so he or she can better understand your life but also compound the positives and negatives of medicine? Or does he or she not work? Or does he or she work in another field that may not understand medicine but expands your life?
KIDS. Do you have kids? How many kids do you want?
LIFESTYLE. What do you enjoy doing outside of medicine? Outdoor sports? Art? Theater? Music? Food? What type of culture and cuisine do you prefer?
TRAVEL. Do you want to travel? Is traveling more important than your home or is your home more important than travel? Are you interested in travel employment? Or a work schedule that allows flexible time for travel?
EMPLOYMENT OR PRIVATE PRACTICE. Do you want to have an employed job where you are told when to work and what you must do but are not responsible for your brand, your patient volume or the success of your business? Do you want to make decisions for your growth? Do you want a voice in which insurances you take or don’t accept? For which patients you see and don’t see? For how many hours you work or don’t work? For how you grow your business? For whom you work with for colleagues or staff? Do you want to perform research? Publish? Assume leadership roles in your academy or hospital?
INSURANCE OR CASH. Do you want to work in medicine for cash and not deal with insurance companies and authorizations? Do you want the market and supply and demand to determine your value?
CLINICAL OR NON-CLINICAL. Do you want to explore career opportunities outside of clinical medicine? Do you want to work for a pharmaceutical or insurance company? As an expert witness? In a Biotech start-up? As a coach? As a speaker? As an administrator?
CHANGE. Do you need a different choice outside of medicine? Do you want to pursue additional opportunities to earn income outside of medicine?
All these choices have unique risks and benefits. We are all individuals and want different things.
In order to answer these vital questions, we have to know who we are and what we want. We have to step out of the trance of our daily obligations, responsibilities and duties.
We need to stop and breathe to create space for self-reflection. We must take inventory in a quiet safe sacred space on our truth. We must look in the mirror and discover what magnet pulls us to the excitement of our dreams. Module 2.1 in the BOOMM Course provides you many questions for every aspect of your life for a deep dive into your self-inventory. Module 2.3 provides strategies to create time and Module 2.4 provides many techniques to create space in your life to reflect on a regular basis.
Victor Frankl said: Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose. Our response. And in our response lies our growth and freedom.
Are you ready to choose?
We are some of the most resilient, patient, hardworking, smart, focused producers in our society and it is time to wake up and go back to learning, growing, expanding, and creating a better future for ourselves. Try something new in order to reclaim who you really are and the life you want to live.
Do you choose to continue learning?
Do you choose to expand what you know and how you think?
Do you choose to take control of your time?
Do you choose to gain freedom?
Do you choose to rediscover your dream?
BOOMM is here to help you choose change.