It's that time of year for resolutions. Is one of yours to leave clinical practice this year and start some exciting new career pathway that doesn't have call, doesn't involve dealing with insurance clerks, has no demanding patients and lets you work a normal number of hours? If so, let's make sure you're ready.
Number one. What do you want to do? I ask that question multiple times daily when physicians call me for a hallway consult. This is their most frequent response, "I don't know, what's out there?" Before you can start looking for career change, you need to know what you want to do. I'm not saying you need to know the title you want or the company you expect to work for, but you need to know the "job." A job is about solving problems, about achieving goals. What problems are you going to solve? What will be your value to an organization? If you can't tell someone the problems you'll solve or your measurable value, then you don't have a job.
So, begin by asking yourself what interests you. Are you interested in public health... or healthcare education or sports or politics. What do you read or watch?... create a list. Then list your skills. What can you do and what do you do well? Have you managed your practice's insurance? How about designing your office space, or on what hospital, business or social organization committees have you sat? And, what did you do? Next, what is your knowledge. What do you know about? Medicine, of course, but what about medicine and what else?
When you connect an interest with skills that support that interest and a span of knowledge that supports those skills, you've defined your job. You've defined problems you can solve. The only remaining question is what is the value of that problem solving and to whom or what. When you've identified those who have your target problem, who find that problem a serious problem, now you know who you need to speak with.
More importantly, you've just answered the most difficult question in Physician Career Transition. What do you want to do?