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5 Things to Consider When Planning Your Physician Career

Jackson Physician Search
July 31, 2019

No matter what stage you are at in your physician career, it is never too early to spend time planning for your future.  Young doctors sometimes make the mistake of putting off their career planning, but that is a mistake that can lead you down a path of stagnation and even burnout.  Having a clear plan for your future with enough flexibility to make adjustments as your life situation changes is the surest way to get the most out of the hard work you put in to becoming a doctor in the first place.  Here are 5 things to consider when planning your future as a physician.

Map Out Your Career Goals

Think back to when you made the decision to pursue a career in medicine and how you had at least a general idea of what your career might look like.  Now that you are a practicing physician, it is important to set time aside and map out a clearer picture of your career progression.  Whether you are happy right where you are or thinking about making changes, in today’s high-demand environment, your future is wide open.  By sitting down with a clear mind, no distractions, and a positive attitude, you can formulate a successful plan for the future that is personally and professionally fulfilling.

Moving Up or Moving On

Based on the vision you have created for your career, taking the next step may include preparing to move into more of a leadership role or finding a new opportunity altogether.  If you want to be on a leadership track, it is important to determine what additional education you are going to need for your climb up the ladder to the C-Suite.  On the other hand, if a new opportunity is in your plan, now is the time to make that happen. Finding an experienced physician recruitment professional can be the best way to land your dream job.

Return to Private Practice? 

While the trend has been physicians abandoning private practice for larger hospital systems, many are now reconsidering that decision. If you are feeling like a number and long for the days when you had more say in how things were done, it might be time to reconsider your practice setting. In private practice, you have more control over your patient load and your work schedule. If practicing in your current environment has you feeling stressed, there are plenty of private practice opportunities for you to consider.

Aim to Achieve FIRE

Unless you have completely unplugged and are practicing off the grid, you have heard about FIRE.  For physicians, FIRE is Financial Independence, Retire Early, and is a good goal to have no matter where you are in your career.  Working towards FIRE is a combination of caring about how you spend your money as much as how big your salary is.  In any career, the end goal should be setting yourself up for retirement, so you are professionally and financially able to do it when the time comes.

After You Retire

Just because you have reached the point that you are ready to retire, that doesn’t mean you have to ride off into the sunset and never be heard from again. Unless that is what you want for your retirement. Many physicians still have the desire to stay involved even through their retirement years. After your prestigious career as a physician, you still have multiple options available to keep yourself involved and busy. Consider more involvement or positions of responsibility on the boards of not-for-profits, or consider taking on the mentorship of the next generation of physicians.  You can even keep your skills sharp and work one or two days a week at a community or rural health clinic. Whatever your retirement plan looks like, the opportunities are out there.

To get a real, comprehensive insight into the healthcare industry and career opportunities for physicians, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.

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