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Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: 4 Reasons Doctors Feel Trapped in Medicine (and How to Escape)

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  • Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: 4 Reasons Doctors Feel Trapped in Medicine (and How to Escape)

    Every spring, there's a bizarre contrast between the enthusiasm of pre-meds who just got accepted to medical school and the thousands of docs who want to leave medicine ASAP. Here are some ways to avoid that burnout.

    The post 4 Reasons Doctors Feel Trapped in Medicine (and How to Escape) appeared first on The White Coat Investor - Investing & Personal Finance for Doctors.



    Click here to view the article!
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

  • #2
    If my job was shift work and I could pick which shifts I worked I would never leave. The fact is you cant do my job without having stuff added on outside of the clinic/OR/Call day. Call it the after hours headache factor. The after hours headache factor is part of the job and worth the high pay. Take away the high pay and its no longer worth it.

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    • #3
      I thought this was a great article, an honest look at some contributing factors and the reality that many of the cages we are stuck in are of our own making.

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      • #4
        A driving factor for me to leave my full time position once I had enough money were call responsibilities and stress of potential complications or poor outcomes.

        Not sure if there’s any easy way to get around those in a surgical field and still operate.

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        • #5
          As someone who left clinical medicine for a new career, but who practiced for over 20 years first, it was relatively easy to understand why medicine became so less satisfying. Primarily I thought it was two things. First, the loss of autonomy. I started in practice in 1986 and saw a steady progression of increasing governmental and insurance company invasion of the Dr./Patient relationship. There was always the overall impression by government and insurance companies that physicians needed to be controlled, and they succeeded. The vast majority of physicians have moved from doctor owned to hospital/corporate practices because of this.
          Second, a true fear of liability. After a lawsuit, both I and many of my peers began to practice differently. The younger sicker patients became a source of danger to our well being in the sense of a bad outcome could mean years of litigation. Not much fun there.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Steven Podnos MD CFP View Post
            Second, a true fear of liability. After a lawsuit, both I and many of my peers began to practice differently. The younger sicker patients became a source of danger to our well being in the sense of a bad outcome could mean years of litigation. Not much fun there.
            Completely agree with this. The podcast "This American Life" just had a show called "...But I did everything right!". I feel like I try to do everything right, but no one is perfect. I have had two issues/mistakes that have not surfaced until years later when cases get reviewed in hindsight. I know lawsuits are rare (I was not sued), but the fear is really about doing harm completely unintentionally when I have done everything right in the moment. I love my specialty, and the vast majority of the time am happy, but the lingering threat of a bad day resulting in harm is hefty. And this weight seems to get heavier with time, not lighter like I had thought.

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            • #7
              Great article, hits close to home.

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              • #8
                can someone rationally explain that why a fireman can’t be sued for not putting out a fire but a doctor can?

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                • #9
                  Well if a fireman sprays water on the wrong building I bet he could be sued. Or if instead of water he sprays kerosene. Or if he watchfully waits for a couple of hours before doing something.

                  But if he is doing his job he should not be sued. But some jobs it is more straight forward than others.

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                  • #10
                    We have a volunteer fire company, so we are grateful if someone shows up with a red truck, that isn’t a f150

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                    • #11
                      Nice article, and liked all the points addressed in it.

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                      • #12
                        I thought this was one of WCI’s best blog posts. I wonder how many will take it to heart? I experienced being an employed physician early in my career and being self-employed for the last 3 decades. Whatever the financial rewards, self-employed gives you more control. I know not every specialty is amenable to this, but I think the post is right that the more autonomy and self-determination, the happier the work life.
                        My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cytogal View Post

                          Completely agree with this. The podcast "This American Life" just had a show called "...But I did everything right!". I feel like I try to do everything right, but no one is perfect. I have had two issues/mistakes that have not surfaced until years later when cases get reviewed in hindsight. I know lawsuits are rare (I was not sued), but the fear is really about doing harm completely unintentionally when I have done everything right in the moment. I love my specialty, and the vast majority of the time am happy, but the lingering threat of a bad day resulting in harm is hefty. And this weight seems to get heavier with time, not lighter like I had thought.
                          Agree 100%

                          I’m in a high risk procedure based specialty.

                          As the years go by I’ve become more and more traumatized of the bad, whereas I previously thought it was the other way around where your experience allowed you to be more confident with time. But obviously time brings awareness of the stuff you can’t control and how bad outcomes can wreck havoc on you. I miss those blissfully ignorant years.

                          I feel for that some of us perhaps you can only do so many tours before you lose your edge/nerve - though I’m extremely surprised that I’m my specialty a see very few old- timers hang it up in their 50s and even 60s.

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