People in every industry are at risk of professional burnout resulting in a loss of enthusiasm, increased stress, emotional exhaustion, low sense of accomplishment, etc. However, those of us in the field of medicine know that we're highly susceptible to it.
In fact, burnout among healthcare professionals is on the rise with over 50% of US physicians experiencing the same. Experienced physicians feel the heat and even it has some medical school students questioning their career choice.
In a nutshell, physician burnout is reaching crisis proportions in the US. One question we get quite often in our facebook group, Passive Income Docs, is “What are the various medical/non-medical opportunities available for those who are already burned out in medicine?”
As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of creating multiple streams of income and a good number of ones on my list of Physician Side Hustles are non-medical. However, it makes sense for most to simply put the experience and knowledge they've spent years cultivating to good use.
Can You Avoid Physician Burnout and Prepare for it?
Avoiding physician burnout is not an easy task. The causes are multifactorial, but if addressed earlier, your chances of avoiding it are no doubt higher. It's also worthwhile to prepare yourself and your situation in case it rears its ugly head.
Build up a contingency plan while you are still on your job. What this means is that you shouldn't wait until you are forced to make choices to have alternative plans. Learn, study, network to find out what options you have.
Consider exploring them while you have your steady job. Are they things you can do on the side? Can you train for these positions on the side?
Next be mindful of the balance between work and personal life. Focus on your relationships, environment, your requirements like proper sleep, nutrition, workout, etc. Keep your mental game strong and your life filled with new experiences and strong relationships. That will no doubt help you be aware of burnout creep.
However, if you do decide that you'd like to pivot and switch jobs, or just want to continue it on a part-time basis, here are some opportunities that can help you earn a living or a side income using your medical degree.
1) Be a Physician Advisor
One of the job profiles that has witnessed a steep growth in the healthcare environment is that of a medical advisor/consultant.
This job profile is more into working closely with the physicians and advising them on how they can adhere to the various norms with respect to documentation, quality, and safety regulations.
This person might review clinical cases to help assure quality patient care and make sure that health care services are being used in an efficient manner. They act as a consultant and resource for other physicians to help make decisions when it comes to utilization of resources and things such as appropriateness of hospitalization.
I just happened to check on Ziprecruiter and there are some jobs just like that posted directly on there.
2) Work for a Venture Capital Firm
When working with a venture capital (VC) firm, medical professionals closely analyze the upcoming companies in the healthcare sector and share their advice on whether the venture capital company should invest in them. These upcoming companies can be in the field of medical devices, software, or drugs.
So much innovation is happening in this field and so your expertise in this field can be extremely valuable. Who knows, you might end up being a partner in the VC firm as I've seen happen before.
3) Be a Medical Freelance Writer
If you love putting pen to paper (or more realistically typing your thoughts), this might be a great option for you. There is just no end to the various clinical writing and editing opportunities available in the market.
The best companies to approach in this case would be the medical publications, pharmaceutical companies, marketing agencies, etc. You can get into a freelancing contract with the companies looking up to freelance writers in the field of medicine and establish your own business. Physicians with good writing skills have good prospects in the field.
Here are some examples of medical freelance writer positions on Indeed.
4) Be a Career Coach
A lot of medical professionals are finding second careers as coaches or advisors to their colleagues. This is a relatively upcoming field that is not yet explored completely and thus, has much to offer.
With a considerable percentage of doctors reporting in The Physicians Foundation Survey the will to change careers, this can be one of the most exciting medical opportunities to venture into. The demand for coaches is on the rise, and this can earn a handsome amount of income once you get established.
If you don’t find your clinical career particularly rewarding or feel burned out already, know that there are other options. All you need to do is know the various medical opportunities available and assess wisely.
Know of any other jobs that you can do using your medical degree? Let us know…