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10 Signs It Might Be Time to Quit Medical Practice


Recent polls show physician burnout is on the rise. So, what are some signs that it might be time to pull the plug and move on?

Heading for the exits

According to recent polls, a significant proportion of doctors would not recommend a career in medicine to their children. They are disenchanted and feel they have lost control of their job and profession. They’re burned out.

So, what are some signs that it might be time to pull the plug and move on?

1. It is no longer fun and there is little or no joy in going to work. You no longer feel the love. You are suffering from a DISease.

2. Someone, like your boss or you spouse, is insisting that you find something else to do since you are creating havoc at home and are "disruptive" at work.

3. You are constantly grumpy and disagreeable.

4. You spend more time reading The Wall Street Journal than the New England Journal.

5. Patients say you should smile more.

6. You worry that you might hurt someone, including yourself by using drugs or doing stupid, risky things.

7. You have saved enough to tell the world to go fly a kite.

8. You begin to read obituaries or talk about how everyone is getting sick.

9. You have an opportunity to pursue a non-clinical career opportunity.

10. You have not taken a vacation day in three years.

Divorcing yourself is one of the hardest things to do for doctors since they usually define themselves by what they do instead of who they are. Maybe it's time to file the papers, or at least, live apart for a while.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice