Learn to fall in love with medicine again

April 10, 2011

Practicing medicine, as any other job in the field, can become boring. Worse yet, it can lead to burnout.

Let's face it. Practicing medicine, as any other job in any field, can become boring. Worse yet, it can lead to burnout, with all its ramifications, including doing potential harm to patients.

That's right. More than one-third of physicians who responded to a survey in Medical Economics (see "Would you do it all over again?" October 22, 2010) reported that, if they could go back in time, they would choose a different specialty or a different career altogether. Only 41% of respondents said they would recommend medical practice to the younger generation.

CHANGE IS CONSTANT

Change is the one constant in medicine. Today's healthcare systems-and the educational process that produces residents and physicians-are not the systems of 15 years ago, nor are they likely to be the same systems we will see 15 years from now.

At one time, career paths for doctors were virtually nonexistent. Once out of residency, a doctor was expected to practice for a lifetime in the same specialty. Nowadays, physicians are expected to be teachers, planners, and organizers of care. Therefore, it is only natural for you to serve more actively in some of these roles.