Foreword by Nii-Daako Darko, DO, MBA, FACSIn Thinking About Quitting Medicine, Drs. Nicole Swiner and Mani Saint-Victor deliver an impressive assembly of physician authors who effectively share how they reached and eventually overcame their breaking points in the practice of medicine.
They candidly vocalize the hidden thoughts that too many doctors have about their careers, lives, and livelihood. There is no doubt that other physicians reading their stories will breathe a sigh of relief as if to say, “What I am feeling is not abnormal.” Who better than other physicians to validate these feelings? The authors are not only relatable, but cleverly tell the stories of their struggles turned success in a format that is all too familiar to physician readers – the SOAP note.
Subjectively, the physician authors describe symptoms that start off as intermittent negative thoughts. “I hate my job.” “I don’t want to go into work tomorrow.” “Why are there so many patients on my schedule?” These thoughts lead to fatigue, frustration, anger, underappreciation, and even depression. They perfectly capture the guilt we, as physicians, feel for having these thoughts. “Am I lazy?” “Is there something wrong with me?” “Am I cut out for medicine?” These thoughts eventual develop into a pessimistic mindset about what we once considered the career of our dreams. If you are a physician who has ever had these thoughts, then you must read this book!
Objectively, the authors characterize their own signs of dysfunction that manifest through their behaviors of lashing out, self-isolation, missing important functions, neglecting work duties, being late to work, and even deteriorating health. These actions and conditions speak volumes about how doctors handle the demands of being in medical practice – countless patients relying on us, making good clinical decisions, and medical malpractice concerns which threaten our livelihoods. Compounding these demands is that our medical responsibilities impede the enjoyable behaviors that keep our lives balanced, like visiting family and friends and engaging in hobbies and other recreational activities. If you see yourself in any of these stories, then you, like the physician authors, will be compelled to take the next step.
Assessing their breaking points, these authors finally realize that their current situations are dysfunctional, not the doctor! Having these thoughts or exhibiting these behaviors under persistently stressful conditions is normal human reaction. It is important to recognize our stressors and how they affect us as physicians. Otherwise, our symptoms (thoughts) and signs (behaviors) will linger. Rather than continuing to kick the can down the road, these authors decided to turn things around.
Planning with intention is the common theme in each of these journeys. Too often, physicians reach their breaking points, but thinking things will get better, revert to attempting to function in dysfunction. Some will look for a different, but similar work environment, which only perpetuates the cycle. Being intentional means creating a lifestyle that does not sacrifice family, friends, and recreation for working ourselves to death. These authors take bold and courageous steps to break free of dysfunction. With execution of a well defined plan, not only are better opportunities more likely to present, but we become physically and psychologically free of the burdens that previously confined us so that we can accept those opportunities.
If you are a physician feeling like your career and life have stagnated, reading Thinking About Quitting Medicine could be the singular action you take to improving your way of life!
What You’ll Learn
- What are some signs that it’s time to think about quitting medicine?
- Emotions that drive successful doctors to consider quitting medicine
- Alternatives visionary physicians have found to traditional practice
- What life is like outside the medical industrial complex
- What common mistakes to avoid when transitioning to non-medical careers
- What resources are available to smooth your transition out of medicine
- How to deal with the guilt and shame that block effective discussions of making your career match your values
- How to cope with the pain and fear of leaving what’s familiar to what is uncertain
- How to plan and prepare to ensure that when you leave , you do so from a place of strength, clarity of values and have a safety net in place
Brought together from various fields of medicine, our team of visionary physicians come together with the shared mission of guiding our current generation of frustrated physicians to finding a path in medicine that is aligned with their ideal lifestyle vision.
Who are our authors?
From Emergency Medicine, to Obstetrics and Gynecology, to Radiation Oncology, to Psychiatry to Psychology, to Beauty Queens with combined Law and Medical Doctorates we’ve brought our best docs together. We’ve brought you medical school professors, entrepreneurs, publishers, locum tenens practitioners, doctors who entirely quit medicine to build virtual worlds, doctors who left the world of traditional practice to do missionary work.
They’ve all come together to share with you their experiences during medical training, their careers and lives after medical training out in the real world, and the feelings and thoughts that called them to consider alternatives to medicine.
Paperback: 185 pages
Published: First Ed. Jan 7, 2017;
Available in: English
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Swiner Publishing
Thinking About Quitting Medicine is an invitation to an intimate conversation with 13 trusted and wise friends who have taken the journey and want to guide you through it with the least pain and the most growth and fulfillment possible.
Whether you’re perfectly happy in your clinical practice now but sense that one day you’ll want to have an exit plan in place or you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current practice, or plain miserable and can’t bear the thought of another day it’s worth tapping into the wisdom of those who have been in the same place before you.
In the current culture of medicine we often hide our mistakes. This approach is unproductive and not only keeps us from learning from them by gaining the insight from our peers and reflection but it prevents the growth of a shared knowledge base.
When we’re overwhelmed by feelings of frustration and disillusionment in our current medical practices our colleagues often offer the same old advice of toughing it out. We sit and complain instead of thinking through specific steps to improve the situation. This is because we rarely know where to start.
In this book you’ll gain the insight from doctors who figured out where to start and made the mistakes to get through the hard part of stepping off the hamster wheel. Beyond that, they have the courage to be vulnerable and share their journeys for your inspiration and education.
The wisdom in this book will save you months of painful self-punishment, self-doubt, and spinning your wheels. It’ll accelerate your idea generation process and provide you validation for feelings that you know you aren’t the only one feeling but struggle to find others willing to reveal.