Physician Career Stability: What does it mean to you?

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Aligning With Values & Purpose,Career Resilience & Fulfillment

What keeps us from taking a career risk as leaders and business professionals? Often it’s a desire to maintain “stability”. As practicing physicians, we reasonably expected to set up a practice, build it over time, and derive a good income without a major interruption. For many physicians, the largest threat to that stability has been an erosion of income from administrative burdens and managed care.

What happens to your concept of stability, then, as you become a physician executive or business professional? Certainly, no health system is immune from executive changes, downsizing, restructuring, and mergers. Moreover, for physician leaders who aspire to grow professionally or reach new personal goals, a move out of your current organization is a given.

Because the fear of “instability” often keeps you from making the very moves that can vault you to the next great adventure, it is worthwhile contemplating what stability means for you. Here are some questions to help uncover your personal perspective.

  1. Describe a scenario of maximum stability (for you).
  2. Describe a scenario of minimally acceptable stability (for you).
  3. What are the essential features and elements of stability that are shared in each scenario?
  4. What do you “give up” when moving from the maximum to minimally acceptable scenario?
  5. What do you gain (how is it to your advantage) in accepting the minimal stability scenario (assuming it will be temporary)?


    Francine R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach for Healthcare Leaders, (206) 686-4205

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