Physicians “Falling Down” – doesn’t have to be the case

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Aligning With Values & Purpose,Career Resilience & Fulfillment

Last week the New York Times ran an article on professions that are “falling down” and noted that physicians are among this group (along with lawyers) who are experiencing a loss of professional luster.

“In the days when a successful career was built on a number of tacitly recognized pillars — outsize pay, long-term security, impressive schooling and authority over grave matters — doctors and lawyers were perched atop them all. Now, those pillars have started to wobble.”

Having coached many physicians in professional crises and forward into to new chapters of achievement, I am aware of the emotional upheaval so many physicians are experiencing.

Therefore I am always suspect about journalists or non-clinicians trivializing physicians’ response to changes in healthcare.

Every change in medicine is a force affecting a physician’s career and results in yet another factor that must be integrated in a career plan that feels less and less stable. Resistance to change is merely what’s happening on the surface. Underneath is uncertainty or lack of clarity about how to recoup the enormous personal investment they’ve made in medicine.

When I hear phrases like “working with physicians is like herding cats” or “doctors think they deserve more they’re entitled to” — well, I just cringe.

These phrases are convenient ways of glossing over the genuine heartbreak that many physicians are feeling over the loss of their dream: the dream they had many years ago when they were first called to medicine, the dream of of what it means to be a physician.

For a more in depth discussion about what REALLY makes doctors fulfilled, listen to an audio presentation contained in the Physician Career Management toolkit (FREE resource for my Daring Doctors subscribers). Learn more.

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