September 20, 2019

Improving Clinical Practice Today While Looking Ahead to the Future

 I talk to a fair amount of physicians who are frustrated with their current job situation.   Many are curious about what kind of non-clinical career they would be eligible for and how long a transition would take.  According to Dr. Joseph Kim, founder of nonclinical, only about 5% of physicians make the complete transition to a non-clinical career.

And the change can often take a number of years.

What are your options if you don’t want to wait to enjoy your work more?

There a number of ways physicians find more career satisfaction while they explore non-clinical options. Some of the approaches I have seen that offer benefit are:

1. Determine how you could improve your current situation:

  • Hardwire some personal time in your schedule (allows time for career planning)
  • Develop a practice “niche” such as wellness, integrative medicine or aesthetics
  • Get involved in an initiative in your hospital, e.g. EMR implementation, physician wellness, or social media, etc.
  • Save money now to have greater job flexibility down the road
  • Join or start a physician support group in your area.  For information click here.

2. Explore different clinical positions, which may offer:

  • Better work hours/compensation
  • The opportunity to learn new skills
  • More collegial relationships
  • A new geographic location

3. Look for opportunities to develop non-clinical skills

  • Participate in Electronic Medical Record implementation in your clinic/hospital
  • Volunteer on a committee to gain leadership experience
  • Write articles and/or  blogs to establish your expertise in a subject area
  • Take a course through the American College of Physician Executives, or another institution
When I was dissatisfied in my career, I took a hard look at myself and my practice and decided some things had to change if I wanted to like my work again.  Most of the changes pertained to how I structured my practice.  I cut back on the number of patients I saw each day, diversified the services offered, renovated a new office space and hired several aestheticians.   The changes made a significant difference in the overall atmosphere of the office and how much I enjoyed my day-to-day work.  In retrospect, in addition to the changes in my practice, I wish I had sought out opportunities to have part of my work be in a non-clinical area and participated more in the local medical community.  Being in solo practice was rather isolating for me, especially after the collegiality of residency, but it didn’t have to be that way.

What changes would you like to make in your work situation?




  1. More and more physicians are growing tired and too much exhausted of their jobs that’s why most of them just chose to try threading the other career path or do non-clinical jobs.

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