You’ve always been ambitious and had career goals. You went straight from high school to college. Then from college to medical school. You never wavered about your specialty. You knew what you wanted. Now you’ve been working as a doctor for several years, and it’s not clicking anymore.
All your life you’ve had school and career goals, and you’ve achieved them. Now what? Even though you’ve accomplished your goals, it’s never too late to set new career objectives. Whether you want to change specialties, add to your practice, or learn something new, the time is always right. Below you’ll find four tips to take your medical career to the next level.
Try virtual visits
The demand for telemedicine is growing in the US. According to IHS Technology, by 2018, seven million people will choose telemedicine over going to a doctor’s office. That’s up from under 350,000 in 2013. Insurance companies encourage their customers to choose virtual visits via mobile apps over traditional visits. United Healthcare, for example, encourages people to use sites like Amwell, which charges a fixed amount per doctor visit. And Intermountain Healthcare in Utah has its own virtual visit app, Intermountain Connect Care. The demand is high—there’s no reason to avoid telemedicine.
Another perk to telemedicine is that it can expand your reach. If you have a patient who moves away, there’s no reason you can’t continue treating her via video. Or if you’re a specialist, you can treat rural patients who otherwise couldn’t travel to your office. With virtual visits, you’ll see patients who are physically far away.
And yet another reason to change up your practice with video is work-life balance. Your personal life likely has suffered because of your career. With telemedicine, you’ll be able to see patients while at home. Or you can take the time for that family vacation without having to close up your office and put off patients. With an Internet connection, you can still see patients while on the road. Telemedicine allows doctors to have more of a personal life, if that’s what they want.
Take on some tech
Getting data on your patients via sensors isn’t something of the future. With health apps, smartwatches, and other wearable tech, that information is a click away. These smart sensors will stream data straight to your smartphone, so you can get up-to-the-minute information on a patient who has heart trouble, diabetes, or any number of life-threatening diseases. Technology makes keeping up with patients easier than ever. Plus, you’ll be popular with your tech-loving patients.
Technology also saves time. Because you’re monitoring patients via computer, you don’t need to see them as often. If something’s awry, you’ll know from the data. Maybe you’ll see something that’s concerning but out of your expertise and refer your patient to another specialist for treatment. Your time is precious; using tech will save some of it.
Add social to your schedule
Professional isolation is a real thing in the medical field. With your busy schedule, you rarely get out to meet other professionals. But connecting with other doctors gives you a career advantage. You never know when someone will introduce you to a new opportunity or help you broaden your expertise or horizons. If these professional mixers might be out of your reach if you’re in a rural area then consider joining groups of other doctors on social media. You might not meet them in person, but virtual colleagues are still valuable. Whether you’re meeting in person or online, having a network of cohorts is a useful resource.
Find a mentor
Maybe what you’re missing is a mentor. Having a career mentor can take your career to the next level, even as a doctor. The first step is to find someone whose career you admire and who is willing to give advice. If you’ve been networking, then finding a role model is easier. Look for someone who has a specialty figured out. Does he have years of experience and still love the work? Does she have great credentials and a reputation to match? Someone with experience under the belt will teach you what you only learn by doing. With a mentor, you’ll map your ideal career future, and have someone to lean on along the way.
Like people in other fields, sometimes doctors fall into a career rut. But changing your focus, finding a mentor, meeting colleagues, adding tech, or taking on video can help take your career to the next level. Is a new job the next step in your career? Start your search on PhysEmp.