You’ve always been ambitious in your career goals. You went straight from high school to college, then from college to medical school. You’ve always been clear about your specialty. You’ve worked for several years now for your employer, but unfortunately, the job doesn’t seem to be clicking anymore.
What now? It may be time to consider new career objectives. Whether you want to change specialties, add to your practice or learn something new, the time may be right for a change. Here are 4 tips to take your medical career to the next level:
1. Try telemedicine
The demand for telemedicine is growing by leaps and bounds. According to IHS Technology, by 2018, seven million patients will choose telemedicine over a trip to a doctor’s office, up from just under 350,000 in 2013. Insurance companies are increasingly encouraging customers to use virtual visits by mobile app over traditional office visits.
United Healthcare, for example, recommends using sites like Amwell, which charges a fixed fee per appointment. Intermountain Healthcare in Utah has its own virtual app, Intermountain Connect Care.
There’s good reason to consider telemedicine.
Telemedicine will expand your reach. If you have a patient who moves away, you can continue treating her via video. If you’re a specialist, you can treat rural patients who are unable to travel the long distance to your office.
Changing up your practice with video is for better work-life control. Like so many physicians, your personal life likely has suffered because of your career demands. Now, you can take the time for that family vacation without having to close your office and put off patients. With Internet access, you can always see patients while you’re on the road, which can be a great advantage.
2. Take on some tech
Getting data on your patients via sensors isn’t something from the future. With health apps, smartwatches, and other wearable tech, that information is just a click away. Smart sensors stream data straight to your smartphone, so you can get up-to-the-minute information on a patient who, for instance, may have heart trouble, diabetes, or some other life-threatening illness.
Technology makes keeping up with patients easier than ever. Plus, you’ll become more popular with your tech-loving patients :-).
Technology saves time. Since you’re monitoring patients via computer, you won’t need to see them as often. If something’s awry, it’ll show up in the data. Maybe you’ll see something that’s concerning and out of your expertise and then refer your patient to another specialist for treatment.
Your time is precious; tech can save some of it.
Add social to your schedule
Professional isolation can be a problem in the medical field. With your busy schedule, it’s possible that you rarely get out to meet other professionals. But connecting with colleagues can offer a career advantage. You never know when someone will introduce you to a new opportunity or offer to help you broaden your expertise or horizons.
If professional mixers might be out of your reach (say, if you’re in a rural area) then consider joining groups with other doctors on social media. You might not meet them in person, but virtual colleagues are valuable. Whether you’re meeting in person or online, having a network of cohorts can be a useful resource.
Find a mentor
Maybe you can benefit from a career mentor. A more experienced colleague can take your career to the next level.
It’s a good idea to find someone whose career you admire and who is willing to give advice. If you have experience with networking, then finding a role model will become that much easier.
Look for someone who has good, long experience in a specialty. Does he still love the work? Does she have credentials and a reputation? Someone with experience can teach you what you would not be able to learn otherwise. With a mentor, you can map your ideal career, and to boot have someone to lean on for help along the way.
Just like people in other fields, doctors do occasionally fall into a career rut. By changing your focus, finding a mentor, meeting colleagues, adding tech, and taking on video, you can move your career to the next level.