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Q and A with MD
Like many young OB/GYNs, she felt that she couldn't take of her patients or herself , she faced adverse and difficult circumstances daily in he work: the unpredictability of her hours, dwindling satisfactions of patient care, the repetitive demands and stress of emergencies and disasters, and the lack of balance between her professional life and her personal life.
Yet is was precisely these problems that became opportunities, once she realized through the counseling process she undertook with Dr.Stephen Rosen at Celia Paul Associates -- that she had a bushel basket full of specific, enjoyable, transferable skills—advocacy and passion for womens’ health-care issues, leadership, quick problem-solving abilities, dependability, steady energy, seeing important tasks to completetion and follow-through, and strong motivation to deal effectively wioth emergency situations.
Doctor As Patient
Can your work be a worthy expression of who you are?
Stephen Rosen, PhD and Celia Paul, MSW*
His resume began, “Experienced M.D. with outstanding communication skills, proven record of business success, enthusiasm, dedication to relationship building and education within the medical community”.
But in person he described his career circumstances differently: “I have not enjoyed much satisfaction in the practice of medicine. I would like to lose the pager and the angst…be able to express myself more creatively…have more time...perhaps eliminate my clinical practice…realistically explore my options.” (Full disclosure: we help physicians with their career complaints.)
There’s no name for his condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). We call it 'career malaise', 'burn-out', 'discontented doctor syndrome', which may generate serious consequences. Tormented or dispirited physicians can bring about adverse outcomes in patient care and hospital safety.
Twenty (or even ten) years ago, this kind of talk was not heard among physicians, and patients rarely knew (or cared) whether their doctor was happy or not. Physicians confessing to career disappointment were embarrassing, considered tantamount to acknowledging a character flaw, or admitting personal or professional failure.
Not any more. Read more..
TO BE (OR NOT TO BE) AN MD: Doctor As Patient
Stephen Rosen, PhD
Dr. Robert Neville is not alone, judging from resonant reader response to
recent news stories about dispirited doctors and lawyers suffering career
malaise ("The Falling Down Professions" by Alex Williams, NYT 6 January
2008; "Who's Cuddly Now" by Lisa Belkin, NYT 24 January 2008). Instead of
enjoying career health and well-being, he suffers disconcerting and
debilitating occupational distress.
Although his resume began, "Experienced surgeon with outstanding
communication skills, successful practice, enthusiasm, and dedication"…
in person he dmitted, "I have not enjoyed much satisfaction
in the practice of medicine. I can’t even stand touching my
patients any more. I want to lose my pager, my angst, my dyspepsia;
to be able to express myself more creatively; to have more time...
eliminate my clinical practice altogether… explore my options."
(Medical schools are usually too busy teaching clinical skills to
address the future personal happiness of medical students.)
THANK YOU LETTER
"Dear Celia & Steve:
I am writing to thank you for your help. Your guidance in how
to write an effective resume and your strategy for how to get colleagues
over many years to help with a job search was extraordinarily effective.
Although I am 64 years old, I obtained in short order two excellent
positions, both paying more than my prior employer, including one
that was $50,000 more. I'm employed, thanks to you. I had (or would
have had) four offers (2 firms; 2 from government) thanks to you.
I am grateful to my colleague who referred me to you and to you
for your excellent advice.
(not her real name)