Why Physicians Leave Clinical Medicine Practice
Recent news stories in the mainstream media have highlighted the difficulties that modern practicing physicians face. Numerous articles share narratives of physicians who are disillusioned, disheartened, over regulated, burned out, and just plain tired of practicing clinical medicine in an unsupportive environment. The financial and regulatory pressures that doctors face has made many throw in the towel, unable to sustain a practice that can support quality patient care while still maintaining an income and covering the rising costs of regulatory administrative requirements amid decreasing reimbursement. While disenchantment and the disappointment of feeling unable to achieve goals of caring for the sick are certainly one of the big reasons that physicians choose to leave medicine, there are other reasons as well. Of course, the other nine reasons, while important to health care professionals, aren't as controversial as the stories of physician despondency and therefore are not quite as newsworthy or compelling for most readers. The top ten reasons why physicians leave clinical medicine gives a fuller explanation for the current trend of doctors searching for non-clinical career alternatives.
1. As the popular stories illustrate, it is true that the number one reason that doctors leave medicine is frustration. Doctors feel a sense of disillusionment, increasingly devalued in the complex medical system that is losing focus on quality compassionate patient care. Administrative regulations are at best irritating, but more often detrimental due to resulting inefficiency. Doctors are tired of being told what to do, and of no one listening.
2. A portion of the stress that doctors feel, however, may not be specifically unique to medicine. Some doctors choose to leave medicine due to work stress that may be caused by an unfair practice arrangement or harassment on the job. The decision to leave medicine in these situations removes the physician from an exceedingly unpleasant environment, alleviating situational work related stress and often providing a new beginning and a fresh start.