When you are sensing signs that it might be time to quit clinical practice, the first step is to divorce yourself from your doctor persona. Here are some tips on technique.
Alternative career planning, particularly for doctors, starts with divorcing yourself before you can move on. This particularly applies to physicians interested in biomedical and health entrepreneurship. Those who have had independent practices want to maintain control of their fate and those who have been employed usually want to get off the W-2 train.
Physician entrepreneurs evolve in 4 stages moving from awareness to intention to decision to action. When you are sensing signs that it might be time to quit clinical practice, the first step is to divorce yourself from your doctor persona. Here are some tips on technique:
1. Figure out what you want to be: technopreneur, social entrepreneur, freelancer or consultant, or physician investor?
2. Decide whether the problem is you or medical practice.
3. Give yourself time to let the process play out and give clarity to the next steps.
4. Create low cost experiments to get an idea of what feels right next.
5. Get a harmless mistress; i.e. develop hobbies or outside interests that will help you discover or unearth your innerpreneur.
6. Don't give up your day job until you have done the groundwork to transition.
7. If and when you move on, don't make too many other changes in your life. Try not to jump off the edge until you are ready.
8. Sometime it's best to put your employers, patients, and partners out of their misery and move on.
10. Be open to signals that the timing is right.
Many doctors are still in the frog kissing stage looking for their prince. Some might find him or her, but many won't. Take the time to do it right.