Considering a Job Change? Here’s What Doctors Should Know

This is a picture of a doctor walking through a hospital to represent job changes for doctors.

Deciding to leave one job for another can be a big life change. Whether making this decision because of advancement opportunities, desire for a new location, or dissatisfaction with your current role, consider these things before you make the leap.

Are doctors changing jobs? 

From 2020 to 2022, 46% of physicians changed jobs, according to CHG Healthcare.

According to a recent survey of physicians and advanced practice providers from The Medicus Firm, 58.7% of respondents indicated they plan to or are open to making a career change in the next 12 months. Additionally, the percentage of respondents who would “definitely not” make a change was halved from 30% in 2020 to 14.8% in 2022.

Why are doctors changing jobs?

The COVID-19 pandemic put significant strain on the healthcare community. Prior to 2020, burnout rates had declined consistently for six years, reaching a low of 38.2%, according to a survey from Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Only two years later, the rate now stands at 62.8%.

The Medicus Firm reports the two greatest motivating factors for career changes for healthcare providers are better quality of life (32.6%) and increased compensation (27.5%). CHG Healthcare backs up this data with 35.2% of respondents desiring better work/life balance and 12.6% of respondents wanting increased compensation. 

Are you prepared financially to leave your job?

If you have decided to leave your current position without a job lined up, you want to have your finances in order, to sustain you for several weeks, even months. The last thing you want to do while navigating the challenges of finding a new position is be overwhelmed with financial stress due to poor planning.

An emergency fund can come in handy for this need. This is a financial safety that is easily accessible and ready when a need arises. Three to six months of living expenses saved up can be extremely useful. 

Because an emergency fund needs to be accessible, there are limited options for where to store your funds. A traditional savings account works, but keeping your money in a high-yield savings account means your money will grow passively while you store it until it is needed. We offer a competitive rate and excellent services on our high-yield savings account that can be a great place to build your emergency fund.

You can learn more about how to build and use emergency funds here.

Looking for another job

How should I prepare for looking for a new job? 

Here are some tips to determine what job will be best for you:

  • Know your priorities. If you already have a job (or two) under your belt, what did you like and not like? How important are things like location, schedule flexibility, PSLF eligibility and compensation? 
  • Determine your practice preferences. Do you want to work alone at a solo practice? Do you want to be part of a larger organization like a hospital or single-specialty group practice? Are you interested in locum tenens work?

How do I choose the right workplace for me?

It can be overwhelming to assess job opportunities and truly determine if they are a good fit for your needs. If you are considering a job transition, there is likely something in your current role that doesn’t fulfill your needs. This is why it is imperative to thoroughly assess your next position.

Use the priorities and preferences you identified to guide your search as you consider the following:

  • Evaluate support and quality of life. A place of employment’s support team, typical work schedule, call schedule and vacation time are important factors that can influence your job satisfaction.
  • Understand the workplace culture. Culture can have a significant effect on your day-to-day experiences in a workplace. Learn how co-workers interact with each other, how feedback is handled, and if work-life balance is valued.
  • Assess the compensation. How will the employer’s compensation structure affect you? Does the company have the benefits (insurance, retirement, etc.) that you desire?

When you find your next position

If you made the leap and found a new position that is a better fit for you, congrats! Now, it’s time to finalize the details and begin your new role.

Review and negotiate your contract

Hospitals and practices are businesses, which means they want to cater to their needs and create contracts that best suit them, but you will want to be sure the contract fulfills your needs. Check that all aspects match what you agreed on during the interview process, and review any non-compete agreements.

An experienced contract lawyer can assist you in this and advise you on any areas for negotiation. Depending on the circumstances, a contract lawyer can negotiate with your employer on your behalf or coach you through your negotiation. Read more about how a contract lawyer can help you here.

Finding a trusted contract lawyer with experience working with doctors can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Build Your Team program was built for this need. We have trusted, vetted advisors in every field, including law, that can help you reach your goals.

Sign your contract

Once your contract has been thoroughly reviewed and negotiated if necessary, you are ready to sign! Congrats on your new role, and we wish you luck in this next stage of your career!

Additional resources

For other helpful resources to help you throughout your career journey, visit the Resources page or check out our curated list below: 

Panacea Financial, a division of Primis. Member FDIC.

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