Career transitions and negotiations: Finding Yourself in Medicine with Dr. Erkeda DeRouen

By: Erkeda DeRouen, MD

Published: May 4, 2023

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Written for:

✅ Early Career Physicians

✅ Mid Career Physicians

✅ Established Professionals

"There are so many other physicians who are feeling the exact same thing that you felt."

As a healthcare professional, finding joy and purpose in your work can be challenging. Dr. Erkeda DeRouen's lecture on physicians' career transitions and negotiation skills offers valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate these challenges and create a fulfilling career path. Here are actionable steps you can take to find joy and purpose in your work:

Reflect on your values, priorities, and transferable skills

Reflecting on your values, priorities, and transferable skills can help you identify what you truly want and why you want it. This can help you make more informed decisions about your career path and find work that aligns with your values and interests. Take the time to think about what truly motivates you, what you enjoy doing, and what skills you have that can be applied in different contexts.

Take some time to reflect on what's most important to you and how you can integrate those values into your work. Consider what skills you possess that could be applied in various fields outside of patient interaction. For example, do you possess skills in leadership, critical thinking, communication, and teaching?

Action item: Write down your top three values and think about how you can incorporate them into your work.

Identify potential career opportunities outside of patient interaction

Exploring potential career opportunities outside of patient interaction can open up new doors and help you find work that aligns with your values and interests. Consider looking for jobs in industries such as healthcare consulting, health technology, medical education, or medical writing. These industries require skills that are valuable to physicians, and the perspective of a physician can be incredibly valuable in these fields.

Action item: Research two potential career paths outside of patient interaction that align with your values and interests.

Update your resume or CV and optimize your LinkedIn profile

Your resume and LinkedIn profile are critical tools for showcasing your skills and accomplishments to potential employers. Ensure that your resume or CV is up to date and highlights your achievements, experience, and education. Optimize your LinkedIn profile by adding keywords, a professional headshot, and a clear summary of your professional experience. Make sure your profile is complete and includes your current position, education, and any relevant certifications.

Action item: Update your resume or CV and optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Utilize negotiation skills to effectively negotiate your employment contract

Develop your negotiation skills to ensure that you can effectively negotiate your employment contract. Seek out expert negotiators, utilize key tips geared toward physician contracts, and employ step-by-step strategies for coming up with mutually acceptable agreements.

Negotiation skills are important for healthcare professionals who want to ensure they receive fair compensation, reasonable workloads, and favorable terms in their employment contracts. Consider taking courses or workshops to improve your negotiation skills, and practice negotiating with colleagues or friends. It's also important to have a clear understanding of the terms of your employment contract, including compensation, benefits, work expectations, and any non-compete clauses.

Action item: Seek out resources on negotiation skills and practice negotiating your employment contract.

Prioritize self-care by setting boundaries, taking time off, and finding joy in your work

Dr. DeRouen advises prioritizing self-care by finding joy in your work, reflecting on values and interests, and addressing barriers that prohibit joy. Set boundaries around your work schedule and take time off to recharge and avoid burnout. Incorporate activities that bring you joy into your workday, such as taking a walk or connecting with colleagues. Practicing mindfulness, exercising, and engaging in hobbies are also effective self-care strategies to maintain passion for your work and avoid burnout. Remember, taking care of yourself is critical to providing the best possible care to your patients.

Action item: Set boundaries around your work schedule, take time off, and identify one activity that brings you joy that you can incorporate into your workday.

By following these actionable steps, you can create a fulfilling and satisfying career path that aligns with your values and interests. Remember to stay true to yourself, prioritize self-care, and seek out support from colleagues and mentors as you navigate your career. Taking proactive steps to find joy and purpose in your work will benefit you and your patients in the long run.

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