So lately it seems like many doctors I know are hanging up their white coats (or at least their stethoscopes) and leaving clinical medicine. A cardiologist is going to work for Pharma. An internist is going to work in finance. A surgeon got his JD and is going to work for a law firm. A colleague is going back to school to get an MPH. An ID doc is going to work for a health plan.
Why? It seems the reasons are varied. In some cases it’s the crappy call schedule and the way it dictates your social life. In others, it’s dropping reimbursement rates for what used to be their bread and butter. Others are just sick and tired of dealing with whiney, needy patients. Others are just bored intellectually. Some complain that MD’s have lost the respect they used to have.
I wonder if this phenomenon is more common in the last decade or two than before. In any case, you can’t just peg it to one reason. I also think there are more opportunities than ever before for doctors who don’t want to be in clinical medicine any more. I also think people are less tolerant of unpleasant aspects that impact their lifestyle. In the 60′s and 70′s I think most docs just stuck it out even if they were unhappy.