As you advance through residency or fellowship, a few questions may come to mind.
“What will my future job look like?” “Will there be opportunities for experience and growth?” “Where do I want to live and practice?” “Will I like my job?”
If trends hold, the chances are you’ll like a lot of the answers to those questions. According to an American Medical Association survey, nine in 10 physicians are satisfied with their career choice despite challenges common to each career stage.
As you ponder and plan your future career, be sure to also ask yourself: “What’s my best practice fit?” Whether you’re a resident, fellow or an actively practicing physician, the answer is based on a number factors – experience, financial goals and needs, lifestyle and work preferences, desired location – and it may change over time.
Based on those answers, you may prefer the structure and opportunities within a hospital or large health care organization, or the independence afforded with a smaller private practice. As you determine which may be better for you, consider some of these typical aspects of each option and how they align with your needs:
Consult with colleagues, mentors and even family members as you weigh your options. The evaluation and conversations may help reveal the right path for you. Even if you prefer one option, but circumstances suggest the other is more appropriate at this time, review the pros and cons of each to help plan and budget how to achieve your long-term career goal.
At the end of the day, each approach provides an opportunity to do what the AMA study revealed as the number-one reason medical students, residents and physicians enter the field: to help people.