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7 Resolutions for Your Medical Career in 2019

A new year brings a fresh perspective, and the chance to reevaluate your current work and lifestyle choices. Are you happy in your medical career? Feeling overwhelmed? Or simply tired of the same routine and looking for a change?

The start of 2019 may be the perfect time to shake things up. But instead of setting pie-in-the-sky goals that stretch you far beyond your comfort zone, you are more likely to find success if you concentrate on resolutions that are quantifiable, achievable and realistic.

With that in mind, here are a few things to put on your “to do” list that will help advance your career and make the most of the year ahead.

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Physicians and Other Health Care Practitioners


1. Give your career a check-up

Whether you are in your first post-residency job, cruising along with several years of experience, or nearing the end of a long medical career, it is worth your time to stop and take stock of where you are and where you want to go. 
 
Here are a few key questions to check your career vital signs:
  • Am I in the job I envisioned at this point in my career?
  • Am I on the right path to reach my ultimate goal?
  • What is the next big step I want to achieve?
  • What new avenues have I wanted to explore?
  • Am I happy with the number of hours I work each week?
  • Do I exhibit signs of burnout?


2. Set year-end goals


Based on your current career evaluation, what changes do you want to make before 2019 is over? Again, setting realistic, achievable goals is key. This could include attending a professional conference, gaining new skills, getting a new job, adjusting your work hours or other related goals. Many career coaches suggest breaking a large goal into a series of short-term, incremental goals that you can target throughout the year.

3. Take full advantage of educational opportunities

Continuing medical education (CME) is more than just a requirement to keep your job. If you are a healthcare practitioner with an eye on the future, you should take every opportunity to update your skills or learn more about your specialty—or even another specialty that holds your interest.

Attend all in-service training, research online courses and certifications, and connect with your specialty association to attend the most appropriate conferences and seminars in your field.

(Note: Locum Leaders provides free CME courses for locum tenens providers on assignment.)

4. Connect with a mentor, or become a mentor

If you aren’t already in a professional mentoring relationship, consider making that happen in 2019. Physicians and advanced practitioners who are early in their careers can find many benefits from those with more experience, and long-time practitioners can also benefit from sharing their expertise.

While some mentorships can be made through associations and maintained via digital means, a personal relationship is highly recommended. “In-person mentorship remains fundamentally important in medicine, because a lot of mentorship is about developing a relationship that’s close enough that your mentor wants to support you,” Anna Pereira, MD, MPH, assistant dean for curriculum at the University of Minnesota Medical School, recently told the New England Journal of Medicine.

5. Volunteer your medical skills

Physicians and advanced practitioners can renew their feeling of purpose by finding a short-term or long-term opportunity to provide medical care to those in need. Volunteering for community clinics, health education programs, nonprofit events, disaster relief organizations and medical mission projects are just some of the opportunities worth considering.

One annual mission project to Guatemala, Team Hope, sponsored by AMN Healthcare and The International Esperanza Project, has sent teams of volunteer doctors, nurses and technicians to help more than 18,000 impoverished indigenous people over the last six years. The teams have provided more than 110 surgeries and cared for more than 1,400 patients, along with installing safety stoves and water purification systems.

In addition to the personal satisfaction that volunteering brings, well-chosen opportunities can also provide valuable work experience to add to your resume or curriculum vitae.

6. Discover your best place to practice medicine

Looking for a major change this year? It may be time to look at new jobs in your hometown, or in an entirely new location. You can do your own research, talk to a health care recruiter, choose a location based on family needs or start by perusing our list of the 10 Best States for Doctors.

If financial incentives top your list, check out the Top States for Primary Care Pay.

7. Consider a different way to practice medicine

Another way to refresh your medical career is to consider locum tenens, which involves temporary assignments that can be part-time or full-time. These assignments for physicians and advanced practitioners are available across the country, in a variety of specialties.

Locum jobs can help your career in several ways, such as: providing valuable work experience; serving as an interim step between permanent positions; adding flexibility to your professional and personal schedule; or experiencing a slower pace after closing a practice or as you near retirement.  (Learn more: 7 Benefits of Working Locum Tenens Jobs.)

LOCUM LEADERS, an AMN Healthcare company, is poised to help you take the next step in your career.