Are Dropout Docs Becoming Entrepreneurs?

NOVEMBER 01, 2016
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA
With doctor burnout rampant and little relief in site, more physicians are dropping out of clinical medicine, planning abbreviated clinical careers, or not taking residencies at all.
What then, do they do when there is a job mismatch? Do they become entrepreneurs? Research says STEM mismatch is more common than we thought, and if graduates leave STEM technical jobs, they commonly do it to become entrepreneurs, and are satisfied doing it.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of research on the subject, we really don't know if the same applies to drop out docs. However, there may be some suggestions it's true due to some drivers and responses:
1.     Rampant burnout

2.     The growth of global biomedical and clinical open innovation networks, academic incubators, innovation centers, and accelerators

3.     Increasing attendance at non-clinical career seminars and the growth of career coaching

4.     Physician substitutes

5.     Generational attitudes about work-life balance

6.     The lack of organizational and systemic support for dissatisfied doctors

7.     The lack of medical education alternative career pathways for those who want to add value other than exclusively caring for patients

8.     The growing consolidation and corporatization of medicine

9.     The loss of physician power and control

10.  Willingness and desire to make do with less, unclutter, downsize and live the not so big life.
We need more research on the growing numbers of doctors who are looking for options, job-hopping, career switching, or just dropping out. Understanding the etiology of the disease might suggest better ways to treat it.

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