Read these 7 Deciding to Specialize or Not Specialize Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Physician Jobs tips and hundreds of other topics.
Often when physicians are parents of young children, they want to keep a foothold in their physician specialty, but they want to work part-time. Dedicated doctors – don't despair. Even the highest paid medical specialties have options for job flexibility if you know where to look.
A locum tenens position is a great option for making physician specialization family-friendly. Working part-time allows you to keep your professional skills sharp and enjoy more time as a parent.
A specialty medical staffing agency can help you identify locum tenens or other part-time opportunities for specialized physicians.
Similarly, you may be interested in a locum tenens position if you or a family member has a health issue that prevents you from working full-time. Talk to a physician staffing consultant who knows about physician compensation by specialty, and who knows the employers in your area. He or she can locate jobs that meet your criteria for location, hours and salary.
Cultivating a mentor relationship can be an important part of physician satisfaction by specialty. The early years of a medical career can be stressful, regardless of your physician specialty. A professional mentor can help by sharing tips for how to reduce and manage stress, whether your specialty is a fast-paced emergency medicine physician job, or a more predictable internal medicine physician job.
The benefits of a medical mentor include:
It's important to keep track of the latest information on physician income by specialty so you can feel confident that your salary is in line with other specialty physicians in your field.
If you are wondering how your salary at your current physician job stacks up, try any (or all) of these four ways to assess your income:
If you are comparing physician salary by specialty and you think you are underpaid, it's important to consider the non-financial factors that contribute to compensation in physician specialties.
Have you learned that your take-home pay in your small town internal medicine job is less than that of your colleague, who practices internal medicine as a hospitalist in a big city?
Keep these points in mind:
Depending on where you are in your medical career, you may be interested in alternative physician jobs with fewer hours and responsibilities than a full-time practice. Locum tenens work is an ideal option for any physician specialty, because there are opportunities to suit any criteria related to type of work, hours, and location. Specialized physicians or those in general practice often consider part-time work as a way to ease into retirement, because they aren't ready to retire full-time for economic reasons, or because they continue to enjoy treating patients but they no longer want the stress of full-time employment.
You can find locum tenens work wherever you currently practice full-time. Or perhaps you spend part of the year in a different location and would like to work part-time there? A specialized physician staffing agency can identify pre-screened job opportunities in your specialty that meet your criteria for work hours and salary.
Primary care medicine offers a high level of job satisfaction, but primary care jobs are not the highest paid medical specialties. For example, the average income for an internal medicine physician job is approximately $200,000, according to the 2008 Physician Compensation Survey.
If you want to add to your primary care income, a locum tenens position is an ideal way to do it. You can find locum tenens work in your specialty in a setting similar to your primary practice, or you can use the opportunity of a locum tenens to practice in a different environment. A locum tenens position in any area of physician specialization allows you to choose your hours and location, and it doesn't have to involve long-term commitment or long-distance travel. Locum tenens work can help you meet your financial goals – including paying off medical school loans, saving for retirement, starting your children's college funds, or buying a larger house – while allowing you to enjoy the job satisfaction of your primary care career.
When choosing a medical specialty, it's important to think about what drew you to medicine initially. When you look at a list of physician specialties, ask yourself questions about your specific interests:
The American Association of Medical Colleges offers assessment tools to help you determine what specialty might be a good fit for your personality. Once you have a medical specialty in mind, a specialized physician staffing agency can help you identify positions that meet your career criteria, whether your focus is physician income by specialty, physician satisfaction by specialty, or a combination of both.