Fawcett’s Favorites 12-28-20

(Need to use your CME funds before the end of the year? Get tickets now to the Physician Wellness & Financial Literacy Conference being held virtually the first week of March. I will be giving 2 lectures you don’t want to miss.)

(Remember to contact me if you are interested in one of the 12 slots I have opened up for one-on-one coaching through the proven High Performance Coaching Program beginning in January.)

Each week I run into a few articles that I feel are especially valuable. Every Monday I would like to share some of the best with you, my readers. I hope you find them helpful.

This week’s favorites include scientific proof that you should not work on your birthday, a sabbatical could be the solution to burnout, are academic surgeons or surgeons in private practice the most happy with their career, is full time freelance work really the answer, and what would you do if 10 million dollars fell in your lap.

Happy reading!

Everyone wants an excuse to take a day off. But what if you could show your boss that it has been proven that taking a particular day off has a great benefit? Medscape recently published an article from Reuters Health summarizing a study published in The BMJ that shows Patient Mortality is Higher When Surgeons Operate on Their Birthdays. They looked at just under a million procedures and found a higher mortality rate when the procedure was done on the doctor’s birthday. So, in the interest of patient safety, ask your boss to give you your birthday off. It’s a win-win all around.

Midway through my surgical career, I felt my job was burning me out. I didn’t like going to work, and I almost quit medicine at that time. But instead, I took a one-month sabbatical. During this time I stayed at home, did some light reading and just relaxed. At the end of the month, I was ready to go back to work. I had figured out what was causing my unhappiness at work, I solved it, and work was enjoyable again. I tell the entire story in the first chapter of The Doctor Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement. The White Coat Investor published the story of Dr. Gayle Galletta and her Experience with a Sabbatical. Sometimes a break or change of pace is all we need to regain your enthusiasm for your work. When you are tired, learn to rest, not quit. 

The debate rages on whether it is better to be in academic medicine or private medicine. I have known happy and unhappy docs in each sector. I spent a section of my book The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice Right discussing what you should consider when trying to choose between the two options. I think if you work through those considerations, you will be happy with your decision. JAMA published an answer to this question with Practice Characteristics and Job Satisfaction of Private Practice and Academic Surgeons. It may surprise you to learn which of these groups are the most satisfied with their career.

With the boom of telemedicine during the pandemic combined with physician job insecurity, more doctors are considering freelance and other work options than ever before. But is that really a good option? We might get a small glimpse of the answer in this article by Porch asking, Is the Grass Really Greener: Comparing the lives of office employees and full-time Freelancers. It is interesting that they found 43% of those in the medical field believe their job can be freelanced. What do you think? If you are contemplating a career move, read The Doctors Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement before you make the move. 

What would you do if 10 Million dollars fell into your lap? That is what The Debt Free Doctor discussed recently. I have seen the effects of people falling into money and it usually doesn’t turn out well. More often than not, they end up worse off than if they never got the money. If you suddenly get a large chunk of money, please continue your current financial plan. With the added windfall your financial goals will be met more quickly. The majority of people tend to suddenly change their plans and purchase large items that increase their monthly expenses or they spend the money on expensive vacations, parties and stuff and the money just disappears. Basically, they blow the money. I remember one friend who got money from a law suit to get retrained due to an injury. Instead of using it for tuition, he bought a new truck and an expensive motorcycle and did a lot of partying. A year later, he lost both the truck and the motorcycle and ended up with nothing. He still hasn’t gotten the education he needed. What would you do with a windfall?

I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did. I look forward to updating you again next week with a few more articles I find especially interesting. If you read an especially good article, send me the link so I can share it with others.

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