Five Reasons Physicians Stay in Bad Jobs


Physician burn-out is at an all time high. The top reason for burn-out for physicians is our stressful jobs. However, if so many physicians are burned out due to bad jobs, then why are physicians reluctant to change jobs and to get out of that bad situation?

  1. Denial. Many physicians are in denial about how bad things really are. We are so used to working long hours and spending time away from our families that we are “used to it”. However, that does not mean that we are not affected by these work conditions. Oftentimes it takes an intervention by our families, friends, or even other physicians to wake us up and help us realize the gravity of the situation.
  2. Fear. Physicians are people too. And just like most people, we have a fear of the unknown. Therefore, we may be more willing to tolerate a bad job because we may believe that “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know”.
  3. Embarrassment. Many physicians are embarrassed by the fact that their job and career is not going as planned. Many of us are perfectionists with Type A personalities. We have a need to control every aspect of our lives. When are jobs are not going as planned, we may feel a loss of control and see ourselves as failures.
  4. Reluctance. Finding a new job as a physician is a time-consuming process. It can take anywhere from three to nine months to find a new job. Obtaining a new medical license, going through the credentialing process, and negotiating a new contract is labor-intensive. Furthermore, many physicians must relocate in order to find another job. For this reason, many physicians are reluctant to look for a new job if it is not necessary.
  5. Guilt. Many physicians feel guilty about wanting to leave a job. They feel guilty because they are unhappy in this job when they thought this job was really what they wanted. They may also feel guilty about leaving their patients. Furthermore, they feel guilty about the extra workload their colleagues may have to pick up as a result of their leaving.

These are some of the reasons that many physicians feel stuck in their current situation. However, there is hope. You are not stuck. Join my Facebook group Creating Careers in Medicine to surround yourself with like-minded physicians who can provide resources and support.

Also, for information on how to get started with locums, download your free copy of my locums eBook, Locum Tenens: Your Questions Answered.

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