I’m interrupting this anemically-scheduled blog series to provide a public service announcement: I’m a vaccinated, frontline physician who still ended up getting Covid. If you qualify, get your booster asap, because getting breakthrough Covid wasn’t an experience I’d want to repeat. Here’s what it felt like:
Difficult Decisions at the Start of a Global Pandemic:
I want to share with the physician FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early/Recreational Employment) community what my thinking was to leave FIRE and return to work.
In 2019, I resigned from the VA when we moved to Medellín, Colombia, for the summer. After we got somewhat settled in Gainesville in August of 2019, I half-heartedly applied for a part-time position at a local hospice.
But after exploring it, I sensed it was a chaotic work environment and knew my heart wouldn’t be in the job. For that reason, I ended up turning the position as a Hospice and Palliative Care physician down.
I intended to let my medical license lapse while I walked away from medicine completely. One thing made me renew my license, though. Now, this next bit sounds a little woo-woo, but in the interest of authenticity, I’m going to tell you.
If you’re burnt out from Covid and contemplating exploring nonclinical options, this book is for you. 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians is full of information on finding fulfilling, meaningful, and lucrative alternatives to direct patient care.
Dr. Sylvie Stacy wrote a much more comprehensive, and up-to-date book than this book review I did here.Physicians in Transition was a dated compilation of twenty-five interviews with physicians who quit clinical medicine and explored other ventures as ways to not only make money, but find more fulfilling careers.
“It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the exact journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success.” – Atomic Habits
This post may sound a bit tone-deaf in our current climate, as it explores physicians leaving clinical medicine. However, this blog was written last fall and is only now seeing publication as I have a one week break in my regular (fiction) writing schedule. And judging by the eye-popping number of “I quit” posts from doctors that I’ve seen recently in my Facebook feed—as well as reading a thought-provoking blog by a pharmacist who’s taking a COVID Sabbatical—I decided to go ahead and publish this post.
Often when a blogger drops off the face of the earth, it’s because something happened, like divorce or else health issues, like a Glioblastoma. For DH (Dear Husband) and I, it’s been something else entirely. Or somethingS else. Over the past few months, I feel like we’ve been barely treading water with massive waves overcoming us. But, like a Chumbawamba song, every time we get knocked down, we’llget back up again.
Does anyone else have fond recollection of the classic Hasbro board game Monopoly? I was playing it the other day with my two children who adore the game. Both of them particularly loved being affectionately labeled “money bags” when they were doing well—a term given to me on a few occasion in my distant memories from childhood.
The game is pretty straightforward: you buy good properties, try to maximize their earning potential with plastic green houses and red hotels. Eventually you reap the rewards when others rent them and have to pay you. It was simple. As a child, I envisioned doing the same someday in real life.
Having to spend the night in the Lima airport is actually a thing, so it gets its own blog post. If only I had read up on flying to Machu Picchu before we made plane reservations…it would have saved us a lot of time and energy!
Apparently—I don’t know if this is true or not—there are so many birds around the Cusco airport that it causes a danger to fly in later in the day. So the flights into this sacred Incan city are morning flights. This means you have to spend the night at the Lima airport—or else figure out something else.
Well then. What’s one to do with 6 and 8-year-old boys in tow? If only I knew then what I know now…
Travel broadens the mind, hence since we’re raising two global citizens, we drag them along with us to see the world. This past summer, we took our two sons, then 6 and 8-years-old, to see Machu Picchu. During this journey, we encountered some surprises I’d thought I’d share here with you, so if you decide to travel to Peru, you’re well-prepared: