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My Medical Mid-life Sabbatical, Chapter 1.

Jane Doe, MD Talks About Her Real Life Gap Year, Real Time

Many of us have periods of yearning–“If only I could…..”  But for most of us, these stay as day dreams.  But not for Jane Doe, MD.  JDMD is real life women physician in her mid-life.  She wanted to share with other women physicians her observations and her experiences without telling where she is or exactly what she is doing–to protect the innocent and guilty alike, but also to protect herself.  It is our great privilege to post JDMD’s musings for the next year while she shares with us her journey.  We can live vicariously, or maybe even find the inspiration to take risks of our own.


Mid-Career Adjustment

By Jane Doe, MD

Nearly twenty years after completing fellowship training I am embarking on fellowship training again. The ubiquitous surveys from specialty and general medical societies and state licensing boards about burnout and the stresses and rewards of professional life have made me think about what in my career is causing me satisfaction or discontent.  I did have feelings of discontent.  These came, in part, from falling behind in skills in emerging areas of practice.  Hence the fellowship.

There are, of course, many concerns.  A colleague recently noted the most important:  financial and geographic dislocation, reduction of professional status and fear of being able to learn at the pace of peers nearly half my age.  My most pressing concerns have been more practical: locating long ago documents (1985 Dean’s Letter), completing internet based pre-employment training modules on topics from sexual harassment to record keeping and securing lodging in a distant city.

Reflection directed by survey questions also revealed to me the current source of the greatest satisfaction in my professional life, relationships with co-workers.  Even so I was not prepared for the life lesson delivered by my colleagues and other coworkers prior to my departure.

I have long believed that not only is “Virtue its own reward” but that virtue is its only reward.  I was wrong.  The reward for virtue, the constant striving to do what is right even though one sometimes falters, is the respect and affection of one’s co-workers.  I have felt this as housekeepers to administrators have expressed their affection, respect, good wishes and the hope I will return with my new skills in a year.  I was most gratified that the Happy Hour in my honor, complete with cake and gifts, was a grass roots effort.

I plan to write about the challenges and rewards, both grand and mundane, of this midlife adventure.  I will avoid revealing my name, specialty or institution to protect the privacy of others.  I hope my experiences reveal things to me that are useful to others in their midlife, mid-career course adjustments.

One Note

  1. Linda,

    I just started to read “Jane Doe MD”. I certainly support a Doc in mid-life radically changing her life.

    For those who wonder, it is certainly a challenge to do so but it is not impossible. I certainly encourage others to explore this.

    Years ago, I (and the Center for Peer Review Justice) was asked by an Orthopedist who had “retired” from his profession after the first year when he suffered the adverse affects of a “sham Peer Review” ( Physician Peer Review Fraud). He became a carpenter for 6 years!! Initially I told him that he was “nuts”, but he persuaded me to figure out how to get him back into the O.R.

    After I put him in a Fellowship he was ready to return to practice. He challenged the State Boards and got every License he sat for.
    The specialized documents CPRJ generated for him were good but not great so we went back to re-think and to re-write. We were grateful for the enormous amount of donated legal hours from the Center for Peer Review Justice’s volunteer legal advisers.

    I will always remember the feeling I got at 9:15PM in San Antonio while at a business meeting. I checked by emails and I saw a simple email that had “success” in the subject area. Our documents were accepted by a national hospital chain as a credentialing document
    and he signed a very handsome contract.

    Let’s forward approximately 24 months later. He has moved on and is in solo private practice now. May 2013 he netted $60K and he is on his way towards a one million dollar payday while he has complete control over his professional life.

    He is in the process of purchasing his own Medical Building for cash and is certainly on his way.

    Most importantly, he is happy. He works hard; he plays hard and he has The Center for Peer Review Justice handle all of his Health Care Law Compliance issues. Our unique professionals are trusted to handle all of the non-clinical issues so he can focus on what he enjoys.

    This is a public forum and I am certainly guarded in my words. If the reader wants more information or has any questions that she wants good answers to, I invite an email or telephone call on our Hotline.

    Richard Willner
    The Center For Peer Review Justice
    New Orleans, LA


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