Old versus New MD Work Attitudes


By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN

My friend’s father is a top physician and surgeon in California and he has battled and conquered tremendous odds in his life to earn this status. Like many other physicians and surgeons, starting as a medical student he worked as many hours as it took to learn his craft, get his work done and achieve his goals.

While recently interviewing physician candidates to join his practice, he quickly learned that the expectations of the new generation of young doctors are not necessarily a reflection of his own experience. In his experience, a physician was expected to do whatever “grunt work” it took to work their way up the industry ladder and go after more specific goals. They were expected to jump when senior physicians told them to and work around the clock if that is what it took to get the job done.

One of the young doctors he interviewed did not seem to share that attitude. The young physician, who in all reality had not yet paid his dues, strode into the interview and promptly “dictated” his work terms to my friend’s father. He said he would work eight hour days, no overtime and no weekends or holidays. My friend’s father was shocked and slightly insulted by this sense of “entitlement” displayed by this young man. Unfortunately, so many members of this new work generation seem to share it.

Should medicine be considered a neat and clean “9 to 5” job, or should doctors continue to take an entrepreneurial approach, doing whatever it takes to provide the highest quality care for their patients? As the private health insurance system continues to clamp down on physician reimbursement it is probably tempting for many physicians to simply give the insurance companies exactly what they pay for, punch the time clock and head home at the same time as the rest of corporate America. I could add more thoughts and opinions on the subject, but I am much more eager to hear your thoughts on this subject as physicians.

In the meantime, a Locum tenens travel assignment may be the best answer for a seasoned travel doctor to work a less rigorous and more flexible work schedule. Locum jobs are also a great way for a younger physician or resident to “earn their stripes.” Find the travel physician assignment that best fits your needs.

Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.

Author: Locum Jobs Online

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