When White is not the Color of your Parachute

When White is not the Color of your Parachute

Once upon a time, people kept a job for 40 years and then retired with a defined benefit pension. They worked for corporations or rode up the promotion and tenure ladder at universities.

Doctors did the opposite. They had their own private practices and worked for themselves. Now, the people who used to work for corporations are, in many instances by necessity, working for themselves or as part of the gig economy, while doctors are more and more employed by large, corporate health systems.

Many employed doctors, however, have discovered that the grass is not greener in the corporate health world and so , have come full circle back to looking for an alternative non-clinical career opportunity that gives them independence and the ability to follow their passion and exercise their mastery of their profession.

More and more white coats are getting the pink slip. Here's what to do if it happens to you.

Those that do should be prepared for some workplace culture shock and adjustment:

  1. Generational work place and life style differences
  2. An average job tenure that is less than 2 years
  3. Salary and benefits packages that shift the risk to the employee
  4. The death of corporate loyalty
  5. The challenges and opportunities of technology enabled work habits
  6. The challenges of winning the 4th industrial revolution
  7. Technological job displacement and redundancy
  8. Innovation fatigue
  9. Rising opportunity inequality
  10. Unaffordable housing in places with fewer and fewer parking spaces

Career change and advancement is a process of rewiring, not retiring. What color is your parachute? For many doctors, it won't be white any longer.

Some things don't change,though, even for ministers, who had to retire the white collar.

Arlen Meyers, MD,MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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  • Ilan Miguel

    Good post

  • David O'Neill

    Thanks for this great article Arlen!

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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