3 Ways To Travel and Practice Medicine
It is no secret that becoming a doctor requires a lot of sacrifice. Starting with medical school (as one medical student accurately described, “medical school is a marathon, not a sprint”) and ending with constantly being on-call, being a doctor leave little time to truly take a break.
In fact, a online survey of doctors reported an overall physician burnout rate of 44 percent, with 15 percent saying they experienced colloquial or clinical forms of depression.
One solution to preventing burnout is taking some time off. If you find yourself starting to burn out, consider mixing a little business with pleasure and taking your skills on the road to help others in a different place. Take a look at the different ways you can practice medicine while satisfying your love of travel.
Locum Tenens Physician
A locum tenens physician is a doctor that takes on short-term assignments in various settings and different locations. As a locum tenens physician, you will be the stand-in doctor to a patient when that patient’s actual doctor is on sick leave or just on leave temporarily. This is a position that is meant to give a patient a continuum of care versus changing their current prescribed course of care.
Typically, this type of position is more appealing to doctors who are getting close to retirement but aren’t ready to retire just yet. This position is also good for new doctors who are just getting their feet wet in practicing medicine as a way to give things a “trial run” to see where their specialties will be best suited. Whether you’re a new doctor or on the edge of retirement, in order to be a locum tenens physician, you must be able to easily adapt to new environments, colleagues, patients, and health systems.
With this option, you can travel locally or around the country, depending on which health facilities or establishments need locum tenens. This is a great way to travel and explore the town or city you’re temporarily visiting too.
To do humanitarian work, you truly have to believe in practicing medicine for the greater good. Humanitarian work will take you to different parts of the world that you never thought you would ever see. Practicing medicine in those areas will be a life changing experience.
There are different organizations like Doctors Without Borders who’s foundation is based on changing the world for the better. With this organization, you’d be teamed up with other medical professionals who believe that the work they’re doing can and indeed will change the world. One thing to understand about humanitarian work is that the compensation is greatly less than what a physician would make in the states.
Be mindful that your love of vacation doesn’t get intertwined in humanitarian work. This type of travel is not for leisure. Humanitarian travel would be ideal for you if you want to help the less fortunate in other parts of the world while you travel.
Take a Sabbatical
Sabbaticals for doctors typically have some type of professional or educational focus but it’s also an opportunity to “take off work” and rejuvenate your professional being and prevent burnout or fatigue. Sabbaticals allow you to:
- Learn a new skill professionally
- Figure out what’s important to you in your field
- Map out your next move
- Explore your field in a different setting or location
Sabbaticals aren’t just vacation days for doctors. They’re actually meant to help doctors mentally, emotionally, and professionally. Doctors deal with high levels of stress and emotion on a regular basis. A sabbatical is one way to take care of their own mental health.
Travel is a great way to reduce stress and prevent burnout for medical professionals. If you return from your sabbatical and realize you are still unhappy, it may be time to search for a new job. There are many opportunities available through online searches looking for cardiologist jobs ,neurologists, urologists, and other specialist.
Business Travel Life
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.