A physician’s journey to working from home

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Raise your glasses (of juice, water, champagne, or whatever you fancy) and join me in celebrating a dream come true: I’m officially a physician who practices medicine from home. To think that it was only four years ago that I was burnt out. It took having that eye-opening experience to take myself off the grid and begin practicing medicine on my own terms. I left nephrology to practice as a locum hospitalist. Since then, I never looked back.

It was not exactly a cakewalk reaching this career goal. Let’s rewind to a year ago, shall we? In my quest to move to a tax-free state with warm weather, my family and I moved to Texas. As much as it was planned, things moved more quickly than anticipated. My husband and I came to Dallas for spring break, and during this time, he had a job interview here, got the job, and we had to move right away. Given that I was already in the process of applying for a Texas license, I moved without securing a job in my new location. I took advantage of this time by touring the state with my family during the Texas summer, and it was a honeymoon period of pure bliss. By the time November rolled around, I still didn’t have my Texas license, and my plan to build my coaching practice was not taking off like I wanted. By this time, I was dipping into my emergency fund.

I knew I couldn’t keep depending on my emergency fund for long, so I sought out something I could do from home that would allow me to use my Indiana license. Traveling back to Indiana just to work was not an option I even wanted to consider. To make matters worse, I bought my first rental property while I was out of work, so my emergency fund that could have lasted two years, could now only last nine months. My fun move was suddenly not so fun anymore, and I started to freak out. I knew that I had to take action, and do it quickly.

I started exploring clinical and non-clinical careers from home, and I learned a great deal. Working from home in this age is very common and viable. I tried a similar endeavor four years prior, but without much success because working from home was not what it is today. When it came to trying it out again last year, I uncovered so many options, applied, and talked to several recruiters.

Initially, I went down the chart review, utilization review, and physician advisor route. I got hired by one company that was very good, but I could not make room in my schedule for the out-of-state training so the opportunity fell through. I came across a handful of eye-catching companies, which I applied to, but for one reason or another they turned out not to be a good fit. Other avenues I considered getting into [but did not pursue] were disability exams, medical-legal (pays well), direct sales for skin care companies, pharmaceutical opportunities, medical writing, telehospitalist jobs, and more.

Finally, I discovered telemedicine in all its glory, and man, I was excited to say the least. The best perk of telemedicine is the flexibility it provides, since it is per diem and according to one’s schedule. I applied to telemedicine opportunities and got hired to do telemedicine in February of this year. I was so overjoyed.

As of now, I choose to see patients once a week so I can comfortably semi-retire. Interestingly enough, by the time I got everything sorted out with my new job, my financial and life coaching business had begun picking up. That’s some timing, huh? My real estate business is also stabilizing, and I recently joined an anti-aging skincare and wellness company called Neora. As Warren Buffett (my favorite virtual mentor) says, “Multiple streams of income are not optional, they are a necessity.” As you can see, it has been quite a journey to get here, but one that has been worthwhile.

Nana Korsah is a nephrologist and can be reached at MD Work & Life Balance.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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