I’m often asked to write and speak about being a woman physician.  I don’t know that any of my male physician colleagues have ever been asked to talk about being a male physician.  Many hospital systems have women in medicine groups, and there’s now a National Women Physicians Day.  Again, don’t know of the same for male physicians.  There’s a part of me that struggles with this, but I ...

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“Yes, there is a pay gap.  Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians.  This is because they choose to, or simply don’t want to be rushed, or they don’t want to work long hours.  Most of the time, their priority is something else … family, social, whatever.  Nothing needs to be “done” about this unless female physicians actually want to ...

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“My group has been approached by a private equity company.  It sounds like a great deal!  Any questions I should ask?” Whether it be through one on one discussions or through the Physician Side gigs group, I’ve found myself having this conversation with increasing frequency.  Part of the reason for that is because I find it fascinating, albeit also sometimes terrifying.  As the trend towards consolidation ...

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When I first started writing and speaking about physician burnout, I focused most of my efforts on the female physician -- after all, most of my work stems from personal anecdotes, and I am of course a female physician.  I could probably give a talk about women physicians and burnout in my sleep at this point. Rightfully so, though, as my work spread to wider audiences, more and more men started ...

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My (sometimes solicited, but often unsolicited) advice for graduating medical students, residents, and fellows: June is one of my favorite times of the year.  One, because it’s summer, but also because it’s graduation season.  I love seeing and hearing about everyone’s accomplishments, and seeing years of hard work come to fruition - although if I’m being honest, it’s bittersweet, because it’s also a reminder of how I’m getting older. This year, I’ve ...

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Ask anybody who works with me -- I ask to be called Nisha in most cases.  I’m really not someone who wants everyone to call me "Dr. Mehta."  It may just be because it makes me feel old, but for whatever reason, it’s a personal preference. The exception to that is when I’m speaking to patients or in a context where I’m presenting myself or my thoughts as a physician in a ...

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Undoubtedly, my favorite part of my non-clinical work is hearing from fellow physicians about their lives in medicine.  Every once in a while, I receive an email that puts beautifully into words some of my own struggles. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a colleague outlining her personal journey through her career, which she was hoping other physicians would benefit from as well.  I know it spoke to ...

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Recently, I was asked to give a talk on resilience and its role in reducing physician burnout.  I was excited by the opportunity, but asked if I could focus more on cultural change and institutional solutions for burnout.  When they said no, I declined.  Why? Well, it’s not that I don’t see the value in resilience.  A lot of physicians that I really respect write and speak about resilience.  I think ...

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I’m coming off a string of talks about physician finances and physician empowerment, and despite knowing that physicians are stereotypically financially naive, every once in a while I’ll hear a question that really makes me pause and drives home the need for a better financial education.  The latest came up when I was discussing negotiation techniques, and somebody interrupted me to ask, “When you’re earning a six figure ...

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There are lots of things we get right about medical training, but one thing that I’ve always found to be lacking is discussion of the logistics of life in medicine: how to shape your career around the life that you want, instead of vice versa. Through my writing and speaking, I often have people reach out to me for advice in this regard. I love providing my input, but also ...

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Those of you that follow me know that I write and speak often on the topic of physician burnout.  About a year ago, after my grandmother passed away, my extended family and I got together for a few days.  One night, my cousin and I got to talking about my work, and he pressed me on a question that so many have asked me before, “What makes physician burnout different than that which every other profession experiences -- and if ...

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If you’re a physician-parent, no doubt you’re familiar with the helplessness associated with the phone call informing you that your child is sick -- and needs to be picked up within the hour.  You know, the one that coincides with when you were about to start a procedure or a time where there’s no backup available to take over your responsibilities.  Murphy’s law. Many of us have nannies exactly for this ...

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A few days ago, my Gmail app flashed an email across the screen of my phone.  By mistake, I swiped in the wrong direction, and it opened up an invitation from a medical survey company.  When I had first signed up with this company almost a decade ago, rates were much better (and admittedly, when you are making a resident salary, you don’t have a lot of pride in your ...

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A few months ago, I hired a contractor for a home improvement project.  He didn’t know that I was a physician at the time, and we came to a mutually agreeable price. Fast forward a few weeks, when we realized that we needed an extra, seemingly small, addition to our project.  By this point, we’d gotten to talking, and he’d learned that my husband and I were both physicians. To my surprise, ...

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At first, it may seem strange that "physician" and "side gig" are even used in the same sentence.  After all, the average physician in the United States is already working more than a 40 hour work week and struggling with issues related to work-life balance.  As someone who talks about physician burnout and as the founder of the Physician Side Gigs Facebook group, I've been asked many times how adding ...

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As someone who talks to many physicians about burnout and life in medicine, I find myself having a lot of discussions about the circumstances of people’s jobs. Almost inevitably, there comes a point in the conversation where someone expresses dissatisfaction about an aspect of their contract or an additional responsibility that was placed on them. As physicians, we’re groomed to take care of patients. During training, we don’t talk about compensation, ...

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Yes, suggestions for improvement are coming at you from every angle.  Administrators, your patients, your colleagues, your mother, yourself.  It’s quite possible that the last thing you feel you need are resolutions.  But for those of you that are looking to make some concrete changes in 2017, here are some to consider: 1. Take care of yourself as well as you take care of your patients. 2016 has proven to us ...

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On November 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Zika will no longer be classified as a public health emergency, while maintaining that the epidemic remains “a highly significant and long-term problem,” and emphasizing that this change in designation did not represent a downgrade, but rather an escalation in its long-term importance. Most major news outlets rushed to report the news, with headlines focusing on the end of the emergency ...

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In a time of rising health care costs, it’s hard to talk about the financial strife of physicians, who as a whole over time do very well financially. We see the bills from our doctor’s office, and it’s hard to imagine why anybody would complain about the upfront investment of a medical education, when the payoff seems so good. Many recent articles make the case for why becoming a physician is ...

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Recently, an African American female physician was prevented from providing help to a passenger in distress on a Delta airlines flight because she didn’t fit the flight attendant’s image of what a doctor looked like. The racial and gender issues that this event highlight are readily apparent.    As a South Asian, I have to say I’ve never been told I don’t look like a doctor on a racial basis.  If anything, ...

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