Professional Development

Medicine is a field where its professionals especially must change with the times throughout a career. However, evolving in your role as a physician — or, professional development — ideally involves taking this growth and development to the next level. This level of professional development includes dedicating yourself to enhancing your medical knowledge and skills over time, effectively managing your education debt and general financial health, networking with other health professionals to broaden your horizons, and other topics.

Doctor shaking someone's hand
Connecting people

Networking involves connecting and developing relationships with physicians and other health professionals to use as a resource in your career. Liken your network to a database of individuals who may introduce you to various opportunities as well as help you enhance your medical knowledge and skills and generally broaden your horizons. Professional networking is similar to making personal friends — some people skills and etiquette are required for successful connections.

Crumpled up Plan A, on to Plan B

While it’s possible to switch specialties after beginning your residency training or even later in your career, it’s a challenging, burdensome process — more so for some than others. Ideally, avoid the extra training time, additional educational debt, lost salary, and — perhaps, most importantly — misery by getting it right the first time. However, if you realize during residency that you’re truly unhappy with your specialty choice, it's possible to switch and you should try to do so because you deserve to be happy in your career.

Financial puzzle

Considering your individual financial situation and the financial options available to you can be scary and tedious. But overturning that rock can actually help you realize your career goals (A career in primary care is possible!) and pay no more than you must on the interview trail, for the interest on your loans, and for other educational and career-related costs. Becoming financially literate and considering the financial consequences of your decisions will help you to stop feeling scared and overwhelmed and to start feeling empowered and confident.