By Alyssa Molina, MD
When it comes to residents transitioning into practice, there are a few things I would stress. Know where you would like to be on the job continuum between autonomy and security. You could have a completely autonomous position. You own your own practice, you decide when you’re opened, when you are closed, and what you do. While you’ll have complete autonomy, you won’t have security. If you are sick and you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the security of being employed by a practice. In that practice, they decide how many patients you see, how many vacation days you get, and so on. There’s very little autonomy, but you have job security. You always get a paycheck, and it doesn’t matter how many patients you see. Most jobs are somewhere in the middle so, it’s important that you figure out for yourself, and your family, where you are comfortable on the spectrum.
Where I’m currently employed, I have a lot of autonomy. If I choose to take off, I just make sure I’m not on call and that someone’s covering the clinic. I’m paid based on my productivity so there isn’t a certain number of days I have off each year. If I’m willing to take a smaller paycheck, I could take off more days and still have a job when I get back. Where I am on the continuum provides me with a base. They do all the billing for me, so I don’t have to worry about that. more