Dr. Nisha Mehta identified the symptoms of burnout fairly early in her life as a radiologist. Instead of pursuing an academic career, she chose to begin writing and speaking about issues surrounding physicians’ demanding lifestyles, including work-life balance, women in medicine, physician finances, healthcare policy and the industry landscape, physician entrepreneurship and more.
“There could always be further success financially. There could always be further success professionally. But at the end of the day, what are the things that really make us happy on a day-to-day basis, and how do we make sure that we take away the things that are not contributing to our lives in meaningful ways?”
Dr. Mehta continues to practice radiology in Charlotte, N.C., where she lives with her physician husband and children.
ABOUT THE GUEST!
Nisha Mehta, MD is a radiologist, writer, and speaker whose work focuses on changing the culture of medicine, addressing challenges in the current healthcare landscape, physician wellness and life in medicine, and physician empowerment. She is also the founder of the Physician Side Gigs Facebook group, an online community of close to 50,000 physicians, which aims to promote career longevity and increase business and financial literacy amongst physicians. Her work has been widely featured nationally both in print and on stage. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for medical school and NYU for residency. Dr. Mehta then did specialized fellowship training followed by a faculty position at UNC. She now lives and works in Charlotte, NC with her husband and sons.
- Fewer and fewer physicians say they would recommend a career in medicine to their children because the profession is so demanding.
- Dr. Mehta thinks most people in medical careers are beginning to realize the seriousness of burnout, including administrators and policymakers who see how that impacts hospital bottom lines and patient outcomes.
- Physicians don’t have to de-prioritize their work to maintain work-life balance. They often just need to be more intentional with their time — including prioritizing family time, wellness and sleep.
- Physicians often do as much as they can until they’re totally overwhelmed, then try to make a drastic change. Dr. Mehta encourages them to think about career longevity instead. How much do you need to slow down if you’re going to finish this marathon?
- It can take physicians a long time to come out of the scarcity mentality of training. At a certain point, if earning more money takes away from your family time or your well-being, it may not be worth it.
- Decide how much money you and your family need to live comfortably and to save for your goals, and then use that as a benchmark for deciding whether you need to put in additional hours or take on additional responsibilities. Often physicians need to work less than they think they do.
- Know your worth and negotiate for the compensation you deserve. Physicians only make up 8% of healthcare costs. Advocate for your share.
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If you loved this episode, try jumping back to Episode 7: Physicians and Money with Tarang Patel, AKA “Dr. Money Matters.”