I quit my job as a junior doctor to run Propane full time. For some more background, see this video.
Around the same time, someone added me to this group on facebook:
I noticed that the level of learned helplessness in the posts was crazy:
The posts are mostly extremely smart, skilled people, asking for advice on jumping ship from medicine, or to build a more scalable income alongside their hospital work.
Yet they fall prey to the mistake of trying to apply the treadmill model of medical education to the real world.
If you tick the right boxes, you progress your career in medicine.
But in real life, you can’t just wait for a green light.
You can’t wait for permission.
You can’t wait for someone to provide the blueprint, the training programme.
The determinant factor for the doctors who ARE able to leverage their skills to generate an alternative income is this:
They know how to undo the conditioning.
Conditioning which helps you succeed in your medical career, but holds you back outside of it.
Specifically, the belief that ‘if you do the time, the progression takes care of itself’.
– Making big plans
– Seeking more and more advice
– Looking for more and more qualifications to do
– Waiting for the perfect time
– Complaining about the problems in medicine
– Making steps today: applying to jobs, building an audience or email list, creating a product, producing content, prospecting clients, coding an app
– Developing a high-agency attitude
– Working with a coach. (There are many in this group and they will inevitably reply to your comments below saying ‘DM me’).
Even if you DO work with a coach, if you haven’t taken steps 1 and 2 first, you’re wasting your money.
Action > information. The great success stories in this group were action-biased.
Most people looking to get out of medicine in this group are doing so because they want to get off the ‘conveyor belt’, but then treating an alternative career as if it is a conveyor belt!
Of course it’s scary to make the leap into the unknown from the one job with guaranteed security.
But if that fear of leaving is too great, then prolonged toying with the idea is causing you unnecessary pain.
Revisit later when the time is right and act decisively.
Remember: the predictability of working as a doctor is an industry anomaly. There is no registrar training programme to work for yourself.
There’s no Oriel ranking system for changing industry.
Be careful of the Stockholm syndrome, the learned helplessness that this industry can give us.
You’re a doctor. You’re immensely intelligent and industrious: if we’re set in a particular direction we can spin ourselves out if we’re not deliberate about where we’re going.
If you want to discuss your situation with us, we open a few call slots each week to see if our programme can help. But you must be action-oriented. Don’t use our call as another way to avoid the hard decisions.
For more background: