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Changing Jobs Too Many Times For Physicians

I had a recent phone job interview with a telemedicine company (MDLive). The CMO had tried to reach me a few times over email, we finally connected and I was curious what questions they had for me. Her main concern with my application was that I had changed jobs too many times as a physician.

My resume is quite diverse and I’ve rarely stayed with a single company for more than a 1 year. But I have plenty of gigs which spanned 2-3 years.

A company which is concerned with your many job changes likely wants to to stay put regardless of how bad the work is. Or they consider themselves so high and mighty that they want to make sure you commit to them upfront.

My Many Job Changes

The first real job change I had was after Kaiser Permanente. I was a medical director there for a couple of years. But I wanted to get more telemedicine experience under my belt. And so I switched over to Teladoc, Roman, and Doctor on Demad.

I enjoyed the clinical work tremendously. I made good money with Teladoc and learned a lot as a physician. I later also worked for Oscar, DialCare, and a few other telemedicine companies.

In 2016 I got into healthcare consulting with a small company called Remedy and later did my own freelance consulting. Again, I had a lot of job changes but I always always in search for the right gig.

In 2020 I nearly landed a great gig as a medical lead for Curai Health but after a lot of back and forth they had to pass on me because of my medical board investigation.

Fortunately, I found another company which is currently in stealth mode and they hired me as their medical lead and I have been working with them for nearly 1 year.

Why We Change Jobs

  1. more pay
  2. time flexibility
  3. growth
  4. change in career

There are lot of reasons why we might have frequent job changes. The above list captures most of it.

1. Higher Pay

I might want more pay. I get $23 at Teladoc per patient, but I can earn $130 per hour with Babylon.

2. Time Flexibility

I might change jobs because I want more time flexibility. I can answer JA questions on my own time, whenever I’m free. Or I have to work a set schedule at an urgent care with Kaiser Permanente.

3. Growth

If I see urgent care patients all of my life I won’t experience a lot of growth. Maybe if I work for a different mediacl group or in different acuity setttings.

If growth is what I’m after then I’ll likely change jobs many times. It’s not that I’m looking for the ‘right’ job – I’m looking to constantly be challenged and improve.

4. Career Change

Finally, if clinical medicine has become boring or you need a break from it, you might get into clinical consulting or some form of healthcare consulting.

I’ve made a lot of money and learned so much in my different healthcare consulting roles. And I would have never ended up there if I didn’t commit to a job change.

When it Looks Bad on a Resume

A professional resume writer can help you clean up your resume quite a bit. They can add in the right key words so that you won’t even be asked by an interviewer why you changed jobs so much.

Still, when confronted, it’s important that you have a good explanation. A convincing reason without sounding defensive.

On the resume, it’s helpful to write why you left a gig and why you chose another job. Highlighting what you learned from a job and how it added to your skillset is helpful.

Leave Out the Details

Finally, leave out the damn details. You often don’t need to mention every telemedicine company you worked for. Listing several TM’s under “Telemedicine” will come across much better than mentioneing every single TM company you did work for.

If you’re someone who has changed jobs many times, try to decrease the number of jobs you’ve listen on your resume. Group them together, create a summary, and it’ll appear more professional.

Then again, if you’re applying for a CMO position, it might be good to have all of the relevant details in a separate resume, like an addendum CV.

The Right Employer Won’t Care

I love the work I do in medicine. I’ve changed from clinical work to consulting to teaching, etc. If I don’t feel challenged, I’ll change.

The right employer will appreciate your many job changes because they will comprehend the concept of never settling for work which doesn’t excite you and energize you.

4 replies on “Changing Jobs Too Many Times For Physicians”

Dr. Mo,

Thank you for your insight into your difficult journey. Congratulations on being hired by MDLive. They questioned your frequent job changes but did they have an issue with your Board Suspension like other Telemedicine companies in the past?

I spoke to their CMO who expressed no concern regarding the board suspension. From what I understood she had reviewed the issue and didn’t find it to be of any clinical significance since it wasn’t a clinical issue, rather it was administrative. Had she asked about it further I certainly was prepared to give my well-rehearsed narrative as to what happened and what I have been doing since. I find that the better I have that narrative prepared the more confident I am in addressing it. Since then other telemedicine companies have reached out and expressed interest despite me making my license suspension quite clear on my public profiles and applications. So it’s perhaps a mix of how I present it and how many years have passed since the suspension. I also suspect that suspensions and board actions are becoming more commonplace and if new companies want physicians then they will have to accept some marks on their records.

Dr. Mo – are you still working for MDLve? How is your experience? Pt volumes good? Hours flexible? Cost per visit same as Teladoc?

All telemedicine companies pretty much pay the same per visit. Some pay per hour but those often require you to book specific blocks of time. In a way companies like MDL are better because you can just log in and see patients which are available. Most still will have some volume issues which is why most doctors end up credentialed with multiple platforms. One thing I’ve noticed is that most TM companies are really risk averse so they have you do x but not y for a patient. And so after a while their guidelines become a whole manual you have to memorize. As in, you can prescribe this but not that and you can manage his kind of pain but not that kind of pain. For me this is hard because for one, I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell a physician how to practice – technically it’s illegal but if another doctor tells you to do it the TM companies can skirt the laws. The other factor is that each clinical case is nuanced so it’s better to let the clinician decide because in the end when there is a lawsuit it’s the doctor who has to deal with it and not the TM platform.

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