ThePhysicianCareerNetwork | ChangeMeter
Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians.
This quiz is designed for physicians ages 35-55, earning $100,000-$950,000 base salaries. Its purpose is to determine how long your job search or career transition might take. A short transition is three (3) months; a long transition might require 36 months, or more.

Sample report
Look here to see completed survey of Susan Sample, MD. Notice that her total score is 59%, and that scores of 50-74% equal 9-12 months. Because her score is near the midpoint, her change will require about 10.5 months. [These forms require Microsoft Excel. If you don't have Excel on your system, try a different computer, say one at a friend or library.]

How to get your score
You'll find the quiz in an Excel spreadsheet located here.

The spreadsheet is divided into columns. Columns B-D on the left comprise the quiz. Simply type your choice—0%,3%,5%,8% or 10%—in "Column E." Column G on the right shows your total score in green. Columns H-J in blue show how your score relates to time. In other words, how many months your transition might take. Notice that as you enter your answers—0%, 3%, 5%, 8%, or 10%—the green bar on the right rises to indicate your total score.

When you have answered all 10 questions, the top of the green bar will indicate your total score. Notice which time frame your score resides in. That is your result.

Look deeper at your answers
After you have finished the quiz and received your score, look deeper at your answers. You can change your result by altering your choices, so experiment with different answers. For example, if you had marked "0%" for "Unable to relocate for any reason," experiment with "5%—Will relocate to limited geographic areas." You might also decide to devote five more hours to the project each week, giving yourself a score of "7.5" rather than "5.0." A few changes like this might shorten your time frame dramatically. Give it a try to see what works. In addition, your PCN consultant may suggest additional ways to shorten your change process.

What the ten categories mean

  1. Earnings Expectations. Transitions requiring more money may be longer than those requiring lower compensation. A $380,000 job is usually harder to find than a $100,000 job because there are fewer of them.
  2. Focus and Clarity. Having a clear focus, that is, a realistic and easily identifiable goal shortens the process. No goals, unclear goals, unrealistic or multiple goals add time to a transition.
  3. Size of Network. Since 80% of good jobs come from friends and acquaintances (and from their friends and acquaintances) the larger your personal network, the better. There is some validity to the refrain, "It's not what you know . . . "
  4. Time to Invest. If you're working 12-hour days, six days per week, it will be difficult to participate in a career marketing campaign. That's why many people who work extremely hard remain stuck in dead-end jobs. As a general rule, more time to invest is a positive.
  5. Willingness to Relocate. By opening your geographic options, you add exponentially to your possibilities. Likewise, by refusing to leave your current address, you will limit your options and lengthen your transition.
  6. Money to Invest. This means money to invest in the hard costs of a transition campaign: wardrobe, travel, subscriptions, memberships, marketing materials, postage, computers and software, cell phones and PDAs, and career advice. Most physicians already have these sorts of things, but, regardless you will likely have to acquire some things you don't, and you may well have to travel—and those cost money. If you're a physician executive and your employer is providing outplacement, add that number into your answer. For example, if you have a $7500 to invest personally and you're receiving $2500 in outplacement, your answer in this category would be $10,000. A larger budget purchases necessities, buys you time, and gives you more options.
  7. Crossed the Rubicon. By marching his army across the Rubicon, a stream in north-central Italy, Julius Caesar committed himself to a showdown with Rome. Like "burning your bridges behind you," crossing the Rubicon is a one-way decision that can't be undone. Have you "crossed the Rubicon" in your career, or are you simply weighing your options? The firmer the decision, the easier the change.
  8. Size of Change. Minor changes take less time than major leaps into unknown territory. You are generally more marketable in something related to your recent industry (healthcare) and functional area (medicine) than in something new and unrelated.
  9. Spouse/Partner Buy-in. If your spouse or partner is wholeheartedly behind you, or even leading the charge for change, you'll have an easier time than if he or she is merely lukewarm or actively resisting change. If you're single, then this category doesn't apply—give yourself an "8" on this scale.
  10. Change Experience. People learn from past activities. That's why your second trip to Europe may be easier and more fun than your first. If you've changed jobs or careers before, you may already have developed some of the necessary change or sales skills.

This quiz is designed to provide a broad estimate of time, not to be a 100% accurate measuring tool. Don't base any major life decisions solely on this estimate. Thousands of factors complicate a career change and no test could ever account for all of them. For example: likeability, serendipidy, luck, timing, new legislation, economic and political forces, and change of mind.

You'll notice that education isn't figured in the quiz directly. It's not that education isn't important. It's simply that the other factors are more important. If you have an M.D. from Yale or an M.B.A. from Wharton, that's good. But you'll be competing with other M.D.s and M.B.A.s from other prominent schools, leveling the playing field. Also, in mid-career at the $100,000 to $1,000,000 salary range, education is often overshadowed by experience.

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Above all be true to yourself,
and if you cannot put your heart in it,
take yourself out of it.
—Hardy D. Jackson

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