More doctors switching careers because of heavy workload and less pay…..


    Many doctors in the city of Bengaluru are switching careers because of poor pay and prospects, says a recent report which appeared in Times of India(TOI).

    For instance, the report talks about Shakil Ahmed who landed an MBBS seat 12 years back-something he was quite happy about. However, it was only since he became a doctor that the challenges became clear to him. His dream was to become a radiologist but that was not to be since he could not crack the PG entrance exams. And he could not afford a private college education either.

    He then went on to work as a night duty doctor in a city hospital for about three years. After that stint, he quit the profession entirely.

    Ahmed, who is 32 years old now helps his cousins run their family business. The report mentions him as being happy for the increase in his earnings.

    High attrition rates for doctors in city hospitals

    But Dr.Shakil is by no means the only one who has shifted themselves out of the medical profession due to the aspect of all work and no pay. He is just one example of an alarming trend in the rise.

    The high attrition rate of MBBS doctors in many of the city hospitals is attributed to the routine of taking instructions from specialty consultants and performing night duty, mostly without even getting Sundays off.

    Dr. Devi Shetty, a cardiologist brings some perspective to the situation when he says that though there are more than 56,000 MBBS seats in the country, PG seats in different specialties are limited to just 14,500. What this translates to is more than 40,000 doctors who crave for specialization eventually getting into regular practice which makes many of them lose interest in it.

    Dr.Devi points out that achieving specialization is practically every doctor’s dream. But when they can’t realize the dream they move away from medicine in a couple of years to take up administrative jobs and the like. He terms it a worrisome trend.

    Even specialists find the going tough

    But it’s not only MBBS grads but even some specialists went ahead and took up business and management studies so that they could build a career which gives them a better income.

    A case in point is Dr.Abhishek Vijayakumar, a Bangalore based plastic surgeon. He is pursuing MBA in hospital administration via correspondence from Pondicherry University. The reason is that he cannot depend on his practice alone to earn enough money. The doctor says that he will not be leaving medicine after he completes the course. However, he adds, it will not be his sole source of income.

    Hospitals in the city experience a high attrition rate among duty doctors every time PG entrance exams of different autonomous medical colleges and also all-India entrance exams take place, says Dr.Nagendra Swamy who is the president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association.

    He adds that it is an aspiration of every MBBS doctor to pursue post graduation and to take their time to learn and prepare. But no hospital can actually afford to give the doctors leave for three months so that they can appear for the exams. In the absence of these doctors, some of the hospitals recruit as physician assistants ayurveda and homeopathy doctors. And not everyone who quits rejoins the same hospital either.

    Doctors who are pursuing other passions

    Dr. Tanuj PVR is someone who forsook the medical profession for something else he loves to do-teaching. Dr.Tanuj who cleared his MBBS in 2010 is a content maker with Byju’s tutorial in Bangalore. After graduation though, he did not wish to practise medicine but was more passionate about teaching. After clearing NET in life sciences, he started teaching students on cracking competitive examinations.

    According to the doctor, he earns better than his MD friends and since he is passionate about learning and teaching, he did not take PG entrance like the “rest of the crowd.” He now teaches for class 11, 12 and CET students. He says that rather than being disillusioned after MBBS, he simply realized what he wanted to do.

    Then, there is the case of Dr. Arjun Rao. Someone who completed his MBBS in 1997, Dr.Arjun then enrolled for an overseas program on general surgery with a UK-based university. However, the university winded up the program for overseas students. This led to the doctor taking up an MBA in healthcare in Boston. Keeping in tune to his business education, Dr.Rao now heads the startup Syncremedies as its CEO. The startup provides doctors from multiple arenas-allopathy, homeopathy and ayurveda a platform where they can collaborate and communicate with each other so that they can give the best treatment plans for the patients online.

    Dr. Rao says that he did not wanted to remain just a doctor but also wanted to try his luck as an entrepreneur.

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