Article In Brief
Five neurologists at different career levels and stages offer advice, tips, and their perspectives about when and whether to make a job change from one place or practice to another.
Maybe you have been in your academic or clinical position for years and have not advanced. Or perhaps your job is not as challenging or satisfying as you once thought. Maybe you are not seeking a career change, but a job offer comes your way.
No matter the circumstances, the decision to pursue a new job isn’t always easy. How do you know when it is time to leave your practice or academic position for another opportunity? What questions should you ask yourself when considering a switch? What should you ask a potential employer?
Neurology Today talked with five neurologists at different career stages to hear what they learned from experience in contemplating leaving their current position and practice.
From Academics to Private Practice
The pandemic gave Raghav Govindarajan, MD, FAAN, more time to think about his career. Dr. Govindarajan loved taking care of patients and enjoyed teaching medical students and residents at the University of Missouri, where he was a member of the neurology faculty for nearly 10 years. But the administrative and political sides of academics didn’t appeal to him and when he looked up the ladder of the neurology department, he didn’t see much room to advance to a leadership role.
When he thought long and hard about what his next move in neurology might be, he realized he could still do the things he loved—patient care and teaching students— in a setting other than an academic medical center.
Now, a year later, Dr. Govindarajan is part of a private group practice in O’Fallon, IL, where he serves as stroke director at a local community hospital and is an adjunct clinical professor of neurology at two different schools. Dr. Govindarajan said although he didn’t make the switch for the money, he is making considerably more than he was as a university faculty member.
“Everybody has their own way to evaluate things, but I would recommend being introspective, no matter where you are in your career,” he said. “A key question: Are you heading in the direction that you thought you would be?”
Dr. Govindarajan said he believes his switch was emotionally easier because his desire to move from academics to private practice wasn’t prompted by unhappiness or being disgruntled. He had impressive positions at University of Missouri—among them, associate professor of clinical neurology, associate medical director of the neurology and sleep disorders clinic, and director of the ALS Association Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, to name a few. He had won several teaching recognitions from students. So, colleagues were surprised to hear he was leaving.
“I was happy with the place I was at,” he said. “I just realized there was not the opportunity I wanted, so I had to move.”
Dr. Govindarajan worked with a recruiter to do so. He wanted to build a neurology practice, not take over someone else’s, and be part of a patient-centric group. Having the right office equipment, including EEG and EMG machines, was also important. He said he had a good feeling when he met with …….