CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Ibnosina Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 2024; 16(01): 003-004
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1778046
Professional Matters

Academic Medical Career versus Private Medical Practice: A Guide to the Right Decision!

1   Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding and Sponsorship None.

You are so close to completing your medical training: Congratulations! You worked and studied hard through grade school, college, and medical school. You completed—or are about to complete—residency training or perhaps a subspecialty fellowship. You gained valuable skills and knowledge, but—more importantly—you also grew to realize that your M.D. (or D.O. or MBBS) stands more for “Making Decisions” than a medical doctorate! In brief, you are now close to another finish line, and more significantly, closer to another pivotal decision point: Should you choose an academic career or join a private medical practice?

You are likely disciplined, methodical, and scientific, so you decide to look for articles and search the literature on this decision. You conduct your search only to find that most published guidance deals with financial aspects, side benefits, lifestyle, and expectations. You cannot help but feel unsatisfied, considering that you chose the medical field because you were driven by higher values than finances, and by aspirations beyond benefits and perks.

Through years of training, you became increasingly aware of the negative impact of stress, work-life imbalance, and burnout. Perhaps you also realized that remedies for these silent killers start with choosing wisely, including finding a career path that matches your values and a role that fulfills the best of your talents. You also note that the wider context of this issue is much bigger than material benefits or financial rewards. What you are really searching for is a guide that helps you reflect on and decide the best fit for the “specific” you—whether academic medicine or private practice aligns with your talents and aspirations!

The following framework represents an attempt at sharing the general expectations and skills needed at both academic and nonacademic (private) practices, followed by recommendations on how to find the best fit for your own talents, skills, and values.

Authors' Contributions


Compliance with Ethical Principles

Ethical approval is not required.

Publication History

Article published online:
09 January 2024

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