March 14, 2023 by
Lucy Gardner Carson
Turner Osler, M.D., professor of surgery emeritus
(MARCH 14, 2023) Turner Osler, M.D., professor of surgery emeritus, was interviewed by Medscape along with three other doctors for an article on physicians who have made changes in their medical careers to improve their work-life balance and happiness.
One, a California anesthesiologist, recently pivoted from a shareholder-owned practice to join a large corporate anesthesia practice, which freed up some time and space to expand into a fulfilling coaching practice. Another, a New Jersey podiatric surgeon, started a business in which she hired other podiatrists to make house calls. A third decided to walk away from her work as an Ob/Gyn in Wyoming and become an expert on the scientific study of nutrition and dementia; a few months after retiring from her clinical practice, she attended culinary school and then became a culinary instructor at her local community college.
Osler started his career as an academic trauma surgeon, a career that blended a mix of surgery, research, and teaching. Once he got a master’s degree in biostatistics and shifted to conducting epidemiologic research full time, he realized the life of an epidemiologist required sitting at a desk far more than he was accustomed to. He would need a better chair — and when he couldn’t find the chair of his dreams, he came up with one.
“Our team of MDs, designers, and bodywork experts created not just a new chair but an entirely new way to sit that worked with the body rather than against it,” he says. “Looking back, ‘chair designer’ isn’t at all the third career I would have predicted for myself. My slide into entrepreneurship was unexpected, a passion project that got out of hand and turned into a startup.”
Sometimes the day-in and day-out of running a private practice, taking calls at all hours, or dealing with insurers can be too much. Medscape’s 2023 Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report showed that physicians were happier before the pandemic and that 53 percent of those surveyed would be okay earning less pay if it meant they could have better work-life balance. In addition, the American Medical Association reports that 1 in 5 physicians plan on leaving their practices within 2 years.
“It’s hard to guess what pursuit will turn into a second act, so the more interests you have, the more opportunities you’ll find,” Osler says. “I always say that passion is something that you have to bring with you to the table. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with just another job.”
Read full story