The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use our anonymous form, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I am an internist, 2.5 years out of residency, and I absolutely DREAD my work. I like the investigative side of it--it's the needy, grasping patients who wear me out. The more compassionate and caring I am, the more they flock to me. I became so burnt out I had to quit my last job after developing insomnia, anxiety related chest pain and depression. It took 6 months to recover and I can't seem to transition. Help!

Julie F.

Dear Julie:

Everyone in the "helping professions" has to figure out how to be caring while keeping the proper professional distance. I applaud you for wanting to be a compassionate physician, but you have learned that by giving too much, instead of helping your patients, you resent them and harm yourself.

Was it the type of patient, the time demands or the work that caused you the most stress? Some people are energized by working with the young, poor, extremely ill or elderly - while others are depleted. As for the time demands, do you need to ask office staff to help you stay on schedule and limit the time for each patient?

You may find that a different specialty is right for you, even if it means retraining. For example, emergency room physicians do not have the continuing patient involvement that seems to drain you. Similarly, research physicians get to do the investigative work you enjoy without extensive patient involvement. I know there is a place for you in the field where you can use your training and caring without burning out!

The Career Doctor


The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.


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