Hitting a Nerve

Being a leader in medicine doesn’t have to mean changing careers


About once a week, along with all the other junk mail, I get a glossy brochure for some university’s online courses to “become a leader in medicine.”


They extol the virtues of their programs: How they equip me to “change the health care system,” “harness market forces to improve medical care,” “empower the next generation of physicians,” and other statements that were almost certainly not written by a doctor.

I’m sure some people are interested in this sort of thing. Maybe they’re ready for a career change from the exam room to the boardroom. But me? I have, pretty much, zero desire to do that. I don’t want to be a corporate leader in medicine. I didn’t come here to sit at a table and watch PowerPoint slides. I didn’t work to get into, and through, medical school, residency, and fellowship to debate earnings ratios and procedure costs with accountants.

I’m here for the patients. I’m sure there are some who became attending physicians, realized this wasn’t for them, and went off to do something else. That’s fine. I have nothing against it.

Dr. Allan M. Block, a neurologist is Scottsdale, Ariz.

Dr. Allan M. Block

But, after 20 years in practice, I’m happy where I am. Like most others, I wish I made more money, or that my overhead was less, but I’m overall content with my little world. I have a great staff, a relaxed office, and the majority of my patients are good people.

I have no interest in trading that to be a leader in medicine. In the game of trying to make the world a better place, I’ve found my calling. I can do good for others far more effectively at my second-floor office than in a corporate tower.

And if doing my best for patients day in and day out doesn’t make me a leader in medicine, I don’t know what does.

Dr. Block has a solo neurology practice in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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