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Doctors spend a decade learning how to treat disease. But do they have the skills they need to practice medicine?

Source |  |  BY:Beth Kutscher, News Editor – Healthcare at LinkedIn

Dr. Derek Raghavan has had a distinguished career as a leader in oncology and is now president of the Levine Cancer Institute at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, N.C.

Yet he says some of his most important career training came from driving a cab during medical school. His plan was to pick up some evening and weekend shifts to help pay for the significant cost of a medical degree.

“What actually happened was the development of an epiphany,” he wrote in an article for LinkedIn. “As the heterogeneous population of transient back-seat dwellers passed through my cab, I came to realize how important it is to develop a social contract focused on personal relationships quickly, to express oneself in plain and simple terms, and to communicate at a level that reflects the background, social situation and education of each customer.”

Physicians practicing in the United States complete four years of medical school and then spend several more years in residency and fellowship. But all that clinical training, they say, doesn’t prepare them for the realities of a career in medicine including in critical areas like HIV patient education etc.  Instead, they get limited experience with the business side of healthcare, and they don’t get the chance to see the many ways they can contribute to the healthcare system beyond direct patient care.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn surveyed more than 500 of our physician members to ask about their professional goals and the non-clinical skills that they believe are most essential to their careers. You can read their perspectives on this topic below.

Our survey was conducted Feb. 7-19 and reached 511 physicians in the U.S. A total of 449 respondents are currently practicing in patient care. They were chosen at random, and reflect a number of different specialties and years of experience.


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