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Perspectives from Pa.’s Early Career Docs: Building Career and Family, Finding a Voice

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Moving to a new city where you don't know anyone yet
  • Figuring out how avoid the pitfalls common for new physicians
  • Managing the dual challenges of beginning your first job out of residency/fellowship and starting a new family
  • Adjusting to office life and forging good working relationships with your team
  • Negotiating a new employment contract
  • Learning about the regulations that govern physicians in Pennsylvania – for things like CME and license renewal and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program querying rules.
  • Carving out time to connect with physician colleagues
  • Finding out how to meet physicians who can serve as mentors to get you on the right career trajectory

If you're an early career physician – whether you’re just starting out or whether you have several years of practice under your belt – chances are that you’ve had to deal with most, if not all, of these issues.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Andrew Lutzkanin, MD, chair of the Pennsylvania Medical Society's Early Career Physicians Section (ECPS), led what he called a "small but mighty crew" of young physicians. They met to discuss opportunities for younger physicians to get involved and have a strong voice in their communities and within the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED).

They shared their experiences with both the joys and occasional frustrations of a life in medicine. During their open, wide-ranging conversation, the physicians found that they had a great deal of common ground – exchanging stories about becoming a new parent and figuring out how to take a leadership role after starting a new position.

What Inspires Pennsylvania's Young Physicians to Get Involved?

PAMED caught up with a few of the meeting attendees to find out what inspires them to get involved and devote their time to the ECPS. Here's what they had to say:

"In residency, it was easy to find many other friends in a similar station in life. However, as a physician mom, it's difficult to meet other young physicians. The Early Career section provides an opportunity to networking with others in a similar point in career and life. This group gives me an opportunity to learn about resources within our community and support for future challenges." – Kelly Curtin-Hallinan, DO

"Participating in the ECPS allows me to meet colleagues outside the walls of my clinic and identify the common struggles we face in the early stages of our careers. PAMED is where we develop relationships with our peers across the state, and discover just how we can add more joy to our practice of medicine." – John Vasudevan, MD

"I am so fortunate to have gotten involved with the early career physician section since moving to Pennsylvania last year. It's a great group which has been very supportive of my needs in the transition and as a young physician." – Jason Fodeman, MD

"Transition to practice, particularly in a new area, can be really challenging. While I do my best to look out for barriers and obstacles, some of the challenges aren't so obvious until they hit you in the face. I love being an active part of the Early Career Physician Section because it gives me a chance to meet and work with colleagues from across the state, share ideas, and stay one step ahead as I make this new transition in medicine." – Aaron George, DO

What's Next for the Early Career Physicians Section?

Pennsylvania's Early Career Physicians are invited to participate in a networking and dinner event entitled "Hands Off My License! Ways to Keep the Department of State Out of Your Business." It will be held at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pa. on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, from 6-8 p.m.

Attend for a quick, practical discussion on how to avoid the mistakes that are common for early career physicians—like uncertainty over the steps you need to take to keep your medical license. Then, stay for dinner and a chance to share common experiences with colleagues.

If you plan to attend in person, tell us you're coming by sending an email to Julie Carr at or calling 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348).

Can't attend in person? Register here to participate virtually via webinar.

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