Four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of residency training almost completed – and you’re still on the steep portion of the learning curve. As if that’s not enough, unless you’re pursuing fellowship training, you must decide between practice in an academic or a community/private group setting.

I chose academics, joined the faculty at SUNY Upstate Medical University and worked my way up through the ranks. After 26 years of academics, I made a leap of faith and joined a group in a community hospital setting. One of my former residents became my boss. Transitions like this are a challenge at any time in life, but we all find change harder as we age. In my mid-50s, I found I was less well-equipped to adapt but did so nonetheless.

Private practice, in my case,...

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