Healthcare professionals are looking for new ways to ensure work-life balance.
Physician burnout is at an all-time high at 62.8%, with one in five physicians planning to leave their job in the next two years. This correlates with data suggesting that health workers are facing a mental health crisis.
Among the challenges facing medical students in American colleges, a Medscape survey indicates that medical school culture is a major contributor to current barriers. According to the survey, prospective doctors regularly endure sleep deprivation, late nights and working after hours and days off.
It [survey] shows that two-thirds of residents work more than 50 hours per week, with a large percentage of residents exceeding 70-80 hours per week. This culture is carried into professional medical practice and, by most accounts, is not adequately compensated.
The realities of an expanded profession and sector have some professionals looking for side opportunities to maximize their knowledge base in a world familiar with online learning and social media mechanisms. Many of these professional viewers are discovering that the creator economy and its estimated 200 million content providers are unlocking niche revenue opportunities.
The time to create digestible and revenue-generating content on your own seems closer than previously thought. Adobe’s Future of Creativity study finds that 23% of the world’s professionals actively contribute to the global economy. Additionally, results suggesting that nearly one in four are creators suggest earlier limitations may be easing.
Kyle Denhoff, director of new media at HubSpot, says lower entry costs have provided developers with an accessible gateway to implement their ideas. “The hurdles for creating a media product have dropped significantly,” said Denhoff. “Of course, when we talk about developers, there are people who can produce something right from their phone and publish it to social media – but we also talk to independent writers, podcasters and YouTubers who develop digital media products.”
Like the challenges of the healthcare sector, education and teachers have experienced similar confounding variables that impact talent retention. Educators in K-12, particularly in the last 15 years and post Covid-19, are finding external interest in their skills and providing a linchpin to current work-life balance issues.
Many reports indicate a lack of personal responsibility for the respective work-life models and preparatory activities that are not personalized. Behind the scenes, many educators left the profession within the first five years of certification for tech jobs serving the same classrooms those educators left.
The intersection of teachers and healthcare providers in the creative economy has created an opportunity to share knowledge with consumers and practitioners to generate broader revenue.
Many in the healthcare industry see their position as part interventionist and part educator. As a result, some are looking to K-12 and college models of online delivery to create new and balanced career opportunities.
As a doctor, Dr. Chester Zoda the challenges of medical school and residency training. Today he runs Digital Doctor University, an education startup that turns doctors and healthcare professionals into content creators. Working almost 100 hours a week during Covid-19, Zoda eventually started thinking about a life through medicine that could provide balance.
“This harsh reality made me seek a solution and save myself from this madness,” says Zoda.
A 2022 CHG healthcare survey found that nearly 50% of healthcare providers have either left the profession altogether for non-industry positions, have retired, or changed roles within the industry. Respondents cited a lack of work-life balance and lower income as key factors influencing their decisions.
Online education is a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s growing every day. The Creator Economy has sprung up to show opportunities for first-time entrepreneurs looking to monetize their respective knowledge bases.
Chester Zoda wants to positively influence other doctors and healthcare professionals to… [+] their professional offerings.
“After I started building my business and sharing my medical knowledge online, I shared my approach with a small group of healthcare professionals who were having similar success,” says Zoda.
Today’s Zoda Digital Doctor University developed from the train-the-trainer model. “I’m leading a new generation of healthcare professionals to a brighter future as an author and PhD in Optometry and graduate of University of California, Berkley Pam Teriot.”
The stats of healthcare providers like Teriot, who are burning out of traditional service models, are growing with every headline published across the country.
Zoda points to the tech sector’s impact on entertainment and commerce, noting that classic substitute artists from Amazon and Netflix are replacing Walmart and Blockbuster, respectively. “The early adopters [in entertainment and commerce] are the largest companies in the world today. The laggards (e.g. Blockbuster) went bankrupt and lost everything because they were reluctant to put their offerings online.”
In the creative economy, most assume that the practitioners of content monetization are Gen Z and Millennial populations focused on entertainment. However, Zoda has found that its naturopath clients are diverse in terms of background and current placement. “It was surprising, but we’ve seen students come to us from all levels of medical practice, from practicing physicians to graduate students from NASA, Cambridge and Harvard.”
A challenge for health professionals remains choosing between home and family and a career, which often involves working for a cause or purpose. For many, the mission is to continue to deliver positive health outcomes, but instead through alternative business models.
Some professionals trade job security for schedules they control through locum tenens (temporary healthcare positions), which often provide providers with significantly higher incomes.
They may not have chosen creator economics, but many who have chosen this path cite creation as key to their decision. Trevor Cabrera, MD, looking at what he considers his “medical mortgage,” found that jobs have created opportunities to practice medicine as an entrepreneur in the technology sector. “I’m fortunate to love my daily ‘job’ and hardly ever feel like I’m working, but I’m not immune to physical and mental exhaustion. So I’ll be sure to add extra days to enjoy or explore,” says CompHealth’s Cabrera.
“In New Mexico, I scheduled extra days off to see the desert and climb the mountains. In Maine, I worked an extra week to drive up the coast and eat every lobster roll I could find. I’ve even managed to find time to visit friends and family – things I only dreamed of doing during my stay,” he adds.
The centralization of medical education and practice is seen by many as a major problem for the industry. “The sector should try to decentralize and democratize healthcare and put power firmly in the hands of practitioners. This is an opportunity that we want to put in the hands of everyone in this industry,” says Zoda.
The mindset of healthcare content creators and the impact of educational models on professional practice have yet to open up many opportunities. Those healthcare professionals who are literally hanging up shingles are poised to be the first explorers of the Creator Economy and the relative benefits of education via this new and digital channel of review-generation opportunities.
Online education represents an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar education mixed with the explosion of a creator economy that seems to be accelerating a new way of acquiring knowledge for professionals in all sectors.
Healthcare as an industry has adapted to the needs of patients in a digital world. Perhaps it’s time to wake up and look to providers who also see the merits of online mechanisms for work-life balance and financial success.
A world of creators focused solely on fashion trends and entertainment seems to be expanding as traditional professions and vendors explore new opportunities. Time will tell if healthcare providers in the health and wellness space will find a reason to oversee expertise in an atypical way, as Zoda has done.
“Online education is a game changer and the use cases for it are huge across all industries,” says Zoda.
The creator community hopes to see you via a digital device in the near future. Practitioners as educators and content creators want to capitalize on the long-standing challenges of an industry ripe for burnout. The creator economy will continue to amass more vendors and revenue while focusing on creators and their niche communities.
The Welcome Mat has unfolded for the next generation of practitioners. The consumer healthcare market is likely to define the health outcomes of updated practices across the field. And when healthcare content creators have a say, they do so from a position of power over current work and life restrictions.
The interviews have been edited and shortened for reasons of clarity.