Finishing a fellowship means it’s now time to find the right job. Not every practice model is the perfect fit for everybody, so it’s rather important for physicians to understand which structure will work best for them.

For example, Gary Schwartz, an interventional pain management specialist at AABP, said he began his search looking through several different job models in various states. After completing his research, Schwartz found a hybrid model that enabled him to continue practicing anesthesiology while also building out a pain management practice.

After three years of working in this model, he believes spending more time in the hospital allows him to make connections with the surgeons (who can be essential to gathering referrals) who work there, and this additionally keeps his presence in the hospital. The downside for him is that this takes time away from him being in the office.

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“Overall I think the benefits outweigh the risks,” he told me.

For me, I was able to build a practice around a variety of different areas. My practice allowed me to deal with any kind of problem that arose, basically. This was due to relationships I had established with surgeons and other professionals in different specialties.

Time commitment is something to consider if you’re willing to practice pain management and anesthesiology. As the years go by, Schwartz continues to decrease the time he dedicates to anesthesia by spending more time with his pain patients. “That’s the natural progression,” he said.

This is where the two of us differ. Since I spend all of my time on pain, I’m able to make my own schedule; this is not common when you’re an anesthesiologist. Building your own pain practice provides you with more flexibility after you build up enough patients.

Getting patient referrals is the most effective way to build your practice. When individuals are no longer your patients, they end up coming back down the road because you’ve helped them instead of just placing them on opiates (even though this may sometimes be necessary). Most patients will be pleased with that. Healthy patients share your practice with their friends. That’s what builds your practice. 

The PainExam podcast: Pain Jobs vs. Anesthesia Pain Jobs

DISCLAIMER: Dr. Rosenblum is here solely to educate, and you are solely responsible for all your decisions and and actions in response to any information contained herein. This blog and related podcast is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician to a particular patient or specific ailment.