We want to share the six core principles for turning a hobby into a viable career in the medical arts. Those who have a love of, and interest in one of the following fields — dermatology, pathology, critical care medicine, or transplant surgery — may want to take note.
Expand Your Hobby
Does your hobby turn into more than just a happy hour activity? If you enjoy working on cars, why not take a repair class at your local community college or make a list of those who would benefit from your work. We’re not talking about becoming “Mr. Goodwrench,” but you may be able to use the skills you already have to supplement your income. You’ll also gain some pocket change doing something you love — and learning new skills at the same time.
Learn to Say “No”
Gone are the days when dermatology was a field rife with over-the-top demands. As the population gets older and more diverse, there’s more interest in skin care. While this is a positive for the industry, it can also present a hurdle for an aspiring health care professional.
The good news is that demand for trained professionals in the medical arts has increased as well as insurance coverage for services rendered. Work in medical aesthetics has also grown, and there are plenty of industries looking for those with a passion for the medical arts.
Rather than working 16 hour days, seven days a week, take stock of your skills and abilities. Ask yourself how you can put them to work. Do you want to go it alone, or partner up with someone? And most importantly, know your limitations before taking on more than you can handle — no matter how much potential you see in an opportunity.
With technology, you don’t always need to be “in the room” with the patient. Most practices are set up in such a way that allows for testing and diagnosis from afar. If you’re knowledgeable about dermatology, you can probably allow your practice to use this technology. It also allows for more hands-off management of a patient’s care — which can save both physician and patient time and money.
As the population ages, dermatology is becoming more of a preventative health care model. It’s the kind of field that lends itself to your growing it into more than a full-time job. Consider turning your hobby into a part-time business and using technology to take some of the pressure off yourself.
Narrow Your Scope
It’s easy to get overextended when you’re going from hobby to career. That’s why it’s important to narrow your scope of practice. While you may want to become a general dermatologist, starting out with a narrower focus can be more lucrative.
When you narrow your focus, the potential client base for your business increases. And it’s easier to generate a profit if you’re doing something that has limited competition. For example, if you know how to remove tattoos using PicoSure technology, and there are no other derms in town who offer this service, this might be an excellent way to stand out from the crowd. Turning your hobby into medical artistry can be a lucrative endeavor if you know how to narrow your scope of practice.
Hone Your Timing
Timing is everything in business — and the medical arts are no different. You’ll have to determine whether or not there is a need for your services in the community. For example, if the population isn’t aging, there may not be an immediate demand for your services. On top of that, insurance companies may not be ready to pay for these services either.
Sometimes, you’ll have to do a little research so you can create your own demand. You can then write a business plan and hold seminars to educate people on your services. By creating your own demand, you’ll be able to determine whether or not there is an economic benefit in offering this service to the community.
Manage Your Time
While an ambitious hobbyist has many options for how to spend their time, a busy professional must learn to do the same. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment — and that can lead to over-extension. But there’s a balance to be found. You need to work hard, but you also need to carve out time for yourself and your family.
Ask yourself how you can create more balance in your life. Perhaps it’s taking a break to play with the family or to go on a fun play date. Perhaps you need to find a more efficient way of getting things done. Whatever it is, don’t let over-commitment lead to burnout — especially if your circumstances are out of your control.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, you want your hobby in the medical arts to be just that — a hobby. You don’t want it to consume all of your time and energy. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of your industry can help you to determine whether or not this is something you want to pursue. And, if you do decide that taking your hobby into the medical arts is something that meets your needs, then there’s no better time than today to start.