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Podcast

3 Reasons Why I Quit My 6-Figure Career As A Doctor

May 29, 2024

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-entrepreneur and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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My decision to walk away from my role as a family doctor didn’t happen overnight. 

It was a culmination of events that unfolded over several years as I neared the end of my two-decade journey in medicine. 

Letting go of my career was undoubtedly the hardest decision I’ve ever made. After all, my identity had become deeply intertwined with my role as a physician.

I talk about it more in this week’s YouTube video:

Here are the top three reasons I chose to break free from the confines of a conventional medical career and embrace the unpredictable path of entrepreneurship.


1. The healthcare system is broken

On paper, my career was the epitome of success. I had achieved what many aspire to – a competitive profession, financial stability, and societal respect. 

Yet, beneath the surface, I grappled with a growing sense of disillusionment.

Once I began practicing medicine, I realized that the healthcare system I had once believed in had many flaws.

Despite my intentions to help people, I found myself constrained by a system prioritizing efficiency over empathy. 

The setup was the same at all the clinics I worked at. We were paid per patient encounter and required to meet certain patient quotas.

So, the deep conversations I wanted to have with patients and the preventive and holistic I wanted to deliver were nonexistent. Instead, patient encounters were mere transactions.

With each passing day, my discontent grew. 

I questioned the purpose of my profession and struggled to reconcile my values with the reality of my daily practice. 

The realization dawned on me – I was no longer aligned with the career I had worked so hard to build.

But of course, after spending so much money and time in medical school, not to mention the incredible amount of stress and sacrifice it entails, quitting was not an idea I could entertain just yet.

But one significant event was about to occur, which would lead me to question everything…

2. Life is short

About a year after my second son was born, I had a health crisis of my own. 

I got severely sick with a rare autoimmune condition and was bedridden for several weeks. It was so bad that I had no idea if this was going to be my new reality or if I would get better – and when.

So, as you do when you’re bedridden and dealing with a health crisis, I spent a lot of time evaluating what was important in life and what wasn’t.

What I realized WAS important was my health, kids, and the people I loved. 

As a teenager, I desperately wanted to have a career that made me happy, fulfilled, and successful.

But now I realized that medicine was not giving me any of those things.

In fact, the stress and burnout that I was struggling with were among the biggest contributors to the health crisis I was facing. 

So, faced with the fragility of life, I knew I couldn’t continue on a path that compromised my well-being.

I started to test the waters by talking to people about my dissatisfaction. But the response I was met with was less supportive than I had hoped.

Everyone asked me the same questions…

Why would you ever walk away? Why would you throw away all those years of education? 

Luckily, though, I had a different perspective. 

I knew I didn’t get that education to limit myself. I got it to give myself freedom, happiness, and success.

So, at that point, I permitted myself to chart an exit path. 

I started exploring what could fill the void that quitting medicine would surely leave, and something that kept capturing my attention was coaching. 

Leaving my career to start an online coaching business felt like too big a risk, so I started it as a side hustle.

But my side hustle steadily grew, and most importantly, I enjoyed it.

However, I faced skepticism from others and grappled with the uncertainty of venturing into the unknown until I learned my final lesson…

3. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than true fulfillment

Thinking back to my teenage self, I had a lot of self-trust. 

The decision to apply to medical school and tell people about it was an incredibly bold move. If I didn’t get it, I would feel like a failure and potentially look stupid. 

But at the time, I didn’t let these anxieties stop me because I genuinely believed in myself.

I also firmly believed that a medical career would bring me happiness, and I didn’t want to settle for anything less than true fulfillment. 

But now, medicine was not fulfilling me, but my coaching business was.

I knew that to quit medicine and turn my coaching side hustle into a full-time business, I would need to cultivate the same level of self-belief I had as a teenager.

So when it felt like the right time, I did it. 

I made that bold move again, handed in my resignation, deactivated my medical license, and told everyone that I was leaving. 

At first, it felt so scary and overwhelming, and my last day at the clinic was one of the most emotional days in my entire life.

But soon after that, I started getting really excited for the future. 

And I felt genuinely proud of myself, too, for choosing a life in alignment with my deepest values AND trusting myself to make it work.

Final Thoughts

Are you feeling motivated to kick your sugar addiction for good?

It has now been years since I quit medicine, and I have never been happier, healthier, or more fulfilled. 

I’ve also surpassed my previous income as a doctor, which is something I never thought would happen. 

My journey is a testament to the power of redefining success, trusting yourself, and embracing the courage to pursue unconventional paths.

What about you?

Are you considering making a big life or career change? What’s holding you back? 

Let me know in the comments!



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