The mental health community is all abuzz with this front-page New York Times article about Dr. Donald Levin, a psychiatrist who sees patients only for medication. He used to enjoy working with people in psychotherapy, but gave it up because it did not pay enough to support his lifestyle.
The news story notes that some psychiatrists who treat the "worried wealthy" with talk therapy are doing quite well by charging high fees. But those doctors who choose to work with insurance companies must settle for whatever the companies dictate.
In some ways it was practical for Dr. Levin to leave psychotherapy. Who can be expected to accept wages equivalent to what they were getting 20 years ago (which is what insurance companies' reimbursements amount to)? If nurses, teachers and other professionals had to work for what they were paid in 1990, there would be outrage.
On the other hand, it's unfortunate that this psychiatrist does not get to do what he loves. He spends 11-hour days grinding out back-to-back 15-minute sessions with people whose names he sometimes forgets. No wonder he's exhausted at the end of the day. And I'll bet that because he's not enthusiastically engaged, his patients don't get the best he has to offer.
But there are other options. It IS possible to do what you love and get paid well for it. Are you running your ideal practice, working with your favorite types of people? Please take a look at some of our offerings here at The Practice Institute. We can help you love to go to work!