Welcome to Look for Zebras
This is a place for unconventional physicians and medical professionals vying for fulfillment.
We’re guided by a few principles:
- Your career doesn’t need to fit anyone else’s idea of what a “doctor” does.
- Don’t wait for opportunities to find you. Seek them out.
- Spend time doing what makes you happy.
- Increasing your income is a highly effective way to achieve financial independence.
We want to arm you with the knowledge you need to make these happen.
About the author:
Sylvie S., MD, MPH is founder of Look for Zebras, physician, wife, writer, and adventurer seeking balance in work and life.
Why look for zebras?
In medical training, we’re taught, “When you hear hoof beats, look for horses, not for zebras.” This means to look for common causes of a patient’s presentation rather than searching for unlikely diagnoses or rare diseases.
But when it comes to your career in medicine, if you hear hoof beats, you should look for zebras.
What are hoof beats in your career?
Hoof beats are opportunities to take on new work, form new connections, learn new skills, gain exposure or recognition, or make progress in achieving your goals.
Some hoof beats are obvious (eg, getting an unsolicited call from a recruiter), while others are more subtle (eg, you notice your airplane seat mate is reading Modern Medicine).
And what are zebras?
As a physician or other medical professional, there are tons of jobs out there that will leave you burned out and unfulfilled. These are horses.
Zebras in your career are the rare opportunities that are truly a great fit for your interests, your personality, and your career objectives. Zebras seldom fall into your lap. You need to look for zebras.
Maybe this describes you:
You’re smart and driven. You most likely enjoy the science of medicine. You probably went into healthcare because you want to help people.
But you’ve found that practicing medicine is exhausting, administrative burdens are high, and your compensation doesn’t match your contributions.
You don’t need to settle for an unfulfilling career.
There are many ways to increase your happiness and prevent burnout. We focus on these core areas:
Thriving at work, getting hired, career transitions, non-clinical options, and professional involvement.
We focus on the unconventional – non-clinical, remote, part-time, telemedicine, and otherwise out-of-the-ordinary.
Business & consulting
Working for yourself by starting your own business or consulting is both lucrative and satisfying.
Education & training
Medical education, residency, fellowships, certifications, continuing education, and lifelong learning.
Financial stability is a big part of fulfillment. We want you to earn more income, lower your expenses, and invest wisely.
Preventing burnout, finding purpose, maintaining your health, and using your limited time wisely.
What you’ll find on Look for Zebras
We aim to have a variety of resources that will appeal to a broad audience in various stages of their careers. Here are a few to check out:
You may want to start by perusing some of our most popular content:
We’re glad you’re here
We are thrilled that you stopped by.
Looking for something that you can’t find here? Send us your questions.
Check out some of our latest articles:
There have been a lot of headlines that appear to link burnout with doctors quitting medicine, and as a result, an exacerbation of the looming doctor shortage in the US. However, I am skeptical about whether this is truly taking place.
Transitioning to a non-clinical medical career can be difficult if you don’t have any experience outside of clinical medicine. Here’s how joining a visiting scholar program can be helpful.
Physician recruiters are helpful if you are looking for a nonclinical physician job. Here are the different types of physician recruiters and the differences in how they work.