Thriving Through Career Challenges with Amy Vertrees MD.

podcast May 13, 2024

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Medicine is indeed a noble profession, one that transcends the boundaries of science and reaches into the depths of human compassion. Physicians are not merely practitioners of medicine; they are healers, caregivers, and advocates for the well-being of their patients.  It requires years of intense study, training, and examination. But becoming a doctor is just the start. After medical school and residency, physicians continue learning and developing throughout their careers, exploring new paths and discovering more about themselves along the way.


Doctors need to be strong and flexible to do well in a healthcare world that’s always changing and often confusing. They have to face problems with bravery, keep going even when things don’t work out, ask for help when they need it, and understand that changing jobs is normal in healthcare. This helps them become even better at what they do. Therefore, doctors must possess not only clinical expertise but also resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace change. 


Amy Vertrees MD is a General Surgeon, Surgeon Coach, Author of “Become the BOSS MD”, Keynote speaker, and Founder of BOSS Business of Surgery Series. With a deep understanding of the challenges physicians face beyond the operating room, Dr. Amy is dedicated to empowering her peers to take control of their careers and thrive. Drawing from her own journey and years of expertise, she understands that residency training only scratches the surface of what it takes to succeed in the medical field. It became her mission to guide fellow physicians toward becoming the BOSS MD they aspire to be. Her approach is not just about surviving in medicine but thriving—with Dr. Amy’s guidance, physicians can regain autonomy, find balance, and rediscover the joy in their profession.


In this episode, I will share with you an interview I had with the Business of Surgery Series podcast with Doctor Amy Vertrees. Some of the key themes that emerged from our discussion were the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of unexpected changes, the emotional toll of job loss and career transitions in medicine, and the art of physician contract negotiation. We also talked about the intricacies of navigating career transitions in the medical field, drawing from my own experiences and insights gained over the years. Tune in to learn how to thrive amidst uncertainty and change.


“What we have to learn in practice is how to run and build a practice. Because if we don’t know, that could be a recipe for disaster.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


Topics Covered:

(00:00:00) Salute to all the mothers!

(00:02:09) Perks of podcasting

(00:03:57) All about Dr. Derrick Burgess

(00:05:58) How to choose a job wisely

(00:08:51) Identifying red flags in new practice opportunities

(00:13:05) The importance of communication and research

(00:14:42) Geographical discrimination in healthcare access

(00:16:00) How to set yourself up for success as a physician

(00:18:15) Build trust with primary care providers

(00:20:48) Stay in your specialty

(00:22:00) Cultivate mentorship and seek guidance

(00:25:56) Speed dating in medical career selection

(00:26:51) Advertisement: Are you prepared for life’s unexpected challenges? Dr. Stephanie Pearson and her team of skilled advisors at Pearson Ravitz are here to help you guard your most valuable asset. Go to to make sure you are protected today.

(00:28:04) The challenges of early career in sports medicine

(00:32:50) Understanding job changes in healthcare

(00:34:57) Guarding your practice

(00:36:27) What advice do you wish you had received during your job transition?

(00:38:42) Remembering your worth

(00:41:18) The power of reaching out

(00:42:45) A doctor’s purpose outside of just medicine

(00:46:32) TimeOut with the Sports Doctor podcast


Key Takeaways: 


“Many times in small towns, they assume that the hospital in a bigger city is better so they might not even go to your hospital, even though you’re qualified, they might not feel comfortable.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“You have to accept things that you do not want to do because you have to build relationships.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“When you treat a person with respect and you treat their problem, they’re going to be your best promoter.” –  Amy Vertrees MD.


“If you’re treating diabetes or your endocrinologist, send the patient back to their primary care provider because that’s one way you build trust. Make sure you’re working together, not you’re trying to take my patients from me.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“We come out of fellowship or residency as the shiny new car and we know what happens when you drive off the lot, your value decreases.” –  Amy Vertrees MD.


“Sometimes you just need to know that people do change jobs.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“Make sure that you do your due diligence to protect yourself.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“There are criminalized things that can happen in medicine that we are just not taught at all, especially if you a private practice.” –  Amy Vertrees MD.


“Many times if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“There are many lines in that contract more important than your salary.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“Many times we keep receipts in our mind and we take the bad things to prove to ourselves that we are not worthy.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“There’s always someone else struggling like what you’re going through but if you isolate yourself, you might never find them.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess


“Burnout is not necessarily that we’re being overworked, it’s about being underappreciated.” – Dr. Derrick Burgess 


Connect with Amy Vertrees MD:



Facebook: https:/



Book: Become the BOSS MD: Success Beyond Residency


Connect with Dr. Derrick Burgess:








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