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Overcoming Early Career Conundrums and Burnout With Muneeb Shah, DO

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Shah is presenting alongside a panel of leading experts at Fall Clinical 2023.

At the 2023 Fall Clinical meeting, Muneeb Shah, DO, will be presenting during the highly anticipated “Early Career Controversies” panel. Shah, a board-certified dermatologist at Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery in New York, will specifically be leading a session on contracts.

“The part that I'm excited about and the part that I'm actually leading the discussion on is contracts, negotiating your contract, and what you should be looking at in your contract for an early career dermatologist,” said Shah.

In his interview, Shah also covers how he avoids physician burnout, advice for early career dermatologists, and how he’s been educating patients during National Eczema Awareness Month.

Transcript

Muneeb Shah, DO: Hi, I'm Dr. Muneeb Shah. I'm a board-certified dermatologist working at Hudson Dermatology in New York City.

Dermatology Times: Can you please provide an overview of the "Early Career Controversies" session at Fall Clinical?

Shah: We are doing this session on early career dermatologists; it’s controversies. What are these controversies? This is the first time we're ever doing it this way. We're actually doing it debate style where people will put forward their belief for example, you should work in private practice, or you should work in academics, and then the rest of the panel is going to debate on why or why not you might want to do that. So, one of the things we'll be covering is practice setting, reimbursements, working with our advanced practice providers, for example, so all of these different things we're going to be covering and we're going to be debating between I think 10 or 12 of us, so it's going to be really interesting to hear everyone's different points of view.

Dermatology Times: What controversies will you be discussing?

Shah: The part that I'm excited about and the part that I'm actually leading the discussion on is contracts, negotiating your contract, what you should be looking at in your contract for an early career dermatologist, what is the salary, what is the base? What is the percentage of collections? What should your hours look like? What should your time off look like? All of these things? I think a lot of new dermatologists don't know the answers to these questions. So, we will be debating what you should be asking for those contracts.

Dermatology Times: As we approach the end of the year, how do you combat physician burnout?

Shah: Combating burnout, I think, is a very common question right now. When you come out of residency, I think you have to reset especially if you're early career, a lot of the trauma I would say from residency a lot of people carried over into their professional career afterward. But when you're a resident, you're actually at the control of everybody else around you in your program, but once you become an attending, you actually have a lot more control over your schedule, and so work less. Work less hours. Take your Fridays off, take your Mondays off, so you can actually work less, sure you'll make more, but you'll probably end up being happier and have a longer career where you can earn for a longer period of time, right? So, my whole thing is after I got out of residency, I started to focus a lot more on me. I started exercising more, I started taking less days in the clinic than I was in residency and so things like that can really give you balance and actually make you fall in love with your job again.

Dermatology Times: October has been National Eczema Awareness Month. What have you been doing in your practice and through social media to educate patients?

Shah: For National Eczema Awareness Month, there's actually a lot of misinformation on social media regarding eczema and how to treat it. The main thing that we always tell people in the office is you're going to want to switch your moisturizers from those light gels and lotions, to more of your heavy creams. You're going to want to moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower. You want to avoid hot showers even though it feels really nice in cold weather to do that. So, those are the principles, moisturizing is really going to be the key here. But the other thing is we have all these incredible biologics that have come out over the last 10 years. So, I have patients that have had eczema their entire lives. They've tried a lot of things from dermatologists and they've failed. And they've stopped trying to go to a dermatologist because they haven't found things that work. But the things that have come out over the last 5 or 10 years are incredible. They've changed the face of eczema essentially. So, for my patients out there that have tried to see a dermatologist in the past and was unsuccessful treating their eczema, I would say go back again because what we have in our arsenal now is much better than what we had in the past.

Dermatology Times: What do you enjoy about attending Fall Clinical?

Shah: Being here in Vegas is the key to Fall Clinical. No, it's seeing my colleagues and learning all the new things that are happening. Every single time I come to Fall Clinical, I learn something new. I get to network with the people that I see all the time or network all the time on Zoom meetings, but to see them in person is incredible. So, it's the people, Vegas, and what I'm going to learn here.

[Transcript edited for clarity]

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