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Knock! Knock! Is the Doctor In?
    Photo of Don Sutaria
January 2013   
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

In this issue we have an innovative article regarding our observations on career counseling and career coaching of medical doctors. In the May 2012 issue of our newsletter we talked about lawyers. In future issues we plan to provide some insights into counseling of engineers and teachers.

Columbia Career Coaches Network
CareerQuest is proud to announce that Don Sutaria has been accepted as one of the career coaches for Columbia alumni. Designed to give coaching advice to alumni by alumni at discounted rates, the Columbia Career Coaches Network is an invaluable tool to assist alumni in moving within your industry or to strike out in a completely new direction.

The services of these career experts are available to people who are not graduates of Columbia but the discount is not available. Explore Contact Lindsay Hotaling at

Book Endorsement
We thank Richard Nelson Bolles for having the confidence to mention us in What Color Is Your Parachute? for eleven years in a row!

Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:

Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
  "Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."  

We are deeply grateful for his endorsement.

This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! It encapsulates at least fifty different career topics. Take a peek inside this book at before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

Over the past ten years, in our newsletters, we have presented you with articles on contemporary career topics. You can find the articles from the last five years in our Newsletter Archive on our website.

Boost Your Career Day
The ninth annual "Boost Your Career" Day Five-Hour Marathon-Telethon, offered by CareerQuest as a public service on Friday, December 14, 2012, was a great success. "Career Doctor Don" provided free career advice on the telephone, limited to five minutes per caller because of the heavy call volume. We plan to repeat this Marathon-Telethon, an annual feature at CareerQuest in December 2013.

Career Doctor Don's Column
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit to read more.

Articles on
Several of our articles will continue to appear on the website The mission of this website is to "Help Garden State Business Grow."

CareerQuest's New Website
Please visit our new website at and send us your opinions which we value. It was completely redesigned by Kim Casault of Cruxwire Web.

CareerQuest's Blog
If you have not checked out our revamped blog recently, please do so. We have some interesting things to share with you. You can find it at Your feedback is always appreciated.

Until we meet again through the magic of email, keep your feedback coming.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

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  Knock! Knock! Is the Doctor In?  
  by Don Sutaria

"Healing is an art, medicine is a profession, healthcare is a business."

- Source unknown

In my eclectic career coaching practice over the past three decades, I have counseled physicians, mostly during the past decade.

My empirical observations and anecdotal evidence show that from all the top professions like doctors, lawyers, engineers and teachers, doctors seem to be the most satisfied group. I am not completely sure why, but I suspect it is the result of natural selection and the filtration process which allows the doctors to reach that peak, compared to other professions, and most of them really seem to love what they do. One of my doctors, who is in his late 60's, has a large triangular paperweight on his desk with brass tags on two sides which say: "Do What You Love, and Love What You Do". I once told the doctor that it is my motto too, in my career coaching and career counseling business. He gave me a great big nod of approval. The memory of that encounter inspired me to write this article.

The frustrations of physicians are not usually their hands-on medical practice, but external factors such as the formalities of health insurance companies, government regulations, malpractice insurances, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even some recalcitrant patients.
Perhaps physicians need to have at least a basic understanding of the way medical practice dovetails with business.

Hard Skills
The grueling academic and practical training of doctors, and actual hands-on practice for about ten years seem to prepare them adequately to deal with most medical problems, barring a few exceptions.

Soft Skills
What I am referring to is a group of personality traits which includes, but is not limited to, communication skills, friendliness, personal habits, social graces, language, optimistic attitude and focused listening. Some call it the Emotional Intelligence Quotient but I use a simple word—maturity. Contrary to previous popular beliefs, I believe that with concentrated efforts, all of us can improve in these areas.

A doctor
Business Skills
Physicians need to have at least a basic understanding of the way medical practice dovetails with business. For example, in specialized Master's in Business Administration (MBA) programs for physicians, subjects taught are Organizational Behavior, Basic Economics, Managerial Accounting, Operations Management, and Negotiation Skills.

(Various universities offer MBAs for physicians, including Carnegie Mellon, Tulane, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, and Johns Hopkins.)

Hospital Industrial Engineering
Research in this area has been going on for at least five decades but because of some form of resistance from personnel in the medical professions, we have not realized its fruits. The basic definition of Industrial Engineering is that it is a science concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems. What can be more appropriate for reducing the nation's healthcare costs?

Case Studies
Values Clarification yielded new pathways for several of my clients as shown below.

  1. A physician with a law degree was counseled to become an expert witness in court.
  2. A prominent cosmetic dentist was advised to spin off his general dentistry practice.
  3. A dissatisfied orthopedic surgeon was led to a career teaching at a medical school.
  4. A burned-out primary care doctor became a paid employee of a health and maintenance organization, in order to spend more time with his growing family, albeit at a slightly reduced income.
  5. A physician trained in Russia had difficulties in trying to qualify and practice medicine in the U.S.A. She was counseled into a lucrative and satisfying job as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

For a more authentic, fulfilling career, Contact Don


Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Find me on LinkedIn Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
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