At a time when countless anesthesiologists are stepping up to the frontlines of patient care, the concept of professional transitions has taken on a new meaning. As surgical volume plummets across the country, physician anesthesiologists are utilizing the flexibility of their skill set and working in overwhelmed emergency departments and resource-strapped intensive care units. In the profoundly different world predating March 2020, this article would have focused on the “classic” career pathway questions that all young physicians ponder:
“Should I do a fellowship?”
“Is it possible to go back to academia from a private practice?”
“Should I pursue a second degree?”
These transitional questions simply do not seem as immediately relevant to young physicians today. The proverbial forks in the road, once an introspective decision process, have been inverted in the wake of this crisis. Whereas career transitions once focused on how personal choices can be more fulfilling professionally, they...