Doctors looking for an out

Some doctors are quitting medicine after they find a new passion; others are burned out and fed up with shrinking reimbursements or being overloaded with patients.

From doctor to artist/writer

gallery doctors lissa rankin
Dr. Lissa Rankin felt she was "selling out" when she could only spend 7 minutes with patients.
  • Name: Dr. Lissa Rankin
  • Age: 43
  • Specialty: OB/GYN

On the first day of her medical career, an ecstatic Dr. Lissa Rankin saw 25 patients. But within a few months, she was seeing nearly 40 patients a day as the practice where she was one of eight partners took on a much higher client volume to increase revenue.

"Basically I was giving just 7 minutes per patient," said Rankin. All the doctors at her practice were loading up with patients because of business reasons, she said. "Our reimbursements were shrinking, our overhead and malpractice insurance costs were going up," she said. "It was the only way for us to maintain our salaries."

In 2007, she quit the practice. The financial cost of breaking her contract cost Rankin her retirement savings and her house. She also quit medicine. "I couldn't do it anymore. It wasn't fair for me or my patients. I was devastated," she said.

Until then, Rankin had never doubted that medicine was her calling. Her father was a radiologist and she hung out at hospitals as a kid. "I even scrubbed in and observed my first surgery when I was 12," she said.

Rankin, who was also a professional artist while practicing medicine, sold artwork for a while to make ends meet. She then started a blog,, about how life situations affect physical health. It took off and by 2011, Rankin had 30 contributors. She also started offering online life coaching courses, which have generated more than $300,000 in revenue so far, and scored a six-figure deal for a new book "Mind over Medicine," which is coming out this summer.

Rankin says she has no plans to practice medicine again

"I found my way," she said.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated January 10 2013 06:35 PM ET

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