Sometimes Passion Prevails

When Dr. Dara Lifschutz is not working as a radiologist, she is an actor. Her creative streak started when she was a child, performing in school choirs and orchestras. But music took a back seat once she entered medical school and residency.

Dara didn’t know when giving up music she’d miss it so much. After being in practice for a few years, she realized that she needed creativity back in her life. She carved out some time and enrolled in a comedy improv class and was hooked on acting.

actor on stage
Photo by Ruca Souza from Pexels

Dara enjoyed being an actor so much that she decided to get serious about it. She joined Theater Resources Unlimited, got professional photos, and developed a resume.

She was fortunate because one of her first directors was a great coach. Dara says she learned more about acting in a few weeks than she would have in an entire semester of acting school.

Now, Dara loves everything about the stage. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and scary at the same time.

The University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program

I'm very thankful to have the support of the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program offered by the Haslam College of Business. You’ll remember that I interviewed Dr. Kate Atchley, the Executive Director of the program, in Episode #25 of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. Unlike most other ranked programs, which typically have a duration of 18 to 24 months, this program only takes a year to complete. And, it’s offered by the business school that was recently ranked #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA program, by Economist magazine.

University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations by contributing at the highest level while earning their degree. The curriculum includes a number of major assignments and a company project, both of which are structured to immediately apply to each student’s organization.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations and have become entrepreneurs and business owners. If you want to acquire the business and management skills needed to advance your nonclinical career, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or going to

Avoid These Mistakes

Dara made some mistakes along the way. She wants to help you avoid them, so feel free to contact her. Also, there are a few websites and articles that are great resources, including Backstage, Actors Access, and Casting Networks (see links below).

Her biggest mistake was thinking that she could easily handle doing both careers – radiologist and actor. You really need to have a flexible schedule to accommodate a second job. As an actor, Dara has to be able to go on an audition with little notice: “Can you be in the city at 1 p.m. today to audition for this commercial?”

You'll need a “survival job” to pay the bills until you get your big break. But it can be difficult to find one to accommodate the schedule of a fledgling actor, because you can be called to audition with almost no warning.


But Dara is convinced it's her calling. And she will continue to learn her craft and transition out of her clinical activities as her acting career takes off.

She believes that it is best to follow your heart and passion, as she is doing. Most physicians are not risk takers. And that's a barrier for a lot of us. But sometimes, she says, you just have to go for it!

Links for today's episode:

Dr. Dara Lifschutz on Facebook

Dr. Dara Lifschutz’s Email

Physicians Helping Physicians

The Actors Project NYC

Screenwriting for Physicians Course

How to Survive the 5 Stages of Career Transformation with Dr. Michelle Mudge-Riley – 055

Break Through the Mindset That’s Blocking You – Interview with Dr. Michelle Mudge-Riley – 010


Peoples Improv Theater

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU)

Casting Networks

Actors Access


Pamela Wible

Ken Jeong

Thanks to our sponsor…

We appreciate the UT Physician Executive MBA program for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It might be just what you need to prepare for that joyful, well-paying career. You can find out more at

Thanks again for listening. I hope to see you next time on Physician NonClinical Careers.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

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Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton.


The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life or business. 

Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counsellor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career. 

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