Happy Doctors Day!
At least it is Doctor’s Day in the USA. I was perusing other like blogs/websites when I stumbled upon Family Medicine Rocks. Dr Mike Sevilla wanted us to share our stories or experiences in Family Medicine or why it Rocked?
In 2003, I was at the height of my career; I practiced the whole spectrum of Family Medicine from birth to geriatrics both in the hospital and office. Doing deliveries allowed me to establish great relationships with my patients. With every family I delivered, I was soon seeing the aunts, the uncles, the grandparents. It was word of mouth at its finest. I could not imagine a better job. This was all before children and several moves, though.
When I started in Family Medicine, I joined a group of 9 other doctors who all (but one) did deliveries and seemingly it all. The 2 oldest partners were the “cowboys” in our group. One did many general surgeries (appendectomies, tonsillectomies, hysterectomies etc) as well. I envied their practice of medicine to the extent that they really did do it all including house calls. But, I did not envy the sacrifices that they must have made along the way.
When I selected this first group, I selected carefully. I wanted an independent group; one having stature within the community. This group had all that. It was a true mom & pop shop. Unfortunately, after 30 years of being open, this practice closed its doors (a story for another time). A huge hit to the community and all those involved.
Despite this first failure, and countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting for patient’s rights, I have been fortunate not to have been turned off by a field that truly fulfills me. Recently I was perusing another popular site with doctor moms, http://www.mommd.com and was shocked to discover just how many doctors (in this case women) were disgruntled with the practice of medicine. This made me very sad.
Recently, I returned to clinical practice in another semi-independent group. Yes, I was a bit shocked by what it took to make a buck but, this group allowed me flexibility to almost never put another family before mine. During this return to practice, I was still able to say no matter what hoops I have to jump through (insurance paperwork, employer’s demands or religious beliefs), behind closed doors I can still make a difference. As behind closed doors, it is always just me and the patient. I hope this never changes.