Anyone need an FP mom mentor?

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  • #89273
    LisaFPLisaFP
    Participant

    Hi everyone,
    I would be willing to be a mentor (probably long distance) to anyone interested in what it’s like to be a family practitioner and a mom. I live in Arkansas, work part time, and have 3 small children. Overall, I’m happy with my career choice and my practice. I just turned 40 and am in my 8th year of practice (hard to believe both of these things). You can read my post in Introductions for more detail. Please email privately or in this forum if interested.
    Lisa

    #89276
    Sleepy21Sleepy21
    Participant

    Hi Lisa!
    I am a 21 y/o junior in college and am finishing up my pre-med pre-reqs and planning on applying to medical school this summer. I am very interested in hearing about your life as a FP and a mom working part-time! Though I have wanted to be a doctor since I can remember, I have had an incredibly hard time trying to figure out how to maintain a healthy balance as a doctor, a mom and a wife. I am actually planning on putting off marriage/baby-making until I can have some time to do it! That said, I have NEVER heard of a doctor working part-time and didn’t even know if it was possible. :confused: But that is definitely where I want to be ideally once I’m out of school and residency. Some questions: How often are you on call? What does your schedule look like? Do you work with another physician(s) or solo? Is it hard to cover all of the costs of the practice and malpractice insurance+income working part-time? And, finally, do you really enjoy your work? What’s the best/worst aspects of your job?
    I truly will appreciate any feed-back. Hope to hear from you soon. 😀
    Court

    #89278
    Sleepy21Sleepy21
    Participant

    Hi Lisa!
    I am a 21 y/o junior in college and am finishing up my pre-med pre-reqs and planning on applying to medical school this summer. I am very interested in hearing about your life as a FP and a mom working part-time! Though I have wanted to be a doctor since I can remember, I have had an incredibly hard time trying to figure out how to maintain a healthy balance as a doctor, a mom and a wife. I am actually planning on putting off marriage/baby-making until I can have some time to do it! That said, I have NEVER heard of a doctor working part-time and didn’t even know if it was possible. :confused: But that is definitely where I want to be ideally once I’m out of school and residency. Some questions: How often are you on call? What does your schedule look like? Do you work with another physician(s) or solo? Is it hard to cover all of the costs of the practice and malpractice insurance+income working part-time? And, finally, do you really enjoy your work? What’s the best/worst aspects of your job?
    I truly will appreciate any feed-back. Hope to hear from you soon. 😀
    Court

    #89280
    LisaFPLisaFP
    Participant

    Court,
    I thought I’d just reply to your message on the forum since I’m sure others might be interested, too.

    I majored in biology, graduated at age 21 and taught high school for 2 years while I was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I took another year after that to apply to med school and got in to 5 or 6 schools. I went to my state school (Univ of AZ) which was excellent and a much better deal financially. I graduated at 28, did my FP residency at the same place, got married my intern year at 29, and finished residency at age 31. I went into private practice in a small town where I stayed for about 4 years. Initially I worked full time, but after I had a baby (age 33 and after several years of infertility evaluation and treatment) I cut back to 3 days a week which was fine with my partners.

    Then my husband got a new job (non medical) and we moved to Arkansas where I was very lucky to get a 3/4 time position as an employed physician with a large multispecialty group. I’ve been here now almost 5 years (just turned 40 this month). Our 2nd child was adopted when I was 36, and our 3rd was a little miracle surprise from heaven born just before I turned 39. I cut back to 1/2 time or 2 days a week right about the time I got pregnant 2 years ago.

    I really am very happy with my life right now, and I feel very lucky and blessed to have such a good situation. I don’t think they ever would have hired me to work 2 days a week, but once I was here, they let me cut back. I think this is common. It’s much easier to start full time and then cut back when you have a baby, or 2 or 3… I’ve done this twice now. I know other part time doctors, all women with smaller children (this seems to be an “acceptable” reason to work part time) who have done about the same thing, started working more and then cut back. I do get asked periodically when I’m going to work more, though…

    I take call with a group of 6 and pretty much take full call with them. I’m paid on a productivity RVU scale and all my insurance, expenses, etc. is paid by my employer. You really don’t get any breaks working part time. For example, my production is low, so I get paid less per RVU than my full time colleagues.

    I can’t remember what other questions you asked and I don’t know how to check without deleting this reply, so I’ll continue in a 2nd post…

    #89282
    LisaFPLisaFP
    Participant

    Part II…

    For part time to work, you have to be in a group, because there has to be someone there to cover your patients when you’re not there. I have now experienced being a shareholder (buying in and owning a practice) and being an employed physician and I have to say the latter is much preferable especially in my present situation.

    I work 2 days a week from about 7:30 am to 5:30 pm in the office and usually have about 2 hours of charts and paperwork after that which I either bring home, stay late to do (if my husband is home and can pick up the kids) or go back to the office to do after the kids are in bed (I’m doing this tonight since I’m on call). I’m on call about 3 weeknights a month and once every 6 weekends. I don’t see my own patients in the hospital. I used to, but I had to round every day, even my days off, and once we had more than one child it was really impossible to arrange 1 hour of childcare in the mornings so I could round. Now I use the hospitalist service which I really like. I also don’t deliver babies anymore like I did in Arizona for the same childcare reasons. There is just no way to arrange it. Having children really does impact what you can do. Having a supportive husband is a must.

    The best aspect of my job is the relationships I have with my patients. The worst is the constant focus on money, productivity, billing, collections, etc… Also the thing that I worry the most about is childcare. We live far away from our families and don’t really have a good backup. I have one in school and afterschool care on the days I work (summer care is a problem and what about when she’s sick), one in daycare (good because they’re always open but what if he’s sick), and the baby goes to a babysitter’s house (good if the baby is sick, but what do I do if the babysitter is sick like last week or wants to go on vacation :banghead:

    Hope that answers some of your questions. If you have any more, just post here and I’ll answer on this forum. Good luck to you!

    #89284
    Sleepy21Sleepy21
    Participant

    Thanks so much for all of your information! One thing I was wondering is if your group considers you working part-time a temporary thing, like until all of your kids are in school, or if they assume it is permanant. I noticed that you said they ask you if/when you’re going to go back to full-time. Also, do you sense any resentment from the other doctors in your group for working part-time? You mentioned that someone has to take your patients and I was wondering how they felt about that, if they did at all. Also, when you’re on call, what does that usually consist of? Are you taking call from home? At the hospital? Your call schedule does not sound nearly as bad as what I was envisioning though- I had the impression that it was much worse, but I guess it depends on how many doctors are in the group. Another question- do you make a decent salary working two days a week? Honestly, my mom is trying to pressure me in to doing dentistry because they make a good income without working as much or taking call. As a part-time physician, would you say your lifestyle versus pay evens out? Sorry I have so many questions…I’ve actually never shadowed/spoken to a female physician- I even did a mentorship, but every doctor on the list was male! :boggled:
    I think it’s interesting that you took two years to teach school, because I was actually thinking about teaching for a while. I know a lot of pre-meds that just *know* and I’m still thinking “time for a family? a life?” and wondering about job flexability and medical school debt. Honestly, I’ve tossed around doing nursing, nurse practitioner, family practice, peds, IM, nurse anesthetist, dentist… I feel like my heart is really in medicine, but sometimes it seems like more trouble than it’s worth, honestly. Any words of wisdom?
    Thanks, Court

    #89286
    wannaBmdwannaBmd
    Participant

    Thanks for posting!
    I was reading this post, and I was so excited…someone from my neck of the woods. I am in Arizona, and am hoping to go to U of A med school. I noticed that you said you worked in a small town after you graduated…did you participate in the loan program where you work in a rural and medically underserved area? (if you are unconfortable about this question, just don’t answer it) I was just wondering if you did participate in this program…was is a good program?, did you enjoy working in a small town?
    Oh, sorry I didn’t even introduce myself…My name is Diana, I am early on in my pre-med requirements. I am 26yo with 3 children. I have always wanted to be a doctor, but I always knew I would be a wife and mother. So know that I have had my children, and with the tremendous support of my husband I have gone back to school to finish my dream. I am very interested in your experience as a FP and your journey to get there. Thanks in advance,
    Diana

    #89288
    LisaFPLisaFP
    Participant

    Hi, it’s me again. Back to answer your questions, sorry it took me so long. My group definitely sees me working part time as temporary, and although they don’t come right out and say it, I know they are wondering how long it will be. I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t have the “excuse” of small children. I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t have children who works part time. A lot of the women I know with kids work full time, even. Working full time is definitely the norm, even with kids, here.

    There’s not really resentment, but more slight resigned exasperation. THe other thing I’ve noticed is that the longer I don’t do hospital practice the more “out of touch” I feel with the other doctors and with the hospital. So those are the negatives.

    I don’t mind saying I make about $51,000 a year working 2 days a week. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s okay for me since my husband has a good job. My call is usually admitting a few patients in the ER in the evening and taking hospital calls from home the rest of the night. Occasionally I’ll have to go in in the middle of the night, but it’s rare. I always have to make sure my husband’s home that night, though, and that has required some juggling because he travels. On the weekends I round for the group’s patients and do admissions for the group. I’m usually at the hospital most of the day Sat and Sunday.

    On that note, I was wondering reading some other posts from single mothers if people realize that they’ll need either a husband, family member, or nanny to always be available nights, weekends, etc. in medical school and residency as well as in practice to cover call nights, late nights in the office, and weekends on call. Unfortunately, medicine is not always 8-5 and daycares are. As I said before, this has been my biggest headache with being a working mom.

    I think I have a great situation right now, but honestly I really don’t know how hard it would be to duplicate. I have to say, if I had no other choice than to work full time, I would be doing urgent care or somehting like that. Then I would be wondering, I went to medical school for this?

    I was very lucky and did not accumulate a lot of debt in college and medical school. My family was able to afford most of both. So I started with a fairly clean slate when I got done. I think if you have to go into huge debt to go to medical school and you want to work part time, it may not be worth it. Also doctors salaries have been stagnant for some time now. If you want to make good money, medicine is not a good choice for the future, I don’t think, especially if you have to go into debt to do it. Other people may not agree, but that’s what I think.

    Court, good luck in deciding what you want to do. I don’t mean to sound negative. Medicine is a great career, but there are drawbacks, as there are, I guess, in everything. Let me know if you have more questions.
    Lisa

    #89290
    Sleepy21Sleepy21
    Participant

    Thanks Lisa. Your honesty is very much appreciated. I actually read all of the posts on the “Would you do medicine again?” post and gained a lot of perspective, in addition to your experience. I am pretty sure I have decided not to go to medical school, because I will have to go into debt to do it, and I currently have a clean slate in addition to *knowing* that I want part-time, or at least the standard 8-5 schedule. I have a lot of respect for female physicians that have a family and do a good job balancing their lives :tired: compares to dent 😀 .
    Thanks
    Court

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