Men only group practices.

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    Hello all! I have been a lurker for some time now. I have been nervous about posting for fear that someone may recognize me. So, some facts about me may be changed (I am sure I am not the only one doing this!). Anyways, I am a resident that is soon to graduate. I have interviewed with a few men only group practices. Is it just me or is there something that is uncomfortable about being a much younger female working with men old enough to be your father? Am I being paranoid to think that I am going to get screwed, both in work load and financially? I have been seriously considering going into solo practice with hospital assistance. Any advice? Am I crazy to want to go solo at the beginning of my career? Do you think that it is pathologic that I am feeling uncomfortable with working with men that are much older than myself? I am so confused. Any advice would be appreciated. p.s. I am glad that I already finished my family. I would be so scared to ask for leave while in private practice.


    I would say, “trust your feelings!” There are lots of all-men practices that have no clue about what to expect from a woman. If you are as tough as them, you are “butch” and if you have any problems, you are weak. They may also expect you to make less, and do more scut because you are the only girl. However, the benefit of group practice is that you don’t have to be on call 365-24-7.


    BUSYMOM: Gee, I thought all of us were joining all male practices! Just kidding, there is one female in the group I just joined, but she’s part time and I never see her…
    I don’t think it is ANY all-male practice, it’s just some that would be scary- and those you could view as a challenge.
    YOU can break their little mold they have created!
    YOUR office will actually have fun decorations and things on the wall-
    YOU will actually wear a skirt and not have a palm pilot attached to your hip like a nerd… 🙂
    YOU have style that they couldn;t hope to have…

    Although yes I did get stuck with almost every holiday this year 2003-2004…there are some advantages of being a female with all guys around – you are SPECIAL, you’ve got one over them on certain pt relations ( little kids scared of men or females who want a gyn exam by ONLY YOU… 😉
    and this sounds terrible but when you do want something/need something I find it easier to…warm up to an old male- I don’t bat my eyelashes but I feel better smiling 😀 at him than a 30 yr old man…
    AS always follow yuor heart and if you get a creepy feeling about this group then look elsewhere…


    Hi busymom,
    I was just in your position when I came out of residency … the community I wanted to practice in had group practices who were looking, but they were all all-male, and my gut feeling was that I would definitely be treated differently, that I definitely would not be respected or treated as “one of the boys”. So I went into private practice with hospital financial assistance, and had a very busy internal medicine practice.
    It’s hard to be in private practice … lots of work, and all the decisions basically come down to you …but at least you are not potentially viewed as a second-class citizen, with male assumptions about your “worth”! I guess it depends on how important all that is to you … and how much of an entrepreneur you are willing to be.
    Hope this helps.


    Hi BusyMom,
    I don’t think you are being paranoid but not for the right reasons. I am in an all male practice and I don’t worry about workload and money but I do have to FIGHT for them to understand the demands that being a mom bring. When I was pregnant, they had me take call four days before I delivered. That was insane! When my kids are really sick they don’t understand why I have to call in (which is not often). They think I should just let the nanny “deal with it”. I am not suggesting that all men behave this way but I had some serious “remolding” to do when I joined this practice. You have to have a somewhat strong personality and thick skin to survive in an all male group (but most of us do! 🙂 )


    OK, I have been there and let me give you some hints.

    A. Know what you want and what you expect and tell the gentlemen at the time of your interviewing. If you want your charts organized differently than the gentlemen’s, insist it be done and don’t just go along to get along. It is better to be tagged as a demanding bi**h than to be walked all over. There are doctors out there you will treat you like dirt if you let them. I think the men will respect you more if you stand up and ask for, and demand when necessary, what you are entitled to.

    B. Get to know the employees of the group and find out how you are going to “gel” with them. They can be your biggest assets or adversaries.

    C. Never join a practice if one of the older gentlemen’s wife works as an employee, (i.e. the practice manager.)

    D. Be prepared for dissent and know what you will do if one of the gentleman’s patients wants to switch to you. This is a incredibly difficult problem, especially if you want to keep the patients happy without engendering hard feelings from the doctor whose patients you are “taking.”

    I have been in a practice with 2 older gentlemen for 9 years. I have developed relationships with employees (remember, nurses and secretaries will make your life a LOT easier, so be friendly with them) who see it as part of their job to protect me from the males if they get overbearing. It sometimes is an us against them mentality, but remember, there are generally more female employees than male doctors in a group situation.


    Here’s my experience with an all-male group – in this situation we were all in our own internal medicine private practices, and we were a call-group, trading off on weekend call. There were 5 of us, all male gender except me.
    I was in my 5th month of pregnancy, they were getting nervous because I would be gone for 3 months, not quite believing that the locum tenens I was hiring would actually take my turn in the call schedule, although I tried to assure them that he would.
    SO … they “redid” the call schedule, assigning me to cover call every other weekend for 8 weeks, (starting in my sixth month), to make sure I did my equal share “in advance”.
    Well, I did it, working nonstop for 6 weeks, putting in 3 call weekends … then I developed preeclampsia, had placental abruption and an emergency c-section at 30 weeks, delivered my 2 1/2 lb daughter.
    I absolutely blame all of these events on that call group, those unfeeling men who took advantage of me!
    So … you do have to watch out for yourself, and your needs .


    Wow, there are some scary stories out there. I guess I’m really lucky. My partners were really cool about me taking maternity leave after 1.5 years and even ok with my breast-pumping schedule.
    Look at the bright side, depending on your specialty. I’m FP and being the only female in my office is a big advantage. Patients love coming to see me, I get lots of women and kids and I am filling up pretty quickly. Of course I spend half the day doing paps, but I don’t mind. 😎

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