physician support

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    Are there any fellow physicians at this site?
    Although I really feel this site is incredible with a lot of great concerns and issues, the same issues tend to asked over and over again.
    I enjoy talking to fellow women who are aspiring to become a physician; however, I find little support here for us currently practicing physicians. 🙁

    I am stuggling a bit, I am currently looking for a job and have narrowed it down to two places. :tired: I work part time since my kids are very young and my pay barely covers the cost of childcare and my loans….not to mention the other expenses. For this reason, I am looking for a new job and to move on.

    Can anyone provide any encouragement….or know what I am talking about? I would love to hear from you. I need a group hug. :grouphug:


    I hear you…. I am surprised how little pediatricians earn. And then pay all the loans, support a family and not have time for them. It is tough. I don’t know how I can help but only letting you know that I think I understand. I don’t know if in a small town it would be better because of less competition. Has someone given you any ideas about that? :scratchchin: In the meanwhile, there is an ear for you here.


    :twocents: :banghead: . Most of my physician friends are talking about finding another job too. Its actually scary to think “who will be taking care of me in 10 years?” I hate to sound so pessimistic– 🙁 I’ve actually thought about quitting my measly part=time job and lobbying. Have you ever heard of anyone doing such a thing?


    It is tempting. I hear you. Many physicians are looking for alternative careers. I had an opportunity to work for Epic, a computer software company that interfaces with paperless offices and hospitals. They needed physicians to travel and give their products credibility. Tempting, it pays very well….but I am not ready to leave clinical aspects. I love it too much, just wish that I was not so undervalued. Looking to move possibly to a place that has a better cost of living.


    You are not alone.

    I think the idea is always better than the reality.

    I have found myself close to burnout on more than one occasion. It is difficult to stay upbeat when having to deal with managed care & needy patients every day.


    I have been out of residency for almost 10 years. When I first started, I was SO happy. I loved my job, there was less paperwork and I was paid a lot better. I was also childless then, and didn’t mind working any long hours and they didn’t seem bad to me then. I expected it. Being in primary care now is much tougher! I try to tell myself that it is worse in my job, but I see maybe not. Paperwork has become more time-consuming by far, and pay has gone down. Ugh. I am hoping that technology (for electronic med records and fax prescriptions, etc.) may save us from absurd time demands in the future but not yet. I keep hoping that AAFP (and maybe AAP,etc.) can get us pay parity because it is so ridiculous that primary care, which is what our nation needs the most of, is so undervalued. I feel like the basic problem is a PR problem! Also our country spends a ridiculous amount of health dollars on heroics that don’t really help in the last few hours of life and not enough on relieving suffering. (Enough of my soapbox for now.) I sure hope it gets better soon.


    I definitely know how you feel. It seems ridiculous but after all those years of study, dedication and money spent and borrowed, we have a hard time making ends meet. My son is just 2 and I have been working just part-time so I can spend time with him during these important years. Being home with him is a lot more fun than trying to practice good, safe, ethical medicine nowadays. My first tip for you is to ask for a raise. I am a psychiatrist and I was working as an independent contractor. I happened to hear about another position that paid substantially more money per hour so I asked for a raise and I got it! I feel stupid that I did not check what others in the area were making a long time ago (but better late than never!) I think the truth is a lot of us are burned out (I hope that is the explanation for how horribly many physicians are behaving towards their patients based on the stories I hear). I believe we do not help our field, our patients or the students and residents in training by pretending these problems are not real or that they will just go away. Enough of my rambling… I have to say that every physician I am friends with has changed jobs in the past 2 years. It seems that trying to move around to find a more palatable position is not at all uncommon. Hope my rantings and ravings made you feel better at least. On the practical side, check out some recruiting web sites for doctors. There are lots of these and you may find a better job that way.


    I understand why physicians are feeling depressed about their careers. It is a stress filled time to be practicing. I am a female internist. I work long hours and take care of patients with multiple medical problems. I am an employee of a large health organization. Our hospital previously was a community hospital, but now is one of many. We no longer place our patients first and the bottom line is money.
    Our medical director wants me to do new patient visit for 15 min. instead of 45. He wanted me to have them come back numerous times before I actually did something. I can’t and won’t do that. They want us to see, but not to do more for the patients.
    I too am frustrated. We have been told that the internist are a drain on the system. We have the majority of the medicare approx. 65% of our practices, so we are not paid for what we do, plus our patients are the most ill.
    A second career is looking better and better all of the time. However I am still in debt from medical school. Unless the public values our services and loses the attitude that we want everything done but don’t want to pay for it nothing will change. There is no easy answer. :banghead:


    I feel a little silly responding to your post as I am not a phycisian yet. But oddly I hear your struggle loud and clear…(and selfishly speaking, it makes me pretty nervous.)
    Anyway, my father is a doctor and has worked the ER for nearly 20 years. He is completely burned-out. He just recently opened his own practice doing pain management in conjuction with a chiroprator. He has struggled so badly financially that two months ago he and his wife and my sister nearly moved in with us.
    One of the things he looked into was being a rep for medical equipment. Some people might think it beneath a doctor to do something like that, but you would certainly have more knowledge surrounding the products and their uses than the average Joe and you would have control over your schedule.
    From what I have seen, drug reps and med equip reps seem to do quite well.
    I don’t know if that is any help at all, but I wanted to let you know that I feel for you in your situation.


    I was in the dr’s lounge of our small hospital recently, griping about demanding patients, etc, and a couple of other women joined in, echoing the sentiment that people seem to have become worse over the last year or so. What is it with the sense of entitlement? Why do patients have me paged after hours because it is a more convenient time for them? Why do they let their Rx run out and expect me to fill it on Sunday? Why do they give my office staff so much grief about their bills? Didn’t they receive a service, therefore shouldn’t they pay for it? Why do they get upset with me when their insurance company applies my bill to their deductible? Did I make the rules? NO! Just rambling here, but I’m wondering if others are running into the same thing. We used to be respected for our value to society, now we are just another ‘service profession.’


    I hear you. Although it has its frustrations, I work at an underserved clinic I must say that our patient population is for the most part very respectful and appreciative. Most of our patients are new imigrants or cant speak english. In this light it is very rewarding.


    Thanx for the great posts and honest sharing of angst and hope.

    I agree with DrSleep – small communities may have more to offer. An oncologist friend just moved from NV to Peoria (2 hours S. of Chicago) specifically for the better lifestyle, hours, small-town values (respect, less litiginous, people actually see their health as THEIR personal responsibility and a commodity worth paying for) in addition to the very low (5%?!) managed care market share. Worth a look!

    I’m 10 years out from medical school and escaped from a very inequitable male-dominated Neurology practice (in Philadelphia suburbs) 1.5 yrs ago to open my own dream solo practice of doing mobile outpatient neurology (low overhead, no secretary, +billing service, +home business office, +electronic medical records). Can’t say that it’s profitable yet (thank goodness for my husband’s job and benefits) but I do have more flexibility to be there for my children on sick days, special days, etc (tho’ clearly I have other stresses about trying run a solo practice and learn the business of medicine – like trying to hit a constantly moving target). I see an awesome need and potential for the patients I serve – elderly, homebound, rehab/skilled nursing facilities. Unfortunately I’m not sure that I’ll be able to keep this practice open amidst reimbursement cuts and increasing medical malpractice insurance costs in PA.

    I agree that those in most need in our society (immigrants, elderly, poor, etc) seem in general to form the most respectful and productive doctor-patient relationships. I feel that with the introduction of managed care and the “copay mentality” many patients started to become more demanding and disrespectful, and in turn, devalued their own health, denying their responsibilty in the dr-patient relationship. We are seen as health “vendors” who must supply a failsafe product (read lawsuit) at “below invoice pricing” (I’ve actually had patients in the past argue about paying a $5 copay!). My patients paid more for their plumber and to get their nails done than they do to control their seizures!

    I would be interested to hear if anyone out there has any business pearls of wisdom to share!


    DrT- I happened upon your post today. I am struggling with whether to saty home with the kids or keep working as a private practice neurologist. I was really interested in what you are doing. Mobile neurology? Many of my patients are pretty disabled and have a hard time getting to the office. It sounds like a good idea! Tell us more!

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