Wanted: Part time to full time rural health care provider. You will be underpaid by insurance companies and even more so by the government. Specialist colleagues will likewise undervalue your services and skills. Patients will appreciate you for the most part; that is, unless they sue you. Insurance and retirement plan is so-so.
Recently I posted on my interest in applying for a new job as the Program Director of a residency program. After last night, that's not going to happen. One of my partners dropped the bombshell that she's going to leave. She'll work up to a year if need be, but she's decided this job isn't for her. She's not sure if primary care is for her. Medicine might not even be for her.
I'm fairly confident we'll find someone to take her spot within the next six months. Probably someone young and naive who wants to make a difference in their practice, or someone who otherwise well off and really doesn't need a paycheck. We've already talked about hiring a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant so we can finally get over that hurdle to become a designated Rural Health Clinic. There will be some rough roads, but the practice will survive.
Perhaps the deepest impact to me comes not from losing just any partner, but this partner. We started residency together nine years ago this month. When we graduated we went out to our current practice together. Our careers as physicians have paralleled each other. She crashed and burned. She lost her sense of purpose. Who's to say I'm not next?