Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The End...starting from the Beginning

As of June 30th, 2012, my practice will cease to exist.  For those who did not know, in short, I am a family physician practicing in Portland, Oregon for the past 10 years.  My practice was unique in that I  had no ancillary support staff.  It was just me and the patient.  When the patient calls, it is me who speaks with them.  When a patient walks in the door, it is me who greets them and sees them from start to finish.  Most times, I spend 30 minutes with each patient, sometimes up to an hour.  I've been using electronic medical records ever since I started.  I use technology to cut through the clutter and to efficiently get the tasks I needed to get done for my patients.  The technology was nearly invisible to my patient...the primary value of the visit is the face-to-face time that I spent with my patients, the eye contact, listening to them, provide education, and help them.  It was my dream to practice this way...the way I thought the practice of medicine should be.  I left what was the status quo of hamster-wheel medicine to pursue my dream nearly 10 years ago and I spent 10 years perfecting and maintaining this dream.

Only to see my dream be on permanent life support with no end in sight.

Due to circumstances beyond my control.

Like making a heart wrenching decision to pull a patient off life support, I had to do what was right for me and for my patients.

What happened?  I will explain in the next few posts....

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