Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Intermission time...

These last few posts were, to shamefully reveal my Southern roots (as my wife constantly reminds me of), a "doozy!"  I'd like to take a quick moment to speak candidly about my choice to stop my practice, based on questions I hear a lot from my patients over the past few months.

Decisions, decisions....I could have gone on to join a group practice and seeing my patients as I still have many years left in my profession, but as you can see, I left that kind of system to do my "dream" practice.  I have no intention on going back as it would antithetical to my core beliefs as a physician.

I could have changed my practice to a cash-only or concierge (or boutique) practice.  I seriously considered this option.  However, I've prided myself in taking care of my patients and families of ALL socioeconomic groups, not based on their ability to pay or whether they have insurance.  Nearly 40% of my practice is a mix of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients.  With the economic disaster over the past 5 years, that number has increased.  Changing my practice would also be antithetical to my core beliefs as a physician and a human being.  Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that those who are doing those types of practices are less of a physician or a human being...I am giving kudos to all that are in the health care field for doing what they are doing, however they are doing it.  All I'm saying is that I'm choosing to jump off of a moving train that I see will be going off of a steep cliff into a ravine.  Life is too short for me to regret not taking the high road.

Doing both of these options, in my opinion, would only affirm the inequality and the inefficient US health care system and perpetuate the ills of the system.

I've taken my practice as far as it can go without abandoning these core beliefs.  I guess I'm pretty passionate about these beliefs, and I will not sacrifice them just so I can give myself the illusion that everything is just fine.

I also know that there are people and doctors out there that share the same values but their voices are not heard (I'm pretty sure most are not speaking out or being heard, otherwise, I wouldn't be complaining!).  I suppose that's what this blog was about, to share my story to others, for those who are willing to listen.


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