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I Just Want to See Patients


By Gus Geraci

In talking to colleagues, friends and administrators, we all have physician colleagues who want to just see their patients.

They eschew concerns about the running of their office (there are other people who can do that).

They don’t want to be concerned about the wording of their contract, as long as they have a decent income and vacation time (they trust that their employers will take care of them).

Give me an office and schedule with patients waiting to see me, and I’ll work with you to see them so I can just take care of patients. I was trained for this. I was not trained to read contracts, run an office, or figure out how to squeeze every penny out of an office visit.

I just want to see patients.

If you’re not one of those, great, I hope you’ve learned some things here and other places to help you in your career and guarantee you have a happy future. But if you are, let me tell you a cautionary tale about being employed by someone to just see patients.

A friend touched base with me recently. We graduated residency together, and even entertained the idea of practicing together. Circumstances did not allow, and we went our separate ways. He joined a practice, did well, and as history and life and many practices did, they sold their practice to a hospital.

He worked as an employed physician for several years. Being of a certain age, he encountered a medical problem, got over that and went back to work, only to be told he was to be let go, dismissed without cause, as employees can be. If you read my blogs, you may think I have mentioned him before. But no, this is a different one.

Two colleagues, both working in different hospital systems as an employee for many years. Both dismissed without recourse after illnesses from which they fully recovered.

Both had patients who have followed them for years. Their employers felt they were no longer needed, in a time of shortages of primary care physicians.

Are you certain you don’t need to read your contract and have it professionally reviewed?

What is going on? Would you want to work there?

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