After residency I partnered with another family physician in a small clinic in Yreka, CA, a town of 5,000. I did not listen to my financial advisor in signing the partnership agreement (it was a lopsided deal) and left after 3 years to buy out a local family physician's practice and went solo in a small office with a nurse and receptionist. Those first 2 years were low overhead and probably some of the best and most profitable time I ever had practicing medicine. I did deliveries until about 1986 then dropped it due to malpractice costs in CA at the time. I then took on a partner and expanded the office in 1989, then leased a Holter & treadmill machine and lab equipment and hired more people. More dumb financial moves but I loved the medicine, the relationships, the independence and got lots of experience in the ER as well. I put myself under too much financial pressure and finally sold out the practice to the partner and did urgent care practice 60 miles away in Medford OR for the next 2 years. That got my foot in the door with 7 other urgent care docs and about 50 docs in-house with vast experience. Those six years were a fabulous learning experience. By 1998, after multiple spine surgeries for discs, closing foraminae, and severe central stenosis in both cervical and lumbo-sacral vertebrae, I had a major unroofing of the lumbo-sacral stenosis, got a Staph infection, more surgery, and had to give up practice due to chronic pain, pain med maintenance therapy, and general unpredictable functional status. I chose disability and started a nurse triage business with 7 RN friends. After 2 years I merged it with a national triage company (FONEMED) and stayed on as a sales and contracting officer.I am VP of Sales & Contracting for an international nurse triage call center (FONEMED, LLC). I contract with the Defense Dept (DoD). for after-hours & 24/7 triage to military bases around the world, sell hosted/installed call center software to DoD and commercial call centers, sell various health call center services to self-insured employers, telecoms, health plans, municipal & federal governments, medical groups, colleges & universities, and medical groups. Best of all it is a mental challenge, well reimbursed, and I work from home except for military and telecom conventions.
My children - three young adults in their mid 20's who never fail to amaze me, including one who is a wonderful mother.
Primary care physician to 1500 patients for twelve years
Basketball, racquetball, fishing, downhill skiing, until my spine advised me otherwise. Much less active at 65 but enjoy writing and programming.
Finishing it and being on my own.
Patients always came first and I was lucky enough to have a hard working homemaker/nurse wife to make up for my lack of parenting. After 18 years of it I realized what I was missing and belatedly established a proper role. I wish it had been earlier but my family understood perhaps better than I.