William Dunn

Career Story: 

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.

Notable Personal Accomplishments: 

My children - three young adults in their mid 20's who never fail to amaze me, including one who is a wonderful mother.

Notable Professional Accomplishments: 

Primary care physician to 1500 patients for twelve years

Favorite Recreational Activity: 

Basketball, racquetball, fishing, downhill skiing, until my spine advised me otherwise. Much less active at 65 but enjoy writing and programming.

Favorite Memory from Residency: 

Finishing it and being on my own.

Personal Story: 

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.