Instead of getting burned out, create the medical practice of your dreams

LETTER — Posted July 25, 2005

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Regarding "Women found more likely to burn out from practice stress" (Article, June 13): If women are more likely to burn out from practice stress, I suggest that women create practices that fulfill their dreams. I opened my dream practice earlier this year, and my patients and I have never been happier! What a joy to go to work every day!

The "Family & Community Clinic" is housed in a wellness center tucked into a wooded residential area close to my home. Services, in addition to inpatient and outpatient primary family medical care, include yoga, massage, counseling and access to the only solar-heated wheelchair-accessible pool/hot tub in the state of Oregon. Appointments are 30 to 60 minutes with same-day and weekend options.

I enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride to my office on the afternoons when I have scheduled patients. The clinic operates with no grants or outside financing beyond the small amount I put in to buy furniture and basic supplies. I rent an office space for $280/month and, with no staff, I have almost no overhead.

My home business office is where I happily handle phone calls, billing and charting on my laptop. Malpractice insurance is inexpensive, discounted 50% as I work part-time. Insurance is accepted, and uninsured patients are given large discounts, yet financially I will exceed my prior full-time salary.

Though I work in a "spa," I still see incredible pathology. My first patient was a thin, whimsical, uninsured 25-year-old male with a blood pressure of 220/120. Within one week I diagnosed him with renal artery stenosis due to fibromuscular dysplasia, accompanied him to angioplasty and had his blood pressure down to 118/80 without medication. The experience was so personally and academically fulfilling that I waived my portion of the hospital bill, as I was simply having too much fun!

I encourage all physicians to have as much fun as I have every day. Live your dreams now!

Pamela L. Wible, MD, Eugene, Ore.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/07/25/edlt0725.htm.

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