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They won't let me go!!
Old 01-05-2015, 06:32 PM   #1
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They won't let me go!!

I need advice on what to do next. Since I "retired" from my old position in September, our medical group is unravelling. We are part of a national company, staffing various hospital based physician practices. Each group runs "independently" except for the following: 1. Salaries are set by corporate. If we exceed "X" revenue, we split a bonus amount with corporate. They rake in quite a bit and share with shareholders, executives, and the like. For five years no one has seen a raise, the argument being it would affect our bonus. No one got a bonus last year. The corporations profits have been growing by 12-13% per year for several years. Corporate folks determine the number of nurse practitioners and physicians we can have in the group. They say a full time physician should work 60 hrs per week (2 years ago they said 55, and my salary is based on a 40 hr work week), but they neglect vacation time, maternity leave, bereavement leave, committee work, practice improvements, etc. in their calculations. I sent a letter full of math to regional showing the fallacy of their arguments and their response was "I need to change my tone". So we have been chronically understaffed for several years.

I retired 9/12/14 and three days later they needed me to work in a very laid back side practice that was also falling apart, because they hired the wrong doctor for the job. So I stepped in, worked 2-3 weeks/month and made more than before. I told them I was done at the end of the year. I was offered triple pay for the holidays, so I did that. I was offered to be kept on as an independent contractor, if there is a need. I don't mind, as the pay is excellent. I can use a little extra cash until DS is up and out of the home.

Out of 8.5 FTE physician positions, I retired and now 4 more have quit or are quitting, including one who is a very good friend and will be moving out of state. The director inserted by the regional office is cheerful, but is socially inappropriate, and not a very conscientious physician. I see him has a really big jerk and a lawsuit waiting to happen.

As expected, today he called begging for help, for me to fill in at the old toxic position, starting in April, when everyone leaves. I'm supposed to meet with him tomorrow.

What it feels like is he is trying to get me to help bail him out. I told him maybe. I told him he needs to look at what is going wrong. I know what's going wrong. He replaced my friend who was liked and respected by nurses and partners alike. His medical care is at times downright scary. But he thinks he's God's give to managing medical practices and the higher ups love him.

I said initially that I could probably do it, but the more I think about it, I feel sick to my stomach at going back there. It turns out that 2 days that he asked me to fill in in February are his days scheduled to work, so the whole group is really pissed at him.

I think I'm ready to confront him in a major way when we meet tomorrow and tell him exactly what I think. He already knows I think portions of his work are substandard and he's been trying to kiss up to me. It might burn bridges but it might help if someone finally tells him what a jerk he is being. As I am supposed to be retired, I have nothing to lose. Maybe then the group can rebuild, but it will need different leadership.

What do you think? Sorry this is so long-winded.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:40 PM   #2
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I think you would be very ill advised to step back into this position. In fact I would run, not walk away if I were you. At some point you have to cut the chord my friend.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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OMG! Why would you go back in to the toxic mess? If you are going to do anything, do a few shifts at the laid-back hospital. This kind of attrition is indicative of poor management and perhaps inappropriate pay practices. (If you are interested, you can obtain specialty specific work distribution data and compensation from the MGMA for both academic and private practice settings. Also can get RBRVUs. I suspect some of your hospital execs might have access to the data)
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
What do you think? Sorry this is so long-winded.
presumably you were well set when you quit, I would stay quit.

Ha
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
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The known enemy often seems safer than then unknown only because it is familiar.

Not working is the unknown. Once familiar, it will become less threatening and allow a different perspective on many things.

In other words; distance = clarity
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:49 PM   #6
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If it were me I would just cut the cord. It you want extra income, you are highly skilled and the world is your oyster. Look for something that pays well and you find rewarding. You're FI, only do what you love from now on or don't work at all. I did something entirely different than work part-time or do consulting for my former employer, even though those were options for me after I left.

It is a small world. I've never been one to burn bridges. At my last job resumes ended up on my desk from people I'd worked with a decade earlier in a far away state when I was a peon new hire out of college. So I always thought that situation could be reversed, and that could be my resume on some intern turned hiring manager's desk some day.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #7
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Not only would I tell him what you think but I would include his superior in a conference call. This is a situation where patient care is at risk. If you burn this bridge it will be for a good cause.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:56 PM   #8
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Be careful about 'burning bridges'. It may make you feel good at the time, but could come back to bite in some unexpected way.

As others have pointed out - you are retired. You can just say no.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:59 PM   #9
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I wouldn't bother even telling him what you think. I'd wash my hands of the whole place, tell him in writing to never contact you for any reason whatsoever, and then I would never go back for anything. I'd even change my phone number if it was necessary.

He thinks you're EASY, and that he can use guilt or other tactics on you to save his behind. Don't let him use you like this. Now that you are retired, you can step back and never lay eyes on this person again.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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... There is a price for everything. You just need to determine what it is.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:12 PM   #11
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I wouldn't bother even telling him what you think. I'd wash my hands of the whole place, tell him in writing to never contact you for any reason whatsoever, and then I would never go back for anything. I'd even change my phone number if it was necessary.

He thinks you're EASY, and that he can use guilt or other tactics on you to save his behind. Don't let him use you like this. Now that you are retired, you can step back and never lay eyes on this person again.
Wise counsel.

Could not word it better.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:15 PM   #12
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I would get out of that situation if I were you. Not good for your health.


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Old 01-05-2015, 07:20 PM   #13
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So you came to this forum looking for people to tell you to keep working? I think the very fact that you are looking for advice here tells you what you want to do.

PS - If I was too obtuse, the answer is quit! Walk away. Not your problem.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:38 PM   #14
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Just tell him / them that you are retiring. Then if you need money, look for another better job. Is it really that hard for an experienced physician to find a job?
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:38 PM   #15
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This is a toxic mess. Walk away after politely saying that you've thought it over and you cannot help him under the circumstances. Don't burn bridges, don't put him in his place (even if he richly deserves it). Just walk away to what you've been dreaming of, and crawl out of that poisonous stew.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:39 PM   #16
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Walk away. Don't waste your breath telling them what's wrong. Walk away for you.


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Old 01-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #17
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Don't walk away - run for your life!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:45 PM   #18
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I agree with other posters' advice not to burn bridges. If you react to this other person's ploys to get you to cover for him, and in the meantime stress yourself out, then in a way you are enabling his behavior without realizing it.
It sounds like he's very good at doing this to people. And that is all about him, not you.

Don't even allow yourself to meet with him. If you do, then he has another opportunity to "trap" you psychologically.

Just say no, either by telephone or email. No means no.

Go forward, excel elsewhere. And not necessarily for a paycheck.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:57 PM   #19
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I would cancel the meeting, saying I'd decided to stay retired. Surely there are more pleasant ways to earn a little money if you need to than to make yourself sick over this.


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Old 01-05-2015, 08:05 PM   #20
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I wouldn't bother even telling him what you think. I'd wash my hands of the whole place, tell him in writing to never contact you for any reason whatsoever, and then I would never go back for anything. I'd even change my phone number if it was necessary.

He thinks you're EASY, and that he can use guilt or other tactics on you to save his behind. Don't let him use you like this. Now that you are retired, you can step back and never lay eyes on this person again.
+1
Do you really think that telling this person what you think is going to change him? Call him back and make you excuses not to meet and be busy ever after.
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