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Looks like I am getting out at the right time...
Old 09-30-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Looks like I am getting out at the right time...

Although I have stopped working at one place in our group, I am working with the same group at a different hospital for three months. I think I couldn't have timed it better.

Two of 8 remaining physicians announced they are leaving the practice. Two others are actively looking. I'm glad I could call it retirement and not leaving the practice, or quitting. The docs are really good people, but the larger group we work for has been unsupportive for years. Too much work for too few people, chronically working extra days or helping each other out, etc. We were told we could hire additional staff, then when we started interviewing the corporate people threatened to fire the local people for not getting CEO approval for hiring. We were told that if we wanted more staff that it was a "lifestyle issue" and that working 60-80 hrs per week was the norm in medical practice. That's just nuts.

I am watching a medical group disintegrate because the hospital and the megagroup see medicine as a business only and the physicians as an expense item. Does not megagroup and megahospital system realize that without us docs, they don't have a job at all?

Given all the other threads about how end of life care seems to be about who can make the most money from Medicare and Medicaid, and not caring for people at all, this should come as no surprise. I just hope this isn't happening in my doc's practice too.

My retirement party is this weekend, but the mood might be that of a funeral.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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Ouch. Well, glad you're getting out now rather than later.

I hope you have a excellent retirement party!
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:49 PM   #3
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I got out at a turning point at my w*rkplace too. It makes for a clean break. You don't feel like you left something in the middle.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:06 PM   #4
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I am watching a medical group disintegrate because the hospital and the megagroup see medicine as a business only and the physicians as an expense item. Does not megagroup and megahospital system realize that without us docs, they don't have a job at all?
Wow, that is sad. You made the right decision!

While there is certainly some correlation between number of physicians and demand, this is most noticeable in fields involving discretionary procedures, eg back surgery, not your field, IIRC. It gets very tiresome to be constantly derided as primarily a generator of cost, as "the problem". Not what you or I went into medicine for.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:19 PM   #5
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Something similar happened to my FIL. He rode it out until 63, retiring in a few weeks. Similar story with the group experience and dynamic being altered by changing politics in hospitals.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:08 AM   #6
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Glad you are getting out when you are. Too bad about your group.

My experience working for large hospital megacorps is that we docs are just a spoke in the wheel and everyone's replaceable - and these days with NPs and PAs - who are all fine people - but the cost to megahosp is less.

6 months and 3 days to go for me...


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Old 10-01-2014, 01:55 AM   #7
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A sad way to end a career, but it happens all too often in many professions.

As a health care outsider (though plenty of unnerving first hand case management), it appears US medicine has been transformed by big companies/administrators from a highly respected caring profession to a bunch of bewildering, disjointed (to patients and doctors) profit centers where patients are widgets. There are still many dedicated caring doctors, nurses and others - but they've been overrun by hospital group, pharma, medical equipment and insurance "business acumen" with a helping of stifling regulatory nonsense. In fairness, willfully ignorant patients haven't helped matters either.

And the costs to patients are way out of line with ALL other countries, who've adopted universal health care to varying degrees. The US health care comeuppance will come, but probably not anytime soon... "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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EastWest Gal,

Sorry to hear of the developments in your w*rkplace. Remember all the people you did help in your career, you made a difference.

None of us can fix it when a workplace deteriorates, regardless of profession. Your description fit what I experienced in a non-medical environment.

I've noticed my DR. has just kind of given up on the crap he puts up with in the practice he works at. The only reason I haven't switched is I do understand his personal commitment to his patients.

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Old 10-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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A friend is an OB nurse. The hospital she worked at (part of a very large religiously affiliated chain) recently put out new rules limiting such things as the number of towels she was allowed to give a laboring patient. She was chafing under the new rules when her hospital's OB unit was closed due to loss of a contract with a clinic nearby. It took a few weeks but she found a day job in a small OB office practice and is a ton happier.

Interestingly, the hospital chain introduced a new ad campaign touting their "human touch" around the same time those new rules came out.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:44 AM   #10
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A friend is an OB nurse. The hospital she worked at (part of a very large religiously affiliated chain) recently put out new rules limiting such things as the number of towels she was allowed to give a laboring patient. She was chafing under the new rules when her hospital's OB unit was closed due to loss of a contract with a clinic nearby. It took a few weeks but she found a day job in a small OB office practice and is a ton happier.

Interestingly, the hospital chain introduced a new ad campaign touting their "human touch" around the same time those new rules came out.
Funny how after just the first two sentences I immediately knew which facilities you are talking about. Mention of their current marketing (re-branding) campaign confirmed it for me.

I worked with that bunch for 16 years before RE'ing last spring. They are well known for their bureaucratic fumbles and tendency to throw everything at the current project only to abandon it months later. For a long time the two words "highly reliable" were corporate buzzwords that always worked to get buy-in and create a murmur among their staff - mentioning those two words and watching the hypnotic reaction was as funny as watching Office Space.

So funny, yet such a sad statement about corporate run healthcare.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:11 AM   #11
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Seton? St. David's? It would be good to know if I need some elective type treatment.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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Gotta be Seton...
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #13
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It is.

During that time I also dealt with St. David's and have much more respect for their business practices.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:20 PM   #14
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Seton, GSD&M join forces for 'Humancare' marketing initiative - Austin Business Journal
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:33 PM   #15
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Believe me....there are lots of other healthcare organizations out there with dollar signs as their only motivation, including non-profits. I spent over 15 years at the V.P level in two non-profits. The american healthcare system really is all about the money.
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:22 PM   #16
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For someone like me who knows virtually nothing about medicine, hospital practices, medical practices, or the business end of medicine (yes they do have to make a profit, no begrudging on that) this thread is a bit scary.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:34 PM   #17
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Sounds as bad as most US Manufacturing Megacorps.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:44 PM   #18
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Unfortunately sometimes it feels like we have to choose between costly, inefficient bureaucracies and heartless mercenary beancounters that look for reasons to screw policyholders when it comes to health care. Pretty depressing.

Running a tighter ship "like a business" makes some sense for most organizations but it's possible to take it too far in essential industries where the public interest is critical, like health care.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:35 PM   #19
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It is the new norm is today's world in which only a few individuals are the one's that count. I am mainly referring about the bean counters and the CEO's that think everything belongs to them only!!
I have a few more months, and I will be joining you on the next phase of life.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:53 PM   #20
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It is the new norm is today's world in which only a few individuals are the one's that count. I am mainly referring about the bean counters and the CEO's that think everything belongs to them only!!
I have a few more months, and I will be joining you on the next phase of life.
But you'll still be pawns of them and their system.

Dad was in the hospital last week and it nearly took an act of Congress to get him out. I'm convinced they imprisoned him simply to extract the Medicare and supplementary payments from him. It damn near killed him as he has dementia, and the unfamiliar surroundings severely added to his disorientation.

So you can run, but you can't hide from this system. I swear we will all be consumed by the USA medical system. Soylent Green is becoming all too real.
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