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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Saturday - 1st Year Post-Training - Another Perspective

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Survivor Saturday - 1st Year Post-Training - Another Perspective

My apologies for such a late posting. It was my responsibility this week to put together our responses to your questions, and I really dropped the ball. That's what happens when you schedule three trips in one month!
Jennifer did a wonderful job answering Alexandra's question. She really nailed it on the head in terms of different practices available and what's offered. My response differs only in the type of practice my husband joined and what he agreed to when he signed his contract way back during PGYIV. At the time, we were living in a different state than our families, and we knew we wanted to move back closer to them. My husband started applying to various practices at some point during his third and fourth years of residency. There weren't a lot of positions available in the general area where we wanted to move, but he was lucky enough to find a practice that needed a sixth physician. I believe he signed his contract with them in October of his fourth year, and as Jennifer said, the paperwork involved with getting him ready to start working was nightmarish. The office wanted him to begin practicing in July after he graduated, but because they were still waiting on a lot of his credentialing to go through, he didn't start until the beginning of August. There is only one hospital in our town, and it was the hospital that gave the office the money to hire another physician. For his first two years, he's been a salaried employee. The office pays for his malpractice insurance and other expenses until he finishes his second year with them. Next year, when he begins his third year, he'll have the opportunity to decide whether he wants to stay and buy into the practice. Once he buys in, he'll be paid for the number of patients he sees, and he'll have to share the expense of malpractice insurance and office equipment. Since there are five other physicians in the practice, the expense will probably be nominal, but we will see a decrease in his pay at first, since he will no longer be salaried. We're not worried about it at all, though. He also joined a group of physicians who own shares in the hospital's operating room, so he gets some pay from that as well. When he signed on with the practice, he received a signing bonus from the hospital as well as a moving stipend. I was so grateful that we were able to use a moving company, instead of trying to move everything ourselves. I highly recommend it if the opportunity presents itself. It's a lot less stressful when you can have someone else do the packing and moving for you! We used much of the signing bonus he received later to put money down on our house, which helped keep our monthly mortgage payment low. After a year of practice and saving money, we refinanced, which lowered the payment even more and got rid of the personal mortgage insurance (PMI) that we had to have when we first bought the house. In terms of the amount of time he has to be home and spend with us, it's been so much better than residency. All of the physicians in his practice share patients, so when one of them is on-call, that physician is the ONLY ONE on-call. When B is in the office, he can come home in the evening with the knowledge that he's done for the day. When he's on-call, he takes care of all the surgeries and deliveries in the hospital. After his shift is over, he's post-call and completely off for the rest of the day! Also, he's only on-call one weekend a month and one Friday/Saturday morning a month. He was very lucky to find a practice with such a relaxed work schedule. We might not see him for an entire day during the week, but at least we'll have the next day to spend with him. Finally, he gets a lot of vacation time each year, and as long as he puts in for it in advance, he has some control over when he can take it. I was a little worried about August, since we planned three trips this month. However, he let the scheduler know ahead of time, and he was able to get off all the time he needed. We went to Charleston, South Carolina, at the end of July/beginning of August; we spent last week at a game convention in Indianapolis; and this Thursday, we'll be going to Seattle to spend some time with friends. Even though my husband is usually pretty busy when he's on-call, I try to remind myself that he'll be home the next day and will be able to spend time with my son and I, which is something he could never do when he was in residency. Even though there are always negative aspects to any job, I think being in practice is much better than residency. I wish you all luck in the future. Remember that your day will come!



Blogger Carol said...

thanks for the great info!

August 22, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I really appreciate you sharing, since our hubbies are in the same specialty, it's nice to hear something so close to our lives!

August 22, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

That sounds like a pretty sweet gig! ;o)

August 22, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Dimple said...

I may have missed it.. but what specialty is your husband?? Thanks SO much for the insight!!

August 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Sorry! I thought I mentioned it, but probably not. My husband is an OB/Gyn. In his practice, the patients are shared among the physicians, though some patients I think prefer to see "their own doctor" for gynecologic visits. It's just harder during OB visits because each doctor's office hours change. And, you never know which one will be on-call to deliver you, unless you're scheduled for a C-section. I can see the negatives of this situation for the patients, but for the doctors and their families, it's a really nice set-up.

August 25, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

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