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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nothing but the finest

I must receive twenty head hunter mailings a week, each promising obscenely large sums of money if you relocate to an out-of-the-way town and work 80 hours a week until you retire from burnout or repetitive stress injury on your hands from pushing scopes all day long.

Every now and then I receive a mailing that looks interesting, and this past week I got one that was so appealing that I promptly send the recruiter my CV:

Take care of military personnel and their families! No weekends, no night call! (No malpractice because you can't sue government workers!) Nice city! Teaching available!

What more could I want? Right after I sent the recruiters my CV, I composed a letter to my patients:

Dear patient,

I have lived in this area for almost twenty years and regard many of you as friends, even members of my family, so I am sorry to announce that I am closing my practice in six months in order to take a cushy government job where none of you can sue me for my house, kids' college educations, or pension. When a physician was elected governor of this state we all hoped that meaningful malpractice reform was right around the corner. Instead, the opposition party, which relies on the State Bar Association for sizable campaign contributions, not only has blocked his every move but is forcing him to waste his time defending himself from persecution from the State Attorney's Office (who is a member of the opposition party) from charges that would have made the Salem puritan magistrates blush.

Well screw it, people. When you wake up and find that no one with more than three years experience is available to take care of you, you'll have all the rich ambulance chasers to thank.

A tad harsh, to be sure, but I figured by the time the letter actually went out, calmer heads would prevail and the letter would lose some of the edge. I can always dream.

The sad thing is that when the recruiters call me back, I always feel like I'm applying for the position of cashier at the local convenience store because I'd be a little overqualified. "I must say that your CV looks great! Any chance you can start work next week?"

"Um, next week? I'd love to, but I'm a solo doc in a very busy practice and it would take me about six months to close the practice down (a very optimistic estimate, by the way)."

"Oh, darn. This is a contract position that would last one year. It might be renewed at the end of the year, maybe not."

"Let me be sure I understand. You're looking for a competent gastroenterologist who is prepared to pull up stakes in a moment's notice and relocate to a new city with no more than one year's guarantee that he'll be employed?"

"Well, no one said that our job was easy."

Good luck. I'm just an average Joe who can whip a scope around, but I cannot imagine them finding a decent doc who is in such a position. Maybe they exist. I hope so. I'd hate to think that the government was only looking for warm bodies to take care of Our Finest.


Blogger Elliott said...

You take these jobs AFTER you lose your house to the malpractice judgement. No problem pulling up stakes after that and the negative publicity of the court loss makes closing down the practice a snap.

Dear Patient:

A court of competent jurisdiction has found that I'm as likely to kill you as cure you. I'm going to work in an organization that understands that in the heat of battle, mistakes can be made. If you wish to avail yourself of my services (for free - no insurance hassles or copay!) and are under 40 years old then I can put you in touch with the right person.

I bet you're glad now that malpractice caps failed in the legislature or I'd be staying here killing and maiming anyone within range of my scope.

5:22 PM  
Blogger JusPasenThru said...

Hey big fella, let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas.

9:06 PM  

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