Doctor In A Small Private Practice
Job Title: Doctor
Type of Company: Privately owned family practice with one other physician and 2 mid-level providers working together to provide primary care services.
Education: BS, Medical Biology, University of New England DO, UNECOM
Previous Experience: I worked as an intern and resident (in family practice) at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, TX before becoming the attending physician in an out-patient walk-in clinic in Swampscott, Massachusetts. I later moved to a multi-specialty clinic in Brunswick, Maine before switching to the practice where I am currently employed.
Job Tasks: It's obvious that I take care of patients every day but I also work with pharmacies, insurance companies, home health organizations and other physicians to ensure that patients are getting the care they need. It took me a while to find the right setting, since doctors can work in clinics, hospitals, walk-in clinics, or even in a patient's home in what is now referred to as "concierge medicine". It also took some time to figure out the balance between managing a household and kids and doing what I had spent so many years preparing to do. I finally found that balance in a small, privately owned practice, where I am employed to care for patients and do not have any hospital responsibilities (which require a lot more time). In retrospect, I would have been just as happy as a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant, spent less time in school and earned almost as much money. The glamour of medicine is diminishing with the current climate, so consider all of your options before committing yourself to a medical degree.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love patient contact and if I didn't have all of the paperwork that takes up at least half of my time, I could spend more time with my patients. I love having the knowledge and career that allows me to make a decent living. I also know that I can live anywhere in the world and be able to find a job. I could even live on a cruise ship or be a "traveling doc" and fill in for other doctors around the country.
Job Tips: Learn as much as you can about computers and get a business degree as well so that you will feel comfortable owning your own practice someday. It's always nice to be in business for yourself. Don't worry about taking Latin in high school or college. It isn't all that helpful. Spanish or another commonly spoken language will help you more depending on where you live. Don't borrow any more money than you absolutely need to. It will take a very long time to pay it all off, though some areas of the country will offer loan repayment for your time after you finish your training.