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Alternative Employment Models

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  • Alternative Employment Models

    I’m a relatively young surgical sub-specialist in a hospital employed practice. Everything I should like about it (patient volume, NPs/PAs, scribes, case volume, reimbursement) I do like about it. However, the call/hours are long and my wife has her own busy non-medical career and we are trying to raise young children. I am beginning to feel that spending years grinding it out is not only going to burn me out, but I may look back and wish I had made a major change sooner.

    So my question is- what are the other options? I’ve always heard “you can’t be a part time surgeon,” but there have to be options. Not looking for the “if you didn’t want to put in the time, you shouldn’t have become a doctor” response either. I know many younger MDs feel this way and are looking to break the mold.

    This is probably easier for ED physicians, anesthesia, radiology etc who could arrange a part time schedule. So are there any surgical sub-specialists out there who have an alternative (I.e. non-traditional) employment model? How did you arrive at this? I recognize I could probably just do locums as much as I want to suffice what I am looking for, but I’d rather have an alternative relationship with my current hospital. One idea I had would be to find a partner with a similar goal and we would represent one full time surgeon to the hospital. We would completely share the same practice, and only one of us would be there at a time. That way, patients would always have full time access to the MD, and cases could be scheduled year round, but we could both arrive at the work/life balance we are looking for.

    Appreicate the thoughts/ideas!

  • #2
    I am EM, but I know of surg subspecialists who buy their way out of call (there is a number, you just might not like it) or hyper focus (I take less general call but I will do every single left earlobe abscess next day) or make it easy on the ER to minimize pain while on call (i.e. don't call me unless you need me in house, I promise I will see patient tomorrow in clinic). The two docs for one FTE is good for the appropriate docs, but would be a hassle for the hospital. Good luck.


    • #3
      Benefits like healthcare and retirement plans as well as malpractice will take some creativity for sure.