Pamela Wible MD http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog America's leading voice for ideal medical care Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to be a happy doctor http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/how-to-be-a-happy-doctor/ http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/how-to-be-a-happy-doctor/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 01:55:53 +0000 http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/?p=1742 ]]> How to be a happy doctor

I was a physician employee, many times for many hospitals and clinics. I’d stay a year or two, but eventually I’d quit. Then, in 2005, I opened an ideal clinic designed by my patients. Ten years later, I still love private practice. Why? I’m finally practicing medicine the way I had always imagined.

When I decided to open a private practice, I was determined to do things differently. I needed to know what my patients really wanted from me. So I led a series of town hall meetings where I invited my community to design an ideal medical clinic. I collected 100 pages of written testimony, adopted 90 percent of the feedback, and opened one month later. Now my job description is written by patients, not administrators. I’m finally the doctor my patients had always imagined.

I work collaboratively with my patients in a neighborhood family medicine clinic where nobody is turned away for lack of money. It is ideal. There are so many things I love about private practice. Here are a few:

• Autonomy. No more committee meetings. If I want to change an office policy, I just do it. I don’t ask permission for time off. I just take off. Fortunately, I rarely feel the need for a vacation since I work a humane, part-time schedule (20 hours per week, including administrative work). By the way, I’m in control of my schedule. I never double-book. I’m never rushed or frazzled.

• Disintermediation. By “removing the middle men” and no-value-added intermediaries, I now have more direct relationships with my patients. They requested a simplified, small office with less staff running around. So now I’m a solo doc with no staff. I don’t miss the layers of bureaucracy and administration. Nor do my 500 patients who get uninterrupted 30-minute to 60-minute appointments. I do accept most insurance plans; the ones that don’t require hoop jumping through a gazillion unfunded administrative mandates.

• Finances. Because I’m no longer supporting a bloated bureaucracy that does not support me or my patients, I have extremely low overhead. As a result, I’m taking home three times as much income from each patient visit than I had taken home per visit in my high-overhead employed positions. Yep. I make more money seeing fewer patients and I do this without charging patients any extra fees.

• Authenticity.  I dress casual, not corporate. I’m usually in Levis and clogs at work; so no white-coat hypertension. My patients appreciate that I dress like a real person. One woman exclaimed, “It’s so refreshing to meet a doctor who is a real person with a real personality.” I like being me. Why hide from my patients? I’ve never practiced professional distance. I believe professional closeness is most therapeutic.

• Fun. I have a gift basket in the exam room with prizes for patients who have lost weight, quit smoking, or achieved other health goals. Patients also receive gifts if they bicycle or walk to the office. I host random “Patient Appreciation Days” with balloons and dark-chocolate treats. I even throw clinic holiday parties — all patients are invited!

• Inspiration. What I love most about my practice is that I’ve stopped complaining about medicine. After all, if doctors are victims, patients learn to be victims. If doctors are discouraged, patients learn to be discouraged. If we want happy, healthy patients, why not start by filling our clinics with happy, healthy doctors? By enjoying private practice, I’ve inspired my colleagues to start enjoying their own careers again. Some have opened ideal clinics. Some docs have told me that I’ve saved more than their careers — I’ve saved their lives.

Pamela Wible, MD, is a family physician in Oregon. She hosts biannual physician retreats to help medical students and physicians overcome burnout, depression—even suicide—so they can be happy too!  Contact Dr. Wible for a free initial consultation on how you can be a happy doctor :) Photo by Geve.

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Texas Doctor’s Craziest Text Messages http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/texas-doctors-craziest-text-messages/ http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/texas-doctors-craziest-text-messages/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:14:19 +0000 http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/?p=1737 ]]> So yesterday I get this email from a physician friend. . . 

Subject: On Call 24/7 :-)

Some on-call text messages from my patients:

“I fell better just hearing from you”

“Good deal thanks!”

“Enjoy your family this week!”

“Well, it’s official! My husband has become a true Redneck!!!! Ayyyyye! Sorry I meant to send that to my friend!!!”

“Ok, thank you! Yay no needles for two weeks! Woohoo!!!”

Video of my patient’s pot-bellied pig :-)

“So happy you got free!!!!”

“That’s because you’re awesome! Seriously, from both a patient and RN standpoint I can honestly say there just aren’t any doctors these days who actually take the time and care about their patients the way you do.  I’m excited to be a patient at your new practice! :)”

“Thank you. Needed a little good news.”

“Thanks so much. You are a jewel”

“That is such great news! I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you so much for letting me know. I’ve been worrying about it.”

And what does my friend think of being on call 24/7/365 as a solo doc for her patients? Here’s how she ends her email: “Doctors just don’t get this kind of feedback on the treadmill (when their staff do all the communicating with the patients!)  I love my patients!!  I love my job!!!”

How would YOU like a doctor like that?

Meet the happiest doctor in Texas: Jennifer Zomnir, M.D.

HappiestDoctor

Want an appointment?

For a good time call 972-218-0020

Are you a patient dreaming of an ideal doctor?  Join the ideal medical care movementAre you a doctor dreaming of your ideal clinic? Contact Dr. Wible for a free consultation on how you can have this much fun at work!

* * * 

Pamela Wible, M.D., pioneered the first ideal medical clinic designed entirely by patients. Stop suffering and follow the health care model that works for patients and docs.

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The Pap Party—The Definition of Patient-Centered Care http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/the-pap-party-the-definition-of-patient-centered-care/ http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/the-pap-party-the-definition-of-patient-centered-care/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 03:43:16 +0000 http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/?p=1709 ]]> There’s a gazillion scholarly articles on patient-centered care. You can even attend conferences on how to deliver patient-centered care. Or you can stop all the academic masturbation and just do it.

The Pap Party is a perfect example of patient-centered care. 

The History of the Pap Party

My patient Sandra, an uninsured woman in her fifties, calls for a physical. As I’m scheduling her, she asks if she can bring her friend Teresa who’s uninsured and needs a physical too. I reply, “Sure! Bring all your friends.” We decide to turn her appointment into a party.

One week later, bursts of laughter echo down the hall as Sandra and Teresa enter my office and sit together on the sofa. I pass around a tray of chocolate-covered strawberries as we review their medical histories. I perform both their physicals and Pap smears and an hour later we’re still cracking up. They leave with door prizes and balloons tied to their Pap specimens which they drop off at the lab. 

I celebrate the joy of Pap parties in chapter 26 of my book, Pet Goats & Pap Smears, and after reading my book a physician friend invites me to her house for a Pap party! WOW!! Since I’m late on my Pap smear, I definitely take her up on it.

In case you’ve never been to a Pap party, here’s how ya do it:

1. Cross over the railroad tracks and footbridge into the Pap Palace.

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2. Make sure you’re in the right house. Look for evidence of the Pap party.

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3. Pass out party favors, Pap smear books, and answer Pap questions.

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4. Perform Pap smears while feeding each other truffles & sipping on wine!

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5. Wish you were there? Listen to what the ladies had to say:

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_FCg9XE3Gs

What do you think?

Is this patient-centered health care or what?

** P.S. My Pap smear is NORMAL!  Yay!!! **

Pamela Wible, M.D., is a pioneer in the ideal medical care movement. She helps communities design patient-centered ideal clinics. Click here to > join the movement for ideal medical care.

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