Today is Thanksgiving and I have been thinking about things for which I am thankful.
I am still in full-time active practice working five and a half days a week at the office. This keeps me busy and alert as I have to make medical and administrative decisions on a daily basis. The majority of my office staff has been with me for between 10 to 30 years, so there is stability in the way things are done at the office.
The girls get along and know the patients so they have a good idea how much time to schedule for the regular patient visits based on patient diagnosis and personality. They are receptive enough to alert me to a potential problem visit, so if necessary I can have the patient get labs and X-rays at the hospital before being seen or divert them to the emergency room if I feel the problem is outside of the scope of an office visit.
I must admit my staff has been understanding as we will be open and seeing patients on Friday and Saturday as usual, although the girls will be switching off so that they can still do their shopping for all the specials this weekend.
I am still independent which means I can run my own office the way I feel is appropriate in terms of patient care and billing. I also like the fact I have the choice of when I feel it is time to retire. The last physician in my training class was recently retired by his employer. He was replaced by a younger physician who is working at the practice for a smaller salary. I was able to practice long enough to buy a piece of property and build a house of my design as the bank made the loan based on the fact I own my practice.
I have a lot of things to be thankful for and I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.