[Editor’s Note: One of Physicians Practice’s questions for the Great American Physician survey asks physicians to rate how they feel about the practice of medicine. We invited survey participants to explain their answers in a personal essay.]
I have enjoyed being a physician since my first clinical year in medical school in 1965.
For me, medicine has been the perfect combination of intellectual challenge, use of scientific reasoning, working with people, and being able to improve the lives of my patients.
|Photo courtesy of Paula Singer|
I have been fortunate to have practiced as a family physician in one location for 46 years after finishing my training. This has allowed me to care for three or four generations of families. I also had a stable partnership, which included one partner for more than 40 years, and two additional partners for more than 30 years. I served as the president of my practice.
In addition to my office practice, I worked in the hospital until 2008, ran the hospital grand rounds program for 45 years, read EKGs for the hospital, and spent one half day a week at a nursing home.
Outside of practicing medicine, I also worked as an expert witness in legal cases and spent 25 years in medical publishing. I worked at half dozen U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corp. sites in the West and Alaska, providing care for two weeks each time. I also spent a year teaching at a medical school in Israel.
I stopped my office practice three years ago when I turned 73, but I continue to be involved part time in medicine. I still work a half day each week at the nursing home that I have worked at since 1975, where I am also the medical director. I read EKGs for the hospital eight days a month and continue to be an expert witness for medico-legal cases.
These flexible positions have allowed me to stay active in medicine while giving me the chance to explore new opportunities outside medicine. I am excited every day I work and look forward to continuing to remain active in medicine as long as I can provide high-quality care.
As I look back over my 46-year career, I am thankful for all of the opportunities medicine has afforded me. Advances in medicine during my career have added many good years to my life—and to the lives of many of my patients.
Karl Singer, MD, is a semiretired internist, family physician, and geriatrician who practices in Exeter, N.H.