Practicing with Your Heart as an Independent Doc

April 25, 2016

Dr. Daniel Hoffman writes about making a connection with his patients that he does not think you can get when you are employed.

On my first day in medical school, we all gathered to listen to the head of the school address the new class. I remember his comments to this day. "Welcome to the profession and practice of medicine. There is only one rule to learn - every human you treat, regardless of who they are, will bleed red and if treated to the best of your ability with compassion, will pay green. I trained long and hard during a time when the hours you worked were not regulated so you could work up to 36-48 hours if you were needed in a big city hospital. Later, I was in the service and again worked long hours when the situation required a physician.

Today, I run my office five-and-a-half days a week and make hospital rounds at the end of the day, on weekends, and holidays. It is my profession to practice medicine. I do hope to get paid for my services by the patients I treat.

When you are an employee I do not believe you develop the rapport with the people in your practice. If you get a better job offer, you can leave and it is easier to go if you are not attached to the people you treat. I appreciate the support my patients give the office and the staff. They have watched friends being treated by new physicians in other offices who come and go,so they value a physician who they know is there for them.

Some have worried that I might retire, but I assure them I will not leave unless physically I cannot come to the office.. The movie "Doc Hollywood" featured an older doctor who kept pictures of all the patients he delivered. I try to remember all the patients that passed over the years as still being part of the practice who had not been in for an office call recently. I think that is a big reason to be independent as you practice with your heart and are involved in the lives of the people you treat.

Daniel Hoffman is a family solo practitioner in Mount Vernon, Ill.

- See more at: http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/difference-being-independent-doc#sthash.7fbOaaek.dpufDaniel Hoffman is a family solo practitioner in Mount Vernon, Ill. - See more at: http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/difference-being-independent-doc#sthash.27JyxGlT.dpufDaniel Hoffman is a family solo practitioner in Mount Vernon, Ill. - See more at: http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/difference-being-independent-doc#sthash.27JyxGlT.dpuf

Daniel Hoffman is a family solo practitioner in Mount Vernon, Ill.