Tailor Your Search

Choosing a practice can be one of the most important—and daunting—decisions of your career.
Take the guesswork out of getting started and begin your search with confidence.

By Jon VanZile | Feature Articles | March/April 2009

 

Choosing your practice is a difficult process; let us help

Choosing your practice is a difficult process; let us help

The summer of 2007 was a heady time for Scott Silver, MD.

His fellowship in vascular surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, was drawing to a close. Finally, after all those years of study and specialized training in cutting-edge endovascular surgeries, he was about to graduate into the job market. Medicine was an open field.

“The first thing that happened is I got pretty excited about being finished and how great life was going to be afterward,” Silver says. “So you get on the Internet and there’s all these ads all over the country, and you see the money and you think it’s a lot, and you think it’ll be awesome.” more »

 

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You Can Go Home Again

Sometimes there’s no place like home to find the job that’s right for you. Four physicians found that returning to their roots provided career satisfaction for them and service for the communities they love

By Deb Kincaid | Feature Articles | March/April 2009

 

Mindy Udell, MD, returned to her birthplace of Yakima, Washington, and now works as a third-year family practice resident at Central Washington Family Medicine. A Lakota Sioux, Udell spent the summers of her childhood working the small family farm in the Yakima Valley town of Satus Creek. "The medical community in Yakima is so friendly and the patient population is equally rewarding,” Udell says. “There are professional development opportunities everywhere, too.”

Mindy Udell, MD, returned to her birthplace of Yakima, Washington, and now works as a third-year family practice resident at Central Washington Family Medicine. A Lakota Sioux, Udell spent the summers of her childhood working the small family farm in the Yakima Valley town of Satus Creek. "The medical community in Yakima is so friendly and the patient population is equally rewarding,” Udell says. “There are professional development opportunities everywhere, too.”

Four different physicians, one common objective: practice medicine at home. These doctors chose to practice medicine in the medically under served areas they have called home since childhood. Challenging? Sure. But, as homegrown family practice physicians, these doctors reap unique professional and personal benefits.

The first white persons to view Washington’s Yakima (YAK-i-maw) Valley were traveling with the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806. The area takes its name from the Native Americans of the area, the Yakama Nation, one of the largest tribal groups of the Pacific Northwest. Today the city of Yakima has about 82,000 residents, and around 230,000 more populating the many small, rural towns dotting the Yakima Valley, a large area of about 4,300 square miles.

Located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountain Range in south-central Washington, Yakima has sun 300 days of the year. The Yakima Valley boasts more than 50 vineyards and wineries and is the primary source of the nation’s hops as well. Ranching and farming are important and honored professions in Yakima Valley, and the lifeblood of its economy. more »

 

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The Necessity of “Asset-Protected” Investments

In these uncertain times, be careful not to leave your assets vulnerable to malpractice judgments.

By Jason O'Dell, Stan Miller, JD, and David B. Mandell, JD, MBA | Legal Matters | March/April 2009 | Uncategorized

 

We have been helping the medical community shield assets from potential lawsuits for years. While we often establish sophisticated trusts, limited partnerships, captive insurance companies, and even offshore arrangements to protect our clients’ assets and help them save taxes, often we need not be that creative.

In many states, the law gives us tremendous opportunities to protect wealth and lessen income taxes—through life insurance vehicles and annuities. If shielding your net worth from a potential lawsuit is important to you—and if you would like to pay less in income taxes—you must consider these tools as part of your financial plan. The question then becomes: if you have a choice between two fairly equal investments, why not use the one that is asset-protected and enjoys special tax treatment under the law? The wise choice is to make use of the asset-protected, tax-deferred investment. Let’s see how that works. more »

 

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El Paso, TX – South on the Border

In El Paso, Texas, the weather is warm, the cultural mix is congenial and physician opportunities are multiplying.

By Eileen Lockwood | Live & Practice | March/April 2009

 

The U.S. District Courthouse in El Paso rises among the diverse modern and traditional architecture of the city.

The U.S. District Courthouse in El Paso rises among the diverse modern and traditional architecture of the city.

There’s an aura of excitement these days in the halls, offices and classrooms of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso. To summarize the reason in a few words, German Hernandez, MD, says, “You don’t get to start a new medical school very often.”

He’s one of a growing group of teaching/practicing physicians who will be ready for classes when the school opens in July with a class of 40 students.

The new Paul L. Foster School of Medicine is actually an addition to the school that has been accepting third- and fourth-year medical students for about 25 years. “Typically,” adds Hernandez, “students have gone first to Texas Tech in Lubbock (the main campus) to get their basic science education. But from there they have split up for their last two years. Some stay in Lubbock, some go to Amarillo and about a third come to El Paso.” Now medical students will be able to spend all four years at the El Paso venue.

Kirk Baston, MD, may be even more exuberant about the change. “The school was actually my main reason to come, ” he chimes in. “It’s been a very exciting and unique opportunity to be part of a team that’s basically reating a new medical school. The campus is gorgeous, with beautiful buildings and up-to-date resources. If anyone loves to teach, this is one of the best facilities that I’ve ever seen.” more »

 

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Blame Shortage on Salaries

Study shows lack of primary care physicians correlates to lower pay.

By UO Staff | March/April 2009 | Vital Stats

 

Salary disparities among medical specialties play a major role in the shortage of primary care physicians, a recent JAMA study shows.

Dr. Mark Ebell, a professor and assistant to the provost at the University of Georgia, compared 2007 starting salaries for various physician specialties with the percentage of medical school graduates choosing those specialties. He found a direct correlation between salary and the popularity of a specialty.

Ebell found the same relationship in a study he conducted nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the salary disparities have grown and the shortage of primary care physicians—including those in family medicine, pediatrics, or general internal medicine—has become more pronounced. In the past decade, the number of U.S. medical school graduates entering family practice residencies has dropped 50 percent. more »

 

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Generation X and Y Physicians: Lack of Work Ethic?

Young doctors' expectations may seem unrealistic, but maybe those doing the hiring should adjust as well.

By Donald E. Prince, Sr. CMSR | March/April 2009 | Remarks

 

Much has been made of the aging workforce and the difference in values and attitudes exhibited by younger workers entering the market—whom even the business community now refers to as “Generation X” and “Generation Y” (Gen X & Y). With people not only working—but living—longer, and as we shift from a manufacturing based economy to a service economy, the healthcare industry has grown tremendously. As the healthcare industry expands, the demand for physicians has expanded as well; however, the availability of physicians has not kept pace. The result is a nationwide physician shortage. more »

 

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Going Home

By Mollie Hudson | Editor's Note | March/April 2009

 

Mollie Vento Hudson, Editor

Mollie Vento Hudson, Editor

Today I went to the funeral of an 86-year-old man who lived around the corner—a man who had been inconvenienced by prostate cancer and bone cancer, then slowed by a stroke; his routines altered by Parkinson’s disease, his life ultimately changed by Alzheimer’s.

This gracious gentleman, who graduated from Harvard, worked for 35 years as an engineer. He also turned his avocation of fly fishing into a successful business and raised seven children with his wife of 60 years. He couldn’t remember how he knew me the last couple of years, but he still managed to beat me in five straight games of Chinese checkers just before Thanksgiving. We first met nearly 30 years ago when he was part of the selection committee of our local Rotary Club that eventually sponsored me as an exchange student to New Zealand. This experience was life-changing for me—as I suspect the program intends—and I remain in contact with some of my friends and host families to this day. Thanks in no small part to this gentleman, when I land in Auckland, I’m not a visitor, more »

 

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Kid Gloves

You've heard it all before, but communication, courtesy, and respect will build patient loyalty - and minimize risk.

By Judy Capko | March/April 2009 | Practical Management

 

The threat of a potential malpractice suit is never far away. Start with the patients—they are less loyal, less trustful, and more demanding than they were in days gone by. These attitudes can quickly turn to anger, frustration, and pointing fingers when their expectations aren’t meant. Take heed, good doctors, having the best training and clinical skills is not enough! Protecting yourself from risk involves the actions and non-actions of everyone in the practice.

A common-sense approach to risk management deals with many aspects surrounding patient care—the way you operate your practice. If you give these matters the attention they deserve, it will go a long way in keeping you out of court. Let’s look at what you can do to reduce the potential risk. more »

 

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