After four years of college, four more in medical school, two years as a Visiting Fellow at the NIH, seven (7) grueling years as neurosurgery resident, and 15 years in small specialty practice I threw caution to the wind and joined a multi-specialty practice as their first neurosurgeon. I don't think my story is unique. In the recent newsletter from CANS, (http://www.cans1.org), one expert stated that solo and small group neurosurgical practices would soon be a thing of the past. Late 2008/early 2009, I was already aware that I needed to get ahead of the curve on this trend. My immediate specialty community is highly competitive and perhaps overcrowded. Being 50, I knew I had to be able to sustain my practice for another decade so when the fastest growing, most professionally competent multi-specialty group showed interest in recruiting me-it seemed a great opportunity.
What have I given up? Some autonomy, lots of administrative responsibility, working with some treasured employees, and perhaps some of my hard won referral base.
What have I gained? Well honestly, I am just one week into this but I already know that I will be spending a more time being a neurosurgeon and less being a paper-pusher. This is a definite win-win for my patients. I feel like I am riding the wave of medicine's future.
I am sure I will have more to say on this subject in the fullness of time.