rheumatology

A Rheumatologist Wrestles to Keep her Patients First

Navigating the maze of managing and maintaining a medical practice today is increasingly difficult. Often, I wish that on any given day I could see my patients, collect a reasonable amount of money for my service, pay my staff and myself, and go home. But practicing medicine has become much more complex than that. Between insurance hassles, demands for medical offices to become "paperless," decreasing reimbursement rates, and multitudes of forms to fill out for essentially everything, the challenge to stay focused on patient care escalates.

I love taking care of patients. And I actually love the business end of practicing medicine. That is why I continue to have a solo, subspecialty practice after 25 years. But I must admit that I didn't anticipate so much change in how I practice medicine at this point in my career. So now I look forward to tackling the new hurdles of being a self-employed doctor as I continue to connect with and hopefully help the person who sits in front of me---even if a computer sits between us.

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To Work in the Shade of a Wide Umbrella

Reader, welcome to this blog's first post. I hope you find the blog informative, insightful, interesting, (and other things that don't necessarily begin with the prefix "in"). We'll cover a lot of territory here. 

So, we begin with Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the famous 19th-century French impressionist who worked for over 60 years and created beauty (some claim he painted about 6000 pictures) all the while living with Rheumatoid Arthrtitis. 

Fortunately, 21st-century artists who live with RA have unbelievably more treatments available to them than Renoir; but it's not the thought of Rheumatoid Arthritis I want to leave with you. Rather, it's the thought of Renoir's "can-do" spirit that impresses me. We can hardly expect to live our lives without disease—and we have little control over that. Perhaps all we can control is how we structure healthy, productive days while living with the diseases that will accompany us. 

I encourage all of those living with disease,  and you, too, Reader, to seek fresh air, to work in the shade of a wide umbrella, to feel the comfort of a blanket draped across the shoulders, and to wear fashionable hats. And to do beautiful work.

Notice how Renoir holds his brush cupped between his twisted hands. Remain inventive. 

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