Here we go again! Twenty-five years ago, as a freshly minted board-certified dermatologist, I hung a shingle on a brand new solo practice on Central Ave. in Scarsdale. Things were simpler then. All I needed was a phone line and pager (!), a word processor (!) and fax machine (!), an exam table, a light, a few medical supplies, and paper and pen. One of my mentors advised me to choose where I wanted to live and open my office nearby. He told me not to worry about competition. "If you build it, they will come.". And come, they did.
As government interventions, computers, and electronic medical records (EMR) came into being, practice became complicated. After twenty years as a solo practitioner, I made the decision to join a group, and when that group was subsumed by the hospital, I joined another. After five years working in groups, I have come to the certain realization that solo and simple and smaller was better for my patients, and for me. So here I am, starting a solo practice on Central Ave.--deja vu all over again.
I am doing my best to keep this practice as simple as possible. While the EMR is still a "frenemy" to me, I know I must embrace it. I'm pretty sure computers are here to stay. I am taking some delight in the myriad ways that technology has facilitated the possibility of solo practice again, and in the sheer contrast of starting a practice in 1994 vs. starting one in 2019.
The best part of this journey, of course, has been the people. I remember fondly (and keep in touch with) the co-workers who have accompanied me on this adventure (special shout-out to Nancy), I cherish the family and friends who have been indefatigably supportive, and I appreciate the patients who faithfully follow me through time and space. I love taking care of people, and despite all the nonsense surrounding the medical industry today, it all boils down to that. It is a privilege to be a physician, and I look forward to many more years of (solo!) practice.