Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Plans for the Future

For a long time, I've thought about where the best use of my God-given skills and education lies. How can I provide the best care to women, the best example to my peers, and the best remedy to our culture?

I want to be a doctor to the whole person and that includes maintaining education in primary care areas as well as in OB and gynecology. I also think having an in-house NFP teacher, in-house dietician, and in-house psychologist (IPS, anyone?) would be excellent. A multispecialty group practice appeals to me, so that whatever practice I have can be a patient-centered medical home.

Of course, part of the future is offering women's healthcare in accord with Catholic teaching, which is to say to offer the best women's healthcare. Perhaps I would imitate Mystical Rose or Caritas Complete Women's Care or the Vitae Clinic with my own private practice. Maybe I would imitate Tepeyac Family Center/Divine Mercy Care and become an ACO.

St. Guiseppe Moscati, doctor to the poor
(well, the very romanticized movie version)
Also, I see many groups of women who are frequently forgotten: the uninsured, the illegal immigrants and refugees, religious, the abused, former prostitutes and drug addicts, the incarcerated, and the difficult. I want to find and care for these women, even though I might have trouble keeping the lights on!

Becoming a subspecialist in a maternal-fetal-medicine (MFM) also appeals to me. As an MFM, I could operates on the unborn, work with infertile couples, and take care of very high-risk pregnancies, also appeals to me. I have this dream of showing people how human the unborn are, how like us and how worthy of attention they are. What if we could re-implant babies who implanted in the wrong place? What if we could treat things like Potter's syndrome? (What if we could pull out all the "medical reasons" for abortion?) There are other advantages to this idea, too: my refusal to prescribe contraceptives and refer for abortions might irk fewer colleages if I was in MFM and had fewer occasions to do these things.

♪  MFM  ♪
But as much as I like the MFM dream, a subspecialty (long fellowships, expensive services) take me a little away from the poor. So I always thought I would have to choose: to serve the poor in those impoverished or those unborn. But what if these didn't conflict?

If I started a women's healthcare center and used midlevel professionals (NPs and PAs) and allied health (nurses, MAs, psychologists, social work, and dieticians) to establish a large group of primary care and OB/GYN providers for women, we could serve the poor and offer cutting-edge infertility and prenatal service with excellent gynecology. That's the future I'm working for now. (Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go study for a shelf exam so that people don't laugh in my face when I say I want to do a surgical subspecialty.)

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