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Friday Jan 31, 2014

Fresh Perspectives Offers Platform for New-to-Practice Physicians

During my first few weeks in practice after completing residency, it was odd to not have anyone looking over my shoulder. When I wrote a prescription, there was no one to question, "Are you sure that's what you want to do?" When I ordered a test, it was up to me to follow up.

Although the other physicians in my practice were supportive, I had the sense that it really was just me now. I was a real doctor, and I had to make my own decisions. It's a new, different feeling when you don't have to have someone else checking your chart. It was overwhelming and a little bit scary.

 Kisha Davis, M.D., M.P.H., is the new physician member of the AAFP Board of Directors.

On the other hand, I knew I was well trained. And after a few weeks, my confidence started to grow. Each time I saw one of my patients getting better, there was reassurance that I was doing something right. Certainly, there were times when I questioned my judgment -- in fact, I still have those days -- but that keeps me motivated to continue learning and improving my skills to be able to provide the best possible care for my patients.

In residency, I learned that you have to know where to go when you don't know the answers. That could mean asking colleagues for advice or consulting the AAFP's website and journals or other sources.

Starting today, new physicians have one more resource available from the Academy. This new blog -- Fresh Perspectives: News Docs in Practice -- will be written by a group of new physicians who were selected based on recommendations from AAFP leaders and members as well as Academy staff who work directly with our membership segment.

The blog will give new physicians a platform to offer our own fresh perspectives on the challenges and issues we face and also to share our successes. Through the comments field, our new physician peers -- many of whom likely are dealing with similar issues -- also can join the dialogue and offer their own stories and suggestions. We hope that our more experienced family physician colleagues will provide their own knowledge and insights as well.

The new physicians we will be hearing from -- all of whom completed residency in the past three years -- represent different parts of the country and different practice types and have diverse backgrounds and interests. The blog will offer an opportunity for members to find, and talk to, other members who are in similar practice types and also to hear different perspectives on the issues we face.

Here are the new physicians who will be contributing to the blog:

  • Michael Brackman, D.O., Fort Hood, Texas;
  • Helen Gray, M.D., Reno, Nev.;
  • Megan Guffey, M.D., M.P.H., Tacoma, Wash.;
  • Kyle Jones, M.D., Salt Lake City;
  • Margaux Lazarin, D.O., M.P.H., Bronx, N.Y.;
  • Beth Loney Oller, M.D., Stockton, Kan.;
  • Amy McIntyre, M.D., M.P.H., Butte, Mont.;
  • Heidi Meyer, M.D., San Diego;
  • Peter Rippey, M.D., Marshall, Mo.;
  • Gerry Tolbert, M.D., Burlington, Ky.;
  • Jennifer Trieu, M.D., Seattle; and
  • Meshia Waleh, M.D., Columbia, S.C.

You can receive notifications when new blogs are posted by providing your email address under the "sign up" header in the right-hand column of the blog's home page. In the coming weeks, we will address a variety of topics, including the growing percentage of family physicians who are employed, the challenge of starting a new practice, avoiding physician burnout, finding work/life balance and more. What topics would you like to see addressed in this forum?

Kisha Davis, M.D., M.P.H., is the new physician member of the AAFP Board of Directors.

Posted at 02:23PM Jan 31, 2014 by Kisha Davis, M.D.

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