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Reentering after extended absence; hire a lawyer?

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1 year 8 months ago #96779 by Dorothy
I am attempting to reenter medicine as a critical care attending after being away from clinical practice for many years. I have several critical care attendings willing to supervise/oversee my return and I have done over 80 hours of shadowing with them. However, the hospital credential committee will not OK the plan. I have tried many roads; I am wondering if anyone knows if I should look into hiring a lawyer to advocate for me. This was actually suggested by an administrative MD at the hospital...

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1 year 8 months ago #96781 by sahmd
It is nice that you have some very supportive colleagues, but I'm sorry you are getting so much resistance from the credential committee. Do they have by-laws that address re-entry at all? Have they given you a reason that they will not OK the plan? Do they have an alternative plan that they want you to follow, or is it just no?

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1 year 7 months ago #96782 by Dorothy
Thank you for replying. The good news is that the credential committee hasn't said a hard "No", they have tabled my application for the moment due to my long absence. They have no by-laws that address reentry (that I or anyone I am working with knows of) and certainly no precedent. I feel like I am on the outside, trying to get in. I need someone on the administrative inside who knows the "politics", as I have several MD's working - so far unsuccessfully - on my behalf who have also been stymied. I'd like to hire someone to advocate for me; I am uncomfortable asking these very busy MD's to do more.

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1 year 7 months ago #96786 by sahmd
I have no idea whether it would be helpful to hire a lawyer -- sorry, I have no experience with that -- but it does sound good that they probably don't have any by-laws preventing you from joining. You should be able to get a copy of the by-laws at the hospital if you don't know for sure what is in there.

I have another question. Is there a way that you could do your re-entry at another hospital that is more open minded, and then return to your hospital as an active physician? Of course it would be nicer to re-enter at the hospital where you have already made arrangements with your colleagues, but in the meantime it might be good to look around and see if there are other options. You may even find you like the new place better (that has happened).

You may want to check out this blog -- www.reentryphysician.com/ -- by a physician who re-entered after a long absence, despite many obstacles. It is an encouraging story, and she has a lot of good information in there about re-entry in general.

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1 year 7 months ago - 1 year 7 months ago #96788 by Dorothy
Interesting idea about looking at the bylaws. I'm not sure how to obtain them, but I will certainly look into that.
I have considered another hospital system. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone - don't have an "in" - in the other systems in my immediate vicinity. I know there are openings for Intensivists, though. I cannot tell you how many times I have attempted to construct an introductory cover letter that would not be immediately thrown in the trash by a prospective employer. I will need to find out who is in charge - Medical Staff Director? ICU Director? - and present myself somehow in person. I have also considered seeking a hospitalist position and working my way into the ICU.
I have read the reentryphysician blog. 21 months and over $30,000! but at least she was ultimately successful. Gives me some hope when I'm feeling most frustrated.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by Dorothy. Reason: posted before I finished

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1 year 7 months ago #96789 by sahmd
The Medical Staff Office would probably have the by-laws.

It is good that there are openings for intensivists in your area. Some areas are saturated in a particular specialty and it would be harder for a less traditional applicant to have a chance. And working as a hospitalist is another good idea. I just spoke to an intensivist working as a hospitalist the other day.

Don't be discouraged by rejection. Sometimes it is just a numbers game. If you apply (or even reapply) to enough places, you can only increase your chances of finding something that is a good fit. Good luck!

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