× Women Physicians

Volunteering your medical services

More
12 years 11 months ago #23087 by RSMomMD
Hi DrEthiope,

I've been following your thoughts this past week or so. I'm sorry I haven't logged on--we're moving and it's crazy packing. I have been volunteering at a female adolescent gyn clinic for the past year. I have paid my retirement tail in my state and have not been working a paying job. My former malpractice insurance co. let me buy a $48/year "free clinic policy". I have to agree that it is a very rewarding experience. I too fantasize of being a completely volunteer doc and making money in some other way. We are moving across the country to live in the mountains (in 2 weeks!). I am going to work a much lower paying job at Planned Parenthood. I too want to work in a job that I feel makes a difference and for an organization I believe in. I'm very excited. I checked into all kinds of international volunteer options, but I have a young son and feel this is the best choice for my family. I say go for it--you will figure it out and I wish you all the luck. Did you look at that family planning fellowship I mentioned before? It includes an MPH and has various emphases available including international medicine. It would really be right up your alley and in academia.
You asked me before if I got to residency and felt like an outsider. I don't know if that's the word I would pick. I felt like it maybe wasn't a good fit, but I felt like I was trapped. I know now that the unpredictablility of Ob/gyn is not for me. Like you, I am a person of ideas and probably too empathetic. (I'm an INFJ). I'm hoping to fulfill my need for discussion of thoughts and ideas through the integrative medicine fellowship I mentioned earlier.
Well, gotta pack more boxes. Good luck. Keep letting us know here how things are progressing. This forum has been incredibly helpful to me this past year as well. It's full of ideas and it's also good to know I'm not the only one who is trying to find a new path in medicine. Thanks to everyone for your openness!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 11 months ago #23088 by DrEthiope
RSMomMD,

$48 per year! I hope my insurance company offers something like that.

As I read your answer to the outsider thing, I thought that I may be being a little overly dramatic about that. I had very good friends in residency in both my specialty and in others. I think what happened is that the 3rd years the year I came in were these psychotic, really, really mean people. Since I only knew my situation it was hard to know if this was residency in general or unique to my situation. I just couldn't imagine how you could gather four such malignant people in one year (there were five total - one of them was actually ok). The residents in the years before and after them were also fine, but that one group was so bad they tainted everything else. The attendings were pretty benign if uninterested.

I guess what I'm talking about is that I knew pretty quickly that I wasn't as interested in the subject and the work as many of the others were. My mind wanted to be on other things (but it was the same old story of feeling trapped because I owed too much money, I thought, to stop).

I haven't checked out the family planning fellowship yet, but it sounds like it would involve some clinical medicine. Do you know if that's the case?

The more I research the more interested I'm becoming in bioethics. I'm setting up a meeting with someone at the Georgetown department to ask more questions and I plan to attend their conference in June. Right now, it seems to be down to bioethics and writing although I don't see the two as separate but compatible options.

Interestingly, just a week or so before I started doing research on bioethics I was saying to myself something that I had vaguely thought about before - that I would love to get involved with the issues of global warming or alternatives to the use of animals in research (I'm already a member of an organization that works with the latter, and could probably get involved with that at some paid level), but I had no idea how I would be able to move from what I'm doing now to environmental work. And, I didn't want to get involved just at the level of the health effects of global warming.

Well, lo and behold, as I started investigating bioethics I found that environmental issues are included under the umbrella of issues that they deal with. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could possibly get involved in environmental issues if I go the bioethics route. That made it look more appealing to me.

What has become very apparent to me is that I need variety. I need something that will allow me to work on one project for a period of time then another later, and so on.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 11 months ago #23089 by alternativeMD

Originally posted by DrEthiope:
RSMomMD,

$48 per year! I hope my insurance company offers something like that.

Well DrEthiope

The stars must be aligned in your favor then. In Virginia, if you volunteer, there is no malpractice liability! My colleague (IM) who works at the Arlington Free Clinic does not pay any insurance. Whether it's true for OB-GYN, I don't know. You could probably find out about this through the State Licensing Board.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 11 months ago #23090 by DrEthiope
Hey...maybe it's a sign. :)

That would be great. And, I'm thinking probably of outpatient clinic type of volunteering, so hopefully it won't be any different.

Do you know if the fact that your friend doesn't have to pay any malpractice is because doctors have immunity against being sued while doing volunteer work or they just don't have to be insured but can still to sued.

So, I assume she just keeps her license and board certification up-to-date, do you know?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 11 months ago #23091 by alternativeMD

Originally posted by DrEthiope:


Do you know if the fact that your friend doesn't have to pay any malpractice is because doctors have immunity against being sued while doing volunteer work or they just don't have to be insured but can still to sued.

So, I assume she just keeps her license and board certification up-to-date, do you know?

The former.
See link.
www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/12455.html

You're still liable for "gross negligence."

Since your professional credential and life savings are on the line, I'd confirm and confirm again preferably in writing.
I'd probably contact the State Medical Board, and the Arlington Clinic directly.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 11 months ago #23092 by DrEthiope
Ok, thanks alternativeMD.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: TexasRoseellieresidentmomefex101
Time to create page: 0.204 seconds
Find us on Facebook!
Find us on Twitter!
Find us on Pinterest!