PracticeLink Magazine

Winter 2019

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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PracticeLink.com W INTER 2019 55 the Q uality of life issue with in conference or the same shift schedule? Would they listen to me as an attending? Could I be effective?" He also had to figure out new relationships with his staff, since he became an assistant medical director following his last day of residency. A llen says he worked through these challenges by modeling the traits of an attending faculty member whom he had always appreciated and respected. He always tried to be the first to see patients, so he could take advantage of teachable moments. He also took the time to review charts and send regular feedback emails on performance. "I made a conscious decision to be effective over being popular," explains Allen. He adds that transitioning to his new role as medical director has taken time. Some faculty members embraced him with open arms while others waited for him to prove himself. "One of the ways I did that was to focus on standardization of practice with evidence- based protocols and pathways," says Allen. By working to improve provider satisfaction and patient care, he earned other faculty members' respect. Joining a family practice The opportunity to join a family practice is what attracted Drew Schmucker, M.D., back to his hometown of Olney, Illinois. "I was attracted to the idea of practicing in a small town so that I could have the scope of practice I wanted," says Schmucker. "I do both inpatient and outpatient medicine as well as o B." Schmucker graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Memorial Hospital of South Bend in Indiana before joining Carle Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney as a family practitioner. Carle Richland is a not- for-profit facility, part of the Carle Health System, which serves eight southeastern Illinois counties with a population of over 109,000 individuals. Schmucker says there were quite a few advantages to heading home. Being close to family and friends was a big one. "I spent a lot of time away from home, family and friends because of school and residency," he recalls. "I missed some birthdays, weddings, family get- togethers, etc." Now that he's closer, he says it's been great to be present at these special events. And it's nice to have family around since he and his wife now have a 10-month-old. As a family practitioner, Schmucker has patients ranging from newborns to adults, and he offers obstetrics services to expecting patients. Practicing medicine in a town as small as Olney has given him the chance to diversify his skills and connect with his patients. When he started his career there, one of his biggest concerns was getting too busy, since there was such a great need for primary care in the area. He says he was afraid of getting overrun with too many patients and too much call, especially because he wanted to have a broad scope of practice. But those fears have been put to rest. "I've been really fortunate to have a great first year of practice so far," Schmucker says. "The hospital system I work for keeps my office running smoothly, and there is a great group of doctors here to share call with." He says it helped that he knew some of his office staff before he began working with them. They have developed close-knit relationships and have a lot of fun while seeing patients. Schmucker has also noticed he has a lot of flexibility working for a small hospital in a small town. If there are ever any problems with workflow or patient care, he says it's easy to find the right person to talk to and get the issue resolved. "I love taking care of patients here," he raves. "Oftentimes, people have been waiting to get in for appointments or driving out of town. It's so rewarding to deliver good care in a place where it is really needed." Patients are very appreciative of his work, and Schmucker says in some cases, these

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