Some corporate chains have been exploiting young family medicine (FM) specialists in the name of FM. They show little interest in your family medicine, once that contract is signed.
Dear all, a word of caution / alert:
Please take corporate ads offering “Family medicine careers” with a bucket of salt.
- Look into the credentials and past history of employers.
Look whether there is even ONE qualified family medicine specialist among the top management. If yes, then there may be hope.
Some simple, obvious clues:
If there is a non-practising doctor at the top, bad.
If its a non-doctor, MBA-kind among the tops, maybe worse.
What would they know about the real-life practice of family medicine, apart from what they may have heard, or read, or even imagined by themselves!
If most of the above criteria match, then you can safely assume what their business is about: Feel-good, commercial thrash disguised as family medicine.
A non-doctor MBA at the top of any healthcare system usually screams out that it’s a full-out commercial circus: Little of science, and no scope for art.
Medicine is a science as well as an art, remember?
So avoid any place that is all-out commerce. You’ll feel rotten from within as time passes.
Are they employing innocent doctors in the guise of FM to do only corporate health check-ups, manage coughs and colds? And to simply serve as patient feeders to bigger corporate hospitals, from where there is a kickback arrangement in place?
Are those patients going to be “your” patients?
Really? Will you ever get a chance to say that aloud?
Then where is even the chance to practice “family” medicine?!
- Never forget to to enquire about the place with past employees: they’re most likely to be frank and honest with reviews. [Exclude me please- I won’t give any hint to where I got my hard lessons from; so please catch someone else 😉 ]
.Asking the current employees may be tricky; they usually get brokerage money (“special incentive” in corporate lingo) from their bosses for every doctor they suck into their system.
Ask: “Did they keep the pre-employment promises about the nature or timing of work?” – as promised in their ads or pre-placement talks?
Ask: “Have there been any relevant, useful and adequate training opportunities”? …. You may be very upset at the answers you get-if they’re frankly revealed, that is.
- Look into their websites for how many of their so-called FM doctors actually have a recognized FM qualification.If one of their existing doctors have posted a job offer ad online or in social media, what are the credentials of the person who posted it? Is he/she a qualified FM..? If the ad is about such places, its unlikely that the person who posted it has any background in FM.Knowing my fraternity pretty well, I can safely say that even today, an FM person is unlikely to intentionally cheat a fellow FM doctor.
If they have unqualified, or irrelevantly qualified, or “1-year online diploma in FM” (i.e. otherwise hopeless) certificate holders portrayed as “highly qualified” and “FM specialists”, it means they are cheating the public.
If they portray pediatricians or internists or gynecologists or pathologists as “highly qualified family medicine specialists”, it’s again open cheating. Worse, most likely you’ll be paid lesser than them, because you have been subtly but daily brain-washed into believing your “inferiority”.
But how come? How does a genuinely qualified FM specialist, with a broad range of expertise in holistic primary care, get paid any lesser than a pediatrician, or an internist, whose scope is severely restricted, in a “family medicine” or primary care set-up?
Beats logic, isn’t it?
But here lies the very loud message: They won’t hesitate to cheat YOU, either.
- Check out their service reviews, or customer reviews. (Not in their own website, of course, where you’ll find only goodie-goodie awesome stuff)
5. Think twice before migrating to a totally new city for such a job.
For, if you don’t like the place, it’ll become a torturous hell .
Not only for you, but also for your own family.
So think – not twice, but many, many more times, before jumping to “what a good offer for someone like me!”.
6. DO NOT COMPROMISE ON YOUR OWN SELF RESPECT…..
Hmm…. OK, don’t compromise too much 🙂
DO NOT SETTLE FOR BELOW PAR SALARY BELIEVING THAT YOU WON’T GET ANYTHING BETTER ANYWHERE ELSE.
Some of them offer salaries as if you have applied for the post of a …… never mind.
If they tell you “See, we have this chap who’s your senior who is working for peanuts, so we’ll give you the same, since you won’t get anything better anywhere else”, then well….. that senior has either been fooled, or has no aspirations in life, or wants to settle in that locality only for some reason and has some better plan, or… is a selfish plain loser who stupidly spoilt the job scenario for deserving people like you.
NEVER let them exploit your desperation at the start of your career.
7. Finally, keep this universal rule in mind:
THOSE YOU LOOK, THOSE WHO WAIT, THOSE WHO’RE REALLY GOOD, GET REASONABLY GOOD PLACEMENTS, including some excellent ones overseas.
Nearly every doctor has a passing phase of struggle at the start of a new practice- may it be internal medicine, neuro, cardio, whatever.
Struggles are not restricted to FM.
Nor is struggle new to us.
With care and patience, each one of us has reached reasonably happy places 🙂 🙂
You may also be interested in this article regarding corporate job scenarios for FM, published in the Journal Of Family Medicine and Primary Care: Click here.
If something looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
One who learns from own mistakes becomes wise.
One who learns from others’ misadventures is wise AND lucky.
All the best!
With inputs from Dr Shantanu Rahman, GP, NHS, UK.
Disclaimer: This article not against corporates in general. There are several corporates clinics/ major hospitals actually supporting good primary care and its doctors with better intentions. The aim of this article is to alert you to the 100% commercial frauds who are abusing the name of this wonderful specialty and it’s doctors.