Consultant Life

I had this idea….

What if all physicians and nurses were independent consultants. I worked out of a hospital for ten years, made them millions, and wasn’t treated like a human. Meanwhile, as a consultant I get to feel like Jamie Bond.

I get an email, they ask if I’m interested in an assignment, and I get to pick if I am. I’ve never been treated nicer by leadership. There’s kindness and teamwork. It does feel a bit like a witness protection program for being a doctor. You go to different places, and it’s almost like you’re stepping into someone else’s life for awhile. Anyone see Quantum Leap? Kind of like that…

The employers know you are a free agent, and can go elsewhere. There is mutual respect. If everyone did this systems and leaders would be forced to listen to concerns, or at the very least pretend to care. You can have long term relationships, but wouldn’t be bound by non-competes, which I really believe has given systems the ability to treat physicians however they want.

I guess the alternative would just be… people being kind and treating others like human beings and not property. It’s a thought.


How medical careers are like argyle sweaters

This post originally appeared on Kevin MD

Working in health care, going through medical school and residency, changes who you are.  We invest so much of ourselves and our potential futures into accomplishing board certification.  Once we achieve this feat, we often live in fear of one day losing what we have achieved.  After all, many of us have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of dollars, relationships, friendships, marriages, the ability to have children, joys of life, our 20s, and many will start asking ourselves, why?

We find ourselves in a situation where we are so afraid that something else will be “worse” that we cling to situations that are toxic.  I recently came to the realization that I was so afraid I wouldn’t get another opportunity, or business connection, that I was clinging to people and places that were actively harming me.  I was so conditioned that I didn’t deserve better and would likely have nothing if I didn’t cling to the bird in my hand.  However, we deserve better.  It’s a fallacy we tell ourselves.  There will always be someone else to do business with, another potential partner, or a volunteer opportunity.

When I was a senior in college, I had many life changes, as we all do.  I had no money to buy fancy clothes, so I invested in one suit and one argyle sweater to wear either with the suit or without.  I also am tall and awkward-shaped, so when I found clothes I looked reasonably good in, I clung to them.  I’m sure many can relate to wanting to feel confident going into interviews and other big events.

I wore this outfit to medical school interviews, fancy restaurants, when I got engaged to be married, and when I graduated college.  My argyle sweater from J. Crew was a staple of my need to appear like I had everything together and was successful.  It was part of the image I was trying to project despite not having any money and desperately trying to fit in.

Sometime during my fourth year of medical school, the sweater was attacked by moths.  The blue arms had multiple holes; it wasn’t salvageable.  I was clearly not going to wear this item to my clerkship rotations.  However, I couldn’t get rid of it, and it sits in a drawer to this day.

The sweater served me for years; I was still unreasonably attached to this material item even though it was damaged.  This feels very symbolic of what we are going through in health care today.  We are attached to how we used to do things.  We stay in toxic and damaged work environments because there is fear that we won’t find better deep down.  Maybe the next place will fit worse.  Despite the moth-eaten holes, maybe this was the best I could do and get.  And I spent $78 on this sweater, which was an astronomical price for me then, much like medical training is an investment of money and time that we don’t want to part with.

The fear and insecurity associated with change stay with us.  There are, in fact, other argyle sweaters.  And maybe they will fit better and be easier to slip over a button-down shirt.  If we continue to allow ourselves to be stuck in how things were, we won’t ever find where we belong.  We will continue to be trapped in the status quo of a damaged system that doesn’t serve us.

Great Grandma

My Great Grandmother was trying to feed her two kids, while in The Great Depression. She was pregnant, and knew they couldn’t afford to feed the children. She had an abortion, which was done in an unsafe manner, and she died. She had uncontrolled bleeding. She was doing what she thought would help her family survive poverty. My Grandmother, and her sister, were then raised by family, because their Dad had to travel to find whatever work he could, wherever it existed.

As an OBGYN I see many reasons why women have abortions. I have had many women with desired and planned pregnancies have terminations for their survival, lethal anomalies, and more. This issue isn’t one that should be addressed by individuals without a healthcare background, it’s nuanced, complex, and needs to be based on conversations between doctors and their patients. We will see more people die from complications of pregnancy, and from illegally obtained abortions if we continue on this path.

Thankful I’m attending
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in the fall for my MSL.

Megan RanneyArianna Gianakos DO

#healthcare#doctors#safety#patientsafety#people#leadershipAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)


Let’s talk about the doctor shortage…. Changing the training isn’t going to help.

1. We need a culture of safety and support. Moral injury is a real thing, and causing people to leave.
2. There shouldn’t be medical school debt. The studies show predominantly affluent people go to medical school. Why? I still have debt. People who don’t have family support will be in debt for decades. We won’t get a diversity of opinions. We will continue to protect the status quo
3. It shouldn’t be a financial hardship to even apply to medical school or residency. I took separate loans out in order to fly around the country interviewing
4. Medical schools, like University of MN, could afford to make medical school free, but they don’t. This would allow the top performers to be selected.
5. There should be more residency spots opened up. Every year we have thousands of American medical graduates go unmatched. Meaning, we have MDs that can’t get into training programs.
6. Culture of silence and abuse.
7. We refuse to be innovative, or recruit people that may change the status quo.
8. The leadership makeup. No one wants to go into an industry where they won’t be taken seriously, or have a chance at moving forward in their career. 12 percent of healthcare CEOs are women. Women don’t even makeup the leadership roles in Women’s health. This is going to get worse post pandemic and with the advent of more private equity involvement and for profit healthcare. Only 2 percent of VCs are women.

….. changing how we “train” medical students is not a solution. We have systemic issues. We refuse to look at the racism and sexism that is rampant in healthcare. This training plan is putting a bandaid on a hemorrhage. Until we actually care about what’s causing: burnout, depression, physician and nurse suicide, and people to leave healthcare, we won’t solve anything.


Physician Shortages

At a time when more doctors are leaving then ever before, more then 70 percent are burned out, and an estimated 75 percent may leave in the next 5 years…

Shortages will only get worse, we continue to force physicians out, we haven’t increased residency match spots, and continue to saddle people with loans. Link to study