54. How to Jump Ship and Practice Medicine on Your Own Terms, with Dr. Kathleen Brown

The healthcare system continues to inflict “moral injury” on physicians, causing burnout, depression, or apathy. And, built as it is on a mountain of debt, the edifice may also not provide any long term security for those who choose to remain on board. Yet the prospect of jumping ship may seem daunting to many.

Our guest today shares with us her personal story of how she did abandon the titanic and forged for herself a successful path to professional sanity.

Kathleen M. Brown, MD, obtained her medical degree from the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine and practiced dermatology and internal medicine for several years in Maryland. In 1997, she and her family moved to the coast of Oregon to join a multi-specialty group of which she was a partner in the group until mid-2011. This group was a good fit but the administrative and financial burdens of the system were increasingly taking a toll on her enjoyment of medicine.

After passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, she saw that continuing to stay within an insurance-contracted system would make her style of medical practice impossible. In July, 2011, with help from her husband, Jack, she opened a direct pay Dermatology practice with a transparent fee schedule. Within a month of opening she had a full schedule and a restored sense of professional satisfaction.

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