Dwight Enys is a fictional doctor during the American War of Independence who plays a prominent role in the BBC Series “Poldark”. Like all 18th century doctors, he has little beyond blood letting and snake oil to offer his patients. In particular, patients with “putrid throat” (diphtheria) die at an alarming rate under his care.
Enys changed his practice from Virginia in 1781 and moved to Cornwall to study lung disease in miners who worked in Ross Poldark’s mines.
Like Dr. Enys, I am changing practice location.
The following letter was sent to all my patients this week announcing that I was leaving my practice at St. Luke’s Hospital:
I am sorry to tell you that I am leaving my practice at CSSL and my last day will be August 7, 2020. I treasure the experience that I have had at St. Luke’s primarily because of the opportunity you have given me to share in your lives and provide your cardiac care. For me, these relationships with my patients and this service is what makes, and will continue to make, being a physician a fulfilling and satisfying profession.
These are difficult, stressful and rapidly changing times and, I sincerely regret If this announcement adds to your stress.
I hope to have the opportunity to have a visit with most of you before I depart St. Luke’s. If you are not already scheduled and would like to schedule a visit to review your situation prior to my departure please let Coleen know at 3145427694. I have expanded my office hours to accommodate this and after 6/20 we can do these both by telemedicine or in office visits.
My life has been immeasurably improved by my interactions with you by learning, sharing and teaching and I thank you from the bottom of my skeptical cardiologist’s heart.
I hope you all prosper and persevere through these difficult times and go on to be happy with long, healthful lives.
I’m not retiring and will be working as a clinical cardiologist in a different practice in St. Louis beginning September 1, 2020. Unlike Dr. Enys, I’ll not be researching miner’s lungs (or hearts), and I will have many effective remedies in my pharmacologic armamentarium.
When a physician leaves a medical practice he/she is generally obligated to notify patients of the change and provide mechanisms for their ongoing care. Details on how this should be done vary by state, and Missouri has no laws in this area. The letter that went out to my patients emphasizes that the remaining physicians in my group will be available to take over my patients’ care.
My patients have the option of staying with my practice group or transferring their care to another practice.
Feel free to share any experiences you have had dealing with practice-changing doctors and their practices.
N.B. Consumer Reports has an article on changes that patients should be aware of when their doctor joins a new practice here and the Washington Post has an interesting article on some of the issues that doctors and patients face when a doctor moves from one group to another here.
As always I can be reached at DRP@theskepticalcardiologist.com with any questions.