President’s Message

August 2018

Scope of Practice – A Way to Find More Joy?

Dr. Ramona Seidel, MD, FAAFP

As my husband and I headed to the airport one recent Friday afternoon, I remarked that my last two patients were from opposite ends of life: a 2-week-old girl followed by a 93-year-old woman.  It was a good day.

In speaking with Maryland family physicians, I learn that many operate essentially as internists, seeing only adults and rarely doing office procedures or gynecologic care.

How many of us do hospital work, home visits, deliver babies, see patients in the ER, or do office procedures?  In our quest for improved work/life balance we may have contributed to burnout phenomenon.  A recent Annals of Family Medicine article suggests narrow scope of practice is a factor in burn out among new family medicine graduates.

Might we also experience more joy if we saw more children, placed more LARC’s, removed more skin lesions?

I certainly celebrate inside when a member of a multi-generational family comes for an office visit.  It is always a good day when a healthy baby is on my schedule, but my joy is multiplied when I know that baby’s mother, grandmother and great grandmother are also my patients.

So, when my husband asked about my day that Friday afternoon I had to say it was a good one!  The broad age range of patients on my schedule heightened my “joy in practice”.

What brings you joy in practice and how might you multiply that joy?


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