Close Your Medical Practice

Articles and Resources for Canadian Retiring, Relocating Physicians and Physician Estates

Changing Careers: Transitioning Out of Medicine is Easier Than You Think

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Life is all about new beginnings and new directions, so if you’ve been thinking about transitioning out of medicine into a second career before you retire, there may be no better time than the present to do so.

Everyone has hidden talents and a secret career that they’ve always dreamed about. There’s so much choice, that the paths to finding your bliss are virtually limitless.

Looking to channel your inner Iron Chef? Then why not launch that food truck you’ve been putting together in your head these last few years? Tricked-out trucks are all the rage and regularly attract lineups of famished foodies eager to sample exotic fare.

Photo of a doctor who enjoys fine food, preparing a gourmet dish, contemplating a second career.

What excites you now? Is it time to follow a new passion?

Moroccan tacos? Vietnamese noodle soups? Israeli/Mediterranean tapas? The menu is limited only by your imagination. Buy a truck, finalize a culinary theme, think up a clever name and you’re good to go.

You could start a catering company or launch a baked-goods business.

Fancy yourself the host with the most? Then why not open a bed and breakfast in the country (or city, for that matter)? We know of a couple of retired physicians who have done just that. Opportunities abound online — everything from freelance writing and craft-related businesses to consulting.

Now may be the ideal time to turn your untapped skills into gold and pursue a second career that will reignite your passion.

Seize the day. Your future starts now.

If concern for your patients is preventing you from transitioning out of medicine, don’t give it a second thought, because RSRS will make sure the transition goes super-smoothly.

Since 1997, RSRS has helped more than 1,000 physicians to properly notify patients, transfer their patient records and meet their record-storage obligations. Where possible, RSRS even helps patients find a new doctor.

With RSRS, your patients’ needs are our highest priority.

RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada. RSRS follows provincial guidelines for medical practice closure and patient record retention.

Our practice-closure services include:
• Patient Notification.
• Bankers Box Storage.
• EMR/Digital File Storage.
• Copying and Scanning.
• Patient Record Transfers and Retrievals (without prohibitive fees).
• Third-Party Transfers.
• Assistance with Equipment Sale/Donation.
• Patient Placement Assistance.

Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732, ext. 2 or visit our website.

New Book & Services Help Doctors Address Retirement Issues

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Retirement is the reward for a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. You’ve earned the right to hang up your stethoscope and enjoy the good life: travel, golf, pursue a favourite hobby or take up a new one, whatever turns your crank.

Not surprisingly, more than 75% of all retirees report retirement satisfaction.  But for those that struggle with retirement, adjusting to a life without work can pose challenges, everything from emotional and physical problems, to drug and alcohol addiction, to financial-planning issues. Even among doctors, this is not uncommon, nor should you feel that you have to go it alone.

Alan Roadburg's book, "Life After Medicine"

Dr. Roadburg’s book gathers the experiences and advice of 300 retired physicians.

If you’re retired, or you’re planning to retire and you are not feeling quite right about things, you should know that help is at hand. There are a variety of services, and even a book, available for your assistance and reassurance.

For example, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) offers, for its members, ePhysicianHealth.com, an online health and wellness resource designed to help doctors in their personal lives.

The site offers a constantly expanding menu of modules, each addressing an issue — for example, Anxiety; Depression, Burnout and Suicide; Substance Abuse Disorders; and Weight, Nutrition and Fitness — and each authored by a leading expert in physician health.

Each module introduces the topic; highlights the relevance of the topic to doctors; provides resources for dealing with the topic; and outlines next steps. Each module can be downloaded as a printable e-book.

In addition, the CMA provides a wealth and practice management service through its company, MD Physician Services.

Beyond that, a number of provincial medical associations offer programs that address subjects relevant to retired or soon-to-retire member doctors.

For example, the New Brunswick Medical Society offers an advocacy service for physicians featuring a 24-hour confidential hotline and helps identify those needing assistance, intervention and follow-up services. It also arranges referrals.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) offers confidential professional counselling and information services for all NLMA members through its inConfidence program. Work/life consultants are also available to offer support with a wide variety of issues.

NLMA also offers MDLink, a program that connects physician-patients with physician-providers.

At Doctors Nova Scotia, the Professional Support Program’s physician coordinators assess each doctor’s issues and, depending on the problem, can provide counselling or make a referral to the appropriate service, doctor or resource. There’s also a Business of Medicine Program designed to take the guesswork out of running a practice.

Alberta doctors can address mental health and family issues through the Alberta Medical Association’s Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP). The program offers general counselling and, on request, can provide education sessions about career transitions and retirement. Moreover, the PFSP can integrate medical treatment to address physical or mental illness.

In Saskatchewan, the provincial medical association’s Physician Health Program offers confidential referral, intervention and on-going support to physicians and their families. Consultation and advice are also available to doctors handling difficult interpersonal issues.

Through its team of clinical staff, the Ontario Medical Association’s (OMA) Physician Health Program and Professionals Health Program arrange appropriate assessment, treatment and program services available to address a wide range of problems experienced by physicians.

To dig deeper still, pick up a copy of Life After Medicine — Retirement Lifestyle Readiness. Written by Toronto-based author Alan Roadburg, PhD, the book features insights collected from research conducted among 300 retired physicians in the U.S. and Canada, including 180 retired OMA doctors. The book, which also offers Life Goal Planning self-help exercises, costs around $18 and is available online at Amazon and Chapters.

Since 1997, RSRS — the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada — has assisted hundreds of doctors with their medical practice closures and record storage obligations.

We offer a complete medical practice closure consulting service, and in most cases for Ontario Primary Care Doctors, we can offer full record scanning and storage services and more, at NO CHARGE.

Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

TELEMEDICINE: JUST THE (RETIREMENT) TICKET

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Recent blogs have addressed the issue of retirement. For some, “retirement” may be a four-letter word. But it’s not, and is, in fact, a stepping-stone to your life’s next chapter.

StehoscopeIf you’re considering retirement but still want to keep your hand in healthcare, consider telemedicine (medical diagnosis and patient care delivered via telephone or videoconference).

Telemedicine couldn’t be more convenient, since it can be done part-time or full-time, from home.

And with so many ongoing technological advancements, telemedicine is easier than ever. All it takes is a telephone and a reliable Internet connection.

Telemedicine opportunities abound — for example, in remote and under populated areas, where climate and geography pose challenges. In Ontario, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s telemedicine site is one of Canada’s busiest.

The Ontario Telemedicine Network, a leader in this area, provides patient care for strokes, traumas and burns, among other services.

Out west, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta’s website provides a gateway to telemedicine opportunities.

Since 1997, RSRS — the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada — has assisted hundreds of doctors with their medical-practice closures and record-storage obligations.

We offer a complete medical-practice closure consulting service, and in most cases for Ontario Primary Care Doctors, we can offer full record scanning and storage services and more, at NO CHARGE.

Our practice-closure services include patient notification, patient record transfers and retrievals, and assistance with equipment sale and donation.

Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

WHEN IS IT TIME FOR A DOCTOR TO RETIRE?

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How long can – or should – doctors practice before hanging up their stethoscope? It’s a delicate issue, fraught with issues such as the difficulty of accepting the idea of aging and the ingrained notion that retirement represents the end of a productive life.

But there’s a lot at stake. Physicians who continue practicing beyond a certain point will jeopardize patients’ lives.

scratchheadIt’s inevitable that clinical analysis, advanced mental functions, memory and the capacity to learn decline with age, a fact backed up by a number of studies.

Even the desire to learn can decline with age. There’s evidence that doctors who pursue continuing education keep their practice at a high level. Yet at least one study reveals that as doctors age, they’re less likely to participate in continuing education — professional suicide in a profession where the landscape is changing at warp speed.

Doctors need to be honest with themselves and know when to retire before health or competency issues force them to get out of the game. And in that scenario, no one — not the physician, not their patients and certainly not the healthcare system — wins.

Since 1997, RSRS — the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada — has assisted hundreds of doctors with their medical practice closures and record storage obligations.

RSRS offers a complete medical practice closure consulting service, and for Primary Care Doctors, RSRS can usually offer medical practice closure and patient record retention services at NO CHARGE.

Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

 

MANAGING RECORD STORAGE AND DISPOSAL

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With the million and one things on doctors’ plates every day, you’d think management of their medical files wouldn’t be uppermost in their minds.

Yet some of the questions most commonly asked by Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) members relate to their clinical records.

privacy150When a doctor has hired a service provider to manage the storage of their clinical files, the physician is still responsible for maintaining security according to privacy legislation and College requirements, notes the CMPA.

If a commercial provider stores the records, some Canadian jurisdictions have health-specific privacy laws requiring doctors to sign a written agreement with the provider. And even if it’s not required, it’s still a good idea.

Most colleges require that physicians inform their patients as to where their records are stored and how they may be accessed.

Once the retention period (which differs from province to province) has expired, records should be destroyed in a way that protects confidentiality, advises the CMPA.

For paper records, shredding and pulverization are effective. Incineration is no longer acceptable for environmental reasons.  To ensure security, effectiveness and compliance, it is recommended that a professional company manage the destruction of medical records.  In the case of electronic records, permanent deletion or irreversible erasure are good bets. Doctors must consider whether it’s necessary to destroy the original along with copies and back-up files.

Since 1997, RSRS has assisted hundreds of physicians with their record storage obligations. RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada and follows the guidelines for each Canadian province with respect to patient record retention.

Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our site.

 

 

RECORD-STORAGE HORROR STORY: AN OBJECT LESSON

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If there’s one thing this summer’s massive Alberta floods taught us, it’s that patient medical records can be damaged in the blink of an eye.

fly fishingPatient files undoubtedly considered safe were destroyed by the historic floodwaters, creating monumental challenges for Alberta doctors.

Not only would the destroyed files compromise patient healthcare, but the files themselves, if they were sitting in, or exposed to, sewage-contaminated water, posed a potential health hazard to doctors and those assisting them.

In fact, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta cautioned doctors to treat all damaged files as hazardous materials and advised them to wear N95 masks, goggles, protective clothing and gloves while handling them.

Furthermore, the College advised doctors to determine whether their files were recoverable or needed to be destroyed, and to arrange safe storage of recoverable files or safe destruction of unrecoverable files through processes that “maintain the confidentiality of file content.”

If doctors decided to destroy patient records, they had to document their rationale for doing so, by taking photographs of the file room and “representative sections of shelves to illustrate the condition of the files.”

What a mess — in every sense of the word.

And the sad fact is, in many cases such losses are completely preventable.

For 16 years Canada’s record-storage specialists, RSRS has offered comprehensive archival storage services to meet your needs.

RSRS has three long-term storage facilities, each fully secured, monitored and environmentally protected 24/7.

RSRS offers a full range of services, including retrieval and refile services by the box or by the file.

Call RSRS today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit RSRS.com.

RETIRING DOCTOR SPARKS PATHOLOGY CLOSURE

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Where are all the doctors? It’s a crucial question, since these days, physician shortages are widespread — and not without consequences.

In Bonnyville, Alta., for instance, Alberta Health Services (AHS) decided to close the hospital’s two-person pathology department rather than replace one of the retiring specialists.

According to media reports, AHS thought it would be too difficult to find a replacement pathologist and believed that a one-person department couldn’t handle the workload.

This will force the hospital to send biopsies to Edmonton, resulting in a two- to four-week wait for results, compared to the one to five days with the onsite pathologists.

Moreover, it will be difficult for the hospital’s medical staff to consult with pathologists about which lab tests to order or to discuss test results.

The closure of Bonnyville’s pathology department will likely affect patients. Similarly, closing a practice can have a significant impact on your patients.

Since 1997, RSRS has helped hundreds of doctors with medical-practice closures and record-storage obligations, minimizing the negative effects of practice closure on everyone affected. Whether you’re retiring, relocating or enquiring on behalf of a doctor’s estate, RSRS can help.

boxanddiskforemail150bRSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada and follows the guidelines for each Canadian province with respect to medical practice closure and patient record retention.

RSRS offers free services for a full-time primary care physician in Ontario, where RSRS is appointed custodian for the records, and facilitates all patient record transfer requests. RSRS also offers excellent rates for primary care physicians and specialists from all other provinces.

Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

 

 

 

How to Retire Gracefully

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A recent blog posed the question, “when is it time to retire”?

The hard truth is, declining physical and cognitive skills are an inevitable part of aging, so it’s crucial to hang up your stethoscope at the proper time, before competency or health issues force you to do so.

Study: a majority of retired doctors experienced better relationships with their spouses.

Plus, there’s evidence that doctors thrive in retirement. One 2003 U.S. study of 1,834 retired physicians and their spouses found that 88 per cent were content. Another U.S. study, published in 2001, reported that a majority of retired doctors experienced better relationships with their spouses.

So how to retire? For family physicians, changing to a more focused practice makes terrific sense. By narrowing their practice to concentrate only on their areas of expertise, older family doctors reduce their workload and ensure they continue to deliver quality care.

Aging family physicians who maintain a full workload invite increased scrutiny by medical regulating bodies — and risk being disciplined or even stripped of their license if their level of patient care slips.

And where’s the dignity in that?

Since 1997, RSRS — the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada — has assisted hundreds of doctors with their medical practice closures and record storage obligations.

We offer a complete medical practice closure consulting service, and in most cases for Ontario Primary Care Doctors, we can offer full record scanning and storage services and more, at NO CHARGE.

Call RSRS at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

The Doctor Shortage is No Laughing Matter

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Laughter is always the best medicine but the doctor shortage is no laughing matter in some areas.

Laughter is always the best medicine but the doctor shortage is no laughing matter in some areas.

A dancing doctor wearing a wig and cape? Facing a severe doctor shortage, the Ontario municipality of Chatham-Kent has produced a zany music video as a tool to recruit emergency room physicians.

Riffing hilariously on the hit song Sexy and I Know It, by U.S. electronic dance music duo LMFAO, the video, titled I’m an Emerg Doc and I Know It, features Chatham-Kent medical staff to drive home its recruitment message.

Sample lyric: “I’ve got passion in my scope and I’m not afraid to show it,” intoned by the wigged-out dancing doc.

In the video, patients communicate their ailments by way of signs held up for benefit of the mincing medic. To a driving dance beat, nurses pull back the curtain at each emerg-room bed and exclaim, “Doc look at that patient!”

Although the video effectively uses humor to deliver its message, Chatham-Kent’s doctor shortage is no laughing matter.

Just as the physician shortage in Chatham-Kent leaves area patients scrambling to find a new doctor, so, too, can closing a practice significantly affect your patients.  But there are ways to mitigate the impact that your closure has on your patients.  Proper advance notification, creative attempts at finding someone to assume the practice (or some of your more acute patients), and providing your patients with record information necessary for continuity of care, are just some of the steps you can take to help.

Since 1997, RSRS has assisted hundreds of physicians with their medical-practice closures, record storage obligations and a variety of other issues that come into play as a physician winds down. Whether you’re retiring, relocating or enquiring on behalf of a doctor’s estate, RSRS can help.

RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada and follows the guidelines for each Canadian province with respect to medical practice closure and patient record retention.

RSRS can often offer many or all of its services at no charge to a primary care doctor, where RSRS is appointed custodian for the records, and facilitates all patient record transfer requests. RSRS also offers excellent rates for specialists and services doctors across Canada.

Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 to learn more, or visit our website.

After Medical Practice Closure – A New Chapter

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retired doctor playing golfafter Medical Practice closure… a new chapter begins

So you’ve decided to hang up your stethoscope and close your medical practice.

Now what?

Far from being an end point, retirement marks a new beginning, a gateway to the exciting next chapter of your life.

If you want to indulge in a life of leisure — golf galore; exotic travel; pursuing your favorite hobby or taking up a new one — then go for it. You’ve worked damn hard to get to this point. Let the good times roll!

For some, nothing brings more pleasure at this stage than more time with extended family.

Or maybe you want to keep your hand in medicine, but on a more relaxed schedule — say, two to three days a week.

In that case, you could become a “locum tenens” doctor, essentially a fill-in or temporary physician hired as-needed (you’ll have some freedom to make your own schedule and the pay is pretty darn good!). Another option is part-time work at one of many walk-in clinics opening practically everywhere.  Name your hours and take no headaches home.  A Google search will turn up staffing agencies specializing in these sorts of placements.  You may also want to check the classifieds section of publications like The Medical Post, Ontario Medical Review, BC Medical Journal, and many more.

Or maybe consulting is more your thing. If so, you could act as a consulting doctor to a healthcare facility, freeing up their roster of practicing doctors to concentrate on patient care.

Law firms often seek doctors to provide expert testimony in legal cases, especially those involving contentious malpractice suits. Companies that specialize in making medical devices often need consultants to advise on new products. Medical industry publications will hire doctors to fact-check articles. And government organizations often call on doctors to consult on disability claims, to assess their legitimacy.

Or you could become a scribe-for-hire and contribute freelance articles to medical magazines and websites.

You could go the community service route and volunteer your medical services at free clinics. Thinking bigger still, you could volunteer your services to developing countries — a quick Google search and you’ll be abroad in no time.

You’re in the driver’s seat and you have options aplenty.  The main thing is that you do what brings you happiness and satisfaction.  As we all know, those words represent many different things to different people.

Since 1997, RSRS has assisted hundreds of physicians with their medical practice closures and record-storage obligations.  We also can assist with recommending locums and part-time placements.  RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada and follows the guidelines for each province with respect to medical practice closure and patient record retention.

Our medical practice closure services include Patient Notification; Packing Assistance (where available); Scanning of Records; and Patient Record Transfers & Retrievals.

Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website, and get started on life’s next chapter.