Knowing when to stay and when to go

You know what happened? A lot!

I missed that government spot

At least for right now

But time might allow

Me to get the position I sought.

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, traveled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. After three years working with a Community Health Center, I went back to adventures in temporary positions until they have an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system I can get along with. Assignments in Nome, Alaska, rural Iowa, and suburban Pennsylvania stretched into fall 2015. Since last winter I’ve worked in Alaska and western Nebraska, and taken time to deal with my wife’s (benign) brain tumor. After a moose hunt in Canada, and short jobs in western Iowa and Alaska, the fallout of certain Presidential Executive Orders has me cooling my heels at home. Any identifiable patient information has been included with permission.

At one time I asserted that if I woke up Monday morning with nothing planned I could have work by Wednesday. In fact I’ve found a 2 week lag time between decision and employment.

Last week I gave up on taking a government position in Alaska for the winter; too much uncertainty followed the Presidential hiring freeze. I talked to my agent (more accurate than the title Recruiter that she gives herself).

A lot happened in 48 hours. I found out at least 3 places where I worked and had a good time had recruited permanent docs and didn’t need my help.  My agent opened up a discussion with an installation south of here that will offer me both inpatient and outpatient work.  I talked to them, we hit it off, I said ‘yes’ to the job.  Shortly after that I got an Alaska job offer, but I’d already committed to Iowa.

I asked for and received a 4-day work week, probably close to 40 hours, and the chance to come home on the weekends. Bethany will come with me for most of the trip.

In the meantime I miss the strong cold of the northern clime. The temps here drop into the teens at night, but days have been sunny and while long underwear has become a routine part of my wardrobe I haven’t even thought about bringing my parka out.

The last couple winters I spent in Alaska, and somehow being away from home made the cold easier.

Last week I talked with an agency seeking a permanent placement in a spot 35 miles from here; MapQuest more accurately put the distance at 75 minutes, too far for me. I have thought about telling my agent the name of the facility to see if they want a locums, but I’m concerned about the ethics.

I started correspondence with a firm who wants to place me in a hospitalist job in New Mexico. The position looked reasonable, it would give me a chance to visit the places I knew and loved during my Indian Health Service days, as well as speak a lot of Spanish and maybe renew my Navajo language.

And, with all this going on, I seem to be making progress on my planned Canadian employment.

No matter where I go, I’ll have an adventure.



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