After a solid week of educating myself firearms-wise at SHOT show, and trying to pass information along to everyone else as well, it is time for me to buckle down into Continuing Medical Education for my actual day job. You know - the one that actually pays the bills - the one that allows me to buy the firearms and ammo that I have so much fun with?
This is a re-certification year for me - the magical seventh year when politicians, and ivory tower academics have decided that my skills have irretrievably deteriorated, and my knowledge has crumbled to dust. I therefore must re-prove my worth as a physician, human being, and Medicaid payee, by re-taking my board exams. Bear in mind that I was a Late-bloomer to medical training, so I JUST DID THIS seven years ago.
I not only must take (and pass) actual exams, ( at considerable monetary cost, I might add), I also must complete a mind-numbing academic exercise called MOC, or Maintenance of Certification. The particular MOC exercise I am currently gagging my way through involves quality improvement. This exercise in "quality", serves the secondary purpose of decreasing the quantity of money in my wallet, and the quantity of my free time over the next few months.
Bear in mind, that I already must complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep my state license from turning into a library card. But that apparently isn't enough to keep my middle-aged brain from lapsing into senility and prescribing leeches and mercury for an ear infection. ( Although there may well be an ICD-10 code for that)
Compounding my dread of the whole process is the prospect of having to do this entire exercise AGAIN in seven more years when I am nearly 60. This is one of the reasons that I am doubling-up on my student loan and mortgage payments. I might not be financially ready for complete retirement by then, but maybe I could scrape by as a gun writer or something if my major debts are paid off. Who knows, by then, government mandates and increasing "strings" attached to reimbursements may have driven the remainder of us private practice docs out of business anyway. I could then work part-time at a corporate doc-in-the-box, giving away Z-packs and steroids like a good little drone, while nurse-practitioners run the medical world. ( My cynicism filter slipped there for a minute - sorry)
Meanwhile, I need to step away from the keyboard and log-into the AAP site so I can start pounding my head against the desk. If you don't hear from me for a few weeks, somebody come check on me.