Thursday, August 5, 2010
I went to Grand Rounds at the Wilmington Hospital this morning, a review of Cardiorenal disease that I felt badly about not understanding most of it until a nephrologist friend indicated that he didn't understand most of it either. At the start of the talk there were about a half dozen people in the room, at the end about the same number but at the peak attendance I'd estimate three times that. The majority of those in attendance were retired physicians who come regularly irrespective of the content of the talk in part to get free educational credit to maintain their state licenses and in part to get out of the house for some free coffee and muffin. On the way back to the elevator I chatted with an old friend who I had heard was retiring. I'd not seen his notice in the newspaper, as required by state law so I asked him when he would be shutting down. He already had, which may explain why he felt it appropriate to let his beard grow in. Office management did him in as a primary care physician, ironically on a day when the weekly issue of the NEJM had an essay on federal projects to keep the primary care workforce populated. There is rent, staff salaries, billing fees, computer access, telephone, taxes and the like. I think the retirements are going to peak with the next upward surge of the DOW or S&P 500. These folks who ranged from primary MD's to orthopedists seemed to enjoy spending a morning with old friends and a cup of Java even if they had no inkling of what cardiorenal disease is about.