Bernadette Reidy, M.D.
Community Internal Medicine
Mayo Clinic in Arizona
Dr. Bernadette Reidy worked in a private internal medicine practice before joining Mayo Clinic. Today, she's a convert to Mayo's large group practice environment.
Dr. Reidy likes the opportunity to be part of an integrated team of specialists that can address the whole gamut of patient needs. And she appreciates the resources provided to support physicians, including:
- Professional nursing and allied health professionals who serve as integral members of the care team;
- Test results returned within hours, instead of days, by highly qualified in-house laboratories;
- Electronic technologies that make patient medical records easily accessible, even from home, creating the opportunity for increased flexibility in balancing work and family schedules.
"We have a lot of tools and resources that make it possible to walk out at the end of the day and leave work behind."
Dr. Reidy recognizes that practicing medicine at Mayo Clinic may not be ideal for everyone, and that private practice offers distinct differences. "Which is better? It really depends on how you envision your life," she says.
For Dr. Reidy, however, returning to private practice would not be easy. "Once you've had the support that we do," she says, "it would be very hard not to work in this kind of a situation."
For anyone weighing the pros and cons of private practice and Mayo practice, Dr. Reidy offers her perspective on several considerations:
Day-to-day practice management. "At Mayo, it's nice not to have to worry about managing every detail of the practice."
Managing and coordinating patient care. "Trying to coordinate care for a patient is a lot more work in private practice than here, where the care is all in one facility.and everyone talks to each other on a regular basis."
Opportunity for work-life balance. "People in private practice who can't support extra staff may need to do a lot more work themselves. Here, we have a lot of tools and resources that make it possible to walk out at the end of the day and leave work behind."
Financial considerations. "In private practice, many doctors struggle to try to maintain their incomes. At Mayo, we have the advantage of being salaried with very generous benefits."
Security. "While you may sacrifice a little autonomy in an organization this size, there is tremendous career security knowing you are a part of a highly respected institution with a lot of staying power."
"Everyone at every institution tells you the patient comes first," says Dr. Reidy. "But because the Mayo system is so integrated and we have access to so much, it allows us to put the patient first in a much more efficient, collegial fashion than you ever would in a non-multispecialty setting. Until you work in a setting like this, though, it is hard to imagine what that can mean."