“In my eleven years of practice after completing my surgical training, I have worked in both independent private practice and hospital employed models. The past several years have been challenging times in medicine as work volume has increased, revenues have decreased, and the documentation burden has become overwhelming. The end result of this has been less time to spend with my family and increasing frustration with work. It has been less about taking care of patients and more about satisfying the appropriate documentation requirements. Many times, I have asked myself how things ended up getting to this point and how can it be corrected…there has to be a better way. Then, one day I ran into a Synergy Surgicalists representative at an orthopedic surgery conference.
The Synergy Orthopedic Surgicalist model made complete sense and was definitely worth exploring. Over the next year, while taking call 10-15 days/month at multiple hospitals, as well as trying to run a traditional elective practice, I found myself working around 26 days/month on average…and although I lived at home with my wife and children, I rarely ever saw them as I was gone before they woke up and often got home after they went to bed. Being able to actually have dinner with them was a rare treat, much less attend one of my son’s baseball games. At that point, I knew something had to change. As fate would have it, I ran into the folks from Synergy again at a conference around that time and spent several hours talking with them and exploring their opportunities. Over the course of the previous year, since I first discovered them, they had opened up several new locations in addition to the ones that they already had up and running. One of them happened to be a model that fit what I was looking for perfectly!
The onboarding process was thorough, yet very easy. I was pleased to discover that Synergy was interested in the actual character, personality, work ethic, and skill set of their candidates and not just looking for “warm bodies” to fill a vacancy as you often find in locum’s work. Synergy demonstrated themselves to be vastly different from a locum’s style practice in a very good way. I take pride in my work and so do they. This was very important to me. From the beginning, it was clear to me that this was something with a long-term mindset. The prospective hospital also interviewed all of our team members, which I also appreciated, as it gave additional assurance that everyone was planning for both quality as well as longevity. This process gave me confidence that my teammates would also be highly skilled and take good care of my patient’s while I was off duty.
In my particular model, Synergy is developing orthopedics as a new service line for a smaller hospital with a great community need. It was comforting to see and be involved in all of the preliminary work that they were doing with the hospital to help get things up and running. I never felt that I was left alone to “figure it out” by myself. The communication has been very good throughout the entire process, and I truly feel part of the Synergy team. The hospital has been very welcoming and eager to help get things up and running for us also, which has been a refreshing change of pace. The medical staff has welcomed us with open arms, and it has been very easy to fit in. We are not viewed as transients and have been treated the same as a full-time staff member…once again providing some reassurance that this is a quality operation with a long-term mindset.
Personally, this is an excellent fit for me. I can compartmentalize work for the first time ever. When I am on site, I am able to devote my full attention to work and being the best doctor I am capable of being without distraction. Then, when I am home, I can trust in my colleagues to provide the same quality care as I do, which allows me the peace of mind to devote my full attention to being the best father and husband that I can be. I now have the free time to help coach my son’s baseball team, play golf, travel, and most importantly eat dinner with my family on a regular basis! The balance of work and free time that this job provides has eliminated burnout and restored the joy in practicing medicine and taking care of patients.
Thank you, Synergy, for giving me my life back!”Daniel Milam, DO, Synergy Orthopedic Surgeon
“After 28 years in private practice, I began looking for opportunities to allow me greater freedom to travel with my wife and spend time with family. My family has grown to include two grown sons who are now married, a granddaughter (with a second due shortly) and miles of distance between their families.
My Synergy schedule allows me this free time. When I work, I am busy. However, when I am off, I am truly off–no office responsibilities, no patient calls and the confidence that the patients I have taken care of continue to receive quality care from my Synergy colleagues.
I also continue to be challenged with my work and find that the skills I have acquired over the 28 years are being put to good use.
I am more than happy with my decision to join Synergy. Perhaps my only regret is that this model was not available to me years ago.”Thomas Macha, MD, Synergy Orthopedic Surgeon
“The physicians at Synergy Surgicalists have brought excellent responsiveness and quality care to our patients requiring emergency orthopedic care. Synergy offers quick solutions to long wait times and confusing follow up appointment for patients experiencing unexpected orthopedic emergencies. Synergy has helped streamline our transfer center processes. With one call, a referring physician is able to smoothly transition a patient from another site to our regional medical center. Their physicians are team oriented and demonstrate a focus on patient experience.
Since Synergy started their program, our volume and revenues have increased 80% for the acute care orthopedic serviceline. Follow up care is managed in a fashion to maximize outcomes and patient satisfaction. Synergy works closely with the existing orthopedic specialists and other servicelines in our medical center. We also are seeing increased volume and satisfaction from our elective orthopedic surgeons.
From a personal standpoint, many of the problems that arose from orthopedic call have gone away. This has allowed me to focus on the myriad of other issues that occur on a regular basis.”Becky Pape, CEO, Good Samaritan Hospital
“I initially started Synergy as a temporary or “stop-gap” option while I was in between jobs. However, I am now settled in my new location, and when considering the local options (solo practice, group, hospital-employed), a large part of the conversation is my desire to stay involved at Synergy also. The organization provides so much support on both the front and back ends, and they take a very personal and individualized approach. If I want to speak to the CEO, I have his cell and can just give him a call. Great people are involved in this organization from top to bottom, and the surgeons I work with are great. I highly recommend Synergy!”Timothy Hartshorn, MD, Synergy Orthopedic Surgeon
“Synergy Surgicalists team members cover both general and orthopedic surgery needs at Penn Highlands DuBois 24/7, every day of the year. This comprehensive coverage has given the community surgeons the ability to stabilize and grow their respective practices. This is the third year in partnership with Synergy.
The surgeons treat the patients with the utmost respect, and they are part of our community attending various activities, utilizing services, etc. This results in improved satisfaction with patients and family members. The Synergy Surgicalists are seen as part of the team at Penn Highland DuBois, which goes a long way in a rural setting.
A partnership with Synergy Surgicalists means that surgical patients are taken care of at the local facility, and they stay in our system. Patients are diverted out of the system only if the case calls for a specialized high-level treatment or if requested by the family.
I have a great, open-structured relationship with the leadership at Synergy Surgicalists. As a hospital administrator, the support that I receive is open and highly collaborative. Each interaction that I have with Synergy is extremely cooperative. From the beginning of the partnership negotiations to the current time, I have always had the utmost respect for the Synergy leadership team.”Travis Millander, Healthcare Administrator
“If not for the opportunity that working for Synergy Surgicalists has offered me, I would not be able to pursue the career that I now enjoy. As my career in surgery has progressed, I have become very involved in health care policy in Washington, DC. Synergy has made it possible for me to carry out my health policy work without giving up my real vocation, the practice of surgery. This has allowed me a balance and flexibility that would otherwise not be available to me.”John O’Shea, MD, Synergy General Surgeon
“Being a Synergy Orthopaedic Trauma Hospitalist results in the best of both worlds; professional satisfaction and abundant personal “down time”. The niche’ you create by treating primarily orthopaedic trauma patients allows focused learning through collegial interaction, ample time to engage in abundant CME activities, challenging surgery, and the feeling of immediate gratification.”Marty Gagliardi, MD, Synergy Orthopedic Surgeon