A Reflection as Noreta Family Medicine Turns One
March the one-year anniversary mark of the COVID pandemic in the US. The State newspaper asked readers to write an article on how their lives have changed due to COVID, what they have learned, or what gives them hope. I submitted the article below, but they never ran it. Since July 1 is Noreta’s one-year anniversary, I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you all. Thank you for your support!
“Ten years into my career as a family physician, I was feeling unfulfilled. Therefore, in 2019, I embarked on a journey to open my own independent family medicine office. Little did I know what 2020 would bring. As I finalized my business plan in early 2020, the world was shutting down. As I calculated financial projections, many people were losing their jobs. There was no precedent for how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis as a small business owner, let alone a solo family physician. Nevertheless, I instinctively felt that I was heading in the right direction. Despite high levels of uncertainty around me, I opened Noreta Family Medicine in July 2020. Opening my practice reawakened leadership skills in me that had been dormant for years. It has been energizing and exciting.
Throughout the pandemic, I have been awed by the rapid spread of not only the COVID-19 virus, but of misinformation about it.
As the new owner of Noreta Family Medicine, I realized that I had both the autonomy and responsibility to disseminate educational COVID-19 information. Educating my patients helped me to find a new voice as a family physician. I added a “COVID Corner” to my bi-weekly practice newsletter. I created several YouTube videos about COVID-related topics.
I found these activities to be liberating and fun, and I have expanded into creating videos on other health topics and on the healthcare system. It dawned on me that my enjoyment in making these videos should not be too surprising; I enjoyed participating in public speaking competitions in high school.
A lot has changed in my life since 2019. The fact that I opened my own medical practice during a pandemic is still a bit surreal to me. The pandemic could have been devastating to my plan, but I am thankful that it instead led me to rediscover a love of my profession and a new sense of fulfillment. To help relieve stress, I frequently recommend that patients “resurrect” activities they enjoyed doing in the past. Perhaps the doctor just got a taste of her own medicine!”
Have a good week! Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Melissa Boylan, MD, FAAFP
Family Physician and Owner of Noreta Family Medicine