For Dr. Deb Manning, working in medicine was a dream that began when she was a child. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old,” she says. She grew up interested in stethoscopes, doctor’s kits, and remembers being fascinated by TV shows on open-heart surgery. She loved the lifelong learning aspect of being a doctor, as well as focusing on her goals while going through school.
Deb first heard about Docs Who Care through mailers. At the time, she admits she threw the mailers away since she was busy with her private practice. However, when her practice became more time consuming, she realized that she needed to make a change. “At first I thought I could moonlight and just earn some extra money,” she says, but this work schedule was exactly what she and her family needed.
Before joining Docs Who Care, Deb worked for a nonprofit and was part of a group family practice. “It was nice,” she says, “but I missed the variety of residency, since it [the practice] was all outpatient medicine.” When a for-profit entity took over, she decided to open her own practice with the help of a friend. For eleven years she worked as a private, solo practitioner with her own staff of seven.
Deb loves the small, personal feel of Docs Who Care and the team-oriented atmosphere. “Meeting the staff was really impressive,” she says, “I went home and thought ‘I’ve never met so many nice people in my whole life!’” She also enjoys the freedom that Docs Who Care provides, allowing her to balance her work and personal life. She feels like she now has more time to spend with her family. She’s able to say, “you’re first in my life,” to her family, and adds that a lot of the stress associated with owning a private practice isn’t present. Deb’s also able to use her free time to continue to be a lifelong learner, enhancing her skills as a physician.
Now that she has the freedom to set her own schedule, Deb feels like she’s able to do her best on her shifts with Docs Who Care. One of her favorite parts is working in the rural ERs. “It’s more exciting,” she says, “These things help hone your skills and you feel better about yourself at the end of the day.” She also notes that the down time at the rural clinics lets her give more “flair,” to her job and she can give better care to patients that a normal emergency doctor wouldn’t be able to. “It’s easy to become part of a community,” she adds, saying that she’s even become Facebook friends with some of her patients.
Since working at Docs Who Care, Deb’s been able to not only help more patients without burning out, she’s seen an improvement in her overall quality of life and in her relationships with patients and family. “It really gave me my life back,” she says.