Dr. Eileen Westhues first heard about Docs Who Care during her intern year of residency. The physician she worked with was involved with Docs Who Care, and some of the residents above her were also moonlighting with the organization. Despite hearing about the organization, Eileen never considered working there full time until her third year of residency. At the time, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to stay in Kansas City or relocate, and didn’t know where her career would ultimately take her. “I was hesitant to join a family practice clinic, because I didn’t want to start that relationship and continuity of care. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest myself in something if I wasn’t sure I would stay,” she says. She discovered that Docs Who Care was a flexible way to work while she figured out what she wanted to do.
Today, she loves the flexibility and freedom to set her schedule. “I’ve never really liked the 8-5 job. I was never really good at separating work from home — I have a hard time turning things off,” she says. She liked that Docs Who Care allows her to do more shift work, so when she’s done, she’s done. “I can go out of town one weekend, take a week off, or work as much as I can…either way at both ends of the spectrum you have the option.” Eileen has since been able to travel to a number of places across the U.S. since her schedule now allows it.
Since becoming full-time with Docs Who Care, Eileen has noticed a difference, not only in her financial life, but also in her work/life balance. “After the first couple months of working at Docs Who Care and seeing the potential of what I could make and how I could balance it with a fun lifestyle — it was addicting and motivating,” she says. Eileen also decided to pay off her loans and become debt free by working extra shifts. Through Docs Who Care, she was able to pay off her student loans in a year and a half.
Eileen is currently in the process of planning a wedding and saving for her honeymoon, and she likes that she’s able to fill her schedule and build a financial base for the future. She says that if not for Docs Who Care, she probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much financially, and definitely wouldn’t have been able to travel. “Here we’re not penalized for taking vacation,” she says. “I don’t think I could’ve achieved this if I’d gone the traditional route. She says that being able to pay off her school loans was “amazing, like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”
She adds that working with Docs Who Care is “So financially rewarding, flexible, and perfect for my lifestyle. I like coming to these communities, I like the people, and you feel needed and appreciated. You’re doing something different every day.” She loves that there’s never a boring day, and that Docs Who Care gives her lots of options in her career that a traditional clinic might not. She encourages everyone who is considering working with Docs Who Care to “just try it, try it…see how you feel while you’re there. It’s amazing how much you’ll learn. Just try it.”