Provider Spotlight – Daniel LaPerriere, MD

We had a chance to sit down with Dr. Daniel LaPerriere near his clinic in Boulder, CO to hear about his experience with Docs Who Care…

daniel laperriere md locum tenansWhy did you apply to work with Docs Who Care?

Dr. LaPerriere: After I finished my residency I spent a year volunteering as medical director for a health center in a remote area of Ethiopia.  When I came back to Colorado I wanted to continue working in a rural area but desired to live in a more urban environment.  Some of my colleagues had done work with Docs Who Care, and after hearing about it from them, I thought it would be a good match allowing me to work and live in the areas I wanted.

After working for 9 months with DWC at various sites, Yuma District Hospital in Yuma, CO, negotiated to buy out my DWC contract.  I was able to continue living on the Front Range and work in Yuma 3-4 days a week.  I worked in Yuma for about 7 years.

About 2 years ago, I took a position at a concierge medical practice in Boulder.  While this work is fulfilling, I missed working with patients from the rural community and providing ER care.  I reached out to Docs Who Care and once again began covering some shifts.

What do you enjoy about working Locum Tenens?

Dr. LaPerriere: I love the flexibility that the schedule provides and the opportunity to help out at different sites that need help with staffing.

The ability to cover many hours in a row (often allowing a 72-96 hours shift) also allows one to make a very good salary while working only 4-5 days a month.

Supplementing my regular salary with occasional locum tenens has enabled my family and I to pay down loans, open a new hair salon and spa business (My wife is a hair stylist and now salon owner), and build up a down payment for a home in Boulder.

What impact is Docs Who Care having on rural hospitals?

Dr. LaPerriere: There are so many instances where I have been thanked by the patients and their families when I am working at these rural sites.  They understand that it is difficult to keep providers in rural hospitals and are very appreciative that physicians come out to help keep the hospitals open and provide good care.  This is not something I experience in my regular clinic.

I recall recently sitting with an elderly couple at a rural site; the wife was hospitalized with CHF.  She’d had this diagnosis for some time, but they did not understand what was causing it and what the treatments beinrural locums denver colorado g prescribed were doing.  They appreciated their local providers, but these providers are so overwhelmed that they often lack time.

I was able to sit with them and explain what was going on, draw pictures, and answer their questions.  They were so appreciative to have a provider who traveled to their community to provide extra help and who could spend extra time with them.

How is locums different than the work you do full-time?

Dr. LaPerriere: My full time work is exclusively clinic/outpatient based.  Locums work with DWC allows me to keep up both inpatient and emergency room skills that I developed while working in Yuma Colorado.

These skills are also valuable in managing my regular clinic patients as I feel better able to make clinical decisions and to evaluate how a patient was treated in the hospital or ER.

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