At first, Dr. Lindsay Williams had no intention of moonlighting anywhere. She had a few hesitations – especially knowing that you have to be ready for anything. Thinking back to residency and moonlighting she now says, “It’s worked out really well!” She first heard of Docs Who Care during her first year of residency. Her program director had a good relationship with the organization and felt they took great care of residents.
By the time her third year came around, she knew she had the knowledge and experience to excel. Like many residents, she picked up shifts throughout the remainder of med school. While she did get a lot of experience working with emergency situations, a lot of the issues she dealt with weren’t as bad as she was expecting.
Dr. Williams says she benefitted from the size of hospitals and communities Docs Who Care partners with. “You’re going to see a lot more trauma in the city… I wasn’t trained in emergency medicine, I was trained in family care, so I wouldn’t feel as comfortable working in larger cities.” Working in a rural clinic is completely different, a lot more “bread and butter” than a person might expect.
She was able to discover and refine the kind of physician she wanted to be in her career. “It made me realize I enjoyed doing acute care.” She’d never considered working in emergency care, but she realized that she loved the variety and the ability walk away from the job when it’s finished.
Moonlighting gave her the hands-on experiences she needed. Along with increasing her confidence, she also found the hospital where she was offered a full-time position. After working within the hospital consistently, the CEO decided she was a good fit for the community and decided to recruit her from Docs Who Care. By the time she started her full-time position, she already had a relationship with the other physicians and knew the types of issues she’d face.
“I think Docs Who Care is great, and I think it has a great reputation,” she says, adding that the organization is committed to providing excellent care to their patients and having well-qualified and genuinely caring physicians. “They want to honor their relationships and maintain relationships with their communities.”
Lindsay says if a new resident is considering moonlighting, he or she should “look around and see if your colleagues are moonlighting successfully. They’ve received the same training you have and if they’re having successful experiences, then you’re in a position where you can moonlight. If you’re uncomfortable, you should ask yourself why. Once you realize why, you should go out and get that experience.”