Passing the Baton: Keeping Your Practice Independent When You Retire
After almost 40 years in independent practice, Dr. Douglas Coombs was grappling with the task of finding the right physician to take over his practice. He wanted someone who would carry the practice’s vision, work well with current staff, and show up with the most up-to-date processes and practices.
Conversations with Dr. Coombs, a now-retired independent pediatrician, and his successor, Dr. Bonnie Feola, reveal the importance of building relationships, tapping into local networks, and staying open to opportunity.
Dr. Coombs was coming up on 40 years in pediatric care, and he was ready for a change. He says he first “hung up a shingle” in the suburban community of Bountiful, Utah in 1979. At that time it was a much smaller town, a sleepy haven just north of Salt Lake City. “A few local pediatricians helped me get established,” Dr. Coombs explains. “I was 71 when I finally sold my practice. I really wanted to go and do something else. I had plans to travel internationally. I also wanted to make sure the practice stayed true to its roots.”
In 2015, Rita Fox, MD, traveled to the rural village of Ekudzeni, in Swaziland, to set up and staff a medical clinic. She has since returned two more times to provide medical care to the community, building lasting relationships with a generation of children who have lost parents and family members to HIV/AIDS.
Stories and issues that matter most to
Sharing with you the deep dedication of pediatric care, as told by independent pediatricians living and practicing in a variety of different locations and with different perspectives.