EP 58: Is Overwhelm a Choice?

Episode 58 of the Hope4Med podcast features Dr. Karen Kaufman, an allergist-immunologist in Virginia. She is double-board certified in allergy/immunology and internal medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Dr. Kaufman talks about her experience with burnout and feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of working in a group practice. She shares how a change in perspective, seeing overwhelm as a choice, has helped her prioritize and persevere through the difficult things causing overwhelm. We discuss the power of mindset and how embracing a positive mindset is beneficial in our personal and professional lives.

Connect with our guest:
Website: https://kaufmanallergy.com/

Transcript:

[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Welcome to Hope4Med.

[00:00:05] Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast. I am your host, Dr. JB, and today’s featured guest is Dr. Karen Kaufman. She is an allergist-immunologist who fulfills a need for personalized high-value care in Northern Virginia. Dr. Kaufman is double board-certified in allergy-immunology and internal medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and has been recognized repeatedly as a top doctor in the greater Washington DC area. Welcome!

[00:00:39] Dr. Kaufman: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:43] Dr. JB: So, Dr. Kaufman, can we start from the beginning? Can you share with my listener your origin story?

[00:00:49] Dr. Kaufman: Sure. So I guess my, my origin story takes me back to yes, medical school and in medical school, I had a health profession scholarship through the United States Navy. And when I, when I finished medical school, I went on to do my internship and residency in the Navy on active duty. And had this fantastic experience where I just got this excellent training.

[00:01:14] And when I came out of training, I joined a teaching faculty in one of the smaller family medicine residency programs and practiced general internal medicine and taught residents, and all of the things that, that were really, really fun for me right out of training. But I, I wasn’t in love with what I was doing as a general internist and decided to go ahead and pursue sub-specialty training at that time.

[00:01:39] So after two years of internal medicine, I went back and did fellowship in allergy and clinical immunology. And allergy immunology is a combined specialty of internal medicine and pediatrics. And so, I decided to train in a program where it was a little heavier on the pediatric side because, that was an area where I was extremely weak and I felt like that would challenge me to learn.

[00:02:05] And it was at that time that I first kind of got a glimpse of what the future might look like as some of my colleagues in fellowship were going on to pursue solo practice. And I didn’t realize that that was a thing doctors did, you know? I remembered that old Michael J. Fox movie called Doc Hollywood where he was this country doctor in the eighties and moved to some small town and saw the whole town, he was the guy and I thought that’s kinda what I thought of solo practice. But in, in this field it’s really doable. And so that was kind of the first time I had that realization and my immediate future after fellowship was to go back to serve the Navy for a few more years. That was the beginning of my long-term goals to be a solo practitioner to be able to live in the community where I work and to serve my community.

[00:02:54] And that was kind of was, this great seed to be planted. Not to be dug up until later, but, but that was kind of, that was kind of where the beginning started. So it was a really, it was a good, a good ride for the time being.

[00:03:08] Dr. JB: So then when you finished the military, then did you go straight into private practice?

[00:03:13] Dr. Kaufman: When I finished the military, so I spent 10 years in the military, when I got out of the military, I did go right into private practice, but I didn’t go into my own practice. Not yet anyways. So, at that point I was really kind of fishing around for the right opportunity. And one thing that I really was looking for was autonomy in practice. And I was really hesitant to join a practice where there was some kind of expectations of productivity, of doing X number of procedures or doing, having X number of patients on allergy shots or something. I just felt like I really didn’t know if that was actually how it was, but that was my perception. And I thought I just want to be able to work in a place where I can do the right thing for my patients, whatever that was, and to be supported. And so, I kind of looked a little bit to see if I could find a good opportunity to start a practice. I actually drove out to a town that I felt like was,the size that needed an allergist.

[00:04:09] I looked online. There was no one around there. So, I drove out to this town and it just wasn’t for me, like I got there and I was like, I don’t think so. I can’t imagine, I don’t see my future here. So, so I kind of took that idea way and ended up joining a multi-specialty group where the allergist who was there ahead of me was about a year out from retirement. And so, it was nice because I still had that opportunity to do the right thing in the right way for my patients and the practice owner seemed to be supportive of that. And so it seemed like a good opportunity. And it’s interesting because after leaving a career in the military, I kind of thought that pick your job or you get your job. And like, that’s just where you are. Like, that’s your lot in life. Choose it and you’re there, and so, I really didn’t see that there was any real reason to leave until I did so. Yeah. But private practice was, it was a whole new animal. I kind of had this feeling in the military of the grass is greener somewhere else. I think in the military, I loved, I loved being a part of military medicine but as you kind of progress in time and in rank, there’s more sort of expected obligation, I guess, to do more administrative roles. And, I just wanted to kind of see patients and go home, to be a clinician and that’s it. So as time marched on, I realized that it was time for me to go.

[00:05:41] Dr. JB: So, you said that you had kind of envisioned yourself in this group practice for life until you didn’t. So, I guess the question is like, walk me through your experience and what happened that made you realize, oh, there’s something different out there.

[00:05:56] Dr. Kaufman: I will say, the first thing was that I really didn’t have a lot of support administratively within the practice. And so it left me to kind of, really feel like I was kind of run ragged for a long time. I, at first, when I was brand new, there was a lot of pressure to get out there and fill my schedule, which I did. And then my schedule was stuffed and I did the best I could with what I had and really provided the highest level of care to these patients. But over time, it seemed like it was never, it would never be enough and no matter how hard I worked and how much time I put in and how much grit I put into like getting through some of these harder moments, I just felt very underappreciated and under-supported.

[00:06:46] And, and that was really hard. And at first, I thought that the problem was with me, that there was something like where I just wasn’t able to keep up with the, I don’t know, the expected volume. I mean, charting was, you know, a disaster. I think it is probably like the least enjoyed, I perceive this as the least enjoyed aspect of medical practice for probably everybody, but the charting, I think–s

[00:07:15] Dr. JB: Something tells me you’re not the only person who feels this way.

[00:07:18] Dr. Kaufman: You know, it’s awful, the idea of having a scribe or anybody to help out with like, not even that, not even an option. And so, yeah, I, I lived in a state of overwhelm, which as time has gone on, I recognize that, overwhelmed as I was, and you have to accept being overwhelmed if you feel it and you don’t have to, but I was. I was truly overwhelmed and that really carried over into every aspect of my life outside of work. My sleep was terrible. And to be honest with you, as I was starting to experience what I later learned to be symptoms of burnout, at the time I thought I had like an organic sleep problem and went on to do multiple sleep studies. I had all these labs drawn, I saw my primary care and was trying to figure all the things out. And as it turned out, it was really just burnout from the workplace and that was hard.

[00:08:13] And so when I kind of recognized that, I think, you know, I’ve got it, I got to get it together and figure this out. My family deserve better from me. I deserve better from me. And so I felt like my patients were probably getting as good as it got. I don’t know. But you know, it’s not fair to, it’s not fair to have, to take less of what you can give and spread it so thin. And that’s where I really was. So I moved in the direction of, it took a while, but I moved in the direction of recognizing I needed to make a change.

[00:08:42] Dr. JB: So, before this experience, had you experienced any symptoms of burnout or was it really working in this private group that kind of brought it to a head?

[00:08:51] Dr. Kaufman: I really don’t think I did. And maybe part of that is that there were all these like kind of different points in my career. After residency, I practiced medicine for two years and I attended residency program for two years. It was, it wasn’t to, to dragged down at that point that I went and did fellowship, where it was very exciting. I was learning constantly. I was completely engaged and I had a fantastic experience. And then, once I finished fellowship, I went back to the military at three more years of clinical practice, where I was really able to start to hone my subspecialty and to really just develop these skills that make you an expert and that was awesome. I mean, I had my two children when I was there, I was a new mom. That was a toll, a whole other animal of challenge, but obviously wonderful. And so, yeah, I mean, it really, I really had never had experienced it, and I didn’t even know what it was. Like you could have just put a big sign up in front of me that says this is burnout and I’d be like, really? Like, is it? because I just didn’t, I didn’t really know. And actually it, it kind of started to come to a forefront– I went to a conference and there was a speaker who spoke about burnout and I started, it started to resonate with me and I thought, like, I think this is what it is, what started to happen.

[00:10:09] And so I’m glad that that happened because it allowed me to start to realize that I was in control to make the changes that I needed without allowing things to spiral out of control, which it does for some people, you know?

[00:10:22] Dr. JB: So, it’s so easy for people in general to say, I’m not in control. It’s not me. When you said you have a choice to feel overwhelmed, that’s a very interesting concept. Could you explore that a little bit more and tell me what exactly you mean by that?

[00:10:37] Dr. Kaufman: Well, I think, I think it’s easy for people to become overwhelmed. I would even say this week I was overwhelmed. I had a super busy schedule. I have a hundred thousand messages in my clinical inbox. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with volume, volume that’s greater than time. I think that’s what it is for me is there’s, if there were 60 hours in a day, it probably still wouldn’t be enough because there’s a lot to do as a clinician and as a physician, and especially in solo practice where I am now, not only am I filling the role of doctor, but I’m also filling the role of business owner and supervisor and leader. And there’s a lot to that. And so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but we don’t have to feel that. And it doesn’t have to derail us. We can accept it and say, yes, there are a lot of things to do. Let’s prioritize it and let’s get through it and, and just, put your nose down and go take breaks when you need to take breaks and get back to it.

[00:11:33] And so I think for me, that’s, I always keep that in my mind, that overwhelm is a choice because there are hard times and there are hard things, but we all can persevere and get through it. And I think the mindset of doing it in that way, I think just really helps, helps me anyways.

[00:11:50] Dr. JB: And that’s, that’s an amazing mindset to have. And so how did you go about developing that mindset? Was that something you were just born with naturally?

[00:12:01] Dr. Kaufman: I wish I was, no, it was suggested to me and I, I’m a very good student, so I have a, I have a coach whom I work with and, and as a business, a new business person, right? So I have my own practice, I’ve been open now just a year, and so, I don’t know anything about business. And so as I’m learning, I recognize, I need to take cues from other people who have done this before me and have found their success. And so I have a coach and she, she’s the one who put that little, that little bug in my ear of, you don’t, you don’t have to be overwhelmed. And in fact, her motto is we don’t do overwhelm. And I always say, I recognize that, in that, it’s the mindset will get you through it. So having that guidance has been very helpful.

[00:12:46] Dr. JB: And so it’s, it’s something that can be learned from a person, that can be practiced, and it’s something that can be strengthened.

[00:12:57] Dr. Kaufman: Yeah. And something that can be passed on to others too. And so, I just got off the phone earlier today with another allergist immunologist in private practice. And she’s starting to feel that, you know, that feeling of overwhelm. And so, in being collegial and helpful. Um, I’m a helper, I feel like a lot of doctors are helpers. I’m a helper. So, you know, someone says, Hey, can you reach out to this person and give some advice? Sure. I don’t know if I’m the best person to give advice, but I can give perspective and some of the tools that I’ve used to get through my day to day. You know, how to streamline work in my practice and hopefully that’ll be helpful to someone else. So, just like kind of creating that mentality of, overwhelm as a choice. Yes, you go and learn it, but yes, you can teach it too. So, it’s really good.

[00:13:45] Dr. JB: So now that you are out on your own, what does your day look like?

[00:13:49] Dr. Kaufman: My day is busy, is what I wanted. So, when I left my multi-specialty group, I had about two months of downtime before I opened my own practice. And I wanted to open busy. I mean, I have bills to pay and stuff, right? Like I need to get those patients in the door, right? But also there’s so many people to help. And I know that since I had left my, my old practice, there was a void. And I was, grateful to be able to, to open my own practice in the community where I live and to serve my neighbors and my friends, which has always been my goal. And so in that time, in that two months’ time, I built a waitlist of patients who are going to come and see me in my practice. So when we opened just two months later, we had 270 people registered and scheduled. And so I started with a full schedule on my very first day and I saw like 72 people in my first week, and that has continued since then. So, it’s taken some time to kind of figure out how to streamline my schedule in a way that is organized and that allows me to flow from room to room and have enough support staff to be able to take care of all of the tests that we need. Not only for the patients coming in to see me, but you know, patients coming for procedures or allergy shots or whatever. And so, we were getting in the groove, we’re now open just over a year and we’re knocking on the door of 1900 patients in our practice. And life is good. I mean, it’s, it’s a challenge. I see some really challenging cases. Patients who are really feeling like they’re this mystery that other people don’t, and they’re sick of not getting answers. And so these are people who find me. And so, so patients get to come to my office and, I really am, I’m a helper and I’m a listener and I love to sit there with them and go through their clinical symptoms and to think it out with them because patients want to know that they’re, that they’re being heard, that they’re being helped.

[00:15:52] And I think that they need to be part of that process, part of that development of the treatment plan because otherwise you can say, okay, well, I’m going to order this, this and that. And we’re going to start doing this medicine and I’ll see you next time, and they leave and they’re shrugging their shoulders, “I don’t get any of that, and why didn’t this happen or that happened.” So, actually a patient said to me today, she said, I feel like I’m in class. I said, good. You should feel– like my patients leave my visits knowing what’s going on. We go, I see, see somebody for—you know, we always joke about it– with chronic hives. We call it hives 101, today is hives 101 and you’re going to leave as the new expert. If patients don’t understand it, they’re not going to gain the benefit of what the expertise is you have to offer. So it’s fun. But yeah, the days are packed and it’s busy, but it’s just because there’s so many people to help and I’m so grateful to be able to do it.

[00:16:43] Dr. JB: I think it’s absolutely amazing how in such short time, you were able to fill a waitlist up to–

[00:16:54] Dr. Kaufman: The wait was 150, but we only scheduled 270. I think some other ones found another doctor like that. It was amazing. It was amazing. Some of, some of these patients were prior patients of mine who wanted to come and see me in my new practice, but gosh, more than half of them were new and it was just, it was great.

[00:17:15] And my reach is extending farther now. And, and it’s great because, as I just like, during my time in the military and my time in private practice, you learn from where you’ve been and then you can design it to be better, and so for all the things that contributed to, driving my burnout when I was in private practice as an employed physician I had a lot of insight into the things that the patients really hated, right?

[00:17:44] Like parking, the elevator, like there’s so many things that, that set your mindset. Right? When we talk about mindset, they set your mindset in a negative space. And then, by the time they kind of come in, you do the front desk, they get their check-in, like there’s all these other steps until they get to their, to their visit, which is where the good stuff happens. But if you’re already in that negative mindset coming in because of all those other factors, you’re missing something. So I thought about all of that as I was kind of creating this practice and it was so good to be able to like, tease it out, right? So, I went to look at real estate with my real estate brokers. Don’t even show me anywhere with bad parking. Like I don’t want to have it. Patients don’t want to have it. I don’t want to have it. It needs to be easy, the elevator easy, so I want patients to walk into the office and feel like they’re in my home, and so I want it to be relaxing. I want it to be soothing and I want them to be taken care of just like you would want your family to be taken care of. And that’s how we approach all of our patients.

[00:18:48] Dr. JB: And that’s absolutely wonderful. And that’s why you’re growing so quickly, right? Because word of mouth spreads fast. And if a patient has a good experience and feel like they’re listened to and they feel understood, then they’re going to go ahead and share it with their friends and their loved ones and say, Hey, I met this amazing doctor, she has this new office, you should follow up.

[00:19:10] Dr. Kaufman: Yeah, it’s great. Word of mouth is probably my biggest referral source, for sure. I always ask people, did your doctor refer you or how’d you find me? All different places, every patient’s something different, but it’s very cool. It’s really nice to be able to, to serve in that, in that manner.

[00:19:28] Dr. JB: So what do you do to maintain a positive mindset? Is there like active practices that you do every day or is it not fully ingrained in your being?

[00:19:41] Dr. Kaufman: It’s a, it’s a great question. I mean, I would definitely say, in year one of opening my own practice– don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of anxious moments. I mean, it was hard. I felt like the first probably six months, I did a lot of troubleshooting. Like just, like troubleshooting was my middle name. And so, there were definitely some struggling times for sure. But I recognized that and I started learning how to do meditation. I worked with a meditation coach, started working on fixing my sleep first, which was invaluable. I mean, that was just amazing. I would, I would love to say, and I’m sure she would love to hear me say that I meditate every day, which I don’t, but I, I think about it and I would love to, but I do meditate and that’s very helpful.

[00:20:21] I got, got back into exercise. So, I think when, when you’re completely drained and exhausted and you’re not sleeping and you’re stressed, it’s hard to take that time for yourself. But I’m an early riser. I like getting up early, so I usually am out of bed by 5:00, 5:15 and get a nice workout in the morning and then have a little time for kind of some downtime and relaxation before I get myself ready and out the door and kids off to school and all that stuff and then head into the office. So, yeah, so that helps. And then of course, like family time, during the downtime on the weekends, I have two kids and my husband, and we do a lot of things together.

[00:20:56] My kids are involved in a lot of activities and I’m definitely the number one supporter on the sidelines cheering them on. So, all of that stuff, and it brings me a lot of joy and, and to be able to work in a place that’s five minutes away from their school and less than ten minutes away from my house, I have more time to give to them because I’m not spending all this time commuting like it was previously. So there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of gain there for sure.

[00:21:21] Dr. JB: And then you’ve been able to create a practice based off of your vision, right? That’s aligned with the way that you want your practice to be, which is amazing.

[00:21:31] Dr. Kaufman: It’s so rewarding. And I had heard this, or actually I think I had read this on a social media group about private practice, and somebody’s going to have a clue who it was, but somebody once posted that the, the worst day or the hardest day in solo practice is better than your best day employed. And it’s so true because at the end of the day, you come home and you have that, that satisfaction that I created this and I’m putting this together in a way that makes sense. And, and if it doesn’t work or if it doesn’t fit your vision, you pivot and you change things and you have the power to do that, which is it’s very, very cool.

[00:22:11] Because when I was employed, I had no control, if I wanted to prevent, there wasn’t an opportunity to, and I felt very stuck. And so, this just, it just outshines every prior moment 10 fold, 100 fold. I mean, just like so much better now.

[00:22:29] Dr. JB: What’s interesting is there was a moment in time where there was a lot of physicians in private practice, they got gobbled up.

[00:22:40] Dr. Kaufman: Right. It’s a great way to put it.

[00:22:42] Dr. JB: But you know, and now it really seems like there’s this movement where a lot of different physicians are looking to go back into private practice. For somebody who is trying to decide whether or not that’s the right thing for them and the fear of how do I survive? Like, how do I make ends meet and whatnot? Did you go into this, I mean, you came in with 300 patients, but did you go into this like, okay, so what are the things that I need to have in place to ensure that I’m profitable? Right? Cause you’re taking care of patients, but you also have employees now that you’re responsible for. And their livelihood is dependent on you. So that additional stress onto just coming and being a clinician and going home, right?

[00:23:29] Dr. Kaufman: No, I mean, you’re, you’re absolutely right. And it’s, it’s a tremendous challenge, but I would say being an entrepreneur in medicine, being in private practice and being able to write your future. There’s no guarantee elsewhere. I know a physician locally and she had been in practice for almost 15 years and she’s, she’s a lovely person, her patients adore her. She’s very sought out in the community and her practice downsized and she was an employee, you don’t have any control over that. And for those who are getting gobbled, they’re getting gobbled into a difficult situation because I think now doctors in practice, in hospital-owned or insurance company owned practice or whatever, they’re not, they’re not winning and their patients aren’t winning, and they’re struggling. And so, I think that the answer for doctors is to find that opportunity and to just do it scared, like you don’t know what the future’s going to be, but if you don’t get in there and just start and do it, I mean, you can sit around for years and years and years to plan out this dreamy practice.

[00:24:35] But you know, if you don’t do, you’re not in any better place. So I think you do need to just start it and, and start small. You want to keep your overhead low and maybe keep your staffing small, mine was probably way too small for awhile. My husband actually took a leave of absence from work for a few months. My children were still on virtual-learning, so they were now learning in my office. And my husband, who’s an airline pilot who, the idea of sitting at a desk is like the worst, the worst day for him, he was virtually teaching first and second grade and an answering the phones and doing insurance authorizations and registering and scheduling patients because the sound of the phone ringing was seriously giving me like post-traumatic stress.

[00:25:19] And that’s a good problem to have when your phone rings, but if you can’t employ somebody to answer it, it’s really hard. And so, yeah, we started really small. But then we figured out like where the holes are and where the needs really were and then we were able to start filling those roles. And it takes a few months. I mean, there is a big trend in medicine, I think, toward direct primary care and direct specialty care where people are running more of a concierge type model cause they’re sick of dealing with insurance too. And I completely get that, but I’m, I’m one of those doctors that takes insurance still and I’m still asleep to the industry a little bit. And so for me, it was several months before I got paid. I remember like I got an actual check in the mail and I was like, that somebody gave me money to do this, but seriously, like that’s, it’s a lot it’s time. And after being off of work for two months as I was getting started and even throughout the, my prior employed position, my employer had reduced all physician schedules to part-time because payroll was such a huge chunk of expenses. And so, in my mind I was like, okay, well we need to get moving in, fill the schedule and get going. But, I started to recognize challenges that many physicians don’t experience until months later. But I’ve, I found all the challenges at the beginning and the challenges haven’t stopped. I mean, it’s hard, don’t get me wrong, but you get a little more experience under your belt of how do you navigate it and how do you empower your staff to troubleshoot their things without running to you for every little thing and stuff. And it’s good. I’m getting the hang of it. I still, I’m still pretty green, but it’s getting better.

[00:26:56] Dr. JB: So that’s the power of mindset, right? But you, to be able to say that statement with a big smile on your face, I found all the challenges in the beginning and view it as, because there’s different ways you can view challenges, right? You can view them as these big obstacles that are preventing me from getting to my end goal, or you can do them as building blocks, right? To learn from and overcome.

[00:27:18] Dr. Kaufman: Absolutely. And in my opinion, anyone who’s going to start any kind of entrepreneurial opportunity, whether it’s a medical practice or something else, there are going to be challenges and it’s going to be hard and you just need to expect it and then, and then learn how to deal with it because, if you think everything’s going to be perfect and, run as expected, like you’re in for a rude awakening. So once you’re kind of like, okay, There’s going to be something that I need to figure out here, like, let’s find what that is and then let’s figure it out. And then we’re going to like adapt to it and fix it and move forward. And I think that’s the best way to approach it otherwise.

[00:27:59] Dr. JB: And then you also mentioned something about a community. So do you have a community of people that you can reach out to, to really help you through this?

[00:28:11] Dr. Kaufman: I definitely do I have a couple of communities, I think I have a really amazing group of friends. But you know, people who I know through a lot of them, who I know through my children, like whether they’re parents of kids that go to school with them or other parents that are teammates who I spent a lot of time on the sidelines with, this is part of my community and that, If my, if my son has baseball practice at five o’clock and I may not be able to get them there on time, but his coach picks him up at school and will take them right to practice, so I can kind of lean on, on my community a little bit, when my husband’s away at work and he’s on a trip, and I get to be sort of, part-time single parent. That’s hard because I have responsibilities at work. So in that way, I have a lot of support from others. If I have to, if there’s snow day, I have friends who will gladly take my kids or my kids also spend a lot of time in my office if they’re, if they need to.

[00:29:03] And that’s one of the perks of having your own practices, bring them in and make it work. And, and I think through the pandemic, people are much more adaptable to that kind of thing. But aside from, my friends in the community, there’s also an amazing group of doctors locally that we can easily reach out to each other. Many of us work very collegially. We share patients, we refer to one another. I had a friend of mine, an old friend from college, reach out to me through social media with a question about something that I really am not an expert in. I think I’ve seen like one case of it ever. And I said, well, let me, let me see what I can do. And so, I reach out to a group of 1200 other physicians to say, Hey guys, who knows what to do with this and, and who can I refer to? And that’s just really nice because patients need our best. And we have to recognize that we’re not always that person, depending on what the problem is, but it’s our duty to be able to help them get to whatever that next step is. And so, that community is, is a massive resource. And then I would say my other community is the community of physicians who work with my business coach. We have a fantastic comradery of support and, you know, it’s all physicians who are entrepreneurs. And we get together locally when, with the folks who are local, we chat with each other in an ongoing text thread with questions and issues and everyone’s at a different place in their business. And everyone’s a health professional. But it’s a really warm place of support and people who will celebrate your wins with you. And then, that’s just invaluable to have in entrepreneurship for sure, because there’s so many people that kind of don’t understand what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. And so it’s great to be able to, share some of those, struggles and, and, get feedback that’s honest. And, and to be in a place that’s safe like that. So that’s, that’s great.

[00:31:00] And then of course my family, my husband is an absolute rock. He’s a, he is a retired military officer. He’s a fantastic leader and where I find myself to be more introverted and maybe I lack a few leadership skills that I probably should be better, he gives me great advice for stuff like that. Like here’s how I would do it, and it’s like, okay. Yeah. He’s got that experience and is a really great sounding board for that kind of stuff. My parents are a tremendous amount of support. My, my parents are integral into my business. My dad is my business advisor, my CPA, and my bookkeeper. He does all those things. My mom is my payroll manager. And so, they are, they are gladly supportive of my business and they helped me a ton. So, lots of community, community is everything.

[00:31:51] Dr. JB: Community is everything, and it seems very much like it was a family affair.

[00:31:57] Dr. Kaufman: It definitely is, it definitely is. And that’s what I want my patients to feel too, right? Like the nice thing about small practice is you get that personalized care, you get the attention that you need. Everybody knows who you are. You’re not a number, you’re not going to call and be like number 20 on the waiting, waiting chain to get your call through. It’s not unusual for me to pick up the phone and I see somebody’s name calling in and I have a minute to answer the phone and I’ll just pick it up myself and say, Hey, it’s Dr. Kaufman, and they’re like, really? Like you’re answering the phone. And I’m like, yeah. I like doing that stuff because these are my people and I love being there.

[00:32:35] Dr. JB: That’s perfect. That’s perfect. So, if my listener wanted to find out more about you and your private practice, how can they get in touch with you?

[00:32:46] Dr. Kaufman: They can get in touch with me most easily through my website, which is kaufmanallergy.com, but I’m also on social media and they can find me on Instagram @ drkaufmanallergy or on Facebook at Kaufman Allergy. And I’m trying to spread my wings into LinkedIn, although I’m not quite there yet, but maybe soon

[00:33:05] Dr. JB: You know, baby steps.

[00:33:10] Dr. Kaufman: But patient, patients, friends, colleagues, they can all reach out to me in any of those ways. I’m extremely approachable. I’m receptive, I’m responsive. And I, I love expanding my network. So those are some good ways to find me.

[00:33:25] Dr. JB: Perfect. And in closing, do you have any pearls with wisdom for my listener?

[00:33:31] Dr. Kaufman: I think the biggest, the biggest pearl of wisdom I guess I can give is to be open-minded to possibility, to not feel stuck, to know that you have the power to change and then just to do it because you can figure it out as you go.

[00:33:53] Dr. JB: Who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic. The greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come learn some. Each one, teach one. I’m done.

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