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Is That Deductible? Locum, Deliveries, and the Road Less Traveled

May 06, 2024

As physicians, our professional journey often takes us down unexpected paths, where the worlds of medicine and business intersect in intriguing ways. This week I invite you to join me as I recount my first foray into locum tenens, where every twist of the road brought new insights into both healing and entrepreneurship.

From Work to Work

It was a Thursday evening when I found myself packing my bags, bidding farewell to the familiar confines of my clinic as the clock struck 5. With a sense of anticipation, I embarked on a 3.5-hour journey to a rural critical access hospital nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Southern Indiana. The road stretched out before me, a ribbon of asphalt winding through fields and forests, hinting at the adventures that lay ahead.

Arriving at the hospital, I was immediately swept up in the whirlwind of activity that included onboarding to the OB ward—getting acquainted with the EHR and the medical staff. This reminded me of my days as a resident, moonlighting on the weekends in Hot Springs, Virginia at the Homestead Resort. Wedging the assignment between my "day job" at the residency clinic allowed me to pursue earning extra income and learning to provide patient care. This is where I learned the necessary confidence to be the only doctor in a remote rural hospital—ready to manage any situation that arose.

This late career locum assignment was a reminder of why I had chosen this noble profession and still love rural hospitals and communities.

It’s Been A Year

As I settled into my temporary role, the reality of the situation dawned on me. It had been a year since I last delivered a baby, following the closure of our hospital's OB unit—a fact that filled me with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Yet, with each passing moment, I felt a renewed sense of purpose—a reminder of the privilege and responsibility that comes with bringing new life into the world. Having completed an OB Fellowship maternal-neonatal care is truly one of my great loves, so it felt good to get back to doing something I love. OB care is a field that demands unwavering dedication, compassion, and a deep understanding of the intricate processes involved in bringing new life into this world. The opportunity to witness the miracle of birth and play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of both mother and child is a privilege that never fails to fill me with a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment. After a year of focusing solely on outpatient prenatal care, the chance to return to the dynamic and multifaceted realm of maternal-neonatal care has reignited my passion like a blazing flame.

Away from the hospital corridors, I found solace in the quiet embrace of a charming country inn—a temporary refuge from the demands of my locum assignment. While my wife remained behind, I devoted every spare moment to our SimpliMD course videos, pouring my passion into a project aimed at empowering fellow physicians on their entrepreneurial journey.

But amidst the hustle and bustle of medicine and business, several questions lingered in the back of my mind including “Is that deductible?” As physicians, we are often faced with complex financial decisions, from tax deductions to business expenses. So I kept all receipts, dotted every i and worked with my locums agency to cover all the necessary details professionally and financially.

During my assignment, I also spent some time with the hospital CEO exploring additional business development opportunities, such as future OB coverage options at the hospital. We'll see what develops over time, especially as I look for locum work from August to October of the next year.

Time To Come Home

As Sunday night approached, I bid farewell to the rural hospital that had become my home away from home, the glow of the hospital entrance fading in the rear-view mirror. With a sense of fulfillment and gratitude, I embarked on the long journey back, the hum of the road echoing the rhythm of my thoughts.

In the end, my first locum tenens experience was more than just a job—it was a journey of self-discovery and resilience, a reminder of the unwavering spirit that defines us as physicians. And as I returned to my clinic the next day, I carried with me not only the memories of the past weekend but also a renewed sense of purpose—a commitment to both my patients and my entrepreneurial endeavors.

Is That Deductible?

The weekend locum experience was all deductible as virtually everything not covered by the locums agency was considered a deductible business expense. They paid me 1099 income, reimbursed my mileage, lodging, credentialing expenses, malpractice insurance, and contractual arrangements. My PC covered my per diem expenses.

I was also able to “double dip” with super efficiency by doing a lot of SimpliMD work at the Inn/Hotel while getting paid by hospital to do their work. I love it when something like that happens!

The truth is there is a lot to learn about self-employment and operating your professional micro-corporation. Your best action step this week is to become a member of our SimpliMD community and unlock over $2500 in products. And today is your lucky day, follow this link to get 50% off your membership, and if you are a resident, go here.