Fall 2017 (Volume 27, Number 3)

Top Ten Surprising Things About Rheumatology Marriages According to Dr. Jane Purvis and Dr. Fred Doris

By Fred Doris, MD, FRCPC; and Jane Purvis, MD, FRCPC

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We jumped at the opportunity to write this column for The Journal of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRAJ) . Another opportunity to recruit. An offer of marriage and a maternity job share with another rheumatologist were the incentives that Jane needed to come to Peterborough in the early 1990s as our fifth community rheumatologist. Sadly, the number of rheumatologists has dwindled to just the two of us. There were challenges when we first started out, including having to share 2/8 call on the Internal Medicine (IM) schedule for years and doing hospital rounds accompanied by our small children. Now the IM call is behind us, and the little ones are university-attending adults.

Because of that initial job-share, we ended up practicing in different medical buildings and still do. Although our patients are likely rather similar, our practice styles are rather different. While we both focus on inflammatory rheumatic diseases, other rheumatologists would be surprised at the under/over-representation of certain diagnoses between our two practices. We both enjoy our autonomy in creating an office that is aesthetically pleasing and convenient geographically. Not that anything in Peterborough is more than five minutes away though. Just call us or visit us to join us in Peterborough! The medical community has all you need to support the rheumatology practice style that suits you with a gentler cost of living, easy access to nature and no commutes longer than 10 minutes.

Top Ten Surprising Things About Rheumatology Marriages

  1. The after work question, “How was your day?” is usually brief. A few words say it all, though you can get a really fast second opinion.

  2. Centres of excellence. One of us handles the in-patient consultations. The other schedules more satellite clinics in the surrounding smaller towns, and is in the thick of medical politics.

  3. Whose “critical value” is it that LifeLabs is calling after hours about?

  4. Travelling usually means travelling together. Who covers for rheumatology then?

  5. Journal club: anywhere, anytime!

  6. Inside jokes such as personalized licence plates that read “SED RATE”. Just don’t tell Choosing Wisely Canada.

  7. News! Gossip! Fred doesn't lunch in the hospital cafeteria or work in the operating room (OR). As a solo rheumatologist, with just one medical office administrator, he would never hear what is really going on in the medical community or the Ontario Medical Association. (Fred: Thanks Jane.)

  8. You get absolutely no sympathy when you complain of your (usually self-inflicted) pains.

  9. Shall we toss a coin to decide who does the next community arthritis forum for The Arthritis Society? (Fred: Thanks Jane – just like you accepted the pager to be on call when we first met on our first day of rheumatology fellowship.)

  10. And finally…we get TWO copies of the CRAJ!

Jane Purvis, MD, FRCPC
Lead, Manpower Committee,
Past-president, Ontario Rheumatology Association
Peterborough, Ontario

Fred Doris, MD, FRCPC
Peterborough, Ontario

Drs. Jane Purvis and Fred Doris.

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