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The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner
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The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner

Author: Andrew Wilner, MD

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"The Art of Medicine" explores the arts, business and clinical aspects of the practice of medicine. Guests range from a CPA who specializes in helping locum tenens physicians file their taxes to a Rabbi who shares secrets about spiritual healing.
22 Episodes
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Show NotesIn this 20-minute episode, Memphis real estate agents Dianne and Bruce Milner offer tips for physicians looking to buy their first home. With 40 years of experience between them, Dianne and Bruce discuss the importance of finding an agent with whom you can comfortably communicate. Other topics include how to establish a realistic budget for your new home, work within a realistic timeline, avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance), the criteria lenders use to determine loan eligibility, the benefits of a “Physician’s Mortgage,” and more.In this era of COVID-19, Dianne and Bruce explain that virtual home showings have become standard operating procedure for real estate agents.  Virtual home tours can help busy physicians and others searching for a home in a new city.As we are currently in a “seller’s market,” the right agent is essential for a prospective home buyer to successfully acquire the home of their dreams at a fair price. For more information about purchasing a home, contact Dianne and Bruce through their website: DianneMilner.com.For links to more interesting programs, please visit www.andrewwilner.com. 
Episode #20, November 15, 2020Uma Naidoo, MDMany thanks to Uma Naidoo, MD, for joining me on this 20-minute episode of “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.” Dr. Naidoo is Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge, MA, nutritionist, chef, and author of “This Is Your Brain on Food.”Dr. Naidoo explained that while growing up, she was surrounded by adults who cooked and enjoyed food. While still a child, she learned to bake. With allopathic physicians and Ayurvedic practitioners in the family, she was also exposed to medicine at an early age.When Dr. Naidoo became a practicing psychiatrist, she realized both the power and adverse events of psychotropic medications. To help her patients discover a more integrative approach, she began her investigation into food and lifestyle modification. Along the way, her journey included formal training as a nutritionist and a chef. Rather than a chore, cooking meals become a welcome, mindful, and creative activity.Although she still prescribes traditional psychotropic medications, she takes a careful history from her patients, searching for lifestyle factors that may be out of balance. Dr. Naidoo stressed that not only must we take care of ourselves, but our gut microbiome as well. Dr. Naidoo shared healthy food tips for those who frequently eat away from home. Given that we live during the COVID-19 pandemic, she also offered some nutritional advice to improve immunity, such as Vitamin C from citrus fruits and red bell peppers. She recommended spices such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric for their healing properties.I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Dr. Naidoo and learning more about how the proper food and spices can make us healthier and happier.  Her book, “This Is Your Brain on Food,” is available on Amazon and other booksellers.For more exciting programs, please visit www.andrewwilner.com 
Show NotesToday is September 29, 2020, and we are still in the midst of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As of today, more than 1 million people have died from COVID-19, 200,000 of them in the USA. I felt compelled to speak with Alfred Alcorn, a well-known author from Massachusetts. Mr. Alcorn wrote a prescient novel, Sugar Mountain, about a devastating pandemic, published in 2013, long before anyone had heard of SARS-CoV-2.Before devoting himself to writing full-time, Alfred Alcorn graduated from Harvard University and worked as a journalist, teacher, and travel director of the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, MA. He has authored approximately a dozen novels, including Sugar Mountain, Murder in the Museum of Man, Time is the Fire, and his latest book, The Evil That White Men Do, published September 21, 2020.During our 20-minute interview, Alfred and I discussed his motivation for composing a novel about a pandemic, how he approached accomplishing the necessary medical research, and his passion for writing. More than a simple adventure story, Sugar Mountain explores what happens to ordinary human beings when facing the threat of death. When I asked him why he chose this topic, he responded, “The oldest story in human history is survival.”Mr. Alcorn writes full-time from his home, located near a mountain quite similar to the one in the book. His novels are available on Amazon.com. Alfred can be contacted at his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alfred.alcorn.Many thanks to Alfred Alcorn for this fascinating interview!More interview links on my webpage: www.andrewwilner.com.     
Show NotesDennis LeberRecorded September 17, 2020IntroductionDennis Leber, Chief Information Security Officer (CISIO) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Memphis, TN, joined me for this interview about cybersecurity. Dennis developed his cybersecurity expertise with a stint in the Marines, followed by 14 years in law enforcement. Looking to develop his career, Dennis discovered that cybersecurity addressed his desire to "serve and protect" and his interest in computers. He obtained a master's degree and is soon to complete his Ph.D. When the Army Reserve called him up to active duty in the 2nd Gulf War, Dennis applied his skills to military communications. Back in civilian life, Dennis worked IT in auto manufacturing and built cybersecurity systems from the ground up. Scope of ResponsibilityAt UTHSC, Dennis is responsible for the security of tens of thousands of computers and systems, as well as several thousand users. During our 25-minute chat, Dennis explained the two schools of thought regarding changing passwords (or not), the value of password managers, and highlighted threats from "Brute Force Attacks" and "Rainbow Tables." CostAlthough I couldn't pin him down on the dollar cost of UTHSC's cybersecurity, Dennis shared that the industry-standard for cybersecurity is 20% of the IT budget. Because security breaches can cost millions of dollars, cybersecurity has become necessary for every business and institution.Self-DefenseDennis offered some tips on how individuals can protect themselves and their institutions from cyber-attacks. UTHSC requires students and faculty to participate in annual cybersecurity training based on the prior year's threats. He emphasized that cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility.EmailI learned that my UTHSC.edu email is NOT private--the institution owns it!  Cybersecurity concerns, Freedom of Information Act Requests, and HIPAA audits can all trigger an email audit. Something to keep in mind…ConclusionMany thanks to Dennis Leber, Chief Information Security Officer at UTHSC, for sharing his cybersecurity expertise on "The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner." New programs appear every two weeks on YouTube and your favorite podcast player. If you enjoyed this program, please subscribe! Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by Dr. Wilner during this program are his and his alone and do not necessarily represent those of UTHSC. 
Many thanks to James Gordon, MD, for joining me on this episode of "The Art of Medicine" to speak about his book, “The Transformation.” Dr. Gordon is a psychiatrist at Georgetown University and the Founder and Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC. Several months ago, I was invited to write an article on Dr. Gordon’s mind-body skills groups for physicians dealing with the stress of COVID-19. As part of that assignment, I participated in several of his online mind-body skills sessions. A video interview based on those experiences appears on Medscape.com. I was intrigued by Dr. Gordon’s approach and read his book, “The Transformation.” In today’s 20-minute interview, Dr. Gordon explains how he became motivated to find solutions for all of us to address the various traumas in our lives. While some people have experienced childhood or adult traumas such as physical and sexual abuse, even those of us who lead relatively mundane lives may still have to deal with chronic pain, a life-threatening illness, or long-term disability. Ultimately, all of us must face the trauma of our own mortality and those of our loved ones. Dr. Gordon employs tools that empower self-awareness and self-care. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine has brought these techniques to thousands of people, including those struggling with trauma in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, war-torn Kosovo, and to child-soldiers in Mozambique. Dr. Gordon observed, “Everybody has the capacity to use these tools and techniques.” These are carefully described in “The Transformation,” which can serve as a stand-alone manual or as a companion to mind-body skills group training. Please join me in this fascinating interview with Dr. Gordon. 
Anita White is an artist whom I first encountered several years ago while working locum tenens at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. I was so impressed with her work that I commissioned her for the cover of my latest book, "The Locum Life: A Physician's Guide to Locum Tenens." Anita began drawing daily while still a teenager. When her husband Josh developed a chronic illness requiring frequent trips to the hospital, she chronicled these visits in her sketchbook. Anita discovered that she could "draw my way through difficult situations" and helped her cope with the stress of her husband's deteriorating physical health. Even after her husband's death, Anita has continued to return to the hospital to draw. During our interview, Anita walks us through six fascinating pieces of her work. Please join us for this 20-minute journey into "The Art of Medicine." For more information on Anita and her work, please go to: 1. Hospitalfieldnotes.blogspot.com 2. https://hereforlife.blog/local-artist-illustrates-a-day-in-the-life-at-hennepin-healthcare-in-160-moments-over-24-hours 
Show NotesMany thanks to Paul Hill, MD, for discussing the psychiatric repercussions of COVID-19 on “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.” Dr. Hill works at the same hospital as I do in Memphis, TN, and we are both faculty of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).* Dr. Hill explained that COVID-19 might have deleterious effects on people with chronic psychiatric disorders by limiting their access to care and community. For example, people with substance abuse disorders may not be able to access methadone or suboxone clinics, leading to relapses of their addictions. People with psychiatric disorders may also have difficulty complying with mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing, which predisposes them to infection. We also explored the mental health effects of COVID-19 on health care workers. Because of the long duration of the pandemic, even resilient medical professionals may become discouraged and demoralized. Dr. Hill emphasized that self-care is particularly important during these difficult times. Adequate sleep, exercise, a regular schedule, healthful eating, and support from colleagues, family, and friends can help maintain physical and psychological health.Many thanks to Dr. Hill for sharing his many years of psychiatric expertise on “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.”Please join us for this 20-minute fascinating interview.If you enjoy this program, please subscribe!Feedback is always appreciated.  *Our expressed opinions do not necessarily represent those of UTHSC.
Show NotesMany thanks to my friend Michael Weisberg, MD, for joining me on “The Art of Medicine Many thanks to my friend Michael Weisberg, MD, for joining me on Episode #14 of “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.” Dr. Weisberg is a full-time gastroenterologist working in Plano, TX, but somehow finds time to write. On today’s program, we discuss his second novel, "In the End."A couple of years ago, I interviewed Mike about his first novel, "The Hospitalist," on ReachMD.com. During our discussion, Dr. Weisberg despaired over the ravages of COVID-19 and how proper leadership might have prevented them. He also informs us about colonoscopy, why it’s performed, and how this technology has provided him a unique perspective into the nature of human beings.Dr. Weisberg’s first novel, "The Hospitalist," had a lot to say about the changes in the patient/doctor relationship that resulted from the hospitalist movement. In his new novel, "In the End," he confronts even weightier subjects such as race, religion, and, ultimately, the meaning of life. Please join us for this 20-minute fascinating interview.If you enjoy this program, please subscribe!Feedback is always appreciated. For more on The Art of Medicine: www.andrewwilner.com
Show NotesIn Episode #4, Rabbi Jeremy Simons and I broached the topic of spiritual healing. The response to that program was so enthusiastic that I wanted to further the discussion. Rabbi Abraham (Abie) Schacter was kind enough to join me on “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner” to share his insights.Rabbi Abie is Director of Spiritual Care at the Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in Memphis, TN, and also a Board Certified Chaplain. He grew up in Yonkers, NY, went to Rabbinical school where he was exposed to “Health Care Chaplaincy.” Rabbi Abie found his calling when he did a summer internship in clinical pastoral education at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. While tending to people with life-threatening illness, he realized there was an incredible opportunity for him to “make a difference in people’s lives.” He continued his pastoral training with a one-year residency at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, TN.Rabbi Abie explained that even if you can’t cure someone’s illness, you can always try to heal. He spoke of the “power of pausing” to allow a person’s emotions to surface and become part of a healing conversation. Even if a cure is beyond reach, improved coping skills, decreased anxiety and stress, and increased inner strength can still result.I thoroughly enjoyed my 20-minute conversation with Rabbi Abraham Schacter and wish we could have talked longer! If you enjoyed the program, too, please subscribe! New episodes appear every two weeks with fascinating guests. “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner” is also available on your favorite podcast player. Feedback is always welcome!      
Recorded April 18, 2020 Many thanks to Paul Gross, MD, a family practice physician and Editor-in-Chief of “Pulse.” Pulse is an online, weekly publication that addresses the medical humanities through works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and photography. The journal's full name is “Pulse Voices from the Heart of Medicine,” and it appears at www.pulsevoices.org. Dr. Gross started the magazine because of the disconnect between the science he learned in medical school and its application to real patients. He discovered that writing about medicine and encouraging others to write was an “attempt to get at the truth” of the practice of medicine. Dr. Gross observed that the humanities are essential and how they can help train compassionate physicians. He explained how compassion is an indispensable ingredient for medical care and that sometimes, even in modern times, it’s all that physicians are able to offer. Dr. Gross conducts writing workshops at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. He mentioned that writing can sometimes be therapeutic when physicians write about troubling events they have encountered in their careers. It’s also helpful for other physicians and patients to read and learn from these stories. Dr. Gross described the type of pieces that Pulse publishes and how physicians and others can submit their work.Dr. Gross can be reached at www.pulsevoices.org. 
Episode #11Recorded April 17, 2020I want to thank Clint Hermes, JD, for speaking with me about his work with biomedical research regulatory matters. We talked about his legal training at Harvard Law and how he became interested in this field. He’s worked at two academic medical centers, including St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee. He is now an attorney with Bass, Berry, and Sims. Clint works with different entities that require legal assistance with regulatory matters when conducting clinical trials such as academic centers, pharmaceutical companies, and even private physician groups. He discussed the importance of IRBs to protect human subjects as well as new statutes that mandate a single central IRB rather than multiple IRBs for federally funded studies. Clint observed that human subject protection had improved dramatically in the US since the Tuskegee syphilis study. However, questionable research practices are still a significant problem especially in certain countries. Clint has done a lot of international travel and worked on behalf of clients in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He also discussed the problem of research fraud and the role of the US Office of Research Integrity in preventing scientific misconduct in federally funded studies. Clint also touched on the regulatory process necessary to get FDA approval of a new vaccine. Contact information:Email: Clint.Hermes@bassberry.com or website:www.bassberry.com 
Episode #10, recorded April 16, 2020.Many thanks to Andy Fadenholz, a physician recruiter at RosmanSearch, Inc., for joining me today. Andy specializes in placing neurologists and neurosurgeons. We discussed the advantages of using a recruitment firm that specializes in a specific market and is aware of all the subspecialty areas within that specialty, such as an academic role, EMG specialist, neurohospitalist, neurointerventionalist, or outpatient-only neurologist. Andy mentioned that his firm pre-screens potential employers and won’t contract with employers who don’t meet their professional standards. Andy also makes site visits to employers and residency training programs, recently visiting the University of Tennessee. He helps educate residents on aspects of the business of medicine, such as RVUs, salary structure, and competitive salaries for the various subspecialties. Andy explained that “hand-holding” is part of his job. Agents at his firm act as a bridge between the physician applicant and the hiring facility. He encouraged physicians to reach out to program directors who may not even be advertising a position because there might be an unmet need for a new faculty member. His group has created a document of best practices for “Zoom interviews,” which are now replacing in-person interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. To contact Andy, please check the website: www.rosmansearch.com or email: afadenholz@rosmansearch.com. 
Episode #9 Recorded April 15, 2020Many thanks to Justin Allison of Ero Staff, a locum tenens staffing company, for joining me on the Art of Medicine. From his vantage point in Northern California, Justin discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on his locum tenens business. While the availability of outpatient positions has decreased, the demand for hospitalists, intensivists, and pulmonary specialists has skyrocketed. Due to the urgent need, compensation has even increased. We discussed how changes in state licensing regulations have expedited the process of getting physicians to where they are needed. Justin also commented on the explosive growth of telemedicine. Justin also has some surprising observations of the profiles of physicians eager to jump into the fray compared to those more likely to stay home and wait out the crisis. If you are a physician looking for a locum tenens position, whether for a week, month, or longer, you can contact Justin Allison at: justin@erostaff.com or 916.778.6030. 
Recorded April 17, 2020Many thanks to Robert McLean, President of the American College of Physicians, and a practicing rheumatologist, for joining me on “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.”Dr. McLean explained the active role the ACP has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to support physicians and direct public policy. The ACP has made recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding reimbursement of phone visits and decreasing prior authorization requirements. It has contacted Congress regarding stimulus funding. The ACP has communicated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with concerns about drug shortages. The ACP has supported social distancing and recommended that physicians practice remotely as much as possible. The ACP did not endorse President Trump’s withdrawal of funding the World Health Organization (WHO).The ACP website is the second most searched COVID information source after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and includes, “The Physician’s Guide to COVID,” which is updated regularly.We discussed the remarkable dedication that so many physicians and other healthcare providers have demonstrated during this crisis, putting themselves at risk with less than adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Thousands of retired physicians have volunteered.Dr. McLean explained how the concept of “putting the patient first” does not stem from the Hippocratic Oath. Instead, physicians put patients first because they have an internal drive to do the right thing. The ACP has emphasized that doctors have the right to speak out regarding unsafe working conditions. Dr. McLean observed that at his institution, physicians 65 and older, considered to be in a high-risk group for COVID-19, are not expected to see patients face-to-face, but rather conduct patient visits remotely. We discussed whether some of the recent regulatory changes, such as removing state-to-state licensing restrictions from telemedicine and providing reimbursement for telephone visits might endure after the pandemic. We broached the disturbing news of physician pay cuts while these same doctors risk their lives on the front lines. Dr. McLean concluded by discussing his passion for physician advocacy, which has the potential to help patients on a national level. Dr. McLean can be reached at www.acponline.org.
Many thanks to Michelle Mudge-Riley, MD, for speaking with me on this bonus episode of “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.” Michelle is the founder of PhysiciansHelpingPhysicians and has worked for 18 years to help physicians discover and pursue nonclinical careers. According to Michelle, one of the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic is an uptick in physician interest in nonclinical careers.Last year, Michelle held a very successful in-person conference with over 80 attendees. This year, she has organized three virtual conferences. The first conference, in July, will highlight the nonclinical and nontraditional career options available to physicians. The second, in September, offers in-depth information from physicians who have made the transition. The third, in November, will help physicians with the “how?” and offer a roadmap to get started. Conferences will include information on resume preparation, elevator pitches, interview techniques, as well as networking time. Physicians can register for one or more of the conferences.  Michelle kindly asked me to participate, and I’ll speak at the September Conference on locum tenens, a clinical but nontraditional career option for physicians.  Although I would prefer an in-person conference, the COVID-19 situation currently prohibits large groups. On the other hand, benefits of the virtual conference include lower registration costs, no travel costs, and “pajama attendance” if desired.Many thanks to Michelle Mudge-Riley, MD, for joining me today on The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.
In this episode #7 of The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner, John Jurica, MD, an expert on nonclinical careers, interviewed me about locum tenens. John’s familiar with my book, “The Locum Life: A Physician’s Guide to Locum Tenens.”We had a lot of fun and talked for over an hour! I started by defining locum tenens, explaining “The Locum Life,” and how to get your first assignment. We discussed the pros and cons of becoming an independent contractor, the role of a staffing agency, and the importance of flexibility. Flexibility applies not only to scheduling but to people skills as well. Finally, we discussed the “3 A’s of Success,” which can help locum tenens physicians succeed at every assignment. I hope you’ll agree that the discussion was lively and informative!Our interview is also available as a video on YouTube. To locate the program, search, “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner” on YouTube.We recorded our interview on April 3, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed how COVID-19 has dramatically altered the practice of locum tenens regarding travel options and the types of available assignments.John will also post his version of the recording on his regular podcast. I am looking forward to listening! By the way, both John Jurica’s podcast and The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner were both included in the list of the “Top 20 Physician Podcasts You Must Follow”  by Feedspot!Many thanks, John, for the opportunity to talk about The Locum Life, which helped me achieve work/life balance and advance my career. 
In Episode #6 of the Art of Medicine, Dr. Andrew Wilner interviews Johanna Fox, CPA, CFP, the founder of Fox and Company CPAs. Johanna runs two sister companies-one provides accounting the other offers wealth management services. A few years ago, I discovered Fox and Company CPAs while browsing the popular financial blog “The White Coat Investor,” where Johanna acts as a moderator. As a disclosure, since then, I’ve worked with Laura Clifford, CPA, an accountant with Fox and Company CPAs, and been a satisfied customer. However, I’ve never taken advantage of their wealth management services, in part because I didn’t really understand what they were. I decided to interview Johanna to learn more.In this 15-minute interview, Johanna explains what “wealth management” really is and how it can help physicians. She describes the training necessary to become a certified financial planner (CFP) and how her firm has expanded to address the financial needs of her clients. She also emphasized that she works on a flat fee basis vs. the “assets under management” (AUM) approach of most financial planning companies. (The AUM model takes 1% or so, whether the portfolio grows or shrinks.) All of Johanna’s clients are physicians or dentists, so she understands their struggle for work/life balance and the financial planning challenges they face.Johanna and I recorded this interview on April 2, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johanna observed that some physicians, such as dermatologists and pediatricians, have seen their practices wither or even had to close their doors. Her firm tries to assist with these new and unforeseen financial crises. Johanna also lent some advice for those who have seen their net worth plummet due to the recent stock market nosedive. Many thanks for Johanna for sharing her time and wisdom with us. Those interested in learning more about Johanna's wealth management and accounting services can reach her at: www.Fox-CPAs.com.If you prefer video, here is the Youtube link for this episode of The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner: https://youtu.be/dUAab_Uz-NY
Dr. Andrew Wilner interviews Dr. Debra Blaine about her new novel, “Code Blue: The Other End of the Stethoscope,” available on Amazon and other booksellers. Dr. Blaine discussed her background in literature and frustrations with corporate culture while working at an urgent care center that motivated her to write the novel. Woven into the doctor’s story is a medical thriller that demonstrates how far greed can go, even when lives are at stake. Dr. Blaine also works as a certified coach for medical professionals and can be reached at her website: debrablaine.com. 
Dr. Andrew Wilner interviews Rabbi Jeremy Simons, Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel, Memphis, TN, about the role of the chaplain in modern medical care. We discuss the importance of spiritual healing and how difficult it is to measure. Rabbi Simons explained that visiting the sick is a Jewish tradition that goes back thousands of years. According to ancient texts, a thoughtful visit can relieve 1/60th of a patient’s disease burden. While not as effective as penicillin, there are many medical illnesses where any relief would be welcome. We also broached the topic du jour of Coronavirus and the role of a community rabbi in offering spiritual support for global, medical catastrophes. 
In this 13-minute interview, Dr. Andrew Wilner interviews Ben Nanney, CPA, CFP, about the financial considerations that face locum tenens physicians who work as independent contractors. Ben is an expert on 1099s, W2s, quarterly tax estimates, tax breaks under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), as well as the nuances of financial planning. For more about locum tenens, check out my book, "The Locum Life: A Physician's Guide to Locum Tenens" on Amazon and at www.andrewwilner.com. And please don't forget to subscribe to "The Art of Medicine!"You can reach Ben Nanney through his website: https://crossroadsfinancialconsulting.com.For more information on locum tenens, check out, "The Locum Life: A Physician's Guide to Locum Tenens."
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