Stepping into the shoes of Dr. Alice Brooks, MD
During summer of 2014, I was on a CME/vacation at Kiawah Island with my family. Dr. Brooks called me and informed me that she planned to retire soon, and asked me if I would be willing to take over her practice. I was honored to be asked, but I was also apprehensive.
Running an independent primary care practice is an immense challenge but, in my view, the bigger challenge was stepping into Dr. Brooks' shoes. Her patients love her ... many of them have been seeing her for nearly two decades. I wondered if I would be able to establish the same kind of trusting relationship with her patients that she has developed over the years.
Dr. Brooks had been a friend ever since I moved to Columbia area in Fall 2012, and the mere thought of taking over her very busy practice was almost scary. They don't teach you how to run a practice at the medical school or during residency. I told Dr. Brooks that I would take over the practice on one condition: that she would be willing to mentor and help me through the transition process and beyond. She agreed, and I began preparing for Sept 30th, when she said she would retire.