There seems to be a perfect storm brewing within the healthcare system that is causing established physicians to leave the hospital cocoon and go into private practice or change careers altogether at alarming rates.
Physician burnout due to the pandemic, increased patient load, corporate mandates and contract disputes all contribute to the trend, and Dr. Stephanie Million is one of those doctors making the change, transitioning from a nighttime hospitalist position with Health First in Palm Bay, to opening Vero Beach Medical Spa and Wellness Center.
“A hospitalist is basically the ringleader for coordinating patient care acting as a patient advocate and liaison with medical specialists, insurances, families and new admissions,” said Dr. Million. “Hospitalists can be employees of the hospital, work on a per diem basis or be locum tenens, doctors who fulfill hospitalist duties on a short-term basis at multiple hospitals. I was an employed as a daytime hospitalist with Health First for a short time and typically started my day with a list of 18-to-23 patients to care for.
“I’m currently a per diem, nighttime hospitalist (nocturnist) at Palm Bay and I am in charge of all patients admitted to the hospitalist service as well as for admitting new patients overnight, which typically ranges from 7-to-19 patients.
“I see them, diagnose them, begin their treatments, consult specialists if needed, devise a plan of care and communicate that plan with the rest of the care team. Then I create documents in the patient’s chart that are used as record. Hospitals are understaffed in general and those who are there are overworked.
“I opened the Vero Beach Medical Spa and Wellness Center so I could find my happy place again helping people,” Dr. Million said. “It’s difficult to deal with really sick people all the time and I was getting physician burnout. Opening a med spa/wellness clinic makes it possible to utilize my medical skills to help keep people out of the hospital. I can help with aesthetics as well as their general well-being.”
The professional staff at Vero Beach Medical Spa believes that selfcare is the new healthcare and strive to help patients look and feel their best. They provide a variety of non-surgical aesthetic services such as BodyTite, BBL Lazzers, Morpheus8, SkinPen microneedling, derma fillers, neurotoxins and micropigmentation. They also offer hormone replacement therapy, IV injections for vitamin deficiencies and IV drips for hydration, increased brain function and immunity and energy boosts.
“In all my years of practicing medicine I have never heard a dying person say I wish I had more money. Instead they say, I wish I would have worked less and gone on vacation, or worried less about my weight and ate the cake,” Dr. Million said. “Our goal at Vero Beach Medical Spa and Wellness Center is to educate and teach our clients about available options and help them make decisions that will boost their confidence and make them feel better.”
Dr. Million initially opened her practice during the COVID crisis, but timing was bad as everyone was staying home and she was needed at the hospital to attend to COVID patients, so she returned to the hospital and continued working as a hospitalist for a while longer.
She currently splits her time between the hospital and the spa, and has expanded her spa staff to move forward.
“I am so excited about entering this next phase of my career,” Dr. Million said. “As a doctor we are taught to observe, listen, figure out what’s broken and figure out how to fix it. I am truly looking forward to being able to spend more doing just that.”
Dr. Million graduated from Rockhurst University in Kansas City and medical school at the Kansas City University Medical School. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
Vero Beach Medical Spa is open Monday through Friday by appointment only. For more information about available services, visit verobeachmedicalspa.com or call 772-907-5848 to schedule an appointment.