Family MD has fallen on some hard times, how do you help?

  1. Our family doctor has been our family doctor for several years. He runs a small rural clinic and has a wife and a whole litter of kids (from toddlers to teens and in between). He has always been a very kind and down to earth person, never someone who acted like he was some kind of big shot.
    Well, you know how rumors fly but from what I have seen there must be some truth to it. His wife apparently got mixed up heavily into illegal drugs and it has put the family in financial ruin. They lost their house (I remember getting an email from the Girl Scout troop leader that this family was selling everything in their home and encouraging everyone on her email list to come to the sale, but I didn't realize why at the time) and now they are living in a travel trailer in the back of the clinic and driving an old broken down car.
    He had to let his nurse go and now it is just him and his teenage son trying to operate the clinic. And I heard his son tell a caller while we were there that they were not accepting new patients at this time. I feel sorry for the boy, he looked like he was having a hard time keeping things straight (his wife used to run the clinic, now she either hides in the trailer or when she comes out she just kind of stares into space.) We went to see him the other day and it made me feel very bad. I'm sure this is not how he nor his wife and children pictured themselves.
    I'd like to offer them some kind of help but I don't want to come across as some kind of nosey do-gooder. I don't have any money to offer but I'd like to help in some other way. Does anyone have any ideas about ways I could offer to help?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   zenman
    Just ask him what you can do...maybe volunteer a few hours at the clinic.
  4. by   EricJRN
    Quote from zenman
    Just ask him what you can do...maybe volunteer a few hours at the clinic.
    :yeahthat:
  5. by   NurseLatteDNP
    I was going to say the same thing. Or you can also get someone to volunteer with you and do the paperwork stuff, like organizing and keeping up with the insurances and appointments... That would be a big help.
    How great that you want to help. Keep doing what you are doing.
  6. by   Jo Dirt
    I was thinking of telling him I plan on starting NP school, I want to open my own clinic and I was advised to spend some time in a clinic to see how it operates, like a couple of days a week. I hope that doesn't sound contrived or something. After all, he isn't stupid.
    I think my boss at work would be sympathetic with the whole situation and work with me on it.
    He is such a nice man and my husband and me really trust him (it is unusual for my husband to trust any doctor). I'm just worried he would see through me and be too proud to accept the offer...but that is what I was thinking about initially, offering to help out at the clinic.
  7. by   dianah
    You have a kind heart, and your idea of helping out at the clinic sounds like a practical thing you can do to help him right now. I'm sure you'll be able to help in ways his teenaged son can't. Would you help out as a nurse or just a volunteer, helping, say, organize? If as a nurse, there may be liability issues if you're not "staff," i.e., if some nasty person were to sue him for something you were involved with (he's ultimately responsible). That's my only concern. What a sad situation. I hope she's getting help. No, change that: I hope they're ALL getting help (Al-Anon, Ala-Teen, etc).
  8. by   JBudd
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    I was thinking of telling him I plan on starting NP school, I want to open my own clinic and I was advised to spend some time in a clinic to see how it operates, like a couple of days a week. I hope that doesn't sound contrived or something. After all, he isn't stupid.
    Unless its true, I wouldn't tell him that. Best laid plans and all that. Just be upfront, you don't want to lose him as a doctor in the community, and you'ld like to help keep the clinic open by volunteering there.
  9. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    Just tell him you would like to get volunteer hours in, and would like them to be in his clinic.


    I'm sure you could come up with a volunteer hour sheet online & have him sign it each week.

    It would look good on any resume, for work or school, to see that there are volunteer hours put in each week.



    Very caring for you to want to help....good for you!
  10. by   JentheRN05
    I totally agree with almost everyone. Put in volunteer time at the office. He clearly needs some help.
  11. by   live4today
    If I were in your shoes, I would approach him directly as a friend...ask him directly how you may help out his family at this time.

    The volunteer suggestions are good ones, too.

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