Pella Chronicle

June 16, 2013

The traveling doctor

Amy Holmquist
The Chronicle

Pella — Taking care of patients is what he loves to do….building relationships, helping those who need a doctor’s guidance and touch, but what happens when you find your life tied down to running a private practice and you miss out with your own family? Quit the job!  And that’s exactly what Dr. Winn Gregory did, without losing the opportunity to do what he loves the most – helping patients.

After missing many performances, graduations and other family events, Dr. Gregory decided it was time to leave his business. Eager to spend his final years in his career as a family man, Dr. Gregory sold his private practice and moved to Pella. Spending 30 years running his private practice, he felt married to his work. The long hours at the office, the financial responsibility and the 24/7 work week had exhausted him and his wife.

“For most of us doctors, we’re not business people and we don’t want to run a practice,” Dr. Gregory commented on his years running his own private practice.

But he wanted to still practice medicine, just without the responsibility of running a private practice. Weatherby Healthcare, a locum tenens agency, was just the answer. This type of organization is unique in that it employs “traveling doctors.” When a hospital finds itself in need of a physician temporarily, Weatherby Healthcare sends a doctor their way.

This was the perfect opportunity for Dr. Gregory to continue practicing medicine while enjoying a relaxed lifestyle with his wife, children, and grandchildren. In 2011, he and his wife packed their bags and moved from Oregon to Pella. Since then, he has worked in over a dozen hospitals across five states.

“My first job was in South Dakota for three weeks. I had some fear for being in an unsettled situation, but Weatherby’s clients are excellent. They see you’re up to speed with the technology each practice is working with. It’s been a remarkable experience and I’ve gotten to work with other surgeons,” he commented.

Even though he finds himself in a different hospital and work environment every month, being a locum tenens practicing medicine has been more enjoyable and he enjoys being a surgeon again.

“It lets you take care of patients, what you originally set out to do. It’s a true pleasure doing locums work,” he commented on working for Weatherby Healthcare.

Before, Dr. Gregory would find himself logging almost 60 hours a week in his private practice. Under Weatherby Healthcare, Dr. Gregory is allowed the flexibility to schedule his time and works a more normal workweek.

“It’s been a dream come true to be near our kids and grandkids and Pella is a wonderful community. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else after living in Pella for two years,” Dr. Gregory commented.

It’s been a win-win situation for the doctor and his family. Not only has he found abundantly more time for his family, he’s rejuvenated his career and refueled his passion for treating patients.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually look forward to being on call to go to work,” he said.

After working for Weatherby Healthcare, the doctor doesn’t see himself returning to a private practice and plans on working for the agency for the rest of his career.