Surgeon Retrains as Primary Care Physician After Retiring

PRR Prescription for Success: Dr. Ted Dodenhoff

Dr. Ted Dodenhoff was a retired plastic surgeon. He had hung up his scalpel, put away his stethoscope and was spending time with his family and traveling.

He was happy but missed helping people through medicine.

Then, one of the Physician Retraining & Reentry founders called him to tell him about this new program that retrains physicians to reenter them into practice as primary care physicians. To Dr. Dodehnhoff, that sounded like the right prescription for his feelings.

He was PRR’s first participant and graduate. Tasked with not only taking the self-paced, online course but also providing feedback to improve it, Dr. Dodenhoff remembers not making many suggestions. “I thought the program was excellent,” he adds.

“There’s been such a change in medicine since I was a resident,” says Dr. Dodenhoff, who completed his last residency in 1969. “PRR set me up for what I wanted do.”

After graduating from PRR, Dr. Dodenhoff put his refreshed primary care skills to work one day a week as a volunteer at a mobile community clinic near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. He and other volunteer physicians and nurses treat low-income people who would otherwise not have access to medical care. From hypertension and obesity to circulatory problems and women’s health, the mobile clinic provides treatment and preventive care to patients in need.

“Sometimes, it almost brings tears to my eyes to see my patients so grateful for the treatment we provide,” Dr. Dodenhoff said.

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