The “Car Guy” Who Became a “Doc”

Late Career Change: Never too late to Reinvent Yourself

EDITOR’S NOTE: In recognition of National Doctors’ Day, coming up at the end of the month, starting Monday, March 25, MedLearn Media will be honoring five individuals with profiles of their fine work in the field of healthcare and medicine. Today’s honoree is Ronald Hirsch, MD.

Growing up in Los Angeles, a city that some believe is car heaven, Dr. Ronald Hirsch recently noted that he was originally a “car guy” – and the car that first grabbed his attention was the classic Porsche 911.

The 911 continues to fixate: its distinctive styling, rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, and its high performance seem to be the perfect antidote for L.A. freeway driving. And in his neighborhood of Studio City, located only a few freeway miles north of downtown Los Angeles, a young Ron Hirsch developed a self-admitted car-envy: his neighbor’s father was a doctor. And he drove a 911.

While he claims he decided to become a doctor around the age of 12, the real motivation, as he admitted to RACmonitor, was the 911.

“I decided then to become a doctor so I could own a Porsche,” Hirsch wrote in an email to RACmonitor. “It’s not what usually motivates people to go into medicine, and as time went by, the academic and scientific fascination with medicine took over – but that Porsche was the spark that lit the fire.”

Hirsch was quick to add that he has yet to actually own one.

Although he no longer practices medicine, he said that when given the opportunity to work in the hospital case management and utilization review realm, he realized that as much as he enjoyed caring for patients, he could not be both a primary care physician and travel, providing case management education, without compromising one or the other.   

Today, he’s a permanent panelist on Monitor Mondays, the popular Internet broadcast produced by RACmonitor. He is also well-known among other physicians for his endless reporting on the list-serv “RAC Relief.” To many, he is the “24/7 dispenser of healthcare regulatory news.”

Hirsch is also a prolific writer whose essays, published by RACmonitor, are a sought-after feature item. His educational webcasts, also produced by RACmonitor, are also a favorite, often attracting large audiences.

Although Hirsch once admitted to considering a law degree, his knowledge of healthcare regulations and his online omnipresence with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stands as testimony to his inquiring mind – whether the subject is medicine or healthcare law.

Currently, Hirsch is the vice president of Physician Advisory Solutions at R1 RCM, a revenue cycle management company. He serves on the Advisory Boards of the American College of Physician Advisors and the National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity.

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Chuck Buck

Chuck Buck is the publisher of RACmonitor and is the program host and executive producer of Monitor Monday.

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