In 2009, after 17 years in medicine, Brown picked up his second job, an unusual decision for a doctor of 17 years, but he’d long had the inclination.
“When I had the opportunity, I decided to go,” Brown said.“It was just the right time for me. I was always interested in the law, and I loved law school. It was one of the best things I ever did.”
Taking on two jobs is growing more common. The number of multiple job holders in the country increased from 2015 to 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Brown said the advantage of having duel medical and law degrees is more than financial; it gives him flexibility.
“There’s been so many changes in medicine over the years, so I think people are finding ways to adapt to the changing times,” Brown said. “I thought combining a law degree with my medical degree would be a way to make me more flexible in terms of my future and things that I can do.”
By having control of his schedule and a diverse skill set, Brown is carving out a niche in Bayonne.
Brown is a family guy, with two kids at Robinson Community School. He can walk to his office from home. A lot of legal work can be done from home, because law lacks much of the time constraints of a medical office. “With medicine, you pretty much need to be on call all the time,” he said.
Brown splits his time unevenly, practicing medicine much more than law, something he wants to change. “I spend much more time doing medicine but I want to expand my law practice, get more cases.” He has three cases in the courts right now. All of them involve plaintiffs suing medical professionals for malpractice.
Legal codes of ethics prohibit Brown, or any doctor/lawyer, from representing a client who is also a patient. But what about suing a medical colleague? “No, no, I would never do that,” Brown said. “It’s not technically against the rules, but certainly in bad taste.” All of Brown’s colleagues “practice medicine in conformity with accepted medical standards. I keep good company,” Brown said.
Earning two degrees and opening two private practices was a must for brown. Working for someone else would have been a deal-breaker.
“I like making my own schedule,” he said.“If I want to buy a copier or printer or something, I don’t need the approval of 10 colleagues. I just go out and get what I need. I don’t have to be reliant on being an associate at a firm or something like that.”
But he’s had enough education. “I’m good,” Brown said.“I think I’ve paid enough tuition in my lifetime at this point.”
Dr. Brown’s office is at 758 Broadway. His phone number is (201) 339-2220.