The days have grown shorter, the nights colder and the fantastic colors of the New Hampshire’s fall foliage will soon give way to winter!
Which means it’s time to take a look at what lies ahead for physicians.
Soon it will be time to say goodbye to 2017 and hello to a new year. With that in mind, take a look at these five things every physician should know before 2018:
The nation’s physician shortage has been well-documented. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, population growth, the increase in the number of aging Americans and retiring physicians will leave the country 100,000 physicians short by 2030.
While this is certainly alarming news for the nation, it does present an opportunity for physicians in search of new opportunities. Those who are interested should have no trouble finding hospital and healthcare systems interested in their services.
Bureaucratic tasks, too many hours at work, feeling unappreciated and the computerization of practice. These are the top four reasons physicians feel burned out, according to a Medscape survey of more than 14,000 physicians.
The survey found that the percentage of physicians who say they’re feeling burned out is steadily increasing. Being aware of the signs of burnout, seeking employment with an organization that values work-life balance and asking for help are some of the keys to preventing it.
The healthcare industry is constantly changes. New technology, payment models, leaders, and approaches to care delivery can make it seem like change is the only constant in the industry.
It also proves the old axiom: The more things change, the more things stay the same.
People still consider medical doctors to be among the most trustworthy professionals in the country, according to a survey conducted by Gallup. This is an important fact to keep in mind as you work through all of the change that consistently seems to occur in the industry.
Here are some facts and figures provided by “Hospital and Health Networks” that reaffirm the need for care coordination:
With more aging patients, more diverse patient populations and more pressure to improving outcomes at lower costs, physicians working at hospitals that embrace care coordination are likely to experience more success.
This has been a monumental year for physicians in the United States. As first reported by “Modern Healthcare,” 2017 marked the first time in U.S. history that less than half of all practicing physicians owned their medical practices.
It seems that physicians are moving en mass toward larger practices–and this is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Apparently, compliance costs, new payment models and the stress of owning and operating a practice has become too much for many physicians to take on.
The good news is that there are many healthcare systems searching for talented providers who want to focus on patient care rather.
If you’re interested in joining the ranks of those who’ve made the shift to larger practices, connect with Elliot Health System today! You’ll be sure to have the resources you need to succeed.
What matters most to you?
Is it compensation? Maybe you’re most interested in clinical excellence? Perhaps it’s patient outcomes?
All play a role in your ability to build a career that is as long-lasting as it is rewarding–but they might not be as important as the hospital community in which you work.
That’s right, where you work matters at least as much as how much you make, how well you perform, and whether or not patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
If this sounds far-fetched, consider the study conducted by Press Ganey on the influence of nurses’ work environments on patients, payments, and nurses themselves.
It found that work environment–the hospital community in which the nurses worked–played the largest role in overall job satisfaction.
And the study included employees and outcome data from 2,000 hospitals across the country.
Yes, the hospital community in which you spend eight, 10, 12 or more hours a day for days on end plays a big role in determining whether or not you are a shining star throughout your career or one that eventually burns out.
Obviously you want to work in a healthy hospital environment. Here are six key characteristics of a healthy hospital community:
Communication is critically important. When it’s effectively executed at an organizational, everyone is aware of the hospital’s values, goals, and challenges.
On the unit level, effective communication is every bit as important as clinical outcomes. In fact, effective communication can improve clinical outcomes.
Collaboration–true collaboration in which relationships are treated as genuine partnerships–allows physicians to bond, grow professionally, and improve outcomes for patients.
It ensures that no one feels as if they are an island, isolated from the rest of team, left to fend for her- or himself.
Is there anything worse for a physician than working in an environment where decisive decisions are the exception rather than the rule?
No there is not.
Effective decision making means that decisions are made collaboratively, with an understanding about how they will affect those at every level of the organization. They are clearly communicated. And they are carried out with consistency.
Any physician who has ever worked on an understaffed unit knows how important appropriate staffing is to the unit’s ability to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients without putting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of hospital staff in jeopardy.
Inadequate staffing often leads to unnecessary stress, which can lead to physician burnout.
Everyone wants to be recognized for the contributions she or he makes to the organization. In fact, research has shown that being recognized for a job well done could be the difference between job satisfaction and becoming disgruntled.
You may not want to publicly acknowledge the desire for recognition, and that’s perfectly fine. But internally, it’s important to be aware of the important role authentic recognition plays in keeping you satisfied at work–and then finding a hospital community that demonstrates its appreciation for its employees.
The relationship between effective, authentic leadership and a healthcare system’s ability to provide safe and effective care has been well-documented.
It also matters to you.
Lack of leadership creates an environment that doesn’t value communication or true collaboration. You may find yourself waiting for important decisions to be made. You may discover that a lack of adequate staffing and a dearth of recognition have you on the verge of burning out.
At that point, your compensation will no longer matter, clinical excellence won’t be achievable and patient outcomes will suffer–and so will your career.
Relocating isn’t something to be taken lightly.
It’s a complex process that requires a lot of heavy lifting, figuratively, and literally.
Where will you live? What about your family? How will the move affect your finances? And then there’s the physical act of packing and actually making the move.
Where to begin … .
Thankfully, many physicians have set off in search of greener pastures, and much has been learned from their experiences. Here’s a look at five things those physicians wish they’d known before taking their talents to new towns:
When it comes to location scouting, too much is never enough. Sure, a city might seem like the perfect relocation destination during your initial visit. After all, you’ve just been wooed by a healthcare system that seems to desperately want your services.
And they’ve probably done a pretty good job of selling the city and all it has to offer.
But what will you see when you start driving the streets, sipping coffee at the local cafes and sampling the cultural offerings–without the benefit of a tour guide? More importantly, what will your family see and feel?
The more scouting trips you take, the more you’ll have a feel for the flavor of the new area, and the more you’ll be sure it’s a good fit.
Not all tax codes are created equal, and the taxes collected (or not collected) can have a major effect on your present and future quality of life.
Before you accept a job offer that requires relocation, make sure to meet with your financial adviser so you have a clear understanding of the implications–good or otherwise.
When it comes to relocating, the job is only one part of the equation. Quality of life matters as much and perhaps even more.
After all, if you’re paying exorbitant taxes, living in a state that doesn’t value health care, worrying about high crime rates, or spending entirely too much time thinking about what’s wrong with the schools, government or infrastructure, you’re probably not going to be all that inspired at work.
So take a long, hard look at the community’s quality of life before you accept the new position.
Some jobs look better on paper than they do in person. Hospitals always put their best feet forward when they’re recruiting. Your job is to figure out how much of what they’re saying is marketing and how much is reality.
One of the best ways to figure out what the day-to-day grind will look like is to stop by the unit and see for yourself. Take a look at the pace, how people communicate and how patients are treated.
Then ask for a list of references–current and former physicians–who can tell you about their experiences.
The last thing you want to do is wind up with a job that leads to burnout.
Some things simply can’t be measured. They are your personal interests, the things for which you have the most passion.
It could be access to world-class skiing in the winter, fishing in the spring and places to hike and bike in the summer and fall. Maybe it’s proximity to large cities, fine dining or theater. It could be opportunities to lead in the community.
Make a list of the intangibles that matter most to you and then compare them with what is available in the community to which you’re considering relocating.
Greener pastures are out there–and it’s up to you to find the one that’s the best fit.
Ah, the age-old interview questions.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Tell me about a time when you failed to reach your goals and how you responded.” “What do you consider to be your strengths? What are your weaknesses?”
And these are only a few of the questions you should ask when you’re interviewing for a job.
Truth is, many people view job interviews as one-way streets, opportunities for hospital hiring managers to evaluate physician candidates based on a list of pre-determined criteria.
But it’s equally true that job interviews are opportunities for physicians to to evaluate prospective employers based on a list of predetermined criteria selected to ensure that the culture, commitment of colleagues and community align with career goals and professional values.
Yes, the job interview is actually a two-way street, and whether or not you continue down the path to employment should, in part, depend on these three things every physician should look for during an interview:
Communication is critically important in a hospital. It affects everything from the efficacy of treatment plans to the efficiency of healthcare teams to patient and physician satisfaction.
If you’re in an interview and notice issues with the interpersonal interactions of employees, beware!
Great hospitals are filled with employees who demonstrate compassion and respect with one another, their patients and the patients families. They have good energy. People interact with one another in friendly and supportive ways. They are authentic.
If you find yourself uncomfortable with the way people communicate with one another during a job interview, it could be a symptom of a work culture that’s less than ideal.
There are certain things that simply cannot be compromised in a healthcare setting–and organization is one of them.
As a physician, you have a better chance of achieving the best possible outcomes for patients when you work in an environment that is organized. Meetings start on time. Meeting participants are all on the same page, working off the same agenda and understanding of the meeting’s purpose.
If the interview starts late, it’s a bad sign (although there could be legitimate reasons for tardiness). If participants are not prepared, it’s a bad sign. If the interview process feels like a long walk in the dark woods, it’s a bad sign.
High-achieving organizations are highly organized. You want to work for an organization that is highly organized.
Physicians work hard to help their patients live better. But who is working to ensure physicians do the same?
In a perfect world, it will be your employer.
The battle for work-life balance has been raging in the healthcare industry for decades. Doctors simply work too much, put off caring for themselves, and often can’t escape their profession–even when they’re “off.”
The best healthcare systems believe in work-life balance. They offer ample vacation days, generous continuing medical education allowances, tuition, and travel expenses related to attending CME programs and understand that physicians need time away in order to avoid burnout.
Ask about all of these physician benefits during your interview, then watch closely to see how the interviewers respond.
Do they bristle at the idea of self-care, or do they seem interested in your well-being?
You know which response you want to see.
Job interviews are two-way streets. Make sure you are evaluating the interviewers and organization as much as they are you. It’s one way to make sure you take the right career path.
Learn more about opportunities at Elliot Health System–an organization that values communication, organization and balance.
It seems like everyone wants to work with the Elliot Health System.
It’s also hiring.
So if you’re looking for an opportunity to take your career to new heights, take a look at these four reasons why Elliot Health System is filled with top physician talent:
Great physicians attract great physicians, and Elliot Health System has no shortage of outstanding doctors.
Each year, New Hampshire Magazine publishes a list of the state’s top doctors, and each year Elliot Health System is well-represented–from immunology to anesthesiology to cardiology to emergency care to family practice.
As is often the case, these exceptional physicians work to surround themselves with colleagues who are every bit as talented and dedicated. They do this for patients, for the healthcare system and for themselves.
Elliot Health System knows that it has some of the top physician talent in the country. It also knows that excellence begets excellence, and it rewards physicians who recruit their colleagues through a referral program that provides a $5,000 bonus to employed physicians when they refer a physician who joins the team.
Money matters, but it’s not all that matters. The overall compensation package–including healthcare benefits, relocation reimbursement, vacation, deferred compensation and more–can be a true measurement of how much a healthcare system truly appreciates its physician talent.
Elliot Health System offers a robust compensation package that goes well beyond the ordinary.
In addition to the benefits listed above, physicians enjoy access to a wellness center and Taekwondo center, discounts on everything from cafeteria dining to cell phones to retail shopping to recreational activities, and on-site childcare.
Money matters, and Elliot Health System certainly offers competitive compensation. But sometimes its the benefits that truly make physicians feel appreciated.
Community hospitals are the backbone of the country’s healthcare system. They value accessibility, quality, collaboration and opportunities for physicians to take on new challenges and assume leadership roles.
Elliot Health Systems is home to Elliot Hospital, a 296-bed acute care facility in Manchester, New Hampshire, that has proudly and effectively served the community for more than 125 years.
It’s the largest hospital in Southern New Hampshire, and it is beloved by the people it serves.
The Elliot, as it is known, has received enough awards to fill an entire wing, but more importantly, it has created a culture that makes sense for physicians. It’s physician led. It values true collaboration. And it puts an emphasis on work-life balance, which seems to be a rarity these days.
If you haven’t been to New Hampshire yet, it’s time to book a trip.
The state offers a quality of life that is second-to-none, four distinctly beautiful seasons and easy access to the sea, mountains, forests and access to big-city attractions.
New Hampshire is consistently listed among the top places to practice, the 10 best states for health care access, the top places to raise a family and one of the safest places to live in the entire country.
There is also no sales or income tax, which means physicians get to keep more of their hard-earned money.
If you are ready to join the country’s top physician talent, consider joining the other exceptional practitioners who are already part of the Elliot Health System team.
Click below to browse our current open roles!
Sometimes it all comes down to fit. Other times it’s all about geography. And then there’s compensation, culture, community and career advancement opportunities to consider.
Yes, figuring out which physician job offer to accept can be daunting and difficult.
Many people focus on the financials, which is the most obvious consideration. But money isn’t everything–especially when you’re looking at launching or continuing a career that is likely to last decades.
Here’s a look five of the most important factors to consider when determining whether a physician job offer is right for you:
Money matters. But when considering the compensation attached to a physician job offer, it’s wise to look beyond the base pay.
You’ll also want to look at the financial viability of the practice, income guarantees, incentives, the overall benefits package, buy-ins to insurance programs and opportunities for career advancement.
Together, these elements add up to your total compensation.
If it all seems like too much to digest on your own, consider having an independent medical consultant review the offer and advise as to whether it is a good opportunity.
Money matters, but it isn’t everything. Many physicians have accepted the highest-paying job offer only to discover that the culture of the practice doesn’t fit with their personality, career goals or day-to-day expectations.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to identify what you value in a work culture, and then spend some time looking into the practice or healthcare system that made you the offer.
Interview physicians who work there. Call physicians who have recently left. Look at media reports about the people and practice. Talk to community members about their feelings towards the organization.
Doing your due diligence on the front end can help you make a smart decision that pays dividends for years to come.
For whom will you be working? Who oversees the work of the physicians? Are there opportunities for you to be part of the leadership team, either immediately or in the future?
The answers to these questions will play a big role in your day-to-day work, career advancement opportunities and overall career arc.
In addition, you should consider the communications practices that are employed by the organization. How often are staff meetings held? Will you have access to the president, physician leadership and others who make decisions?
Ensuring that you have a voice is important.
Working in a healthcare organization that is strategic about everything from creating a productive work environment to clearly defining job descriptions to ensuring quality and safety means that you are more likely to be successful.
The best places to work provide you with the resources you need to succeed. They are where you have opportunities to learn and grow in a congenial, stimulating and well-organized system.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your colleagues, but you’ll also be spending a considerable amount of time in the community.
Ask yourself whether the area offers ample opportunities to enjoy yourself out of the office. Take a close look at the schools. Consider nightlife, dining, arts and culture, and other activities.
Work-life balance matters to your overall quality of life. After all, you can’t live at the hospital.
If you are ready to work for a health system that values its employees, provides an excellent work environment in an area of the country that delivers a great quality of life, take a look at Elliot Health System today.
As a physician, you belong to a well-respected, very important profession, one which allows you to be of service while performing work that is professionally challenging and personally fulfilling. And you may be happy right where you are.
On the other hand, you may long for a different scenario. Perhaps you no longer want to be part of a private practice or corporate practice and would like to work in different setting instead. If this sounds like you, the following discussion on how to make a successful physician career change to a community hospital may be of benefit to you.
First, let’s briefly examine what working in a community hospital entails. Simply put, a community hospital environment offers many benefits not readily available in other health care settings, primary among them being the sense of “community” itself. A physician career change to such a setting permits you an environment to provide health care built on relationships with coworkers and residents of the community in which you live, people who, like you, are seeking similar things in location, lifestyle and values.
If you are serious about making a physician career change to a community hospital, you will need to address the certain factors in order to make a successful change in your professional life including:
1. Is this really what you want?
Although this may seem obvious, that isn’t always the case. The most important question you need to ask yourself is simply this: Why do I want to leave my current situation? Are you unhappy with your job (pay, hours, working conditions)? Tired of the office/care facility in which you work? Does your displeasure stem from your coworkers? More to the point, are you truly unhappy or simply feeling some restlessness? If the former, is your dissatisfaction mild, moderate or extreme?
Understanding your motivation for looking into a physician career change is essential. Failing to carefully examine your reason(s) may set you up for significant disappointment if you subsequently discover that you weren’t really dissatisfied or the grass wasn’t greener on the other side after all.
2. Is your family on board?
Changing jobs can be very difficult, more so if relocation is involved. It can cause discomfort and tension within a family unit, especially if your significant other or children are not in full agreement. Leaving friends, a school, or relatives who live nearby can all be very stressful and make adjusting to a new situation all the more challenging.
3. Do your research.
As the old saying goes, “not everything that glitters is gold.” Look into what the community hospital is offering. Find out if the culture is suitable for you. What about the community in which you will be living? Will you be able to advance your career? Reach out to your professional network to gain as much information as you can about any situation you’re considering. If your contacts don’t have the information you seek, they may know someone who does.
4. Find a career search firm that specializes in health care.
Making a successful physician career change to a community hospital can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a recruiting firm can help you find the placement that’s right for you. It’s what they do.
5. Be you.
Once you’ve found a desirable opportunity, let them see who you really are. Trying to be someone else in order to fit in is unsustainable in a small hospital setting and will lead to disappointment all around. Remember, this is about making a physician career change, not changing as a physician.
If you are ready to make the switch to a community hospital, take a look at what Elliot Health System has to offer.
If you’re a physician assistant, there’s really only one question you need answered: Where do you want to work.
The answer will probably depend on a variety of factors, and how much weight you put on each.
Pay, job prospects and career advancement opportunities typically top the list. But when you consider that physician assistants are in incredibly high demand these days, other factors seem to take on increased importance–community, cost of living and overall quality of life.
And when you add the tangible benefits of being a physician assistant with the intangible, it becomes clear that New Hampshire is a great place to be.
Here’s a look at the top benefits of being a physician assistant in New Hampshire:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for physician assistants across the country is $102,090.
But in the Granite State, it’s even better. Yes, compensation is one of the top benefits of being a physician assistant in New Hampshire, where the mean annual wage is a whopping $112,670.
That’s a number that tops states including New York, Massachusetts, California and Minnesota, according to government statistics.
It wasn’t that long ago when many people–patients and physicians alike–weren’t quite sure what to make of physician assistants. Some were confused about exactly what PAs did in the clinical setting. Others simply refused to accept the fact that anyone other than a doctor could diagnose and treat illnesses.
New Hampshire has always been different.
One of the top benefits of being a physician assistant in New Hampshire is the appreciation that patients, community hospitals and physicians have shown for PAs.
It’s why four out of the top 100 cities in the country for physician assistants are located in New Hampshire, according to ValuePenguin.
Appreciation matters. And physician assistants are appreciated in New Hampshire.
Thanks to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you already know that job opportunities for physician assistants have exploded over the past couple of years and are expected to grow at a rate of more than 30 percent over the next few years.
But did you know that New Hampshire is at the forefront of creating more opportunities for physician assistants?
According to Becker’s ASC Review, physician assistant jobs increased by nearly 20 percent between 2015 and 2016. That means there are a lot of opportunities in the New Hampshire–and those opportunities are likely to continue to grow.
No physician assistant should ever feel like an island, and you will never have to worry about feeling unsupported or all alone when you’re working as a PA in New Hampshire.
Even if you don’t always realize it, the support provided by your colleagues is one of the top benefits of being a physician assistant in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire Society of Physician Assistants (NHSPA) is incredibly active and creative in providing PAs with opportunities for professional development, socialization, and plain old support.
It may not be the biggest professional organization in the country, but it’s members will tell you it’s one of the best.
Every PA is going to want to get away from the office once in a while, and there is no better state in which to escape than New Hampshire.
You’ve got wonderful wilderness and mountains to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, big cities, small towns and two of the countries largest metropolitan areas just short distances away in New York City and Boston.
No matter your interests, you’ll be able to find it in New Hampshire.
Are you ready for a New Hampshire physician assistant role? Apply to Elliot Health System!
We live in a time where more information is available daily than we could possibly digest in our lives. For example, it has been said that a single edition of the Sunday New York Times contains more information than a person alive in the 1700’s processed during his/her entire lifetime. That said, information is essential to our existence. If you’re a physician, it is critical to your professional success.
Doctors must constantly update their knowledge to continually provide the most up-to-date, effective care and treatment. As well, being a physician subjects you to other challenges related to your profession such as practice management, negotiating malpractice insurance, even career burnout. The information available to you is limitless; your time, however, is not. Solution? We suggest online physician forums.
What types of physician forums are there?
There are, as you might imagine, numerous physician forums available online. The challenge is to determine how to make the most of them. Determining what interests you and what content you seek is the first step towards maximizing the utility of whatever forum(s) you choose to use.
The following lists just some of the online physician forums to which you can turn:
Maximizing physician forums
There is clearly an abundance of online physician forums. The question is: How do you make them work for you?
1. Choose wisely. If it’s general information you are after, you’ll have more than enough choices that will suit your purposes. However, unless time is an unlimited resource for you, picking the forum(s) most likely to suit both your needs and interests should be your priority. So ask yourself: What do I want?
2. Be discriminating. Even if you’ve found the ideal forum for you, chances are that it will have more info than you know what to do with. It may take a conscious effort on your part not to become sidetracked by content that, while it interests you, isn’t related to why you accessed the resource in the first place. Remember that physician forums, even those designed for a single specialty, are intended to cater to a wide audience. Don’t get distracted by issues peripheral to your search.
3. Manage your expectations. Be clear in your own mind why you are accessing the forum.
Collaborate. Problem solve. Stay informed. Socialize!
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Technology: Blessing or curse? It depends, doesn’t it? On whether you can do without it, what it’s used for, and whether you enjoy using it in the first place. And you’ve probably discovered many examples when technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Take physician technology, for example.
According to a recent survey conducted by Merck, 4 of 5 doctors felt that mobile physician technology is changing the office visit. The study also found that 81 percent of those surveyed reported that using medical devices to access medical information caused a shift in the standard dynamic associated with the doctor’s office.
No doubt that technology has helped streamline communications, both between doctor and between doctors and their patients. Medical document record keeping has been made more orderly and medical technology in general has permitted a more effective and efficient delivery of health care.
So how do you know which technology to choose? Which app or program or even device is best suited for you when you are outside your office? The following, will hopefully provide you with some new insight into how to become a better doctor when you’re away from the office.
Social Media/Patient Communication
Smartphones, tablets and laptops provide physicians ever-improving methods of communicating to and with their patients. The advent of higher resolution and larger screens, faster data speeds and proliferation of websites formatted for portable devices make portable devices perhaps the most effective form of physician technology that can be used outside of the office, even if it they are often taken for granted.
Today’s devices, when combined with new apps released daily, make it easy for you to send and receive communication, treatment notes, file info imaging and consultation discussions. Make sure to pay particularly close attention to your HIPAA requirements.
Developed to improve communication, enhance patient education and increase efficiencies, Patient Portals provide both you and your patients access to their medical files.
If you are a primary care provider this form of physician technology permits you to, among other things:
• Communicate with your office or to other parties (sending prescriptions to a pharmacy, for example)
• Post lab and diagnostic exam results
• Post patient consent forms
• Access billing information
With the necessary software patients will have the ability to things such as:
• View and update medical history, medication lists, contacts and other demographic information
• Provide consent
• Complete registration forms
• Request, confirm and reschedule appointments
• View and pay bills
Other Communication Apps
If demands on your time seem to be increasing so that you find it difficult to stay on top of your practice, there is physician technology available that will increase your efficiency. One example is an app called Critical Pager which allows you to reduce the number of devices on which you rely to communicate. In short, the app permits you to manage all of your paging and phones calls using just one device. We are not endorsing this particular product but are simply providing an example of physician technology that can make your day more efficient.
There are, of course, many other types of physician technology and resources which provide information about that tech. For example, Physicians Practice provides information for you to, as the site claims, have “your practice your way.” If you are interested in learning about other tech, you may also want to spend some time at medgadget.com.
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