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.
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.
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.
It’s quite possible that there has never been a better time to be a physician assistant.
The profession has never received more respect. It’s a growing area of health care. And, the need for physician assistants is expected to grow by a whopping 30 percent between now and 2024, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All of these good vibes have led many physician assistants to look for new opportunities, more money and better benefits.
But, it’s not always easy to start a new job as a physician assistant. Every organization has its own culture, values and idiosyncrasies. The sooner you can figure them out, the sooner you’ll be able to successfully navigate your new job and make a positive impact in the lives of your patients as well as your organization.
Here’s a look at three tips designed to help every physician assistants navigate new jobs:
Even though physician assistants have never been more well-respected or visible, you can’t assume that all of your new colleagues and patients will understand–or respect–your role with the organization.
Many patients unsure about physician assistants. Some of your new colleagues might feel like you’ve been hired to replace them, which you know isn’t true–but, insecurities can be difficult to overcome.
That’s why it’s important to educate your colleagues and patients on the role of the physician assistant. It’s quite possible that people will be surprised by the wide range of things you are able to do. Rather than have your role create tension or turf wars, be prepared to share factual information.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants website is chock full of resources that can help you educate your colleagues.
Physicians have been caring for patients for hundreds of years. Physicians assistants have only been around for about 50 years. For this reason, you are going to want to spend some time promoting yourself as well as the profession.
Many patients aren’t aware of the benefits of working with a physician assistant to stay health. Many might not even know you exist. Introduce yourself to patients by sending a letter. Attend promotional events outside of the practice. Get to know your patients on a personal level. Share your story, your hobbies and your previous experience with them.
That’s how you build trust, a solid patient base and the practice.
Promote yourself and you’ll quickly become invaluable to the organization.
The physician assistants who are best able to navigate new jobs are those who quickly understand that collaboration is the key to their success. After all, no physician assistant is an island–all physician assistants work closely with doctors, nurses and the office staff to care for patients.
So fight the urge to try to quickly prove yourself all by yourself. Make sure you take the time to get to know your new colleagues, learn how they like to work and be patient as you get to know them both personally and professionally. Once you have built trust, you’ll be better prepared to deliver exceptional care to your patients.
And speaking of patients, one of the quickest ways to earn their trust is to have the physicians with whom you’ll be working with introduce you to them.
Collaborating on your introduction–as well as the care you provide–can go a long way toward helping you be accepted by your new patients more quickly than you otherwise might be.
There has never been a better time for you. Use these tips to make the most of it!
Would you like to learn more about open physician assistant careers at Elliot Health System? If so, click below.
As a physician looking for your next job, you are likely taking into account many different criteria. You may be considering how well the job pays, how the experience will affect your career trajectory, and how well respected the institution is in the medical field.
But, arguably one of the most important things you need to consider is how the new job will affect your spouse. A physician’s spouse makes many sacrifices—albeit, willingly—during the course of physician careers. The spouse goes where the physician’s job take him or her; moving house and setting up the family life in a new location, perhaps over and over again over the span of a lifetime. These challenges that a physician’s spouse must accept and overcome can be made a little easier when the physician factors the spouse’s interests into the equation. Here’s how to include the spouse’s needs and wishes in your physician careers decision.
Encourage Independent Activity
As a physician, much of your time will be consumed at the medical facility where you work. Long and unpredictable hours are the hallmark of physician careers, no matter which position you decide to take. This leaves your spouse alone for several, if not most of their waking hours. Because of this, a physician’s spouse can feel lonely and isolated. In worst cases, this can lead to feelings of abandonment or depression.
When you encourage your spouse to enjoy independent activity, you are helping them find fulfilling ways to spend their time alone. As your spouse finds new ways to enjoy their own free time, you will naturally feel less pressured in your job as a physician, knowing that your spouse is not sitting at home counting the hours until your return.
When considering places for your next job, look for areas where your spouse can pursue and engage with their chosen independent activities. For instance, if they have taken up bicycling, look for towns with plenty of bicycle paths. Taking your spouse’s interests into consideration will help both of you to find happiness in your new job.
Include Your Spouse in Social Occasions
Being the spouse of a physician is dissimilar to being the spouse of other career men and women. Often, the unique issues and problems of a physician’s spouse are not able to be understood by those who are not married to a physician. As such, it’s very important for your spouse to be able to develop friendly bonds with other physicians’ spouses in your new job location. In that way, your spouse will be able to find emotional support in times when no one else seems able to understand their feelings.
When you are meeting with potential new employers at cocktail or dinner parties, be sure to bring along your spouse if possible. These social occasions and informal interviews are excellent opportunities to ensure that your spouse and the other physicians’ spouses will be a good match. Your spouse should be able to find at least one other person who might be a potential friend. These friendly relationships between physicians’ spouses will form the foundation of a community of friends and colleagues upon which you and your spouse can build a rewarding life in your new job location.
Remember that you and your spouse are, at the heart of all matters, a team. When you take your spouse’s needs and wishes into consideration, they will be emotionally and mentally able to support you in your career goals. Physician careers require an extraordinary amount of time, commitment and focus. When you and your spouse operate as a cohesive partnership, both of you will flourish.
Are you wondering what sort of options exist for recreation around Elliot Health System? If so, make sure to check out our free Outdoor Adventure Guide.
For any physician, making a decision between hospital employment vs. private practice takes a little thought. Each employment setting has both benefits and disadvantages, so you’ll want to determine which of the two offers more of the former in your situation. For example, if you have significant debt from student loans, your salary may take precedence over other factors. Your choice basically boils down to finances, autonomy and administrative work.
Your potential starting salary in private practice may be less than what you could earn by working for a hospital, because a private practice makes its money on net collections. It takes time to build up significant income. Another consideration: when you work for a hospital, you’ll have to go through regular salary and contract negotiations. In addition to salary, you should consider other potential benefits like retirement, health insurance and the operational costs of private practice. If you choose a non-profit hospital in a medically underserved area, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness, which can make a significant contribution to your personal bottom line. Other issues: relocation assistance or a sign-on bonus.
Let’s face it — when you work for yourself, you call all the shots. That includes both patient care and operational management decisions. Working for a group physician practice means you’ll have more of a voice than working for a hospital. For some physicians, not having to make some of those decisions sounds like a terrific idea. But it can also mean that you have to live with the organization’s EMR or clinical practice guidelines. The support staff you work with report to the hospital, not you. If the organization adopts new practice or quality metrics, you’ll need to meet them even if you don’t agree with them.
As the boss, or one of the bosses, you’ll have to worry about things like payroll, human resource decisions, payor contracts, marketing and capital outlays. If you and your partners own your office building, there will be mortgage payments and maintenance issues. When you work for a hospital, someone else handles all those details. On the down side, it could mean you have to share an office or support staff, and if the organization decides to change a service line in which you practice, you may not be able to influence the decisions.
One thing a hospital offers that you don’t usually find in private practice is the opportunity for shift work. Say you have young children, and want to adjust your work time to coincide with their schedules, or at least minimize conflicts. In a hospital specialty like emergency medicine or as a hospitalist, shift work is more likely to be an option. Shift work may also mean that you don’t have to take call.
The Bottom Line
Before you leap into either hospital employment or private practice, do your homework. Talk to colleagues on both sides of the equation, including recent graduates and experienced physicians. Ideally, find a few who have experience in both environments. Become familiar with the legislative and quality incentives looming in the future and consider how they may affect your practice style in both environments; remember, hospitals will be held more accountable for many of these issues. Consider potential reimbursement trends, such as a switch from direct production to ancillary services. Identify your negotiating strengths. For example, primary care physicians may have a lot of leverage right now because of shortages and high demand in that specialty.
Elliot Health System (EHS) is the largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services in Southern New Hampshire. Check out our current job opportunities to see if you’re a match today!
One of the many advantages of working in the medical field is the fact that there are so many career paths to choose from. Right now a list of the best jobs for doctors includes jobs that pay well, are in high demand, and are challenging.
The field of family medicine
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, salaries in family medicine are on the rise. On average, family physicians can expect to bring in $195,000 per year. That’s a full 10% rise compared to stats from the previous year – and shows the fifth highest growth compared to all specialties.
Salary isn’t the only reason that the field of family medicine is one of the best jobs for doctors. According to the article linked above, 73% of physicians working in family medicine said they’re satisfied with their career – which is the highest of any of the specialties polled.
The American College of Emergency Physicians completed a survey of their own members and discovered that they make an average of $301,274 per year. This survey covers more than 1,000 physicians in all states and Washington D.C. About 70% of those polled were staff physicians and the other 30% were directors of emergency departments.
Job growth is another factor that makes emergency medicine one of the best jobs for doctors. 66% of the emergency physicians polled said their departments had hired more physicians in the last year and 56% said they believed their department would hire additional physicians within the next year. The stats vary based on which state you’re looking at but consider that 82% of hospitals in the Northeast have fast tracked emergency physicians.
According to Medscape, internal medicine salaries vary greatly. For example, the mean salary in this specialty is $185,000 but more than 10% of those in the field earn more than $300,000 a year. Of those surveyed, 20% had received a raise within the previous year which shows this is specialty with potential for salary growth.
More internists say they’re happy with their jobs than those who say they’re not happy – and the percentage of physicians satisfied with this specialty has risen by more than 10% in just three years. As with any career, not everyone is happy but these stats make it clear that conditions are improving.
Internal medicine is also a great job for physicians who’d prefer to spend the majority of their time seeing patients instead of filing paperwork: The greatest percentage of those surveyed said they spend 30 – 40 hours per week seeing patients.
The salaries and roles of each job listed will vary based on where a candidate lives, their experience, and a variety of other factors. However, these are the best jobs for doctors when average salary and job growth are compared.
Would you like to see what’s available at Elliot Health System for Emergency and Internal Medicine? Click the button below!
The stress of moving is indisputable. Packing years’ worth of possessions, changing all of the digital information that keeps a household running, adjusting your family’s routine to a new schedule, new environment, new friends–it has the potential to add up to one big headache. As a physician, taking a new position to further your career can be tempting, but if that career change also involves relocating, you have many factors to think about beyond the benefits of the job itself.
Consider the following trade-offs of relocating for a physician career:
At Elliot Health System, we are dedicated to helping you make a smooth transition into joining not only our community of healthcare providers but our local population at large. We believe that the trade-offs of relocating to New Hampshire to join our team far outweigh the stress of moving. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about what Elliot Health System has to offer a physician who is looking to make a transition to a new career.
Thinking of relocating for a better physician job? There are many good reasons you might want to pursue an opportunity outside your local community – even in another state or on the other side of the country. As with any other profession though, it’s important to consider all the facts before you make a decision. A big move can be challenging, but it might be the best choice you can make.
Let’s consider three main reasons physicians relocate for a job:
1. Lower Insurance Costs or Regulatory Burden
Although much of a physician’s overhead comes from federal mandates, each state has its own complexities that add to the mix. Many physicians find that they are in a difficult position in their home state and may even face difficulties paying off student loans within a reasonable timeframe. If this describes you, it’s important to look at both the salary you stand to earn and the out-of-pocket expenses required by your new practice area. Finding an employer dedicated to competitive compensation can help lighten the load and support your long-term goals.
2. Stronger Support Network and Physician Benefits
Physicians face unique professional challenges and don’t always have the luxury of leaving their work behind when they’re done for the day. When an employer’s benefits are both creative and comprehensive, they promote a much healthier work environment for all medical professionals. Perks like an employee assistance program, direct deposit, an on-site cafeteria, and other benefits can help you feel more secure: You know you’ll have resources at your fingertips even in times of trouble. Of course, some physicians simply “click” better with certain work environments, improving their performance and morale.
3. Improved Quality of Living and Personal Well-Being
Naturally, there are some things that can’t be quantified so easily. You might want to move to a certain area to be closer to your family or friends, for example. You might find a certain community is the right size or has the right amenities for your lifestyle. Or you might simply enjoy the climate, architecture, history, culture, or “feel” of a certain place. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to listen to these gut feelings about what will work best for you. Sometimes, change is good for its own sake – and having a good job lined up will help promote stability in your new home.
Elliot Health System of Manchester, New Hampshire is changing the way physicians and their families think about work. Our flagship location, Elliot Hospital, has provided Southern New Hampshire with over a century of service. Now, we’re taking the lead in extending that spirit of service to our physicians and their loved ones through robust benefits. We want to help the members of our care community achieve a healthy, balanced way of life.
You can learn more about open positions at Elliot Health System by clicking below.