Thursday, August 05, 2010

Remember the Teeter Totter?

Do you remember the Teeter Totter that was in the playground behind your elementary school? The fun came when you and a friend jumped on opposite ends of the long wooden board and took turns being “up” and then being “down”. The trick was getting off, this is what required the skill, one rider needed to slide off but not let go of the teeter board since they had to let the other person down slowly. Without this consideration the other person would be sure to hit the ground with a THUMP.

As our group at Next Iteration works with healthcare professionals that are transitioning from one position to the next we keep in mind the lessons from the Teeter Totter. This being that it is important to ease out of the position that you are leaving to soften the blow for the group that you are leaving behind. So if you are in the midst of a search for a new job and anticipate that you will be leaving your current group here are a few recommendations…

  • Finish: If you have ongoing projects try to wrap them up, or at least get them to a position where they can be handed off.
  • Organize: Make sure that all of your work is organized and complete.
  • Schedule: When possible try to lighten your work schedule so that when you resign there are fewer spots to fill.
  • Cross Train: If you have unique knowledge/responsibility then consider bringing another peer up to speed on what you know that they do not.
  • Document: Be extra sure to document everything that you do, leaving a strong paper trail will help the rest of the group when you are gone

The world is not flat, but it is small; putting some consideration into how you are leaving your current position is well worth the time and effort. Just like the Teeter Totter the group you are with are the ones that you have had fun playing with, it may be time to get off and move on to other fun stuff, just don’t jump off too quickly. If you THUMP the person on the other end it is sure to leave them with a bad memory of you!

Happy and Healthy Hiring.

One successful candidate and employer at a time.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Did vs. DO

Repost: original by Charlotte Byndas/ Career Agents Network…

K.I.S.S. and preparing for an interview/career move

If any of the recent media reports are accurate it is likely you are not thrilled with your current job and are soon to be looking for a new one, so today I thought I would share a tip on prepping for the process.

For those of you not aware this stands for Keep It Simple Silly.

I find this concept works well when advising professionals on how to prepare to interview for their next career step. This advice can be packaged in two words, did and Do, so simple the concept can fit on the back of a business card but so important that it can make the difference between getting a job offer or being wished the best of luck.

Let's take a closer look at the formula…

did/ Do

If you notice here the did is much smaller than the DO, which is representative of how much time should be spent on what during an interview. What you did in the past is important but what is more important is what you can DO for the new company if you got hired.

I would suggest that as you start to take a look at where you want your take your career, focus in on what you want to DO, and then prepare discussions points to discuss during an interview that demonstrate your ability to DO what the manager needs to get done. Managers extend offers to the professionals that they have the confidence WANT and can DO the job they need to have done. Your job in an interview is to give the manager that level of confidence in you.

This is important to emphasis since I see many people who waste important time in an interview on details in their employment history that have no correlation to the work they want to DO. When asked in an interview, "tell me about yourself", what they are really asking it "tell me what you want to DO with your career and why will you be GOOD at DOING that with our company".

I hope you've enjoyed this guest post.

Happy and healthy hiring. One successful candidate and client at a time.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) - Awareness is the Key

Most of you know that I usually post about recruiting or career topics - especially for physicians. Some of you may be aware that in a very personal way, my life has been touched by HCM. 180 days ago my husband who was one week short of his 40th birthday died suddenly and for us very tragically. HCM turned out to be the culprit; but we didn't know until it was too late.

HCM occurs in one in 500 people (1:500). It is the leading cause of death in young athletes under 30 years of age. I want to help get the word out that this is a disease that needs more attention.

Recently Lisa Salberg, Founder and CEO of HCMA (the leading association supporting patients, professionals and education about the disease) and Dr. Martin Maron, Director of the HCM Center at Tufts-New England Medical Center discuss Sudden Cardiac Death in athletes in a 20 minute story on ESPN. Click here to see the story. Please check it out.

Protect your families and friends from this tragic disease.


Happy and Healthy Hiring
One successful candidate and employer at a time.


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Friday, October 09, 2009

Physician Revenue Declines

As you know, all things physician have been my passion for ages. I follow all their trials and tribulations. Here is documentation about how these economic times have been making an impact in the physician space....

A Jobless Recovery Will Prolong Physician Financial Woes

by Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2009

If your revenue increased or even stayed the same during the beginning of the recession, then you're doing better than many physicians. The median total revenue in medical practices declined—for the first time in years—by 1.9% in 2008, according to MGMA's latest cost survey.

And revenue wasn't all that dropped. The median number of patients visiting medical groups fell by nearly 10%, and the overall number of procedures declined 11.6% between 2006 and 2008. During that same period, bad debt from fee-for-service charges jumped roughly 13%.

This new information offers some statistical validation for trends that many in the healthcare field have already witnessed firsthand. Patients are cutting back on elective procedures in hard times. In some cases, they're forgoing necessary medical care because they are newly uninsured after a job loss. Or they're struggling to pay their bills after a visit, leading to that increase in bad debt.

The publicly-funded safety net is becoming increasingly strained, as well. In many states, Medicaid rolls are higher than they've ever been—Medicaid covered about 42.6 million people in 2008, up 7.6% from 39.6 million in 2007—and governments are starting to cut reimbursements to physicians in order to ease the pressure on budgets.

Physicians seem to be surviving the way most businesses keep going when revenues disappear—they're cutting operating costs. According to MGMA data, practices reduced overhead expenses in 2008 by about 1.5%, and much of that came from support staff, which dropped in the survey for the first time in a while.

Overall, staffing levels stayed about the same in aggregate, which may indicate that some groups hired while others laid off workers, and it has evened out in the wash. It's also likely that healthcare workers, like employees in almost every sector, are forgoing raises or even taking pay cuts for the time being.

Keep in mind, this data is from 2008. Fresher data from 2009 will likely show an even drearier financial situation for medical groups, as many of the indicators have gotten worse this year.

When the healthcare economy will turnaround is tough to predict. There are already a few green shoots that suggest the U.S. economy has at least bottomed out—the stock market has been on a tear since March and the latest GDP estimates have been better than initially predicted.

But an improving economy doesn't mean physician financial woes will end soon. The underlying factors that have hurt medical groups are unemployment and strains on safety net programs, and those may actually get worse as the rest of the economy improves. Economists are predicting a jobless recovery initially; unemployment may climb past 10% while the rest of the economy rebounds. That means more patients losing their insurance or migrating to already bloated Medicaid rolls, and possibly further reimbursement cuts. And it means more revenue struggles for medical groups.
The old conventional wisdom that said healthcare is recession proof has been soundly dispelled by the current downturn. The new conventional wisdom is that healthcare is one of the last sectors to be affected by a recession, but also one of the last to recover.

It's still too early to tell if there's any wisdom in that.

I'm thinking the article gives us all pause.

Happy and healthy hiring. Success by design - one career and new hire at a time.


Success by design. One great candidate and client at a time.

Happy and Healthy Hiring.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Average American and Healthcare Reform

Here is an interesting piece about what the average person thinks about Healthcare Reform. Interesting. As a part of the system, what do you think? Can we afford to do this? Can we not?


Most Americans Don't Believe Health Reform Will Pass This Year

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 18, 2009

Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults don't believe healthcare reform will pass this year, compared to 41% who do, according to a national telephone survey commissioned by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

"Consumers are at a crossroads," says Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "While the majority of Americans surveyed (84%) believe some form of change is needed, many are confused by the complexity of the system and often default to their own personal experience with the system rather than look at the functionality of the entire system."

Harris Interactive conducted the national telephone survey of 1,010 adults 18 years old and older from Sept. 10-13 to gauge opinions about healthcare reform following President Barack Obama's address to the nation on Sept. 9. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1%.

While most doubt legislation will pass, the 44% of those surveyed who watched Obama's address last week (55% did not watch) were inclined to agree (68%) versus disagree (30%) with Obama's reform plan.

"Interestingly, respondents said they trust physicians and healthcare providers (37%) the most when it comes to reforming the healthcare system, followed by the White House (21%), Congress (13%), employers (11%), and health insurance companies (7%)," Keckley says.

Concern over the government running healthcare was a common theme throughout the survey results. Sixty-one percent of respondents believe that Congress is likely to make the healthcare situation worse than better, and 55% thought government solutions to healthcare will ultimately cost more and deliver less compared to private sector solutions. Additionally, while the economy is still a major concern, 51% believe that health reform should not wait until the economy is better compared to 47% who thought it should wait.

Top concerns expressed by consumers surveyed include:

  • 37% do not want the government to run healthcare
  • 20% do not want their taxes to increase to cover healthcare for others
  • 13% were concerned that they did not understand the proposals
  • 12% thought they might have to wait too long to see a doctor if the public option is passed
  • 5% were concerned about issues related to end-of-life care

"Our survey results indicate that while the majority believe the healthcare system needs to change, 48% want improvements, but not a major overhaul of the system. This supports the idea that a more moderate, incremental approach may be the answer," Keckley says.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 73% of respondents believe it is important for every American to have health insurance
  • Uninsured (60%) and underinsured (55%) respondents were more likely to believe a major overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system is needed
  • 57% of respondents believe Town Hall meetings have been an effective forum for gaining feedback from the public compared to 35% who disagree with that statement
  • Respondents were split when it came to ranking the U.S. healthcare system, with 48% agreeing that the U.S. healthcare system is the best system in the world compared to 48% who disagreed
  • 55% of respondents do not believe coverage for the uninsured should be the sole focus of the debate
  • Respondents were most familiar with terms such as the public option (46%), healthcare co-ops (34%), and health insurance exchanges (28%), compared with terms such as comparative effectiveness research (20%) and the medical home (19%)


John Commins is an editor with
HealthLeaders Media. He can be reached at

I'd love to hear your comments. Please post.


Success by design. One great candidate and client at a time.

Happy and Healthy Hiring.


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sermo vs the AMA and Healthcare Reform

Like many of you, I'm avidly watching the healthcare reform debate. Like my clients and candidates, reform is ideal and necessary; but the task is overwhelming. So, how does reform really happen?

If you'll indulge me for a moment, healthcare is a healthy industry. There is growth in the sector – new treatments, new drugs, new outcomes; there is significant job creation and shortages. And then, there is the human benefit in caring for the health of others for communities and our nation. So, why is reform such a challenge? For me the issue has been that the big players weren't at the table – those with significant skin in the game. However, yesterday the AMA endorsed the US House of Representatives' Sponsored Healthcare Reform Bill. Ok, I thought. Finally, the physician lead organization has come to the table – I hoped their support of reform was serious. I assumed that their participation was good.

However, today I read a post by the founder and President of Sermo that gave me pause. Sermo is an online community for physicians with more than 100,000 members. In the Sermo Blog Post there is concern raised that perhaps the AMA isn't the best representative of the physician population.

Since most of my adult life has been in service to supporting physicians, this gave me pause. What if the AMA isn't the best voice for physicians? What if there are a significant number of physician voices that aren't being heard in this debate. I'm curious what you think? Please share. I will share the results in subsequent post.


Success by design. One great candidate and client at a time.

Happy and Healthy Hiring.


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Thursday, July 16, 2009


Sonoran Desert - 1 BE/BC Otorhinolaryngologist

Seeking ENT Talent. This hospital has received the 2007 Excellence Through Insight Award from HealthStream Research for its high community perception of quality. This 144 bed (all private) facility is a regionally recognized leader in healthcare.

1 BE/BC Otorhinolaryngology (prefer candidate with 2 years post resident experience) to join a 3 physician single specialty group. This new need is due to the growing community population. The group has been established for 5 years and consists of 3 ENT's. Currently the call coverage is 1:3. This group typically is able to cover 20-22 days a month. The group offers a partnership track.

Near perfect location offers:
• 300 days of sunshine
• 4 majestic mountain ranges in beautiful Sonoran Desert
• World class golf courses
• 100 of miles of hiking and biking
• Historic Spanish Missions
• Old western towns
• Nationally known schools and universities
• Lots more.....

Curious about Comp? Well it may include:
• Compensation amount determined by group
• Relocation
• Potential medical education debt assistance
• Potential commencement bonus
• More....Call ME!

Success by design. One talented physician and client at a time.

Happy and healthy hiring.

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