Ryan Becker, M.D.

Snapshot | Summer 2014

 

WORK: Starts practice as a family medicine physician in Sheldon, Iowa, for Sanford Health System in August 2014.

EDUCATION/TRAINING:

Medical school: University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine (May 2011)

Residency: UNMC, Family Medicine, Omaha (June 2014)

Becker is a physician and private pilot who enjoys golf, traveling and working on his family’s farm. He is a Captain/Flight Surgeon in the 155th Air Refueling Wing in the Nebraska Air National Guard; Resident Director on the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians’ Board of Directors; and UNMC Department of Family Medicine Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Committee Resident Member. He and his wife, Rachael, have a son, Eli.

What’s your advice for residents beginning their job search?

Start looking and learning early during your residency. There are pros and cons to starting early. A pro is that you will have ample time to find the right community and practice with plenty of time to negotiate contracts. A con is that you will be inundated with opportunities and offers from all over the country for a while as you’re searching.

What surprised you about your post-residency job search?

Searching for a job to begin after residency was more of a paradigm shift than a surprise. Throughout my life, the tables were turned. Did I get accepted into my ideal college, medical school, residency program? I was more so ‘told’ where to go to further my medical training. Now the ball is in my court. My family and I get to seek out and choose our next location to essentially begin our lives.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?

An exposure to the business of medicine is always needed more in medical school. There is a reason why doctors struggle with business. We are so focused on medicine; we don’t have a lot of spare time to become businessmen and businesswomen. If possible, getting a Masters in Business Administration would be helpful.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?

When approached by a potential employer or recruiter, I would initially Google the location and determine if my family could see ourselves living in that particular area. Then I would email the recruiter, CEO, etc. a question document to basically screen the opportunity. If the answers to the questions looked appropriate, then I would establish a more serious discussion about visiting the location and interviewing. This way of searching allowed me to trim down the list of opportunities for various reasons. I felt this was a good way to efficiently make use of my time and theirs.

Any other advice?

Remain in control of your job search. Ultimately, you are in control. We are good people looking for good jobs. You are looking for a place that satisfies your own needs as a physician but also your family’s needs. If your family will be comfortable and enjoys your next community setting, everyone is happy!

 

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Amanda Reese, D.O.

By Amanda Reese, D.O. | Snapshot | Spring 2014

 

Amanda Reese and her family

“I read [PracticeLink Magazine] religiously and used it to prepare for my interview and to tailor questions to ask potential employers. The magazine articles gave me confidence and courage to ask for the things that I wanted.” –Amdana Reese, D.O.

WORK: General surgeon in practice since 2013. Community Health Systems, Bluefield Regional Medical Center, Bluefield, W.Va.

EDUCATION/TRAINING:
Medical school: Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (2008)

Residency: Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech, General Surgery Residency Program, Roanoke, Va. (2013)

Reese enjoys Crossfit, skiing, gymnastics and outdoor activities. She also enjoys spending time with her family—husband Phillip and their daughters, Braelyn and Gabrielle.

What’s your advice for residents beginning their job search?

Make sure to have a clear understanding of what you are looking for before you begin the search. Consider location, size of practice, call responsibilities, size of hospital, supporting staff/specialties before you begin to look. It will narrow the field considerably and make the search manageable.

What surprised you about your post-residency job search?

I was surprised that hospital recruiters pursued me! I was recruited more than one year prior to graduation, which was a nice change from the stress of applications, test scores and requests for recommendation letters. For once I could be picky and make demands for what I was looking for.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?

I wish medical school would have taught me how to write orders and a systematic process for working through acute patient problems. I wish residency would have prepared me for the business side of practice, including billing, coding, networking with other physicians and advertising.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?

I read [PracticeLink Magazine] religiously and used it to prepare for my interview and to tailor questions to ask potential employers. The magazine articles gave me confidence and courage to ask for the things that I wanted.

Any other advice?

Talk to nurses, staff, drug/equipment representatives, other physicians and everyone else that you can about your practice of interest. You will find out the good, bad and ugly about a job. Also, ask your mentors the things that they considered when deciding between various positions. Hearing other people’s experiences may help you avoid pitfalls.

 

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Erik Domingues, M.D.

Snapshot | Winter 2014

 

WORK: Southcoast Hospitals Group in Fall River, Mass. (Starts August 2014)
EDUCATION/TRAINING:
Medical school: Univ. of Mass. Medical School, 2010
Residency: Univ. of Mass. Memorial Health Care

Domingues, a dermatologist, enjoys traveling, playing basketball, and spending time with his fiancé, Kasia.

What’s your advice for residents beginning their job search?
My biggest piece of advice is to start early and be open to different possibilities. There may be opportunities in academics or private practice and it is important to get a feel for what each opportunity can offer you. Go with that gut feeling when meeting with a prospective employer. There will be places you have a good feeling about and others you do not.

What surprised you about your post-residency job search?
I was most surprised by the endless opportunities for graduating residents. I restricted myself geographically, but there were still plenty of opportunities. Having a wide variety of choices is a blessing, but sometimes also makes your ultimate decision a difficult one.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
Obtaining a world-class medical education at UMass Medical School, I felt prepared to transition into residency and ultimately into practice. However, I wish we had more training in the business of health care. With the current changes in health care, knowing the business side of medicine is of utmost importance.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?
The most unique aspect of my job search is that I started looking in my second to last year of residency, helping avoid the stress of making the right employment decision while applying for licenses and studying for my Dermatology board exam.

Any other advice?
Take your time and start early in the job search because when it is all said and done, you want to have made the best possible decision for you and your loved ones. Get to know a prospective employer well and ask questions of anything you are not sure of. Make sure that your employer’s values are in sync with yours. Don’t forget to get your loved one’s input because your future is dependent on you and your family being happy.

How did you use PracticeLink in your job search?
I signed on with Southcoast Hospitals Group in Massachusetts for a dermatology position. I learned about it from PracticeLink. I began receiving PracticeLink Magazine early in residency and found it very helpful for learning what to ask at interviews, what to look for at site visits, and what to look for in a job contract.

Through PracticeLink, I was able to learn more about the opportunity at Southcoast Hospitals Group, providing me with the opportunity to practice dermatology in my hometown. Thanks to PracticeLink, I was able to determine where I wanted to start my career upon graduating from residency.

 

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Monique Cunningham-Lindsay, D.O.

Fall 2013 | Snapshot

 

WORK: Pediatric resident.

EDUCATION/TRAINING:

Medical school: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, 2011
Residency: Morehouse School of Medicine Community Pediatric Residency in Atlanta

Cunningham-Lindsay and her husband, Philip Adu, Ph.D., have two daughters— Miriam and Olivia (the baby). She loves spending time with her family, traveling and writing inspirational pieces. She will finish residency in 2014.

What’s your advice for residents beginning their job search?
It is so important to begin your job search very early. Start identifying where you would like to see yourself, and if you have family, the area that would work the best for all of you. Setting up an online profile and updating your CV as you go along is also a great help, and will save you so much time in the long run. The online tools and tips that PracticeLink provides, in addition to biweekly updates, has already helped me to identify potential job interests.

What surprises you about your first job search so far?
I was surprised at how many options there are out there, and really how much time is needed to zero in on your perfect fit.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
There will be times when caring for patients that you’ve given your all, and still you’ll feel like you could give so much more.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?
I started scanning and reviewing potential areas of interest early in my second year of residency, as I wanted my choice to be located in a place that my husband and I could both develop our careers in, and also provide our daughters with good options for their own growth and development.

Any other advice?
Seek advice from physician mentors. They can be such a wealth of knowledge for you.

 

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Scott Salmon, D.O.

Snapshot | Summer 2013

 

Scott Salmon, D.O., found his new practice on PracticeLink.com.

WORK: Urologist at Southwest Urologic Specialists in Gilbert, Ariz.

EDUCATION/TRAINING:
Medical school: Midwestern University, Glendale Campus
Residency: Detroit Medical Center

IN PRACTICE SINCE: Starts August 2013

Salmon and his wife, Jennifer, have four children: Cali (6), Isaac (4), Adam (2) and Maylee (4 months). He enjoys fly-fishing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, jogging and mountain biking. Salmon found his job using PracticeLink.com and will begin practice in August.

What’s your advice for residents beginning their job search?
Start early. I contacted office managers and began searching the internet for job opportunities in the area I wanted to live a year and a half before graduation.

PracticeLink helped me get in touch with two groups in the exact area I was looking for employment. I interviewed with five groups in the area I was looking to live in between nine months and one year before graduation. It still took another four and a half months to complete the contract.

I signed the contract and had four months prior to graduation to begin preparing for state licensing, credentialing, paperwork and moving. PracticeLink helped me make the connections to get the job I wanted in the community my wife and I wanted to raise our family.

What surprised you about your job search?
I was surprised to find the high demand for my specialty. A physician has to work hard to convince people that they are a good candidate to get into medical school and residency. It was nice to have the reversal, where groups wanted me to come work with them.

Any other advice?
First, decide what type of practice you want: academics, hospital employed or private practice. Then learn all you can about the nuances of the one you select so that you can ask the right questions to find out what group/employer is best for you.

At first, I didn’t know what I should be asking at the interview. I spoke with my mentor in urology, and he informed me about different things I should consider. He’d had three previous groups and let me know what pitfalls to watch out for and what things were optimal.

I made a mental list of these things to ask in each interview. This process helped me realize what I was ultimately looking for and made it easier to identify the right group for me.

 

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Lt. Col. Jennifer Marrast Host, M.D.

Snapshot | Spring 2013

 

WORK: Vice President of Medical Affairs-Georgia, Hospital Physician Partners

EDUCATION/TRAINING:
Medical school: University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Residency: Emergency Medicine, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City.

IN PRACTICE SINCE: 2000

Host has been married to her high school sweetheart, Chris Host, for 20 years. Their son, Justin, is 2. Host is on her fourth deployment as a Lt. Col. in the Army, which she joined after medical school. She enjoys traveling and getting to know other cultures, running, and family time.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Pick the state you would like to live in. Think about where you want to be. What does that state have that makes you want to be there? If you’re someone who likes the city, then you’ll want a state that has a big city. If you like the country, you’re not going to pick New York City. Figuring out what it is you like and finding a place that offers those things to you is a good place to start.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
The administration aspect of medicine. Medicine has changed a lot since I started out. There’s a lot more administrative oversight. I think they should teach things such as medical director leadership, peer reviews and patient-physician relations.

What was unique about your job search?
I joined the Army after medical school. I saw the sign and thought, “Oh, that looks like a good thing to do—I think I’ll join.” Fourteen years later, here I am. For me, it has really been very enjoyable, very rewarding, just very satisfying. It’s always great to work with people who have the same mission, and everyone is working toward the same goal. You have a lot of rewards for being in the military. You can have your physician career and retire from that, and you can have your military career and retire from that. And it’s not taking much more out of your life than having a civilian career. For me, it has worked out quite well.

Any other advice?
Figure out where you’re going to work, then pick your home close to that. In a state like Georgia, you could have a job that’s an hour and a half away. It’s not like New York City, where you jump on the subway and you’re there.

We were renting and then realized that where I was going to be working was not close at all to where we decided to rent. When you’re looking at hospitals, look at the hospital and the city that’s around the hospital and figure out if you want to be there. It seems like it all has to be done concurrently. I was so used to New York in that everything was close, or you jump on the subway and you’re there. But other states aren’t like that.

 

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Snapshot: Jasmin M. Baleva, M.D.

Snapshot

 

Name: Jasmin M. Baleva, M.D.
Hospitalist Practice Group Leader, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center

Employer: IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc.; Houston

Residency: Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville, N.C.

In practice since: 1998

Personal: Baleva is married with two daughters. She likes to take Zumba, Les Mills Sh’Bam and Body Jam classes, swim and play tennis. She also enjoys playing the piano and learning to play pop songs via YouTube, watching movies and traveling with her family.


What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Things are different now than when I came out of residency in the late 90s because of all the significant health care changes. Hospital medicine was just beginning then and only one or two co-residents I knew went into that field. At that time my program director recommended looking for a traditional practice with a partnership track but I think that trend is passé now.

My first job was a combined internal medicine and pediatrics inpatient and outpatient practice. Unfortunately, after a few years I realized that the independent physician practice model isn’t necessarily sustainable. Today the solo practice model is in jeopardy due to rising overhead and many physicians are switching to employed settings. I think today’s residents should consider employment opportunities with larger physician practice groups and hospitalist companies due to better financial sustainability.


What surprised you about your first post-residency job or job search?

I assumed that with all the job openings as well as practices offering sign-on bonuses, there was plenty of money available, but the shocker was that money doesn’t grow on trees when it comes to medical practices. When I accepted my first job I thought I was joining a group with a lot of patients that would translate into economic success.

But I learned that the practice must first generate enough money to cover all the expenses of running the office, and that your income is only as good as your billing and collection. When you’re dealing with third-party payers you may not be paid for at least 30 to 90 days on the average and sometimes you may not be able to collect at all.


What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?

I wish I had known about the relationship between the services I provided and how I got paid for those services. Unfortunately, residents don’t usually learn about insurance, billing and collections issues. Also, although my residency touched on practice management, we weren’t enlightened on how many employees you need to run a practice and how much it costs to hire a nurse, a receptionist, medical assistant and all the many other hidden costs such as benefits, paid time off, etc. It would have been helpful to know how to manage people and how many patients to see to sustain a practice.


Anything particularly unique about your job search?

I found my first job through a large recruitment agency and I did a web search on how to evaluate potential practices to join that also provided a list of questions to ask potential employers. The problem was that I didn’t know the “right” answers to the questions I was to ask because they dealt with practice issues we were never taught about in residency. I just learned the financial aspects of running a practice hands-on during my first job.

Then due to my husband finding a job in the petroleum industry in Houston, I looked for my second job January of 2001 and found a spot with IPC The Hospitalist Company in a long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. It happened to be the only job available at that time but I did ask about vertical and horizontal movement in the company while interviewing with them and I was told that was potentially workable.

Since then, the job has morphed into what I have now: a practice group leader of a hospitalist group with 16 physicians that cover the whole continuum of care. We care for patients of all ages at short-term acute hospitals, LTACs, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Over the years, it took “blood, sweat and tears” to overcome obstacles and at times even discouragements, but the most exciting part of my job has been to innovate and ultimately create an awesome physician group that provides the best patient experience while being the driver of the healthcare delivery system. IPC has allowed and given me the tools to achieve this which is why I have been with them for 11 years now and still enjoying it a lot.


Any other advice?

Residents should be ready for a heavier workload coming out into the real world. Because their hours in training have been reduced—which I think is a disservice to them—today’s residents have been sheltered and aren’t primed to handle the larger-and sicker-patient volume. They should start preparing by using their time in residency, staying up a little longer to learn and see as much as they can as well as getting exposed to different practice environments.

When physicians are searching for jobs they should keep an open mind about working in different levels of care than they were exposed to during residency. Post-acute care is a growing field that will need more dedicated, good quality physicians in the coming years.

Many residents have unrealistic expectations about the money they’ll earn. As physicians we generate our income by seeing patients and billing for those encounters. If they keep in mind that they went into medicine not for big bucks but to take care of people, that will get them through the hard times, such as when they have to sacrifice time with their families.

At the end of the day, they should remember that it’s all about the nobility of the profession: To take good care of patients and make them feel better. It also helps a lot if one has a understanding spouse. I happen to be lucky to have a loving husband who realizes that caring for patients cannot be squeezed into a 9-to-5 schedule.

The icing on the cake for me as a physician is to have been recognized by my hospital, colleagues and profession. I have been named Physician of the Year by my hospital –Memorial Hermann Memorial City in 2007 and chosen to be one of the American College of Physicians’ Top Hospitalists in 2011, as well as a Hospitalist of the Year by my company, IPC, in 2010.

 

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Sam H. Saadat, M.D.

Snapshot | Winter 2013

 

“PracticeLink allowed me to take control of my job search and target my career needs to land the perfect position.”

WORK: Tri-Area Community
Health Center, Floyd, Va.

EDUCATION/TRAINING:
Medical school and residency: West Virginia School of Medicine, Morgantown, W.Va.

Graduated in 1998 with Residence of the Year award from the Department of Family Medicine.

Diplomate of American Board of Quality Assurance Utilization Review Physicians and certified in age management medicine through Cenegenics.

IN PRACTICE SINCE: 1998
Saadat is an avid table tennis player and enjoys hiking, biking, swimming and spending time with family and friends.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?

Value your skills and proudly negotiate for your worth…you earned it! But don’t just look at the gross pay of any job. A better way would be to look at the net take-home pay along with your satisfaction at that particular job. You really need to take into account if you have a job that pays for the following items: your educational loans, malpractice insurance premiums, paid vacations, cme costs, medical license fees, DEA renewal expenses, membership fees to medical organizations, health/dental/vision insurance premiums. Also pay special attention to the retirement benefit structure as it makes a big difference in the bottom line.

Spend a few days at the practice site to become familiar with your potential colleagues, patient demographics, patient flow and the scope of care within the clinic. Join them at lunch a couple of times during the week to get to know the nurses, lab and X-ray techs, front office staff and the office manager.

Also, spend a few hundred to have an attorney review your employment contract. It’s a good idea to call an attorney you know who doesn’t do that kind of work, but who can recommend someone in town who can.

Keep in mind that there is a life outside of medicine, so investigate the amenities available in that location. A realtor may be very helpful to you in that regard.

What surprised you about your first post-residency job or job search?

I was shocked by how well residency had prepared me for my first job. Enjoy your first job; you are most likely overqualified in terms of medical knowledge and you will find work hours and intensity much less demanding than residency.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?

Practice management, contract negotiation and the training to assess financial data of different positions with respect to take home salary and retirement benefits.

Anything different about your job search?

I was online looking for clinical and non-clinical jobs, and PracticeLink showed up in one of those searches. I decided to give it a try. PracticeLink allowed me to take control of my job search and target my career needs to land the perfect position.

 

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T. Anthony GiaQuinta, M.D.

Fall 2012 | Snapshot

 

“Get ready for this…you are wanted! Getting into medical school and residency was such a humbling process, I sometimes felt like I was begging for acceptance. My job search wasn’t like this at all.”

Work
EMPLOYER: Hendricks Regional Health  (A Suburban Health Organization), Indianapolis

Training
RESIDENCY: Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville
IN PRACTICE SINCE: July, 2012

Personal
GiaQuinta enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah. They enjoy camping, music, concerts and hiking with their dog, Murray. He also likes to run and play the guitar.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Take a deep breath and be patient! After all the years of studying and late nights on call, the realization that my lifelong goal was in sight can be a little surreal. Why rush now? There is a lot that goes into finding that ideal job: location, lifestyle, salary, patient population, etc. Keep these in mind as you are approached with different job offers. I found that I needed to refocus from time to time the type of doctor I always imagined myself as, and which practice would best shape that vision.

What surprised you about your first post-residency job?
Get ready for this… you are wanted! Getting into medical school and residency was such a humbling process, I sometimes felt like I was begging for acceptance. My job search wasn’t like this at all. You’ve worked hard; be proud of your resume, and let it go to work! It was such a great feeling realizing that jobs were looking for you, too.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
I always wish I had a better understanding of my debt situation, and how much that debt would accumulate in interest during residency when my loan went into forbearance. There are repayment strategies during residency, such as income-based repayment, that are reasonable payment options and can help alleviate the interest that re-capitalizes onto your principle loan amount. Even better, some loan repayment options offer loan forgiveness options if you work in underserved or academic centers, which includes residency.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?
Be careful signing up with too many search firms. Though it’s nice having others bring jobs to you, it’s important to stay in control of your job search. Be honest with your intentions and goals, and if not interested, it’s OK to politely say so. I always felt so humbled and flattered to receive a job offer, that I almost felt it rude to decline an offer. If not interested, it’s better to let them know so they can focus their efforts elsewhere.

Dr. GiaQuinta used PracticeLink in his job search: PracticeLink untangled my job-search spider web and helped me find the job I was meant for.”

 

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Jonathan Lee, MD

Snapshot | Summer 2012

 

Work

Private practice at the Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat Center in Medford and Ashland, Ore.

Training

RESIDENCY: Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Rochester, Minn.

IN PRACTICE SINCE: 2006

Personal

Lee and his wife, Denison, have a 3-year-old daughter, Elsa. He enjoys whitewater boating, Telemark skiing and playing guitar.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?

Prioritize your search criteria and be thorough. If location is your highest priority, for example, look for ads in that locale, but also pull the names of doctors and practices in those areas that aren’t advertising and send them letters of inquiry and a CV. Talk to faculty and alumni of your residency
program to find positions they have heard about through the grapevine.

What surprised you about your first post-residency job?

The best leads I found came from “cold calls” to practices that hadn’t necessarily started to advertise or recruit for a new position. In many cases, they had only informally entertained the idea of adding a new partner, and
they were willing to explore the idea further only after I called.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?

Medical school and residency can prepare you with the knowledge needed to do your job, but they have a much smaller impact on how you do your job. Softer skills like the ability to communicate clearly, show compassion, feel empathy, and stay organized are primarily developed outside of medical school.

I used to work as a whitewater rafting guide, and I learned more about communication doing that than I ever learned in medical school. In practice, most patients will assume you’ve had good medical training. How well they respond to you and how much they trust you, though, will depend primarily on how well you synthesize those softer skills with your medical knowledge.

Anything particularly unique about your job search?

The decision about which practice I wanted to join was ultimately mine, but my wife was completely involved as well. To start our search, I opened a map and asked her to pick out 10 places she would want to live. We started with that, cross-referenced it with my list of desired locations and practice characteristics, and worked forward from there.

Any other advice?

Pick great partners who are open and willing to share their experiences because they are some of your best resources in both practice and business. I discuss cases with my partners every day, and I have learned 80 percent of what I know about the business of medicine from them as well. There are so many different types of practice models that medical schools couldn’t usefully teach you everything you need to know about how each one operates. Your partners, however, can tell you a lot about how the business side of your particular practice works.

 

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