Summer 2013 Issue Crossword

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Take a break from job searching with this crossword, appearing in the Summer 2013 Interview Issue of PracticeLink Magazine!

Stuck on a clue? Many of the answers can be found in the content of PracticeLink Magazine’s Spring issue, accessible through our free app or digital edition.

 

Across

1. Process of deciding on a career (2 words)

6. Pocket-sized ultrasound device

9. Ecological watchdog, abbr.

10. Implementation of this Act will expose a shortage of primary care physicians

12. Rule of thumb is, as a resident, you should secure your job at least ___ months before graduation

14. Reminding

15. Moxie

17. ___terms

18. Sodium symbol

19. Electrically charged particle

20. ICD-10 has made major changes in them

21. Geek department

22. Compass point

23. Diagnostic test

25. Formulates

28. Airport abbreviation

30. Medical specialty, for short

31. ___hoscope

32. Have a goal

33. Qualified

37. Valuable adviser

40. Graduate Medical Education, for short

41. View

42. Aka residents

44. Be in session, as a board

46. Sign

47. Vital step in wealth management (2 words)

48. Cry for assistance

49. Cheerleading cry

50. Plans

 

Down

1. Evaluating

2. Very smart individual

3. Period

4. Medical “apprentice”

5. Spell

6. Job opening

7. Golf shot

8. Work out a deal

11. New Haven state

13. Chemical suffix

16. Dispute

17. St Louis state

20. Vital part of a job application (2 words)

24. Way to find physician jobs that are not even posted yet

25. Makes a good impact on an interviewer, for example

26. Hydrocarbon suffix

27. Presented

29. Football position, for short

32. Summer mo.

34. Sportscaster Berman

35. Attracts

36. Hunt

38. Oxygen ___

39. Nurse, abbr.

43. Mails

45. That is, abbr.

47. Always important job sources

 

Looking for the answer key? Click here.

 

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PracticeLink Magazine wins three ASHPE 2013 awards

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For the third year in a row, PracticeLink Magazine has been recognized by the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors for excellence in editorial, graphics and publication quality.

This is the second year in a row that PracticeLink Magazine has earned a Gold Award for Best How-To Article, and the first time for receiving the honors for Best Overall Use of Graphics and Best Single Issue.

In the 2013 awards, announced May 1, PracticeLink Magazine was awarded:


The 2012-2013 calendar year also marks the first time the quarterly PracticeLink Magazine has been organized around compelling themes, such as Contracts & Compensation; Quality of Life & Practice Options; The Job Search; and The Interview.

The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) recognizes editorial and graphic excellence in the field of health care publishing through an annual awards contest.


“It’s our advertisers, our physicians and our team that give PracticeLink Magazine its immense value—and we’re grateful to be recognized by ASHPE for these awards,” says Ken Allman, Founder and CEO of PracticeLink.


PracticeLink.com
 is the nation’s most trusted physician recruitment resource and is the leading online recruitment solution for more than 5,000 facilities nationwide. In addition to its premier online physician job bank, PracticeLink publishes the award-winning PracticeLink Magazine, which provides career resource information for 80,000+ residents, fellows and job-seeking physicians each quarter.


ASHPE, The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors, is dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skill of healthcare publication editors, and serves as the authority on trends in the healthcare publication sector.

 

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For Doctors In Academia, Compensation Based On More Than Just Clinical Effort

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Doctors in academic settings have many different factors influencing their compensation to consider than their peers in private practice or integrated delivery systems according to a new survey released last month.

According to the survey’s findings, three primary activities influence physician compensation in those settings: clinical effort, teaching and research. Their counterparts in non-academic settings generally are rewarded solely on clinical effort.

The survey entitled Academic Practice Compensation and Production Survey for Faculty and Management 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data was released by MGMA.

In academic settings, department rank, which is often based on years of experience, influences compensation. Primary care professors report a median income of $203,777, while department chairs reported median incomes of $299,500. Those who were specialists reported median incomes of $291,101, while those department chairs reported incomes of $510,542.

Geographic location also affected total compensation of academic physicians, depending on the area of focus. Pediatricians in the South reported the lowest median compensations of $148,406, while pediatricians in the West reported a median of approximately $165,817. General surgeons in the Midwest who were in academics reported a median income of $276,046, while they reported a median income of $348,243 in the East.

“Physicians in academic settings aren’t compensated in the same way as physicians in other settings. However, these positions provide opportunities for physicians to teach and conduct research they are passionate about. These academic endeavors are important facets of the industry, in that we’re learning more about patient’s health and how to treat them, in addition to sharing knowledge with others,” said Shirley Zwinggi, administrator, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Choosing a practice that fits your lifestyle can be challenging, you may want to look beyond the numbers. Opportunities in academics as well as volunteering at free clinics, becoming a doctor in the military, traveling while you work or taking care of underserved populations such as the prison populations offer their own benefits. You can read more about those options here. 

 

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Physicians Weigh In On Whether Patients Should Be Able To Modify Electronic Health Records

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Most physicians believe patients should be able to update their electronic health records, but patients should not have full access to the records, according to a new survey released in March.

The survey, conducted by Accenture, showed 82 percent of U.S. respondents said many doctors wanted patients to actively participate in their own health care by updating their records, but only 31 percent believed patients should have full access to those records. Sixty-five percent of physicians believed patients should have limited access, while four percent believed patients should have no access.

The survey gathered responses from 3,700 doctors in eight countries including the United States, Canada and Australia.

Forty-seven percent of the United States’ doctors surveyed said they believed that patients should not be able to update their lab test results, but most doctors did think patients should be able to update information such as demographics, family medical history, medications and allergies.

More than two-thirds (eighty-one percent) of doctors said patients should be able to add certain updates such as new symptoms or blood pressure or blood glucose levels as well.

“Many physicians believe that patients should take an active role in managing their own health information, because it fosters personal responsibility and ownership and enables both the patient and doctor to track progress outside scheduled appointments,” said Mark Knickrehm, global managing director of Accenture Health. “Several U.S. health systems have proven that the benefits outweigh the risks in allowing patients open access to their health records, and we expect this trend to continue.”

Forty-nine percent of surveyed doctors said that giving patients access to their records is crucial in providing effective care, but currently only 21 percent of those doctors allow patients online access.

The survey was conducted online and included 500 doctors per country and was conducted between November 2012 through December 2012. The doctors were surveyed in the following countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain, and the United States.

A recent study showed that nearly 40 percent of physicians would not recommend their current electronic health record systems, which may affect how they use their systems as well.

 

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Study Shows Same Costs, Outcomes Associated With Female & Male Physicians

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A new study shows that contrary to previous research suggesting female doctors usually are associated with lower health care costs and their patients visit them less, that is not the case.

The study published in the March/April Issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that the physician’s gender had no bearing on those factors nor on prescription drug expenses, mortality rates or office or emergency room visits.

“Our findings suggest that if the goal is to contain costs and the risk of death, there is no reason to differentially recruit or train physicians of either gender,” says lead author Anthony Jerant, M.D., professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis. “We should instead focus on factors such as patients’ cigarette smoking and diet, which are known to influence health care utilization and mortality.”

The observational study analyzed responses on more than 20,000 patients who participated in surveys between 2002 through 2008. Researchers noted weight, tobacco use and other patient behavioral factors that had not been accounted for in earlier studies, possibly affecting the outcome of previous research.

Researchers did note that some gender-specific trends were apparent. There seemed to be a higher number of female physicians caring for young, college-educated females in urban settings and more female physicians were non-Caucasian than male physicians.

A previous study conducted by the American Medical Association showed that although the number of women doctors had increased drastically in previous years, the compensation was still not quite the same as their male counterparts.

When negotiating a contract, know that negotiations begin immediately. Know your value and prioritize your needs when entering ahead of time. To read more helpful negotiation tips, take a look here.

 

 

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Changes In Health Care Law May Result In Shortage Of Physicians

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Changes in U.S.health care law has U.S. medical schools expanding to meet an expected need for more graduates.

A recent Wall Street Journal article said at least 12 new schools are opening and many existing ones are expanding. The expected enrollment is estimated to produce 5,000 additional graduates by 2019.

Unfortunately, the expansion may not do much to quell possible doctor shortages unless the medical residencies also increase to help accommodate the influx of graduates.

Most residencies fall between three and seven years and are on-the-job training for medical school graduates. Even though there are currently more residency openings than students, that may quickly change.

Currently, Medicare funds about 90 percent of the residencies and Medicaid, along with other sources fund the rest, with a total of about 104,000 residencies yearly. But the number of federally-funded residencies has been frozen now for more than 15 years, which is causing concerns the medical community won’t be able to handle the need to continue training new professionals.

With nearly 20,000 students enrolled in their first year of medical school in 2012, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the United States will face a shortage of 62,900 doctors in as few as three years and a shortage of as many as 140,000 doctors by 2025.

Couple that with the Affordable Care Act, which will give health insurance to 30 million more Americans, which is where the expected shortage will really be felt most.

If you are looking for a residency and have special considerations, such as trying to obtain one in the same geographical location as your significant other, you may want to read this article for tips on how other couples have made it work.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal article here >>> 

 

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New Survey Shows Increase In Turnover As Economy Recovers

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A new survey showed as the economy continues to recover and homes sales and stocks rise, physician turnover has also increased at the highest rate since 2005, exceeding pre-recession levels. Researchers found a reported 11.5 percent turnover among advanced practice clinicians, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which was almost the same as 2011, the first time APC data was gathered.

Physician turnover increased from 6.5 percent in 2011 and 5.9 percent collected in 2009, the lowest collected at the height of the recession.

The survey shows that along with the economy recovery, there may continue to be more competition to hire and keep the top physicians, especially as retirement continues to increase among older physician and health care reforms place an increase for a demand on primary care.

According to the data, researchers also found that the highest turnovers were found in the later and earlier years of practice. Thirty-six percent of groups expected the pace of retirements to increase in the upcoming year, compared with 27 percent just two years ago. The average turnover rate for physicians in their second or third year is 12.4 percent. Small practices tend to have more young physician turnover and account for nearly 21 percent of turnovers of physicians in their first years of practice.

“The survey findings provide evidence that recruitment and retention continue to be major challenges for health systems,” stated Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA. “To rise to these challenges, medical groups are demonstrating remarkable leadership by investing in new staffing and delivery models, building and nurturing their teams in a strategic way, and making accountable care work for their patients and their communities.”

More important data points:

  • The survey also found that 76 percent of respondents had plans to hire more primary care physicians in the coming year and 22 percent of those said they will hire significantly more physicians compared with nine percent in 2011.
  • Additionally, the demand for APCs is expected to continue to increase. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they plan to hire more nurse practitioners and 61 plan to hire more physician assistants compare with 49 percent and 48 percent in 2011.
  • Interestingly, 85 percent of practices reported an onboarding process for physicians, although many are not formalized. Groups who assign a mentor during on boarding reported a lower turnover rate of nearly one percent less than the 6.8 percent reported for all groups.

An electronic version of the 2012 survey is available to AMGA members for $100 and non-AMGA members for $200. For more information and a link to the AMGA e-commerce site for purchasing the survey visit: www.amga-retention.com.

The 8th annual Physician Retention Survey data was collected by the American Medical Group Association and Cejka and was collected from October 2012 through January 2013. Eighty survey responses were collected, representing approximately 20,000 physicians as well as a little more than 4,000 APCs.

Check out another recent survey showing an increase in opportunities for physicians as well as information on the areas that are most in-demand for recruiters.

 

 

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More Clinicians Report Dissatisfaction With EHRs

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Recent surveys show that both satisfaction and usability ratings for electronic health records have decreased in the past two years among clinicians. According to the survey, user satisfaction fell 12 percent from 2010 to 2012. During that same time period, users who reported being very dissatisfied increased 10 percent.

The data was collected from more than 4,200 responses on multiple surveys created and analyzed by the American College of Physicians along with American EHR Partners between March 2010 and December 2012.

According to the summary, 71 percent of those who responded were in practices containing 10 or less physicians. Eighty-two percent of those who responded had plans to participate in meaningful use incentive programs. This was a 65 percent increase from 2010.

In addition, the survey found that 39 percent of all clinicians would not recommend their EHR to a colleague, which was a 15 percent increase from 2010. Six percent less clinicians reported being very satisfied with the ability for their EHR to improve care and 10 percent more clinicians reported being very dissatisfied.

Clinicians reporting that the EHRs did not decrease their workload nearly doubled from 19 percent to 34 percent and dissatisfaction in the ease of use of the systems increased from 23 percent to 37 percent.

Another recent survey showed that although EHRs can be very helpful, a practice must prepare before implementing an EHR or they could begin to lose money in the process.

In that study, it found that implementing EHRs while also making other changes to the practice was the best way avoid losing money in the process. That survey showed that an average physician could lose more than $40,000 over a five year period and only about 25 percent of the practices saw a return on the investment.

One of the key changes was to stop keeping paper records, since the system was changing over to electronic records. Offices also needed to see more patients on a daily basis or improve their billing in order to have the best possible results.

If your practice is considering switching to an EHR, it is imperative to do research first to help make the transition the most beneficial for the practice.

 

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Preparations Before Implementing EHRs Help Practices Avoid Losing Money

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If your practice is using the latest tools to help grow and maintain itself, understanding what the adoption of electronic tools and how to best utilize them for your group can go a long way in determining how they can enhance, not hinder the practice’s success. A recent survey suggests that adopting electronic health records without making other changes in a practice may result in an overall loss for a practice.

According to researchers, survey data taken from forty nine practice areas examined a five-year return on the investment of the electronic health record systems, also known as EHRs. The data suggests an average physician would lose $43,743 over a five-year period and only a little more than a quarter of all practices would actually see a return on their investment within that time period.

Additionally, for those who received a $44,000 federal incentive to adopt the EHRs, some 14 percent of practices would come out ahead on top of the 27 percent, but the majority would still lose money.

Researchers said the primary difference between practices who saw a return and those who suffered loss was the extent which they utilized the EHRs to increase their revenues. Actions such as working to see more patients daily or improve their billing, resulting in more accurate claims submitted to insurance companies the first time seemed to have the greatest positive effect.

Additionally, many practices did not see a savings in the EHRs over a traditional paper system because they continued to also keep paper records. Taking measures to ensure a positive return was especially important for smaller practices.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, University of Rochester (New York) and Harvard Medical School in Boston contributed to the research.

If you are considering implementing an electronic health records system in your practice, it is best to do your research before making any decision. The article “Don’t let your next IT project crash your practice”  offers these practical tips.

  • Do due diligence on the vendor and the technology – at minimum, speak with other physicians who are utilizing the technology you are hoping to buy. They can give you honest reviews about what was good, what was challenging and what was most helpful.
  • Don’t automatically take a solution offered by an existing vendor – as with anything, shop around. Ask colleagues who they use and recommend. An existing vendor may be your best option, but it is always best to check out all the options first.
  • Don’t skip acceptance testing – it is vital to make sure all systems are properly connected and working and with technology always evolving, it is important to make sure everything truly is in place.

 

 

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Poll Shows Online Presence Can Be Important When Choosing Physician

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A national poll taken last fall and released this month showed online ratings play an increasing factor in a parent’s decision to pick one physician over another for their child.

When it came to online ratings, only 25 percent of parents said a rating on a web site was very important, with moms and younger demographics holding a larger percentage of that opinion. This does not mean parents are not turning online to find out information about their potential medical professionals. Forty-four percent of adults under the age of 30 thought online information was very important.

Among adults who seek online doctor ratings and reviews, 92 percent found those web sites very useful or somewhat useful and nearly one third of all parents who went online said they have selected a pediatrician or family care doctor due to good ratings or reviews they have found on the web.

According to the poll, the most important web sites for online searches and information about future care providers were those perceived as most informative and trustworthy and not those who listed rankings or ratings. Many of the respondents said they didn’t always trust the ratings, but gender and age also played a roll in that perception. Mothers and those who were younger seemed to hold a greater confidence in online information, which may be due to experience with online rankings and more online activity in general.

Other more traditional factors still play a significant roll as well. Ninety-two percent of the parents surveyed said it is very important that the doctor accepts their insurance, while 65 percent said the doctor must have a convenient office location and about half said the doctor’s years of experience and word of mouth all were very important factors as well. Forty percent said a referral from another doctor was a reason some sought out a specific doctor.

The poll was conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, which is part of the University of Michigan health system.

Take a moment to update your profile on PracticeLink and make sure potential employers and recruiters have access to the most up-to-date information about you and your experience. Also read about how online marketing of yourself makes you more attractive to recruiters.

 

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