Make a conference connection

Your next CME conference could lead to your next opportunity

By Margaret Lokey | Job Doctor | Summer 2011

 

How many times have you seen an ad or direct mail piece for a physician conference at some far-off location and thought, “That would be a nice getaway.” Or maybe you’ve seen conferences as an opportunity to obtain CME credits, increase your knowledge base and network with colleagues. But have you ever thought of a national conference as a possible gateway to a new life and new opportunities? You should, because many of your fellow physicians have already made this discovery.

If you are a physician looking for a change, attend conferences prepared to know what information to gather and which questions to ask as you make your way from booth to booth.

Depending on the conference you attend, you’ll most likely meet individuals representing large hospital companies, individual facilities, online career services, recruitment firms, and/or locum tenens organizations. Each of these groups can offer information and assistance in your search for an ideal job.

Savvy exhibitors with current openings will not only have general information about their organization and what they can provide, but also specific information about available positions.

National conferences are large and tend to be fast-paced and busy, so be prepared to collect information relevant to your needs and expectations. By collecting information from the booths, you have the option to either return to your hotel room to absorb the content when you have more time or to review it once you have returned home.

Prepare a list of questions to ask representatives from each company. Asking a question not only allows you the opportunity to find a position that might be a perfect fit, but it also positions you as a more memorable candidate for the recruiter.

Though questions will differ from physician to physician, the advice remains the same: Make sure to have your questions written down, and don’t hesitate to take notes.

Your questions may range from work-related questions, such as “How many nights each month would I be expected to take call?” or “How fast do you think my practice will grow?” to questions regarding aspects outside the job, such as “What are the school systems like in the area?” or “What are some outside activities offered in and around the location?” The representatives at each booth are excited to talk with you and should have all this information and more to provide. more »

 

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Back to school?!

What is motivating physicians to head back for more training and additional education?

By By Cindi Myers | Feature Articles | Winter 2011

 

Paul-Levy-MD

For Paul Levy, MD, pursuing an MBA helps him understand the business side of medicine—and prepares him to handle a changing professional landscape.

When Dr. Paul Levy became a heart surgeon, he thought that was enough. He’d worked hard, making it through medical school and internship and fellowships. During the next 25 years, he rose to the top of his profession as one of the senior members of the New Mexico Heart Institute, named the number-one cardiac surgeon in Albuquerque in 2010 by Albuquerque The Magazine.

But by 2009, the world of medicine was changing rapidly. What had always been enough for Levy wasn’t anymore. “I’ve been in a patient’s chest for 20 to 25 years,” Levy says. “That’s where I’ve had my head. I know I can do this job, but I realized one day it was time for me to expand my horizons. I really need to know more about what’s going on.”

Levy signed up for the University of Tennessee’s Physician Executive MBA program, or PEMBA. In doing so, he joined a growing number of physicians who’ve decided to pursue an advanced degree, like an MBA or JD, in addition to their medical diploma.

Why another degree?

The reasons physicians pursue additional degrees vary. Many, like Levy, pursue degrees as a response to the current medical climate. “You’ve got to be aware of what’s going on in health care to stay in business these days,” Levy says. “There are a lot of doctors who are frustrated. There are a lot of doctors moving toward business degrees. They’re concerned about their profession.”

Some want to expand their career options. Dr. Mike Ward, who is currently completing a two-year operations research fellowship and pursuing a master’s in quantitative analysis through the University of Cincinnati, received his M.D. and his MBA from Emory University.

“The MBA brings diversity and opportunity,” he says. “It lets individuals know what you’re interested in and capable of doing.” Ward, one of the founders of the National Association of MD/MBA Students, thinks an MBA on a physician CV opens doors for more leadership roles in clinical medicine, as well as administrative and academic positions. more »

 

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The Benefits of Being Bilingual

With shifting demographics creating rising demand for foreign language skills, physicians who speak a language other than English have a distinct career advantage over their English-only counterparts.

By Marcia Layton Turner | Fall 2009 | Feature Articles

 

Tanya Kormeili, MD, a private practice dermatologist in Los Angeles, CA, had a tri-continental upbringing which exposed her to Farsi, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and English. She found her knowledge of Spanish extremely useful during residency and says “any niche you can create can be advantageous.” In addition to making you a more attractive job candidate, Kormeili says language helps to build trust between you and the patient, creating a common bond that benefits you both.

Tanya Kormeili, MD, a private practice dermatologist in Los Angeles, CA, had a tri-continental upbringing which exposed her to Farsi, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and English. She found her knowledge of Spanish extremely useful during residency and says “any niche you can create can be advantageous.” In addition to making you a more attractive job candidate, Kormeili says language helps to build trust between you and the patient, creating a common bond that benefits you both.

By the time she was 12, Tanya Kormeili, MD, had lived on three different continents—starting out in Iran, and then moving to Italy before finally settling in the United States as a teenager. During those early years she learned to speak Farsi, Hebrew, Italian, and English to varying degrees—ultimately retaining Farsi and English after settling in Los Angeles at age 12.

During high school and college she added Spanish to her linguistic repertoire, but still found the medical Spanish course she took in medical school enlightening. “It made a world of difference in residency,” she says, because while she left high school possessing a familiarity with Spanish literature, she still didn’t know how to say key medical words like “nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.” Communicating with patients would still have been a challenge if not for medical Spanish. more »

 

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The Trailing Family

A new position is exciting, but moving can be stressful for your spouse and even frightening or depressing for your children. Tips to ensure a smooth and happy transition for everyone.

By Karen Childress | Feature Articles

 

You’ve accepted a new job, one that requires relocating. You were wined, dined, and signed, and before you knew it, you were immersed in a new practice. Meanwhile, your spouse or partner has been tending to the details of moving and is now immersed in unpacking, putting the house in order, getting the family settled, connecting to the new community, and possibly starting a new job of his or her own. It can all be a bit much. Moving is stressful and if isn’t handled with careful thought, attention to detail, and a sense of perspective, it can take a toll on the entire family. Whether you’re relocating across town or across the country, there are issues to consider and steps to take that can make the move easier on everyone.

A FAMILY DECISION

When you were single—footloose and fancy free, as they say—the decision to relocate and how to go about it was easy. Do you want to go or not? Rent a truck or hire a moving company? Start socializing the moment you unpack, or get settled in first? When you have a family to consider, it’s an entirely different ballgame. Moving is a family decision.

David Miller, M.D.

David Miller, MD, along with his wife, Inge, and their two small daughters moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Santa Monica, California in 2006 for David to complete a urologic oncology fellowship at UCLA.

David Miller, MD, along with his wife, Inge, and their two small daughters moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Santa Monica, California in 2006 for David to complete a urologic oncology fellowship at UCLA. David experienced what he calls ” a twinge of guilt” about extending his training after a six-year residency and moving his young family across the country. Recognizing the challenges associated with being in a new community and away from familiar support systems, David says he’s doing everything he can to make these two years work—for him professionally and for his family. “I’m busy at work and then when I’m home I’m focused on Inge and the kids,” says David. “My wife has been extraordinarily supportive and I’ve redoubled my commitment to the family, which has been great.”

Asked what advice he might offer other young couples about to make a move, David doesn’t hesitate. “Before you make the decision, think clearly about the implications for both you and your spouse. Explore whether there are substantial reservations on your spouse’s part,” he says. “Choose your next step so you’ll be personally comfortable and where your family will be happy. It’s difficult to achieve professional success if things aren’t happy at home,” says David.

Orthopedic surgeon Chris Hanosh, MD, of Durango, Colorado, has a similar philosophy. He and his wife, DeAnna, and their young daughter moved to Durango from Silver City, New Mexico in 2005. “The stay-at-home person needs to be happy,” he says. “I could do my job anywhere, but DeAnna and Abigail need to be happy in the community.” DeAnna chimes in with the flip side of her husband’s point. “If we loved the community but he hated his job, that wouldn’t work either,” she says.

AN EMOTIONAL TIME

According to counselors, moving is not something to take lightly. “Relocation is one of the bigger stressors that individuals and families experience,” says marriage and family therapist Greg Miller of Austin, Texas. “You take a new job, you’re moving, changing kids’ schools—it’s a tremendous amount of change all at once.” Miller says it’s not uncommon for adults to experience anxiety or depression during this sort of transition. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include irritability, fighting or arguing with your spouse, self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, engaging in addictive behaviors such as gambling or Internet pornography, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, or neglecting healthy activities like exercise.

Unique to moving is the stress caused by leaving your support system behind. “We tell ourselves we’re getting a new job, more money, a new house, and we expect that everything will be wonderful. It’s not part of our expectation that this move is going to be really difficult. People don’t prepare for it,” says Miller. Make moving less emotionally taxing by setting up a support system in advance. “Connect with a therapist, support group, church, or the local version of whatever group you were connected with back home,” says Miller. “Approach moving with the expectation that it will probably be difficult, and that you should set up a support system as soon as possible.”

 

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