Doing things the MBA way

Essential business skills physicians need to know.

By Joe Capko | Feature Articles | Winter 2012


Ask a doctor why he or she decided on a career in medicine, and you might hear a mix of reasons: a yearning to help people; a keen interest in science; desire for a role that commands respect. Maybe some will even admit to wanting a potentially lucrative career that is also prestigious.

One thing you probably won’t hear, though, is a longing for a management role in a $3 trillion industry—even though that is another way to describe what being a physician means today in the U.S. health care system.

Lack of appreciation for medicine as a business—and reluctance to develop business skills—can hold new doctors back, making it harder for them to reach their primary goals of providing excellent patient care and achieving enduring career success and financial security.

“It’s a travesty that physicians do not receive a business education,” says Maria Young Chandler, M.D., MBA, associate clinical professor of pediatrics and management, University of California, Irvine and chief medical officer of The Children’s Clinic, a six-site nonprofit health center in Long Beach, Calif. “Medicine is a business. Without business skills, physicians could find themselves swimming upstream.”

After as much as 10 years of post-graduate education, though, getting an MBA may not be appealing or feasible for many young physicians. The good news is, any physician can become more conscious of the business aspects of the health care field. more »


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Job Search Tips for Physicians

PracticeLink recruiters reveal tips they wish more candidates would heed.

By PracticeLink Staff | Web Exclusive


Ever wonder exactly what physician recruiters are looking for in a candidate? Wish you had the inside scoop on how to get a leg-up in your search for the right practice?

Panel of physician recruiters

PracticeLink physician recruiters share their tips for candidates who are looking for a job.

PracticeLink recently hosted a panel of physician recruiters to get their take on what’s important in their search for the right candidate. Residents, fellows, NPs/PAs, and even practicing physicians can benefit from what they had to say.

We’ve captured some of their tips and suggestions here:

Your C.V. and cover letter:

  • Tailor your CV and cover letter to the job you’re applying for.
  • There are no absolute rules but, in general, the length of your CV depends on your profession. For example, clinical CVs tend to be shorter, while academic CVs are typically longer in length.
  • Stay on top of your CV and make sure it’s up to date.
  • Focus the content of your CV on your career objective, highlights of your career to date, education and major skills and accomplishments. more »


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Akash Sharma, M.D.

By PracticeLink Staff | Snapshot | Winter 2011


Akash Sharma, M.D., with his daughters

Assistant professor, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Ross University School of Medicine, West Indies
RESIDENCY: Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn.
FELLOWSHIP: One-year fellowship in nuclear radiology after general radiology residency

Married with three daughters, including a set of twins. Hobbies include travel, photography, reading, being a tech junkie and studying. Sharma just finished an MBA program and plans to study finance and writing next. more »


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Dr. Obinna Egbo

This physician’s job-search advice? Make sure you make the effort to really understand your job description before accepting a position.

By PracticeLink Staff | Snapshot


Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Honored as a Hospitalist of the Year in 2009.

Med school: College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Nigeria
Residency: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
In practice since: 2005

Married with five children, and living in Phoenix. Hobbies include soccer and watching all sports on TV, reading and travelling.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Before beginning a job search, take the time to assess the type of medical practice that will suit you. Think about the potential long-term consequences of your choice, and decide if you will thrive as a hospitalist, outpatient clinician or in a traditional practice that combines both. Regardless of what type of practice that you choose, a basic understanding of the business aspect of medicine will be invaluable—so, make sure that you have it. more »


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No One Taught Me How to Do This in Med School

In-house programs, such as the Cleveland Clinic, place primary emphasis on support and assistance to empower graduates and individuals as they become skilled at managing their own job search.

Could an in-house recruitment program help you in your job search? A few simple tips could make the difference.

By Joey Klein & Lauren Forst | Fall 2009 | Remarks


Becky is a neurology resident at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. When she graduates in July, she hopes to land a job in Chicago so she can join her husband, with whom she’s been apart for a year, while he completes his cardiology fellowship. Ron, a colorectal surgery fellow, is 33-years old. He’s been training to be a surgeon for as long as he can remember. He’s never looked for, or had, a job. He feels lost as to where to look, how to write a cover letter, if he should use a placement agency, how much he should expect to make, and how to move forward if he gets an interview or a contract. Roland and his wife Bushra are both on J-Visas (a visa for non-immigrants to come to the United States for training purposes). They have no CVs, no cover letters, and are looking for opportunities in the same city that can offer a J-1 Waiver (special permission to stay in the country without the usual requirement of returning to one’s home country for two years) so they can stay in the United States together. more »


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Is Social Media the New Job Search Engine?

Attention Bloggers, Twitterers and Facebook Friends: Social networking is the up-and-coming way to job hunt, but the tried and true methods remain part of the marketing mix. How to use social media safely, learn online etiquette, and see how recruiters do—and don't—look at your online activity.

By Julie Sturgeon & Karen Edwards | Feature Articles | Summer 2009


Is Social Media the New Job Search Engine?

Is Social Media the New Job Search Engine?

For years, the internet has been shifting from an information repository to a network of individuals who communicate with each other. Web 2.0 is the term that describes that trend. It not only includes social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but also sites that depend on users for content—YouTube and Wikipedia, for example. Businesses, like Amazon, also build and interact with communities of customers on their sites. Blogging and micro-blogging (like Twitter), both of which are forms of web journaling, are the newest Web 2.0 developments.

The data shows social networking is huge. Facebook, for example, claims to have 175 million users, half of whom are in college. The fastest growing segment of Facebook users, in fact, is age 30 and older. YouTube says 10 hours of video are uploaded to its site every minute, primarily by 18- to 34-year olds, although its demographic reaches as high as 55 years. And MySpace has more than 110 million users, age 18 and older. more »


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Job Search 101

You're on the verge of realizing your dream: your first real job as a physician. But do your homework.

In today's market, it's not hard to find a job - the trick is to find the job that's right for you.

By Lester A. Picker | Feature Articles | January/February 2009


The Road Best Traveled — Your guide to job search preparaton

It’s a modern tale of two cities. In this version, the hero and heroine are nearly the same age, both bleary-eyed medical residents in the same specialty at the same major medical center. But, when their paths diverge after graduation, their stories take starkly different paths.

Jane Simmons (not her real name) took a position in a large, urban, multi-specialty practice and within months knew that she had made a big mistake. She was working far more hours than she had anticipated and, to make matters worse, seemed to be on call more than other physicians in the practice. She also did not enjoy the area of the country she was in. Despite its warm climate, it was located in a large city, far from her first choice that was closer to her rural Northeast roots. more »


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Make a Great Catch

When hiring a colleague, it's not enough to respect clinical skills and have similar philosophies about caring for patients. You have to connect on that hard-to-define level called "fit."

By Christine Hinz | 411 | May/June 2004


It didn’t take Fredric Serota, MD, and Jo Ann Serota, a pediatric nurse practitioner, long to realize that they hadn’t hired the right person for their Ambler, Pennsylvania pediatrics group. On paper, the physician certainly looked impressive. With a PhD in microbiology, he’d obviously honed his scientific skills before going off to medical school. But the ink had barely dried on their one-year contract when the Serotas saw a spoiler in their midst. Instead of feeling his way and learning their system, he came in with his own agenda, ready to make change. “He alienated everyone,” says Jo Ann Serota. “He felt he knew more than the rest of us.”

Perhaps you’ve had the same chilling realization. Hiring competent professionals who will be the right “fit” for your practice is the most challenging management task you’ll ever face. You want colleagues adept in their clinical skills and attuned to your philosophy of medicine. But they should also mesh with your group. Obviously, there’s no foolproof system for selecting the professionals—doctors, physician’s assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs)—on your staff. Gut instincts may give you a heads-up, but letting intuition alone drive your decision-making could hook you a misfit who knows how to ace an interview. As Fredric Serota observes of the doctor he hired: “He was more of a laboratory type. He really didn’t have the fiber to be a general pediatrician.” more »


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