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What to Look for in Your Next Practice

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AMA STEPS Forward® presents actionable, practical toolkits and customizable resources that you can use to successfully implement meaningful and transformative change in your practice or organization. See How it Works

Audio Transcript

Introduction: Hello and welcome to the AMA STEPS Forward® podcast series. We'll hear from health care leaders nationwide about real-world solutions to the challenges that practices are confronting today. Solutions that help put the joy back into medicine. AMA STEPS Forward® program is open access and free to all at stepsforward.org.

Dr Brown: Hello, I'm Dr Marie Brown, an internist practicing in Chicago and director of practice redesign at the American Medical Association. I'm here with Dr Alex Ristow, an internist practicing in Florida, who has just recently authored a fantastic module on STEPS Forward®, discussing what to expect in your first or next practice. Thank you for joining me, Dr Ristow.

Dr Ristow: Thanks so much for having me.

Dr Brown: So, tell me, what was your experience and how did you come to write this module on evaluating a practice?

Dr Ristow: So, I think my personal experience after residency entering the job market really illustrated to me that I was stuck in the mindset of, of medical school and residency and thinking about all interviews as, as their sole purpose was to try to get me accepted, tried to get me a job. And it really took some time, in order for me to realize that just as important was me evaluating each job, and really figuring out if it was a good fit in a place that I was going to be supported and happy as a physician. And I, I realized that figuring out, you know, if this was going to be a supportive position was actually a quite complicated task. And that I really needed a structured approach to, to think it through after going through that experience myself, I wanted to, to write down, you know, some of the things that I learned and, and really help others be able to approach the job search in a, in a structured way that really empowered them.

Dr Brown: And so, what did, what are a few of the things that you found during your experience that you'd like to share and that you shared in the module?

Dr Ristow: So, I think one of the big takeaways is that it's easy to get stuck focusing on things like salary or compensation, the numbers that are easy to compare between jobs. But that it's really important to step back, to think about your own priorities. And then also to put that, that compensation, you know, into perspective. Your compensation, your annual compensation might be, be higher at one practice than another. But if you kind of break it down and think about what support you're getting, how much work outside of work you're going to be doing at the end of each day, you might be surprised to see that, that a place that offers, you know, more physician support, inbox support, documentation support, actually you'll end up with a, with a higher, hourly wage than, than somewhere where you have no support. You're not able to take vacation because you, you feel overwhelmed and you feel, you know, you are worried about the work that you're going to come back to. And so, I think kind of thinking through the, the intangible factors of, of satisfaction of, of culture at a workplace will really kind of help put some of the other elements into perspective.

Dr Brown: Can you share any experience when you were on-site interviewing, where you had an aha moment that surprised you?

Dr Ristow: Certainly. So, so one of my very first interviews out of residency, I was sort of being shepherded around by an internal recruiter for most of the day. And I, and I remember asking about physician support in the clinic and getting in a, a very positive, but very sort of generic answer about, oh, you know, we have wonderful MAs. Physicians are very well supported. You know, many of our staff have been here for a long time and I, um, I didn't drill down on it. I didn't, I, I took it at face value until not long afterwards when a physician working at that practice pulled me into her office and closed the door and turned to me, and said, before you take this job, make sure it's in your contract, that you have an MA that's dedicated to you that doesn't get pulled for phlebotomy, doesn't get pulled for other physicians, but is there to support you.

And I remember kind of being a little bit taken aback and realizing, you know, the huge discrepancy between what I had been told and what the, the experience on the, the ground was. It really made me realize that, you know, I needed to be asking specifics. I needed to be asking about the, the ratio of MA, or RN or, or LPN, to physician that I needed to, to be asking about the workflow and how it was divided and what would be my responsibility and, and what, what I would have assistance with. And it really reshaped how I went about the interview process and, and how I thought about asking questions.

Dr Brown: And I think that that is just so important so that you can finish your work, feel that the work was, was good quality that you delivered great care. And at the end of the day, you finished your work, you weren't taking work home and you had time to build a relationship with the patient, which is why many of us were called to this. And I thank you for all your many, many other points of wisdom that you've included in this module that hopefully will help the viewer find a great fit and a rewarding practice for them. So, thank you for your time, Dr Ristow and I hope you enjoy your, your current practice. I know you found a wonderful fit and are on the other end of this. So, keep up the good work and thank you again for sharing your wisdom and your experience.

Dr Ristow: Thank you so much.

Dr Brown: Bye-bye.

Spekaer: Thank you for listening to this episode from the AMA STEPS Forward® podcast series. AMA's STEPS Forward program is open access and free to all at stepsforward.org. STEPS Forward® can help put the joy back into medicine by offering real-world solutions to the challenges that your practice is confronting today. We look forward to you joining us next time on the AMA STEPS Forward® podcast series, stepsforward.org.

Audio Information

Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships.

If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Disclaimer: AMA STEPS Forward® content is provided for informational purposes only, is believed to be current and accurate at the time of posting, and is not intended as, and should not be construed to be, legal, financial, medical, or consulting advice. Physicians and other users should seek competent legal, financial, medical, and consulting advice. AMA STEPS Forward® content provides information on commercial products, processes, and services for informational purposes only. The AMA does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services and mention of the same in AMA STEPS Forward® content is not an endorsement or recommendation. The AMA hereby disclaims all express and implied warranties of any kind related to any third-party content or offering. The AMA expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on AMA STEPS Forward® content.


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