Non-traditional or New Practices
Proceed carefully when considering a position with a new clinic or practice that is not yet open or established, especially if the clinic is embarking on a "non-traditional" or "new healthcare model." Jobs like these can turn out to be the best thing you ever did or the biggest nightmare of your career.
The sales pitch for these types of jobs can be intoxicating. Owners or investors are obviously excited about their new venture and it's easy to get caught up in their enthusiasm. You might think that due to their lack of experience and optimism that only new grads are vulnerable, but I have seen this happen to a fair share of seasoned clinicians too.
I have nothing against innovation or start-up companies, but before you commit it's wise to put your excitement on hold and do some research. Find out everything you can about your potential employer and their background.
Here is what I recommend:
- Ask to see the resume of the medical director. How long have they been in practice? Where did they do their residency? Are they board certified? In case you weren't aware, a doctor can be licensed after one year of residency. Verify that their experience matches the practice needs. Just like us, MDs should stick to their "scope of practice" too.
- Make sure you meet the medical director in PERSON. Don't just settle for a medical director who is only "on paper". Ask them how they define the role of an NP or PA. Have they ever worked with an advanced practice clinician before? What do they see as the role of a medical director? ***The first two points are critical If you are a PA or an NP working in a state that requires a practice agreements with a physician.
- Play detective and Google the names of everyone involved. If you can't find much info about them online that should raise some red flags.
- Who will be your supervisor? If the owner is a lay person, they hopefully had enough foresight to hire a manager with healthcare background and experience. Unfortunately, I have seen owners try to do it all, especially if the company is small. The problem is that folks who come from the business world don't always have a good understanding of our professions and may put pressure on you to assume duties or tasks that might be outside of your scope of practice. Performing duties that fall under your scope leads to job dissatisfaction, and pressure to work over your scope can put your license in jeopardy.
- What is the mission of the practice? Will you be required to sell or recommend products or services? Many of these new models have a "retail" portion. To keep your ethics intact, find out where the line is drawn between medicine and product marketing.
Get as much in writing as possible. Not just pay and benefits but also your hours and duties. New ventures can be work in progress and things can change rapidly.