Hey, it's not the Twelve Days of Christmas, but to get into
the spirit of the season I will share with you twelve reasons that can cause
your resume to be rejected (and employers will never tell you!).
12. You live too far away. The out of state address and
phone number on your resume have employers concerned that your relocation might
turn into their headache. They worry that you won't be able to sell your home,
your family might talk you out of moving and finally that because you don't
have ties to the community you won't stick around.
11. Your resume showed up by snail mail or fax. I know it's
almost 2014, but there are still a few applicants out there that insist on
submitting a resume the old fashioned way. Hard copies end up in the trash or
in a pile on a desk. It's a digital world and employers are a little frightened
by job seekers that aren't comfortable using technology.
10. Your resume is over formatted. You used so many tabs,
tables or special effects and formatting doo-dads that when you uploaded or cut
and pasted your resume into the employers online application system it became a
garbled mess and totally unreadable.
9. You applied for
every job that was posted and therefore you now have multiple applications in
the system. This can be a red flag for employers. Applying for anything and
everything makes you look either desperate or like you really aren't sure what it
is you want.
8. Missing dates.
Contrary to what you may have heard you need to include the date of your graduation
and for each place of employment. When
applicants omit dates it makes an employer think the job seeker may be trying
to hide something. In fact, many employers have their applicant tracking
systems set up to automatically exclude applications with missing dates.
7. You decided to go with a functional format rather than
chronological. I know some job seekers do this because they believe by putting
a bunch of the keywords from the job description in to a "skills" section it is
more likely to trigger a match. The trouble with this strategy is that while it
may indeed get the computer to flag you as a match it doesn't do so well with a
human reviewer. Detaching your skills from the setting where you performed them
just creates confusion. It's important for an employer to know where and when
you last used these skills. Oh, and it's really obvious to a "live" person that
you were trying to game the system by loading up the keywords.
Stayed tuned! I will finish the list in my next blog.
Historically, employers often have had some confusion when
it comes to our professions. I'm sure you have all become quite accustomed to
the question "What is the difference between a PA and an NP?" And even more
likely, you are quite well versed in explaining the differences.
Usually we don't mind giving the contrast and comparison
speech but on occasion we do get a little testy when we see the group we belong
to being excluded from a job posting. Especially when we know it is a job we
can do just as well as the other group can. As healthcare has evolved, we have
become more interchangeable, and for the majority of positions, one group is
just as fully capable and qualified to do the job as the other group.
Sometimes when we see a job opening but note that our
discipline is excluded we take it upon ourselves to "educate" the employer and
actively urge them to consider hiring one of our group. I tend to discourage
this if you are a job seeker because you end up sounding pushy and preachy. As
a recruiter I could offer this sort of advice all the time - and get away with
it. But then my relationship to the employer was different and I could play the
role of the "wise advisor".
I also routinely advise my candidates not to apply for jobs
of the other profession. For example, if the ad said they wanted a PA, then an
NP should not apply. I still stand behind that statement because generally
speaking it's not going to work out in your favor for the same reasons I mentioned
above. Also because employers are gradually getting more savvy about NPs vs PAs
and don't tend to mix us up quite as much anymore.
But if you are an NP there is an exception to my rule and it
just may open up a batch of undiscovered opportunities for you. An employer's
confusion might just be the key to your next job.
I'm talking about clinical nurse specialist CNS positions.
It seems that many employers don't really understand the difference between CNS
and NP. I get it. Clinical Nurse Specialist could innocently be confused with
Advanced Practice Nurse - or Advanced Practice Clinician. Throw the word
"nurse" or "clinician" into any title and voila! Easy mistake.
So NPs, don't overlook the CNS openings. It might be well
worth your time to call and check it out. Chances are, employers will welcome
your application. Odds are that you are what they were looking for all
I read a lot of resume advice. I like to keep up with what
others are telling you to do.
I realized even when I was a new graduate NP that much of
the resume guidance I was receiving was not particularly helpful. I could sense
that it wasn't geared toward the medical professions, much less applicable to a
Even the placement services at universities and colleges
seemed to be a bit clueless when it came to resumes for our professions. This
hasn't changed much. In fact it might be worse now that the online job boards
are getting into the act and have started handing out resume and job search
I can place much of what I read into three categories:
- Ok advice
- Questionable new and trendy advice
- Sad and outdated information
The hardest part for you as an NP or PA is figuring out
which is which. Let me help you.
The majority of the new and trendy advice is not going to
fly in our professions. For instance, the latest recommendation I saw was for
something they call the "talking resume". Near as I could tell, it is an
audible version of your resume. I also read that you should include a photo of
yourself on the back of your resume - exactly how this would work in a resume that
is submitted in electronic format is rather sketchy. But at any rate both of
these tactics should be avoided.
What you as a PA or NP job seeker should understand is that
this type of advice is geared towards people seeking positions in new and
trendy industries such as web development, advertising and some innovative new
business models and it won't adapt well to healthcare. No matter how cutting
edge we believe ourselves to be, you will find it generally isn't going to go
over well if you step that far out of the box with your job applications.
When it comes to outdated info you will read well-meaning advice
about paper choices (hello! 2001 is calling and wants its snail mail resume
Alternate formats seem to be popular topics as well. In our
profession we strongly prefer the chronological format over the functional
format. If you want to impress us please, please don't give us a resume with
your skills in a separate section that is detached from the position where you
performed said skills.
And speaking of outdated, if you're instructed to begin your
resume with an "objective" you should be aware that this advice is soooo 5
years ago. And furthermore, there is no longer any reason to end with
"references upon request". Duh.
I am also still seeing recommendations for those of you over
40 to omit graduation dates from your education because it may give away your
age. BAD ADVICE. Leaving off ANY dates can be a red flag and may disqualify
I don't know about you, but there isn't a day that goes by
when I don't have some sort of umm....interesting
experience at work. I understand how awfully tempting it is to jump on Facebook
or Twitter and share the events of my day with all 100+ or so of my closest
"friends". It's so very rewarding to watch a post collect "likes" and snarky
remarks, isn't it?
Periodically I feel the need to remind all of you to use
caution when posting on social media. I'm sure you have all heard the warnings
about how employers are Googling applicants to see what they have been up to
online, but did you know that what you post might get you into some hot water
(and by hot water I mean fired) with your current employer?
Posting a heartwarming or funny story about a patient might
seem harmless enough but all it takes is for someone to recognize either
themselves or someone they know in your post and BINGO! You have just violated patient
confidentiality. Buh-bye. Oh, and if losing your job isn't bad enough, it's
possible for you to be sued, too.
Ok, so that covers social media, but there are other ways
you to get in trouble on the internet too. Beware the "most interesting
patient" submissions. Often popular blogs or websites that cater to health
professionals will ask you to submit a case study or encounter as part of a
contest or promotion. Or maybe you are responding to a case study with an
example of your own. Sounds innocent doesn't it? Actually, the risk of "outing"
a particular patient in this instance might be even greater since your
colleagues and/or employer might be also visiting the same website.
These contests and forums are great learning experiences,
but they make the recruiter in me a little nervous and I advise you to exercise
some caution if you decide to contribute. Anytime you are relating a story
about a current or former patient you should alter or change enough of the
details and identifying characteristics to be sure that no one will recognize
the identity of your patient.
And don't be lulled into thinking that any website or social
media can be "private". Facebook has recently announced changes that are going
to make all your posts more public regardless of your settings. Even
information on so-called secure and password protected members-only forums or
paid journal sites can be vulnerable. Firewalls can malfunction and data can be
left exposed. Sharing can easily occur by using the cut and paste feature. Next
thing you know your story has made its way onto someone's blog or Facebook
I have been
considering pursuing locum tenens work for a year or so. I want to know your
opinion of the option of becoming a career locum tenens provider. How is that
perceived in the community? How does that affect one's career in the long term?
Is it better for me to settle down in a more permanent position?
Dear Job Seeker:
is a Latin phrase which means "to hold the place of, or to substitute
for" and these positions have been around a long time. You may also hear
these jobs referred to as "temporary" or "travel" positions.
There are many reasons that a practice might seek a Locum
tenens provider. It could be that one of their permanent staff is on an
extended leave or absence. It may also be due to a temporary increase in
patient volume or the launch of a new program.
Sometimes, organizations are under a hiring freeze and so
they cannot afford additional permanent staff but do have the ability to bring
in a locum provider. The last few years we have seen an increase in temporary
positions due to the uncertainty of the healthcare market. Although, if I think
back over all the years I have been in this business, it seems that the demand for
locum clinicians tends to be strong in almost every type of economy.
It takes a certain type of person to do a locum assignment
and not everyone is cut out for this type of work. Fortunately for you, and
others like you who do temporary work, this is good news because employers tend
to like the characteristics that make you a good locum candidate.
They understand that to be successful as a locum provider
you must be very flexible and adaptable, as well as independent. They also
recognize that because you will have worked in several different types of
practices and locations that you will have a wider scope of experiences.
Basically, you end up to be very well-rounded, which employers find impressive.
As a recruiter I was thrilled to hire a "serial locum" provider because I knew
that they would be a clinician with solid skills and confidence.
I speak from not only recruiting experience but also personal
experience. I have been a professional locum tenens clinician from the
beginning of my NP career (and I still am!). Some of my assignments have been
quite lengthy, renewing repeatedly for year after year while others have been
very short term.
Almost every clinic to which I have been assigned has offered
me a permanent position - many locums do eventually hire on permanently at the
end of an assignment - so lack of permanent employment opportunities has never
been a concern.
Today, it is inevitable that at some
point during your job search you will be communicating with your potential
employer via email.
Email by nature tends to feel less
formal than more traditional forms of communication and that can be a problem. Here
are 5 rules to help you avoid common email mistakes.
- Don't get too comfortable. You should always
treat email correspondence the same way you would if you were writing a
traditional letter. Always use a standard greeting and a closing in every email,
every time. I always thought it was rather rude when a candidate couldn't even
take the time to include a salutation at the beginning of the email or in
closing didn't bother to thank me for my time or at the very least wish me a
- Don't be mysterious or vague with your subject
line. It's not unusual for hiring managers to receive dozens, or even hundreds
of emails if they are handling several open positions. Subject lines like "job
application" can get easily get lost or passed over in a busy inbox. If you want
to increase the chances your email will be read then try to be as specific as
possible in your subject line. "Experienced family NP for urgent care position"
or "PA with 5 years of surgical experience for inpatient position" is much more
- Watch your spelling and grammar. Remember, you
are applying for a job not texting your BFF. Do not use abbreviations or
expressions such as LOL. And never, ever
include a smiley face. J You should always write in full sentences, use
spellcheck and go easy on the punctuation!!!
Exclamation points have no place in a professional email.
- Please write an actual letter. Emails that say
only "I am interested in your job" or "my resume is attached" are an epic fail.
Seriously, if you can't bother to write any more than a line or two you might
as well just come out and say "I don't value your position" in your email.
- Re-evaluate your email address. If it's not
professional sounding then create a new one. The best email addresses are your email@example.com. Oh, and if you are
currently employed don't use your work email when you are applying for a new
job. That just looks bad. And lastly, check your email often if you are job
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it's officially the
end of summer. Fall is a good time to get back to all those projects we put on
hold. Which means this is a good time for my "get involved" speech.
This past year has seen a great deal of political action in
healthcare. There are new laws that have resulted in a multitude of new
regulations, most of which are still in play. NPs and PAs have much at stake. Many
states have passed legislation to increase our autonomy and practice but there
are still several more states with pending action. And we will always need to
be ever vigilant to make sure any progress we have made doesn't get
It's up to all of us to do what we can to protect our professions
and our patients. I would like to offer a few suggestions of what you can
I feel strongly that we all need to stop using terms like
"mid-level". If your employer is using this language to describe you, try to
persuade them to remove it from their vocabulary. Educate them and let them
know why we find "mid-level" to be offensive and insulting. And if you are
still using this term to describe yourself, for goodness sake, please stop! You
are only hurting your image as a professional.
(See my previous post "Middle
of What?" if you need a few reasons.)
Don't put each other down. I don't have to go far online or
even personally to hear our professions disparaging each other. PAs complaining
about NPs and vice versa. And sometimes we aim critiques against our own groups,
too! If one group moves forward it doesn't mean the other moves back. Progress
isn't always symmetrical, but it IS good for all of us in the long term. Stay
positive and support all advanced practice clinicians.
No need to wage a war against physicians either. Stay on
topic and talk only about your own work and accomplishments. I want to cringe
every time I read or hear one of us saying "We spend more time" or "our patient
satisfaction is higher" to promote our professions. We just need a seat at the
table, it's not necessary to take over the whole meal. If we want to have
physician buy in and support, we need to knock off that sort of talk. It isn't
making us any friends.
Join any and all organizations that are working towards
legislative action in our favor. If you don't have the time to get personally
involved then just give them MONEY. In our system nothing happens without
lobbyists and lobbyists take money. Simple as that.
One of the most frequent questions I get when counseling job
seekers is "How do I network? I don't think I really understand how to go about
Networking sounds like one of those outdated buzzwords from
the 1990s but I can assure you it is still relevant today. Why? For every one
of you who will find your next job via a traditional job ad you should be aware
that there are also a significant portion of NP and PA jobs that are NOT advertised
and instead will be filled simply by word of mouth. And among those positions
that are advertised, a significant number of applicants who are hired will get
the job because he or she was personally referred for the position by someone who
is currently working within the organization. This is why networking is
Networking can happen in a number of ways. It all starts
with meeting your colleagues. One way is
to get involved in your local professional organizations. I don't mean just
join as a member, I mean actually get involved. Volunteer for a committee, run
for an office -- just do something that facilitates interacting with your
Reconnect with former classmates. You might be surprised at
what your old school chums are up to these days. In addition to catching up and
rekindling an old friendship, you have the opportunity to connect on a
colleague level now rather than as a fellow student. Don't forget to contact
peers you worked with in your previous positions, too.
Now, don't think I am telling you to contact these folks
simply to ask for a job. No one likes to feel used. You don't meet someone then
get a job referral the next day. Look at it more like an investment. Whether it
is a longtime acquaintance or someone you just met at a conference, you need to
take your time.
Start off by learning as much about the other person as you
can. It can't be just about you! People like to tell their stories. Ask them
what they like about their position, what they dislike and if they have any
advice for someone looking to get into the position. Talk about interesting or
challenging cases. Just talk.
Networking is a slow growing process that doesn't bear fruit
overnight. Start now. Connecting is satisfying and even if you don't end up
with a job referral you will benefit by gaining a valuable resource: a mentor
or a future friend. And who knows, maybe one day it might be you referring them
for a job!
Don't underestimate the importance of a cover letter. Recruiters
and hiring managers are far more likely to take note of your application when
you include a cover letter. And it's imperative that you be noticed. Because, if
you are not noticed you won't be invited to an interview - it's as simple as
Here are three major reasons a cover letter is key to a
successful job search.
- A cover
letter showcases what we call your "soft skills." Before I hire you, I need to
fully evaluate your ability to communicate. A cover letter provides an example
of your written language skills but also gives me some insight into your
thought processes and sometimes even your personality. I need to know you can
organize and express yourself in writing. If I receive a cover letter that is
articulate and free of grammar and spelling errors I will feel more confident
about your communication skills and feel assured that you have a good eye for
detail. If properly formatted (a cover letter should always be written in a
standard business format) I will also be impressed by your manners. In this day
and age of emails and text messages it's refreshing to see a "proper" letter!
- A cover letter can help fill in or clarify some
points in your resume. Resumes are meant to be short and sweet and provide only
a snapshot of your experience and skills. Cover letters, however, allow you to
tell me a much more in-depth description about yourself and why you see
yourself as a match for the position. In other words, you can help me to see
and feel your passion. On the other hand, if you send me a rambling
dissertation that doesn't tell me much more than you really, really, want the
job, I am not likely to have a very favorable impression of you.
- Because you took the time to compose a unique cover
letter to me this tells me you are very interested in my position. A well-written
cover letter indicates that you have taken the time and energy to learn about
my organization which supports that you are genuinely interested in working for
me. But, if you send me a generic one-size-fits-all letter I am not going to feel
very special. Cover letters that are boilerplate and lack detail tell me that
you didn't care enough to put much effort into your application. And quite
frankly, if you don't care that much about your application, then I won't
The market has come a long way from a year ago. The ratio of
job seekers who are concerned because they are unable to find even one suitable
position to those who have found multiple job openings has definitely shifted
towards the latter.
This improved market has also included drastic improvement
for new graduates which is good news if you are looking for your first job. One
year ago many employers were passing over new grads until they had officially passed
their boards. This year employers and recruiters were happy to start
conversations with students, sometimes even several weeks prior to
But this market shift has also found both seasoned
clinicians and new grads alike encountering a situation in which they never
believed they would ever find themselves - juggling multiple interviews and
You might be saying to yourself, "What does she mean? That's
not a bad problem to have!" And indeed, if you have to have an employment
problem this is certainly the one I recommend. But there are a couple of pitfalls
that job seekers must take caution to avoid when entertaining multiple
employers and multiple offers.
It's easy when faced with surplus of job options to become a
little cavalier and perhaps a little over confident. Just because you have more
than one employer interested in you doesn't mean it's OK for you to forget your
If you have received an offer but you aren't quite ready to
accept it because you still have other interviews scheduled then it's only
polite that you let them know. It is perfectly acceptable to be "seeing" more
than one potential employer.
Be honest about your job search; instead of just sitting on an
offer and doing nothing, you should notify them that you have other interviews
scheduled. Employers are generally good about waiting for a response to their
offer if you give them a concrete time frame in which they can expect an answer.
One week is reasonable, but I wouldn't recommend making them wait any longer
than 2 weeks for an answer.
If you are fortunate enough to get more than one job offer, don't
forget to formally decline the one you decide not to accept. It's very impolite
to leave an offer hanging out there with no response. Employers hate it when
their offer goes unacknowledged!
The human resources/recruiting/hiring manager world is
smaller than you think, and it only takes a minute for you to express your
regrets and thank the employer, but it will go a long way to protect you and your
reputation for the future.
What if you are the first of your kind?
We are all encouraged and excited to see an employer make
the decision to hire their first NP or PA. The economy, coupled with the
changes due to healthcare reform, has certainly worked to our advantage; this
year we are seeing more and more jobs and seeing them in new and in different
roles and practices. For some employers, this means they are opening up
positions to advanced practice clinicians for the very first time and for other
employers, it means that they are now looking to both of our professions to
fill positions where previously they may have only considered hiring only a PA
or an NP.
Great! But, you ask, but what does this have to do with my
job search? You should know that if you are applying to be one of these
"firsts" you need to be prepared to answer some additional questions during
If it is the first time an organization has opened a
position to either an NP or PA you can't automatically assume they know and
understand our profession. The decision to hire an NP or PA may have been made
by someone other than the persons actually doing the hiring. This means you may
be more than just a job applicant, you may be an ambassador.
So what may happen is that you may be asked to define your
profession, but be aware that they are looking for more than just the
boilerplate definition we have all learned in school. What they want are
specifics. Exactly what CAN you do? How many patients can you be expected to
see in a day? How dependent or independent are you in terms of physician
Don't be surprised if you are asked about billing. Your
interviewer may want to know if Medicare will cover you for certain exams or
procedures. Can you do a pre-op? Can you see Worker's Compensation
As an NP you might have to explain what makes you different
than a PA (or vice versa). And don't be caught off guard if you are actually
asked to give your opinion about which profession is better.
Tip: To prepare, you need to be well-versed in the laws of
your state and your practice acts. Study up on national practice issues that
affect billing so that you can speak with authority and accuracy. If you are
fuzzy or not familiar with your counterparts you should do some homework before
your interview. And when asked about the other profession, please play
This week I am going to turn the tables and ask you a
Should we, and by "we" I mean the collective "we" such as
our NP and PA organizations, take a stance on political issues?
More people are paying attention to what we say. We are in
the news and our visibility is at a historical high. As the states begin to
implement the Affordable Care Act we have found ourselves with an unprecedented
opportunity to promote and advance our professions. We have been seizing this
opportunity, and this year we have been very busy introducing legislation and
lobbying our state and local elected officials to ensure we are not left
So when I say "political" issues I don't mean practice
issues. It's pretty much a no brainer that all of us should be involved when it
comes to legislation which could potentially impact our scope of practice,
prescribing, billing or patient access to our services.
What I am referring to is the other hot political topics of
the day - and there is certainly no shortage of them. In any given week if you
turn on the news or read the paper, at the minimum, you will see debate on
immigration, gay marriage, abortion, entitlements and national security. And all
these issues have one thing in common: people are passionate about them.
So should we take a stand on these? I don't mean personally,
but collectively as a profession. Should we weigh in on these matters or should
we stay out of the fray?
Arguments can be made on both sides. On the one hand, some
might say we have an obligation to take a position on the important social
issues of our times. On the other hand these are highly divisive issues. What
do you think?
I am also interested in how far you think we should go in
supporting specific politicians who are highly involved in one or more of these
controversial issues. For example, suppose a senator or representative is a
staunch supporter of NPs and PAs and supports our legislative goals but has also
been very vocal on a particular social issue?
I am interested to hear from you. What do you think are the
pros and cons of extending our political activism?
ATTENTION! When it comes to our resumes we are all attention
seekers. We want our resumes to be noticed. Actually, we NEED our resumes to be
noticed. Unnoticed resume = no interview. Duh!
But there is a right and wrong way to gain attention.
A job seeker recently told me about a "trick" that was
recommended to her and promised as a sure way to have her resume flagged as a
match by employers who are utilizing an applicant tracking system.
Note: For those of
you just tuning in an applicant tracking system (ATS) is a computer program
used by most of the larger healthcare systems to sort and manage applications. ATS
are programmed to search for defined information (skills, qualifications) in
submitted resumes and then alert the employer to potential matches. The
information the program searches for is derived directly from the job
description and/or the job ad. Makes sense right?
So this is the "trick." Copy and paste or retype the entire
job ad at the very end of your resume. Now here is the tricky part - change the
font color to white so that only the computer can see it. Voila! Resume gets
flagged as a match. You are in like Flynn.
Not so fast! This sounds more SNEAKY than tricky to me. Sure
it might get you noticed by the computer but eventually a real live human being
will be reviewing your resume and then what? BUSTED! If you want an interview you
need to impress more than just the computer. There are NO substitutes for a
quality, well organized and relevant resume.
Seriously, if you can legitimately meet the requirements for
the position then why would you need to resort to a sneaking in the back door? Your
time would be much better spent revising your resume and then incorporating the
requirements noted in the job ad into your resume to create a custom resume for
that position. I guarantee that will impress both the computer and human
This is what I recommend:
Sprinkle the keywords from the job description
into your resume.
- Always attach specific job skills to a previous
job. If you are a new grad put them under your clinical rotations.
- Avoid creating orphan paragraphs of "skills"
that give the reader no idea where or when you actually performed these
- Including a "summary of qualifications" in your
resume is a good place to stash the broader requirements that you read in some
job ads. Examples are "compassionate," "caring" or "fast paced environment."
But what if you don't meet the requirements? Maybe you
shouldn't be applying for that position. Just sayin'.
Since there are quite a few jobs out there and it's likely
that many of you are contemplating offers this spring, I thought it might be
time to revisit employee vs. contractor status.
Here is the short notes version of what you should know!
What is the
difference between being an employee and a contractor?
If you are an employee, your employer issues you a check and
pays your withholding taxes. Depending on your FTE you may qualify for vacation,
sick time and other miscellaneous benefits. At the end of the year you will
receive a W2 form.
If you are a contractor, you are essentially being treated
as if you were a business. You still get a check from the employer, but you are
responsible for all payroll taxes and you do not qualify for any benefits. At the end of the year you will be issued a
What is the
Both require a contract and the contracts should
cover pretty much the same things.
You are subject to the policies and procedures
of the organization.
Both agreements may include non-competes.
What are the pros and
Employees can be eligible for employer benefits
such as healthcare.
Employees may participate in the employer's
retirement programs (401K).
Contractors can deduct many expenses that
employees are not allowed to deduct, such as home office, car, mileage, cell
Contractors cannot draw unemployment.
Contractors must pay their own payroll taxes,
which may necessitate hiring an accountant.
Contractors must buy and pay the full cost of their
Contractors do not get sick time or vacation
from the employer.
What is the bottom
line if I choose to work as a contractor?
Add at least 25% to your hourly rate to cover
your payroll taxes. For example, if you want to net $50 per hour then you need
to charge at least $62.50 per hour.
Clarify who will be paying your malpractice.
Sometimes staffing companies will cover your malpractice if you are on an
assignment, but it's not always the case. If you are responsible for your own
malpractice, be sure that you budget the cost into your hourly rate.
Find out what health insurance will cost you before
you set your hourly rate so that you can build the expense into your rate.
Consider using the services of an accountant to
ensure you pay the proper taxes and maximize your deductions. Factor this cost
into your rate, too.
Visit our job board to see the latest employment opportunities in your area!
I'm not a doctor basher. In fact I'm actually quite the
Over the course of my career I have worked with some great
docs. They have been encouraging, helpful and generally treated me as a peer. During
my education I had physician preceptors and early in my career I had physician
mentors. In my practice I have consulted with physicians when I found it
necessary and on more than one occasion I have had physicians consult with me.
When I have had a need to interact with specialists, hospitalists or other
physicians whom my patients were previously seeing (remember, I work in
corrections so almost all my patients are new to me) I have been treated with
the utmost respect.
So in light of my positive experiences I always am a bit taken aback when I see
some of the things that certain physicians are
saying about my profession. I'm referring to articles such as the one I
saw last week entitled "Only
doctors Can Save America." Or discussions in which docs are posting to each
other and referring to NPs and PAs as "LELTs" - which is short for "less
educated, less trained." And who can help but notice the sudden interest in
"physician led team" care?
I get it, we are still in a recession and money is tight.
Reimbursement is down and everyone is getting a little nervous about the impact
of the new healthcare laws, but that is no excuse for this kind of behavior. For
one thing, it's beneath them. Like me, most patients also like doctors so I
can't believe any patient wants to read articles where their physician is acting
like a schoolyard bully. Patients also really like US, so when doctors (or
their organizations) go on record disparaging NPs and PAs it doesn't really
play well with the public. It just looks petty and greedy.
I have always discouraged the "us against them" mentality. I
don't like it when we do it either. It doesn't advance our profession. Let's
call a truce. We need to stop saying how much patients "like" us better and
physicians need to lay off the insults. Neither of our professions is going
anywhere and there are more than enough patients to go around. Negative
dialogue is unproductive and distracting.