Physician Assistant Job Search | Evaluating Opportunities

Physician Assistant Job Search | Evaluating Opportunities

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As you interview for physician assistant (PA) job opportunities, there is so much to consider before officially accepting the perfect position. Evaluating each job takes both time, effort and great attention to detail. Looking beyond the posted job description is critical when selecting the perfect match.

Evan Howell, Chief APC and Senior Vice President of Operations, makes the process a little bit easier by defining key elements PAs should evaluate before accepting a job.

Scope of Practice

Choose an organization that advocates for its PAs to perform to the fullest extent of their license commiserate with state laws. Autonomous practice under the supervision of a physician is key. You should be able to answer the following questions when evaluating an opportunity: What are you going to be able to do at the job? Are you going to be able to do everything you were trained to do?

Important tip: Do your research. Network with current and former PAs from your prospect organization. This will help you find out more about an organization’s scope of practice.

Ideal Practice Setting

Knowing where you want to live and what specialty you would like to be in are the first stepping stones of finding the ideal practice setting. Decide if you want a practice setting that will offer more flexibility (i.e. Emergency Department) or a consistent schedule (i.e. single practice settings). Most importantly, pick an organization with physicians, PAs and other providers who share the same values as yourself.

Important tip: Proactively discuss what you are looking for in your practice during your interviews. Ask questions that would give insight into the organization’s values to be sure they align with your personal values.

Continuing Education

In the ever evolving landscape of healthcare, increasing your medical fund-of-knowledge is vital to providing top-quality patient care. Pick an organization that supports and provides opportunities for CME courses, skills labs and up-to-date medical literature or an education stipend. ApolloMD provides PAs with an annual CME stipend. In addition to the stipend, PAs have the chance to participate in the APC University, a series of monthly webinars covering relevant and specific topics. For PAs practicing in emergency medicine (EM), each PA participates in EM Bootcamp, an EM specific CME course offered to all new hires before their start date.

Important tip: Use your interview as a chance to find out how important continuing education is to an organization.

Leadership

Leadership development is critical to the success of any organization. Find an organization that promotes leadership training and advancement opportunities for PAs. At ApolloMD, each facility has a lead APC. The lead APC participates in the ApolloMD Leadership Academy and attends the company-wide annual leadership conference. Additionally, ApolloMD utilizes PAs through consulting roles for the clinical operations division, administrative positions on the regional operations teams and as senior leadership, a position rare to the industry.

Important tip: When interviewing, make it known that you have a clear understanding of what you want in a job and what you want to get out of the job. Show that you have made sure you are the right fit for an organization.

Compensation

Look for an organization that will fairly compensate you based on both experience and performance. ApolloMD offers competitive compensation plans with bonus structures covering everything from productivity to key metrics.

Important tip: Pay attention to an organization’s compensation model. Make sure you understand the structure and do not be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear.

The most important thing to remember when evaluating a potential opportunity is that no one element should outweigh another. It is best to look at each element as a small piece of the larger whole. For example, a job with a higher overall salary might not have the best overall practice setting, opportunities for advancement or continuing education.

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evan-howell-2016-2As Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Advanced Practice Clinician (APC), Evan Howell works directly with ApolloMD’s operations teams and client facilities on all clinically-based process initiatives. He serves as an “internal consultant”, performing service line assessments, departmental throughput analysis, new process design/implementation, physical plant design/redesign and patient satisfaction initiatives. He holds overall responsibility for providing leadership, direction and administration of medical management for APC services at ApolloMD.

Evan is Lean/Six Sigma certified and has practiced as a Physician Assistant for 17 years. He received his Masters of Medical Science and Physician Assistant degrees from the Emory University School of Medicine, where he graduated with highest honors. Evan is currently a MBA candidate at The College of William and Mary’s Mason School of Business.

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