ApolloMD’s APC Advancement Program

For treatments ranging from a simple suture to a complicated surgical abdomen, every patient wants to receive care from a competent, confident, self-assured health care professional.

Those key factors – competence, confidence, and self-assurance – lie at the heart of ApolloMD’s award-winning Advanced Practice Clinician (APC) Advancement Program.

“Launched in 2020, the program was created to support and develop our APCs from their date of hire throughout their career by standardizing onboarding, providing specialty-specific continuing education and APC structure companywide,” says Jen Goldbach, PA-C, ApolloMD’s Vice President Advanced Practice and National Director of its Advancement Program. “It is similar to a post-graduate program but at no cost to our APCs.”

The APC Advancement Program is modeled after post-graduate training for providers, which usually includes a residency and/or fellowship before assuming a full-time health care role.

An educational bridge for APCs

ApolloMD’s program bridges what can be a steep learning curve for a physician assistant or nurse practitioner from earning a master’s degree to an immediate full-time, patient-facing position in a clinical setting.

The company’s monthly training sessions help hone ApolloMD APCs’ skills and update their medical knowledge as they move from the classroom to the emergency room, the medical library to the anesthesiology suite, or training sessions on robotic patient simulators to real-time patient care.

“If you’re a brand-new APC, it’s likely that you’ve sutured and have seen patients on your own but may have only had a two-month emergency medicine rotation,” explains Goldbach. “Now you’re going into an ED with a full patient load of your own.”

During the first year, ApolloMD APCs attend a monthly live interactive lecture addressing an area of focus covering the basics of emergency medicine helping to aid in the transition to practice.

“Instead of ‘here’s your stethoscope, good luck,’ our Advancement Program is specialty-focused continuing education, and it’s all free to new employees,” says Goldbach.

Award-winning Support & Education

In 2020-2021, ApolloMD was named an Employer of Excellence by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) for its “exceptional workplace culture and unique programs designed to promote the role of PAs within their organizations.” One of those programs is the APC Advancement Program.

ApolloMD embraced it to support new employees and to serve as a retention tool for current employees who want to keep current skills sharp, acquire new ones, and take advantage of leadership/advancement opportunities at ApolloMD.

The five-tiered program addresses employee’s needs at different stages of their careers:

First Tier

Pre-clinical preparation and onboarding to ApolloMD’s internal processes for new employees

Second Tier

12 monthly modules offered virtually on specific medical topics, treatments, diseases, and skills.

For example, one month, attendees might explore emergency care for eye injuries. The second month, emergency heart attack treatment options, the third month, new findings about stroke intervention, and the ins-and-outs of patient satisfaction or patient flow metrics.

During the educational sessions, attendees can follow along and ask questions. Guest speakers are invited to address and keep clinicians updated on new technologies or specific topics.

Third Tier

Application and practice of newly learned/reinforced skills

Fourth Tier

Independent work within ApolloMD partner hospital/clinic settings, based on each APC’s certification/training

Fifth Tier

Training to become an ApolloMD lead APC and attend medical/health conferences

Sixth Tier

Ability to become an ApolloMD lead APC, attend medical/health conferences, and undergo additional training

Goldbach also sees the program as a readily accessible professional tool to support health care professionals as they and the entire health care industry move out of COVID-19’s immediate impact to a post-COVID health care environment with its own challenges.

“The landscape of medicine has changed dramatically since COVID-19,” says Goldbach. “Burnout is a very real thing, employee turnover is a very real thing, and the stresses of caring for patients really takes a toll on health care professionals who are dedicated to their patients’ well-being and health.”

“At ApolloMD, we create an environment where PAs [and NPs] can be successful and grow throughout their careers. Our Advanced Practice Clinician executive leadership team devoted countless hours to develop an industry-leading APC Advancement Program and build a culture focused on respect, transparency and confidence for APC team members throughout our organization,” said Evan Howell, MBA, MMSc, LSSBB, PA-C, Chief Clinical Operations Officer and Chief Advanced Practice Clinician.

Find more information, click here about ApolloMD’s APC Advancement Program and other training/leadership opportunities.