It's a strong word, especially when used to describe your job.
People might give you a collective eye roll but a lot of us became involved in healthcare because we love what we do. Or we wanted to anyway. Somewhere along the way though, it seems that something went horribly, horribly wrong.
Rates of burnout, dissatisfaction, and general discontent are up as bureaucratic tasks have piled higher and higher and time with our patients seems to go lower and lower.
If you're already here I'm assuming you don't need to be convinced to get a telemedicine position.
Humor us here though. According to the 2021 MedScape Report on Burnout:
At the heart of a telemedicine career is achieving that work-life balance we all heard of but maybe were never able to achieve.
The ability to work from the comfort of your own home while having the flexibility of setting your own schedule is not something we generally get when working a traditional 9 to 5 in healthcare. There's real data that suggests that this flexibility may be the panacea for this epidemic (no pun intended) of burnout amongst healthcare providers.
This really could be an entire article all by itself. But here are 8 things you should ask when investigating a telemedicine job:
1.) Compensation: It may seem unseemly to ask about compensation from the start but part of job satisfaction is feeling valued, and the way companies express value for your time is how much they pay for it.
Do a little comparison. Is it at market value? Less? If it's less are their expectations lower in regards to patient volume? Do they allow more flexibility in scheduling?
2.) Benefits: This goes hand in glove with the above. Are they paying for healthcare/vision/dental? Do they 401k match? Offer stock options? A vesting schedule? Are they paying you via W2 or 1099? Are they offering a CME stipend?
3.) Licensure: If they expect you to maintain licensure in multiple states, who's paying for it? You? Them? Who's paying for the maintenance of those licenses?
4.) Malpractice Insurance: If they're not providing any, I would consider looking elsewhere. Period.
5.) Platform: What are they using for their EMR or platform? Is it proprietary or is a white-labeled app that you've used before? it easy to use? Is it something you can see yourself using hours and hours every day? Is it a synchronous or asynchronous telemedicine job?
6.) Support: Is there support staff to help you contact patients, order tests and medications, and schedule follow-up visits? A little bit of help can go a long way.
7.) Scheduling: Who sets the schedule? How many hours are you required to work per week and during what times of the day? What happens when you go on vacation?
8.) Expectations: There's a big difference between seeing two patients in an hour and seeing 10. Are they giving you enough time to see patients in a safe manner that let's you provide a high standard of care? You want to be replicating the quality of care that you do in person in the virtual space. Don't risk your license just to please a company. If you feel like they're sacrificing your quality of care that's probably not a company you want to work for.
If there's a job out there that is lucrative, flexible, reasonable, supportive, and with great benefits you can bet there is going to be outsized competition for those spots.
Telemedicine companies are looking for people with great communication skills, interpersonal skills, and the kind of people that can establish a rapport with their patients without the proverbial "laying of hands." Although telemedicine has been around for a while, many companies are just starting up and they're looking for brand ambassadors.
Professionalism in the digital space is it's own learning experience. This can manifest in how you light your room, set your space, protect patient information, and how you interact with a patient in a digital/virtual environment. It does require some level of comfort with different platforms and technology. If you're a tech-challenged, fear not, it doesn't require much know-how to become fluent in these digital health technologies.
White Coat Remote is a website designed by healthcare providers for healthcare providers so you can find your next opportunity. Sign up for our mailing list and job alerts and we'll let you know when something comes up! If you're in more immediate need feel free to reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond us there's always the standard google search and just becoming an active part of the online telemedicine community and by going to professional conferences. We can assure you, if you're a healthcare provider and you're interested in working remotely, there is work out there for you!
There's a job out there that you can not just survive in, but thrive in.
Let us help you find it.