Modern Times, Modern Ways
A Day in the Life of a Physician Recruiter
By Angela Keen, Honolulu, HI
“Good morning Hawai‘i, it is five fifteen!” The radio blares and the iPhone buzzes through my pillow. Time to start making calls, e-mails and connections to the Mainland. I’m in Hawaii, the 50th state and an ocean away from the Mainland US. It’s already lunch time there and it’s the perfect time to catch a few potential candidates. Ping! Ping! My iPhone goes off again. Responses on my Twitter stream blink with news about ICD-10, and comments about meaningful use. A hospitalist tweets about using iPads in the hospital. He tweets, “How do you clean up an iPad if it comes in contact with fluids?” OK, hold that thought, it’s time to check e-mails.
There are so many agency inquiries my eyes go blurry. Ah! I have a response from Dr. Makana! (Names have been changed to protect privacy.) He says he’s not a tech person. He asks if he can fax his pre-employment application. I respond and tell him it’s no problem. Then an e-mail pops up from Dr. Lum. He writes, “Can I text you?” I say, “Sure!” Dr. Lum lives in New York. He closed his anesthesia practice and worked a few locums assignments in Hawaii. Dr. Lum wants to move to Hawaii permanently. The conversation continues via text. By then, pajamas are now converted to my work suit. I grab my coffee and head out the door. It’s already 8 am. I text Dr. Lum: OMW 2 Work, will text U later. OK? He responds with a smiley face emoticon. I arrive at my office and have another update from Dr. Lum. I ask him if he has Facetime for iPhone. He exclaims with all caps, “YES!” We schedule a Facetime interview. This is similar to Skype. Facetime is a face-to-face live video cam specific for later generations of iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Two hours later I hear a beep on my phone. Dr. Lum is calling via Facetime. I straighten my hair and my suit jacket. OK! Here we go. Let’s see how Dr. Lum handles himself. I answer the video request on my iPhone. There he is! He is walking, dressed in full scrub gear. Dr. Lum takes his surgical mask off. I can see OR doors closing as he is walking and talking. “Sorry Angela, I’m walking out of an OR case right now, I hope you don’t mind.” I am thinking this has to be the greatest real-time video interview ever! He settles into an office near the OR and we begin the interview. The first thing he says is, “I can finally put a face with the voice.” I am thinking the same thing.
Twenty minutes pass by and I can’t believe how much we’ve discussed. I don’t want to give too much away, yet I want him to be excited about interviewing in person. He seems more invested as we continue to talk. As we wrap up I ask him, “When is the last time you saw Honolulu? Would you like to see our campus?” He looks surprised. Then I say, “Hold on Dr. Lum, I am going to go mobile like you did just as you opened the video conference.” My office oversees our clinics and hospital campus. I walk over to my office window and slowly pan my iPhone from Waikiki to Metro Honolulu, and finally the hospital campus. I explain the various buildings as I move the iPhone across the campus. Then, I hear, “Wow!” He explains he didn’t expect this to happen. Dr. Lum expresses his enthusiasm about seeing the campus. I add another comment, “Well Dr. Lum, you started the ‘going mobile!’ I think it’s my turn now as we wrap up the video conference.”
His winning smile and enthusiastic response say it all! This experience convinces me that I need to do this with all of my interviews whenever possible. Why not use the camera on the PC, Mac, iPhone or Android?! This particular interview teaches me that it is okay to be unconventional. Read your candidate. If they are tech savvy, go for it. You have nothing to lose. It just brings excitement and reality into the picture for the physician candidate.