Taking the 201 Module: Learning and Earning Certification
By Miranda Grace, DASPR, Physician Recruiter, Lewistown Hospital, Lewistown, PA
The Physician Recruitment 201 Module of the Fellowship Certification Program offered at the ASPR conference in Los Angeles in August was chock-full of valuable information for physician recruitment professionals. The day was long, but the instructors were anything but dull. My colleague and new friend Colleen Munkel and I had the opportunity to take the module together and were invited to to share our accounts of the day. Here is my account:
It’s early here in L.A., but I’ve been awake since 5:00 a.m. (thank you, jet lag!) I’m excited to get started but weary from sight-seeing the night before (my first trip to L.A.!) Luckily, the smell of hot coffee and breakfast welcomes me as I make my way to meet Colleen, fellow JASPR writer and new friend. We settle into a relaxing conversation and meet several other recruiters bound to take the 201 Module, just like us…and then I hear the sound of a xylophone overhead…the signal that the meeting will be starting soon.
Time to get started! Ivie Hall, room host and co-chair of the ASPR Membership Committee, welcomes the group to the 201 Module and goes over some general housekeeping items. Then, we wait. Fifteen minutes pass…and still no one shows up to present the first topic. Finally, in strolls Scott Manning, ASPR president, dressed to the nines in his blue jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt! He explains that our scheduled instructor from the MGMA confused the dates and thought he was scheduled to present the following day. Scott was notified, and as the on-site compensation expert, he volunteered to come to our rescue. He does great!
Break time, and boy am I hungry. “Oh, no wonder,” I realize, “it’s lunch time at home!” I snack on some cookies and soda (vacation food) and head back to my seat, greeting others on my way.
Pumped and ready to go, I watch Lynne Peterson from Fairview Health Services walk gracefully up to the stage. “Advanced Practice Provider Recruitment” flashes across the screen, and I know this will be good. I’ve been searching for a urology PA/CRNP for what seems like a very long time. Maybe Lynne will have some insight?
Wow, so much information in such a short time! After taking as many notes as I can possibly scribble on one page, I put down my pen, grateful for the break before Marci Jackson, from Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, brings forth the next presentation. I’ve worked with Marci a little before the conference and can’t wait to see how this former teacher presents herself. She’s so well spoken that I catch myself not writing at all, but staring at her as she speaks to the room. She’s captivating!
Lunch! Boy it smells delicious, though I think I’d eat anything at this point. When will I get used to this time difference? Colleen and I head to the adjacent hall, after stopping and asking a few attendees about their experience thus far. We join a table full of wonderful recruiters who share their experience with us and head back to the meeting room.
I make my way back to my seat, and look through the enormous binder that I’ve prepared for the day, full of printed slides, handouts, and itineraries. It’s huge, cumbersome to carry, and probably added 10 pounds to my checked luggage, but I’m nothing if not prepared. I search for the next topic on the agenda: “Relocation Policies: Rules of the Road.” Awesome! Coming from rural Pennsylvania, most candidates move well over 50 miles to practice in Lewistown. “This will definitely be helpful,” I think to myself. It was!
Time for another break, and I’m ready for it. I enjoy the company of the others at our table as we sip coffee and exchange business cards, insisting that we’ll connect later. I decide to check my e-mail in the few minutes remaining, and relax when I find that nothing has gone awry at home.
It’s Donna Ecclestone’s turn. She will be presenting the onboarding portion of the program. Donna is with Duke Medicine in North Carolina. We’ve been friends since making our strange, small-world connection months earlier (finding that Donna is my supervisor’s sister-in-law…go figure, right?) I think she’s nervous, but I’m confident that she’ll do great. As she makes her way down the aisle, heads turn to follow her, and the story that she carries with her. She’s completely enveloped the audience. Ending just in time for the next instructor to take over, Donna relaxes, and the room explodes with applause. “Brava Donna,” I whisper to myself and give her a mental thumbs up. She’s been great!
Last session. The day has been long, but worth it. Laura Screeney, FASPR, is next, with a presentation titled “Retention Matters.” Laura is corporate director of the offfice of physician recruitment for North Shore LIJ Health System. I’m relieved when she strays from the slides, which are made up mostly of charts and figures, to share real life examples of retention-related situations. She even asks for examples from the audience! Attendees are eager to share, and each comment is helpful in one way or another. Once again, an excellent session.
“What a great day,” I think to myself, “So much valuable information shared by the leaders in our industry! I have to get input from others!” Judy Wechter, medical staff recruiter at Reading Hospital in Reading, PA, shares her thoughts on the course. “The overall content was good…the time and energy put into designing the program was evident.” Judy goes on to explain when and why she chose to pursue fellowship certification. “I decided before attending the conference to pursue certification. My colleague, Maddie Wagner, is a member, and her association certainly led the way; but certification is important both professionally and personally. I intend to continue in this profession…learning should never stop,” Judy says. And I agree with Judy! This is why I will continue to pursue certification until I’ve finally earned my letters: FASPR.