B: Hello, I’m Brian Burke – a staffing consultant with D&Y. I’m here today with Dr. Botros, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and locum tenens provider with D&Y. How are you doing today, Dr. Botros?
DB: Good. How are you doing, Brian?
B: I’m doing well, doing well. I know that you and I have been working together for quite some time now up in the Northeast. We’ve got you licensed currently in Connecticut, and just finished a Rhode Island license as well. Is that correct?
DB: That is correct.
B: Okay, very good. I know that location is one of the most important things to you, as you seem to do locums to visit your kids and different areas.
DB: Yeah, I started looking at locums about a year and a half ago to try to work in different places where my kids go to college so I can spend some time with them. I found a couple of years went by without really visiting any of my kids in college, so I found this to be a good way to schedule out some time to go visit them. I thought it’d be a good way to do it – to have a locums company help me find jobs close to where my kids are.
B: Absolutely, and we’ve gotten pretty lucky with these locations. They don’t seem to be far from where your kids go to school, so that’s been a win-win for you.
DB: Yeah, absolutely. The job in Rhode Island is actually in the same city as my son. He goes to the school of Brown, and you guys were able to get me a job in Providence, which is literally about 2 miles away from his apartment, and right next door to his favorite restaurant, so that’s going to work out real well.
B: Yes, absolutely. That’s great. Well, I thought today, since I know we’ve been working on your North Carolina license, you’ve got a son that goes to Duke as well. I thought we could talk about the jobs there, and since location is the most important, I went ahead and brought up a map here of the jobs that we’ve got closest to the actual university itself.
I don’t know how familiar you are with North Carolina itself. I know that Duke is located in Durham, and two of our hot jobs, still with TeamHealth, are near Durham, in the cities of Roxboro, and also in Henderson. Are you familiar with either of these places?
DB: Not terribly familiar. How far are they away from Durham?
B: They’re both relatively the same distance. I would give it about 30 or 40 miles each way, so probably less than an hour drive for each location, and I can nail down the exact drive time here momentarily. I just wanted to go over the details of each assignment, first. It’s in Henderson, North Carolina – 35,000 annual volume. Coverage looks like 36 hours of doc coverage, so I’m assuming these are 12-hour shifts, and they’ve got 23 hours of mid-levels, a total of 20 ED beds there in Henderson.
DB: Okay. Do you know what type of trauma level it is? Is it a trauma-1 center, a trauma-2?
B: Yeah, sure. Let me look into that, and see if we have that information handy on Henderson. One second here.
DB: You don’t know if they utilize scribes for the EMR, or for their paper scribes there, do you?
B: I wouldn’t think so, since they are paper. That would be a double-whammy I guess, huh?
DB: Hey, I can hope.
B: Yeah, you could get used to that. Let’s see, paper tee charts – they do send their trauma over to Duke, so it doesn’t list that it’s a trauma center, so I would say that the trauma is all shipped over to Duke.
DB: Okay, all right.
B: They do not have scribes, so you would be using the paper tees. I do see where they have about a 12% admission rate and no fast-track as well, and it’s your standard 60 – 90 day credentialing time-frame. Of course, the good part is, since we already have everything on file, since we’ve licensed you in 3 different states and credentialed you at multiple facilities, that… we’re essentially just getting the hospital back, and it should be a fairly simple process.
DB: Okay, all right. And can you tell me about the other facility?
B: Yeah, absolutely. The other one… is in Roxboro, that’s at 22,000, so the volume is not as high there, but the coverage isn’t as high either. So 22,000 and we’ve got 24 hours of doc coverage, and 10 hours of mid-levels. They’re using EMR Meditech, so let me check and see if they have scribes. I know that’s important to you as well.
B: So let me pull the facility profile on that job up real briefly. No scribes there it looks like, but they do have bedside ultrasound. Trauma is shipped to Duke as well, so not a trauma level at either location, 13 ER beds here, 50 hospital beds – so it’s not a huge facility. Medium acuity level, and it looks like they have pretty decent backup as well. If you need a list of backups for either place, I can just email them to you if you’d like.
DB: Okay, okay. All right. Do you mind if I ask how much they’re paying at each one?
B: We’re able to get the same rate that you’re making now. So, these are going to continue to be competitive pay rates of $250 plus, and then of course we would still cover your travel, lodging, and malpractice as well.
DB: Okay, all right. That sounds great. Do you know when or how long the need is for?
B: They’re hot needs, so these would both be ongoing just like your assignments in the northeast. That’s a great question. Sometimes, of course, we do have locums needs for maternity leave and other situations, but these are both ongoing needs. It really wouldn’t be a bad idea to credential at both places if you’re interested in either facility, just so we have a “plan A” and a “plan B”. In the event that either do become fully staffed in 2017, we have the other facility to fall back on so that you can still visit your son there at Duke.
DB: Okay. All right, and how many shifts do you think they’re going to need there each month out there? What do you think the need is?
B: As many as you can give, honestly. The minimum that each facility would need is roughly 4, so we would find a main place that you would want to give shifts to, and have that the main site, and have the other as kind of a back-up credential site. That 4 is kind of the magic number with TeamHealth to make it worth the time to credential, the cost of credentialing, etc. – 4 shifts a month is a good number they believe.
DB: Okay. Quick question as far as scheduling, Brian. Right now I like the way that you guys are doing my schedule up in Rhode Island and Connecticut, where I’m able to give you dates and you guys can schedule me on consecutive dates so that I don’t have too many days of travel so I can work at both places while I’m up there. Will this be the same kind of deal where I can say: “Hey, I’m available for these first 16 days of the month”, and then you guys will be able to schedule me for the shifts I need up in North – up in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and then parlay that down into North Carolina so I can just do a loop around the East coast and then head back home to Wichita?
B: Yes, absolutely.
DB: Or do you think that will end up being a problem? I know with the number of shifts –
B: No, I think that will be fine. You know, that’s the benefit of having TeamHealth as our parent company and working locums through them – we have that direct connection with the scheduler. I know that you speak to the medical director yourself often times and schedule this directly, so that is the nice part.
I’d say 95% of the time we’re able just to get your availability and plug that into the schedule, and that would be the same case here. We still have that same relationship, even though that’s a different state. So, with it still being TeamHealth, we would still essentially be able to plug you in and the dates that you like, and the shift times as well.
DB: Uh-huh, okay. So those two places are available currently, right now. Okay, actually that sounds really promising, Brien.
B: And I believe that we’ve got your license almost finished up in North Carolina, as well, so I could go ahead and make that formal presentation over, and get your foot in the door with them. It will be easy to do that since you are a known entity to TeamHealth in the northeast.
DB: Yeah, I think I still have a little bit of paperwork left to do. I kind of put it on hold while I was getting my Rhode Island license so I don’t get overwhelmed with too much stuff, but I know that I’ve been getting several emails from the credentialing person from North Carolina just checking up on me. Last week she had sent me an email, and I think that I have to go get my fingerprints in check for North Carolina – so I have to do that. But yeah, hopefully you guys have all my information at this point between the two, so that shouldn’t be too hard.
Actually, one of those things I enjoy working with you guys about is just how easy it is. Once everything is submitted, I can travel anywhere I want. It makes it a lot easier to get my credentials, and that’s probably the hardest part about being locums is getting all of these state licenses and everything together with the credentials. You guys have done a pretty good job for me with that so far.
B: I appreciate that. Our goal is to make it easy on you guys so you can focus on patient care, and ultimately, it’s not only about patient satisfaction for the hospital, though. If you have a physician that’s happy and being taken care of, it translates full circle.
DB: Yeah, I agree. I mean, my kids love that I come out there once a month, they enjoy it, I enjoy it. I look forward to actually flying out there each month. My kids every month are asking when I’m coming out next so I make sure that I load them up with Mountain Dew and fill up their fridge before I head back to Wichita.
B: I’m sure that’s nice. I’m sure they’re liking the locums gig as well then.
DB: Yeah, it’s an added benefit.
B: I know that not only do your kids enjoy you coming out there, that the hospitals do as well. I know that all the facilities that you’re working at enjoy having you, and that you’re a great clinician. I do want to thank you for all that you do for the hospitals, and for D&Y as well.
DB: I appreciate that, Brian, and I’ll be honest – I like going to all the different facilities. I worked at the same place for 15 years, and I think you don’t really get a second perspective anywhere else when you do that, and it’s kind of nice to see how different hospitals are operating. It kind of makes me, I think, a better clinician, and able to give some of the different hospitals another perspective of how things can be done, if not improve flow and so forth.
B: Absolutely. That was a tough part of getting you cracked – being used to the same place for 15 years. You were a little hesitant in the beginning if I remember correctly.
DB: Yeah, you sort of get comfortable in your location, and you’re afraid to expand. I remember on the airplane heading to Connecticut for the first time, realizing that I was about to learn a whole new system for the first time in 15 years, and I had a little bit of a panic attack. But once I landed in Connecticut and started doing it, it was kind of like riding a bike. It’s the same thing that you do from one ER to the next. You just have to sort of learn a few little extra tricks and how one place operates, and then after the first one or two shifts, everything went back to normal for me. It was kind of nice to know that I could do that. I was kind of nervous at first, on the flight, if I was going to be able to manage it, but it was actually easier than I thought.
B: Wow, just a test to how great of a physician you’ve been. You’re just easy to slide into these different facilities with confidence that you will deliver good patient care, and learn those new EMR systems if need be.
DB: Yeah, yeah. That’s the hardest part. That really is the hardest part. But I’ll tell you, the thing that helped the most in Connecticut was just having a scribe there. The first couple shifts, just being able to ask him questions. I think the scribes are just sort of under utilized with that respect when it comes to orienting new physicians. They’re just a fountain of knowledge.
They’re smart kids, usually, who want to go into professional fields afterwards, and who are there for a couple of years building up their resume, so they’re pretty smart kids. Whenever I work in a place that has scribes, in the first couple of days, the scribes are just a great resource of information on how the systems of the hospital works. They’ll know who to call, so it’s kind of nice to have them around.
B: Sure, sure. I can definitely keep my eyes open for anything open in North Carolina that does have scribes that may be close to Duke. We did have another job that I didn’t mention just because of its location on the coast. It’s actually in Jacksonville – really attractive for those that are planning summer vacations for next year. It’s a 68,000 volume, so I could definitely look into details on that and see if that has a scribe just because I know how attractive that is to you, not only to get that process started, but they’re a nice long-term as well, I know.
DB: Yeah. Well, I’ll be honest with you. My biggest priority right now is really to be around my kids, so if either of those two hospitals are within like a half hour drive or so, I’m seriously going to take a look at it and see if I can get my North Carolina license completed, so I can maybe get started in the next couple of months to see my kids.
B: Yeah, that’s a great excuse to get out there, and it’s nice to be able to have that travel and lodging paid for as well.
DB: Oh yeah, and the frequent flyer miles are pretty nice, too.
B: Yeah, absolutely.
DB: I’ve got a few flights to Vegas coming up, courtesy of my frequent flyer mileage all over the country at this point. It’s kind of nice, an added bonus.
B: Very good. If you come up with any other questions regarding these facilities, shoot me an email, shoot me a text – you know how to reach me. Otherwise, if you don’t have any other questions, I guess we’ll wrap this up, but I wanted to thank you again for your time and for doing this for us today.
DB: Hey, my pleasure, Brian.
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