“Do you have any questions for me?”
This question inevitably finds its way into any job interview – and for good reason. Job interviews are a two-way street. Not only is the organization trying to see if you’re a good fit for the company, but you should also be interviewing the company to see if they algin with you career goals and motivations.
With the rise in telemedicine adoption, thousands of physicians across the country are exploring opportunities to treat patients virtually. Whether it’s your first-time practicing telemedicine or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s important to know which questions to ask and what answers to look for.
That’s why we sat down with Donna Frazier, Director of Recruitment at VirtualMed Staff, to find the answers to the three most common questions she receives when interviewing telemedicine candidates.
1. What’s the compensation for a telemedicine physician?
In the words of Jerry Maguire, “Show me the money!”
For many physicians, the motivation to practice telemedicine is purely a financial one. Which, is understandable, considering the average pay of a telemedicine physician is $216,958. The additional income can be used to pay down mortgages, save for their children’s college fund, or to simply squirrel away money for a rainy day or a family vacation. Whatever the reason, the advantage of practicing telemedicine is that it allows you the flexibility to utilize your free time as an additional source of income to pursue various ambitions.
“I typically receive this question from physicians who are market savvy and are comparison shopping between other agencies or healthcare systems,” notes Donna. “My follow up question is always to ask them to describe to me what they are looking for.”
The reason, Donna explains, is simple: Physicians need to consider what’s important to them.
“Oftentimes, higher compensation packages require lengthier contract commitments, or require the physician to be credentialed or licensed in numerous states/healthcare systems.” If physicians are searching for an opportunity that doesn’t involve lengthy credentialing processes and shorter contracts with greater flexibility, then they need to identify opportunities that align with those motivations.
“VirtualMed Staff is flexible,” says Donna. “We have a dedicated credentialing team that removes most of the burden from the physician, and our contract lengths vary depending on the telemedicine program.”
2. How many shifts are a telemedicine physician required to work?
Understandably, physicians interested in telemedicine want to understand how much of a time commitment it will require. Especially if they’re only practicing telemedicine part-time for supplemental income. Fortunately, telemedicine is flexible, and one of the biggest benefits is the work-life balance telemedicine provides.
“My top priority when building a physician panel is to ensure our clients have full 365/7 patient coverage,” says Donna. “So, when physicians ask how many shifts they’re required to work, my answer always depends on the program I’m recruiting for.”
Donna continues by saying that she always asks physicians what their schedule typically looks like; does it change frequently, or do they have a set schedule? “If their schedule changes frequently, then they might not be the best fit because that could negatively impact patient coverage,” Donna explains. “If it’s a set schedule, then they’re more likely to be consistent with their coverage.”
VirtualMed Staff typically asks telemedicine physicians for a minimum number of shifts per month commitment. “A minimum number of shift commitment allows us to build a robust panel and ensure there’s no drop in patient coverage.”
3. Can a telemedicine physician pick what days/shifts they want to work each month?
There’s an inherent challenge with allowing telemedicine physicians to pick and choose which shifts they want to work each month: What if the physicians all select the same shifts? The result would be serious gaps in patient coverage.
That’s why Donna and the recruitment team look for physicians who can commit to a minimum number of shifts per month. “We look for consistency as we build physician panels and any deviation can result in gaps in patient coverage,” says Donna. “If the physician is constantly changing shifts on a weekly or monthly basis, then they might not be an ideal fit.”
VirtualMed Staff is flexible and works with its physicians to ensure their coverage schedule aligns as closely as possible with their ideal work-life balance, while providing consistent coverage with plenty of back-ups in case of an emergency.
Want to learn more about proper webside manners and treating patients in a virtual setting? Download our white paper, “From bedside to webside: New Standards for physicians in telemedicine.” If you’re interested in practicing telemedicine with an experienced telemedicine partner, check out VirtualMed Staff’s TeleJobs to see available opportunities.