In preparing for your site visit, these are some items to think about and prepare to address in questions to the administration and physicians in the practice. Prepare your questions.
Interviews are hectic. Though it may seem overly formal, prepare a written list of questions. Ask for our Interviewing Guide. Fairly standard questions should address:
- Number of patients seen by existing physicians
- Percent of revenue derived from managed care
- Descriptions and evaluations by existing physicians of managed care plans
- Fees charged per office visit
- Percent of overhead
- Prevailing charges for patients in service area
- Percent of staff turnover
- Potential nepotism on staff
- Collection rates
- Other buy-in proposals
- Hours existing physicians work
- Physician to population ratio in the area (i.e., Potential competition)
Interviewing is a skill that can be improved by a few fundamental rules. Your success lies in the first impression with the Client. Here are some MUSTS for each interview:
- Wear a conservative business suit (men should wear ties) with polished shoes. Please DO NOT WEAR TENNIS SHOES.
- Personal Hygiene – Obviously you want to be as fresh as possible. Keep after-shave/cologne to a minimum, as you never know who may have allergies. Carry breath mints and DO NOT CHEW GUM.
- Be on time or even early.
- Bring extra copies of your CV and a notebook for notes. There will be much information and too much to remember.
- Body language – listen, listen, listen! DO NOT STARE DOWN YOUR INTERVIEWER – place your eyes on their eyebrows. Leaning forward as you listen shows your interest, and do a few nods to show you are listening.
- Ask for their business card. This will make it easier for you to write your “thank-you” notes.
- DO NOT BRING UP SALARY. Let the client bring up this subject. You can easily place yourself out of an offer by asking for too little or too much. Just let them know you are interested and that the compensation can be worked out.
- Ask open-ended questions such as:
- 1. How many patients would I be expected to see a day? 2. What is the percentage of managed care in the area? 3. How long has the group been in practice? 4. What is the group’s medical philosophy? 5. What is the call schedule?
- Drink alcohol conservatively.
- Express your thanks for the interview. If you are interested in the job let them know by asking, “What is the next step, I really like what I see”. If a second interview is necessary go ahead and discuss the dates with the client.
- Thank you notes show good-taste and manners.
Before making a site visit, the question of reimbursement & compensation should be discussed in a broad sense. It is unrealistic to expect the CMHC/ hospital/group to tell you, in advance of your visit, what they are willing to pay. A candidate that meets their requirements, appears enthusiastic about the opportunity, has the appropriate credentials and displays an acceptable work ethic will receive a different offer than one who is “just looking.”
The income guarantee: Is it net or gross? Is there a “forgiveness period?” The salary: Does it include a production bonus, and exactly how does the bonus work? How does it compare with what your specialty is earning nationally and locally? The payor mix: Who are the patients and how do they pay?
- Always express your level of interest before leaving the site visit with Key decision makers.
- Always send a thank you note.