Out With the Old, In With the New

October 4, 2010
Melissa Young, MD

On a brighter note, I have found two motivated people to add to the staff (three if you count my new associate - I can’t wait until she starts!). I have a new medical assistant and a new part-time front-office person. They have both had their EMR training, and they didn’t leave screaming.

So as I told you last week, my MA took off - angrily. I have since received forms from the Department of Labor regarding her application for unemployment benefits. I have also since found her little note on a calendar that says “start new job” dated next week. I apparently will also be getting a call from someone in the DOL sometime in the next month, in the middle of a work day. Let me say that she may be physically absent, but her presence is still felt.

On a brighter note, I have found two motivated people to add to the staff (three if you count my new associate - I can’t wait until she starts!). I have a new medical assistant and a new part-time front-office person. They have both had their EMR training, and they didn’t leave screaming. Oh, I will have to blog about the change in EMR trainers one of these days, but I digress.

They ask appropriate questions. They seem eager to learn. There’s none of this, “Oh, is that in my job description?” I made it clear (I hope) that since this is a small office, everything is in everyone’s job description. Now of course I exaggerate, I can’t have the receptionist drawing blood, but there should be no job too small or humble. Everybody needs to empty full trash cans, change the toilet paper, answer the phone.

Today, for the first time in more than a year, I wasn’t abandoned at the end of a Friday. Admittedly, it’s because I am making the part-timer come in late and leave late on Fridays. And of course, the phones used to ring off the hook when I was here alone, and today it was eerily quiet. So instead of playing on her phone or browsing the Web or filing her nails, like some people, she asked me - oh joy of joys - she asked me for something to do.

There is going to be a learning curve. And I know that there will be mistakes along the way. But before Part-timer left today, I asked her how her first three days were. She said she likes it. OK, I know she wouldn’t have come right out and said she doesn’t like it. I mean after all, I am her boss, and she just started three days ago, not a great way to start. But I suppose she could have given me some generic, non-committal answer, or just stopped at “I like it.” But she went on to say, “I’m happy.” She feels comfortable here. That’s important to me. I think happy employees make happy patients and happy physicians.

Change isn’t always so bad. Often, it’s just what you need.