Turning the stethoscope to find big hearts.

Like many of you, I have always been intimidated by doctors. Why? Is it that when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable, they can hold the key to us going on or going under? Is it their confidence? Is it their special, acronym laden language? Or maybe it’s those brilliant white lab coats? Whatever the reason, I believe that most of us probably feel they breathe a rarified air that we are not qualified to whiff.

So it was with great trepidation that I began the process of interviewing and hiring doctors for our AFC in Braintree. How do you begin to assess, process and rank the clinical skills of a person that until that day you were almost too intimidated to even talk to?

Luckily my first interview wasn’t to be done alone. The Director of our AFC center in Springfield offered to let me tag along to help interview a doctor for a part time position at his center. I arrived at the interview location (Starbucks) early and waited for him to arrive. I looked around trying to guess who was the doctor in the crowd. Then I received a panicked call from my interviewing partner telling me that he was delayed on I95, and that I would have to start the interview myself and gave me a description of the doctor.

Terrified, I located the doctor and sat down to begin the interview. The first thing that struck me about “the doctor” was how easy it was to talk to him. (I think the replacement of the white coat with a worn polo shirt and jeans helped a lot) Outside of the clinical setting he was just an intelligent, engaging person looking for an employer that understood what he wanted and a position with a culture he would feel at home working in.

But far from being the disaster I had imagined in my head a hundred times, the interview turned out to be a valuable lesson. Something that first doctor said in that interview stuck with me in the dozens of interviews that came after. It also helped me to understand what Doctors faced today. After briefly discussing the position we were looking to fill and the AFC philosophy, he looked at me and said “I started out in medicine to help patients. Today I am in three businesses; Politics, Paperwork and Patients. In that order. This sounds too good to be true”

Something else struck me in that first interview. What we were offering to our Doctors and staff at AFC was something they dearly wanted. To get back to the business of caring for patients by taking any other concerns off their plates. What we believe is that by letting talented medical professionals concentrate on patient interactions, we were not only creating happy patients, we were creating happy doctors. And what we know is that you can’t have one without the other, no matter what other bells and whistles you throw in.

At our AFC in Braintree, our electronic systems make cumbersome paperwork all but disappear for staff. Our teams are small, efficient and friendly by design. All our centers are brand new, with full xray and lab. And the culture is warm and friendly. We are more of a medical family than a medical staff. All of these things we do to create a culture that makes exceptional patient experience the focus of our center. But maybe as importantly we do it to create an environment where talented doctors thrive.

Now, after many interviews with talented doctors and medical staff, I am no less in awe of their talent, but I no longer feel I have nothing of interest to engage them in conversation. I know they are all looking to be part of a great culture that puts patients first and that at AFC , so are we. And that we’ve built something that is not only what patients have been looking for, it’s what Doctors are looking to get back to.

For a list of open medical positions now available at multiple AFC sites, please contact us at your convenience. We always have time to talk with people who love seeing patients.