Thursday, November 13, 2008

Exceptional Palliative Medicine Practice Opportunity

Earlier this year, I was asked by a journalist who covers the hospice industry to comment on the future practice opportunities awaiting physicians interested in practicing palliative medicine.
I commented in that piece that the traditional role of hospice medical director was in the midst of evolution, to which I added that was a positive development since this traditional role would not suffice (no matter how well paying) in attracting talented physicians to the field. Some interpreted my comments as an assault on the fine work done by hospices in this country. On the contrary, I see physicians serving as the keystone for the development of Advanced Palliative Care Organizations - below, I describe a current practice opportunity with which I'm working that typifies the sort of position that will become prevalent in communities across the US.
You'll showcase both your clinical expertise and business savvy as you implement clinical and business development strategies for our client’s palliative care service. The service was initiated in 2005, backed by several years of assessment and development, and promises to redefine how end-of-life care is provided in the flagship hospital of one of the most highly regarded health systems on the East Coast. This service has generated significant interest among key stakeholders, who are eager to integrate these palliative care protocols into their practices.

This hospital-based palliative care service accounts for one of the most important strategic initiatives over the next 24 months. While some strategy is in place and activities have been underway for some time (currently about 70 consults/month), you'll put your personal stamp on these programs as you expand development efforts and provide palliative services to patients in acute and long-term care settings.

The success of this program will provide impetus for more palliative services within the health system.

What You'll Bring to the Table

MD or DO, Board certification in primary specialty and palliative medicine
Experience in delivering hospital-based palliative care services, including a successful track record of advancing palliative care programs through clinical development.
Deep knowledge of clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care and understanding of quality improvement methodology
Ability to effectively lead, manage, and participate on multi-disciplinary teams.
Strong interpersonal, public speaking, written communication skills.

Your Unique Opportunity

This position offers many unique benefits:

Stability – the palliative care service has received senior management (of both the sponsoring hospice and health system) authorization, and has been well received by clinicians throughout its introductory period

High visibility -- your visibility to hospital executive team is a "given;"

Exceptional work environment -- each employee is expected to contribute toward shared goals, to sustain a working environment that is team-oriented, professional, challenging and friendly.

Career development -- your purview will include both development and implementation, and an opportunity to develop a thriving practice in palliative medicine throughout the health system

High impact -- your success in building out the palliative service within the will enhance our client’s reputation as a leading provider of care for those with life-limiting illnesses

About the Organization

One of the largest not-for-profit hospice and palliative care enterprises (more than $60 million in patient service revenues) serving multiple counties in Virginia and the DC metropolitan area. This organization is highly regarded in its communities for its end-of-life care, and receives considerable philanthropic support. It serves daily more than 600 patients through its certified hospice, inpatient hospice unit, and its facility-based palliative care service.


Total earnings potential will top $150,000
In addition to a salary guarantee, this position offers a comprehensive array of benefit programs designed to meet the needs of you and your family, including medical, dental, vision, STD and LTD insurance, 403(b) investment options, paid vacations and holidays, and employer-paid professional malpractice insurance,

More About Your Role

Reporting to the Senior Medical Director, in addition to direct patient care, your activities will include:

Identifying tension points to aid in marketing palliative care services to clinicians
Developing strategies to build sustaining relationships with community partners
Establishing palliative care as a recognized service within the affiliated hospitals, nursing homes, and community clinics
Serving as physician member in education and training of clinical staff, and oversight of palliative program staff
Planning timetables and budgets for program development.
Traveling to clinical affiliates throughout the service area to deliver and oversee palliative care services

Keys to Success

To excel in this role, you will:

Apply your clinical knowledge of palliative consultations and experience with program development to drive the palliative care service forward quickly
Leverage your understanding of the nuances of success in the development of palliative care programs
Be recognized throughout the hospital as the leader (subject matter expert) of palliative care