cali-ob

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Hi,
Is any one out there a graduating (from Residency) NHSC scholar this year? If so, would you please care to share your experience in the NHSC matching process and how it was for you finding a job? Please include your specialty and area of the country.

thanks
 

AgieMD08

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I graduate next yr from Peds residency and am very very nervous about finding a position. Havent been able to get straight answers to my questions from the NHSC. A friend of mine is finishing up IM at Yale and has been looking for a job since August to no avail.
 

cali-ob

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I spoke to them today....
from what I understand the new HPSA score requirement will be determined in June. Once this is done you can start looking for a job since you will know the score. They expect the scholar conference to be in late August but don't know a date yet. So basically, we a have a few months of waiting ahead of us.
It would be nice to hear from those who are going through/have been through the process recently to get an idea of what it is like. Guess no one is interested in sharing their story.
 

alina_s

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I was very disappointed with the conference. I had hopes that there would be lots of opportunity to meet staff from potential positions and I had heard rumor that some people even started the interview process at the conference. Not the case! There were two sessions set aside in the afternoons to meet recruiters from agencies that had decided to come, and almost no medical staff had come from any agency, so there was very little detail available about what the work might be like. There was nothing like an interview, and the days were so scheduled that there wouldn't have been time for an interview even if the right people had been there. The only potential job lead I got was for an IHS position at an area where I didn't realize they offered any mental health services. The lecture about contracts was too short to be really helpful. I was in the Peace Corps and this conference reminded me a lot of the orientation we had before we left the country- a few days of lectures and forced participation in "games" about the evil, evil things that will happen to you if you don't follow every rule to a T. Not fun, not that informative, parts of it painful.
My placement person isn't very helpful either- his job is to make sure that I follow all the rules to the letter and nothing else- and meeting him in person wasn't worth flying cross-country for. In his favor, he hasn't been replaced this year (yet), and I spent lots of time on the phone trying to figure out who was my contact-person-of-the-hour while I was a medical student and resident.
Bottom line- if you can find an excuse to miss this, do so, and do whatever on-line "education" they want you to do instead. Unless you're really excited about going to Tampa in August. Oh, and they checked attendance at everything and if you don't show to every session (starting at 4:30 or 5 AM by your time if you came from the pacific zone) you won't be reimbursed (weeks later) for your expenses.
On the bright side, it is possible to get new sites approved in a less than absurd amount of time- one agency applied in October and offered me a NHSC-legal job in December.
 
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I started my placement in 11/07. It does not sound like things have changed much with the nuts and bolts of placement. The conference is terrible and could be summarized as do not run away or we will find you. There is a small amount of practical information but don't expect much. There will be limited numbers of representives from practices or various state area but most will not be doctors. If you are lucky you may be able to start a little networking and find an area of the country that is appealing.

As far as finding a job, I had no assistance from the NHSC and to this day do not know which person is my actual contact. On the positive side the vast majority of people find a position inspite of the NHSC. The NHSC list is not updated but the state specific primary care coordinators/rural health people generally have a pretty good idea where the the high HPSA areas are.

I would not worry too much. With some effort on your part you will most likely find an acceptable placement.
 

cali-ob

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wow... this is kinda what I expected, but at the same time, I guess I was hoping for some glimmer improvement.
They just announced the scholars conference for this year to be held in Atlanta in August from the 26th-28th.
Did you at least get to meet with your so called "placement advisor" at the conference?
My analyst of the moment is actually the most helpful person I've spoken to in the last 7 years and I hope they keep him around for the next 4 or 5 months anyway because he is at least in the medical field and seems to want to be helpful.

I am really nervous about finding a position that is in an acceptable area for my family and also allows me to practice full scop FP. I want to go to the conference to get this thing started, but if it's really not worth it, then I could stay home, moonlight that weekend instead and make money instead of spending it.
 

Diane L. Evans

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I am an OB/GYN doing a NHSC payback and have been quite happy with the experience I have received. I am within the IHS. And although the nearest town is 80 mi away the flexibility and scope of practice is incredible. The IHS has some very attractive sites (not necessarily location) but some hidden gems in terms of well talented and trained physicians. As a surgical sub specialist I was worried I would not be able to keep up my skills. However we are doing minimally invasive GYN procedures like LAVH, and hopefully will move to total laproscopic hysterectomies soon.

Likewise the peds and fp and IM departments have a wealth of complexities and learn tremendously due to the volume and lack of sub specialist here.

You basically learn to handle more complex cases than you would in a major hospital because you're forced. For example I need to know how to handle a critically ill OB patient without a perinatologist immediately on hand, I need to learn how to stabilize deliver and then transfer the neonate if needed. Although we don't do deliveries less than 34 weeks here our pediatricians all can intubate and stabilize neonates until we transfer. And I've had to deliver at 31 weeks, manage DIC, and deal with massive post partum hemorrhage, cardiovert a laboring patient due to maternal tachycardia in the 240's, accept a patient laboring with unstable lie and immediately perform a cesarean on arrival etc....

In the end I'll be a better physician. I'll know my boundaries. Of course we have consults by telephone and video teleconference but its not like in residency. You really get to do primary care and all the disciplines work as a team here to give the best care possible.

Another really cool feature is that when I'm on call I am backup for the general surgeon and vice versa. So I get to help in situations where I would not normally. This also is an invaluable training as you learn different perspectives. How many practicing Ob/GYN have done ORIF or laproscopic cholecystectomies?

Feel free to PM me with specific questions.

Don't fret you'll be amazed at how much you can learn.