The Paradox Of The Unemployed Medical Specialist

Your Career as a Medical Coding Specialist

Chris Simpson is Queenas Universityas chief of cardiology and chair of the Wait Time Alliance, an association of 14 medical and surgical specialty societies dedicated to reducing wait times. He says the Royal College survey has a significant bearing on wait times, and acknowledges that many people will compare their own life experiences to the survey results, and find the whole thing absurd. aWhat a lot of people will say is awhat are you talking about?a My father has waited two years for his knee replacement, so how can you possibly have unemployed orthopedic surgeons?a Simpson says. aIt ties the wait times problem with the health human resources problem and the resources issue.a Simpson, who is also the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, says the Royal College study reveals the conundrum at the heart of the wait times problem. People wait a long time for treatment not only because there are often few specialists to go around, but more crucially because the resources the specialists need to complete the treatment cycle are not available. For surgeons in particular, the problem is operating room time. Simpson says a careful examination of the study shows that most of the new specialists who canat find work are in fields where hospital resources are needed but not available. The budget squeeze hospitals now operate under has forced them to cut back significantly, and now there is a cap on operating room time. The lifeblood of a surgeon is operating room time, but once what is available is taken up by the senior neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons or other such specialists, there is nothing left for new ones coming into the field, and they are left out in the cold. aEven though we have the physician resources to take care of the need, the physical resources and operating budgets to do the cases isnat there any more. The result is that wait times go up or fail to improve,a Simpson says.

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Surgeons, medical specialists can’t find jobs, study finds

Dr. Joslyn Warwaruk is photographed at the Teen Health Centre in Windsor on Thursday, February 16, 2012. Warwaruk is the new president of the Medical Society.                 (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / The Windsor Star)

The job outlook is expected to be better than average through 2016 with faster than average growth at a projected increase of 18 percent. Government regulations regarding health information and billing will ensure that there are plenty of job opportunities available. There will also be the need to replace workers leaving the work force due to retirement. Medical Coding Programs and Colleges Certified medical coders are trained in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. They must understand the etiology, pathology, signs, symptoms, and disease processes. Coders may receive an associates or bachelors degree at one of over 200 colleges and universities across the country. Many more institutions offer a coding certificate program. There are also many online medical coding classes and colleges to choose from. Some medical coding specialists may choose to become certified in their field. There are several types of certifications from which to choose depending upon your areas of experience. All that is required to be eligible to take the certification exam is a high school diploma or equivalent. It is recommended, but not required to have at least six months of coding experience before attempting to take the exam. Becoming certified may give job candidates an edge when they have little experience in the profession.

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Hospitals just dont have the funding for the added operating room and staffing costs that come with hiring more specialists. The need is there, Essex County Medical Society president Dr. Joslyn Warwaruk said Thursday. Dr. Joslyn Warwaruk at the Teen Health Centre in Windsor on February 16, 2012. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / The Windsor Star) There are long waits for surgeries such as a hip replacement, she said. So patients on those waiting lists may wonder how specialists such as orthopedic surgeons and general surgeons are having trouble finding work. Warwaruk said if a specialist cant get more OR time, there is no use increasing office hours because their patients will face long waits for surgery. So the specialist cant set up shop here. She doesnt blame the local hospitals because the government funding isnt there. Ten years ago Windsor had shortages and had to aggressively recruit specialists, said Windsor Regional Hospital CEO and president David Musyj.

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