Characteristics of Effective Occupational Professionals Q&A

Q: What do we look for when we hire a physician? 

A: “Look at the three pillars of a strong occupational health physician: productivity, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. Try to discover your applicant’s commitment to each.” 

A: “Do not overly emphasize board certification if all the other attributes are strong.” 

A: “Enthusiasm is a key. Hire the person and not the resume. Ask, ‘Do they really want to do this?’” 

A: “Employers look for communication and customization. How does an applicant view these? For example, ask him or her “What do you consider to be effective communication?’” 

A: “We have found that many physician applicants come with considerable baggage if you dig deeply. Dig into where they have worked and find out why they are leaving.”

Q: What makes a good salesperson? 

A: “In most cases, sales experience is a preferable background to have than product-line experience.” 

A: “It’s helpful if they are well connected to the employer community. They should have some history with the people who will become sales targets.” 

A: “Time management skills are crucial. Ask them directly how they would handle hypothetical situations.” 

A: “Look for the ‘it’ factor. I usually know within a minute if they are a good fit. They must be likable.” 

Q: What is the best way to evaluate our clinical staff? 

A: “Have a competency checklist. We do a report card that goes beyond clinical skills. Spot check every facility every quarter.” 

A: “Evaluation should come from multiple quarters. Too often only one person evaluates someone and then there is potential for bias one way or the other. Self-evaluations, peer evaluations and client evaluations should supplement your evaluation.” 

Q: What are the best techniques for interviewing medical assistants? 

A: “They hold multiple roles so personality is very important.” 

A: “I want to know what type of colleague they are most comfortable with. It should match up well with the leaders of your clinical staff team.” 

A: “Try to assess their willingness to learn.” 

Q: We are a blended clinic. What characteristics should I look for in a receptionist? 

A: “He or she should be warm and calm. It’s not like patients are visiting their personal physician; patients may be wary at the outset.” 

A: “Depends what type of blended clinic you are. For example, he or she should be able to help evaluate whether or not the patient requires immediate care.” 

Q: We offer wellness coaching as part of our on-site services. What characteristics should I be looking for?

A: “There is a tendency to pontificate to those you are coaching. Better to zero in on what is inside the person’s head and heart. Try to facilitate the coachee to come up with their own answers and solutions.” 

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