Choosing the right provider

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Happy new year, everyone! I’m excited to start the new year with fresh eyes and exciting new goals. One goal, in particular, is to continue living the mission of Tri-County Health Care and sharing that mission with potential providers. Choosing the right provider is tough, so I would like to start the new year with an added layer of transparency. I hope this blog will help me do that. In the world of recruitment and hiring, I see a lot of misaligned expectations and miscommunication. I want to clear all of that up and share my insider perspective about hiring potential providers with you. I hope that students will find this blog and take this information on their career adventure.

Students to professionals

Provider Recruitment is very different from typical recruitment as it is a longer, more complicated process. Often times, recruitment occurs over many years. I start tracking students and go to events to meet all sorts of people studying in the medical field. Each student that comes through our building is a potential hire. I start talking to them when they are still in undergraduate school. This is a planting the seed moment because I get the opportunity to introduce my organization while they are still finding their place in the world. Sometimes people need a little guidance or even a little push in the right direction. I want Tri-County to be a student-friendly place that can harness all natural and earned talents.

Lifelong learningChoosing the right provider is about choosing the right student.

My background is in education and what I admire most about providers is their appreciation for education. They spend so much of their lives pursuing knowledge and are lifelong learners. I observe this every day when I interact with our staff. Hearing them talk about this illness or that fracture, or even just talking about the human body in general, is always so fascinating. What I’m really getting at is, if I think someone is a good fit for Tri-County, they need to have an intense drive to acquire knowledge. Recruiters should look for perpetual learners that absorb every shred of knowledge they can. I want the people who stay up until 2 a.m. watching the Discovery Channel or someone who would rather play a trivia game instead of shooting pool during a night out.

Expectations and the changing medical landscape

I don’t want to alarm anyone reading this, but the medical community is in a state of disarray at the moment. I’m not just talking about the pandemic. There is a lack of trained medical staff in our country. Then, COVID hit and every provider was stretched professionally and personally. We can’t afford to lose providers. When I’m out on a recruiting mission, I see the value in each potential hire. I often find myself saying, “This is someone who could save lives; they just need the appropriate facility and tools.” Students should be aware of their value moving forward in their career but also know with high value comes great responsibility and often high expectations from employers. In many ways, choosing the right provider is about selecting the right student. Remember that.

What am I really looking for?

I think about that a lot so I sat down to itemize the things I’m looking for in a potential provider. I think this makes up a good candidate, and I actively look for these things when I’m recruiting.

 

  • A good fit is someone who wants to live in a rural area. Any provider we bring to interview must know upfront that we are in a rural area. Lots of trees and cows, if that’s not for you, we understand. If a provider is looking for a certain lifestyle that doesn’t fit what we can offer, it wouldn’t be a good mix.

 

  • A solid self-starter is always an attention grabber. I look for physicians who can handle working independently with a certain level of autonomy. To a certain extent, they will be operating their own practice; I want them to feel a sense of ownership and even crave it. This fosters a positive work setting for them instead of an overly corporate “do what you are told” environment. This leads to everyone being a lot happier, physicians and patients alike.

 

  • I’m always on the lookout for someone compassionate and caring. I need to detect a genuine desire to help others. A person can have all of the fancy degrees, be at the top of their class, and still have terrible bedside manner with no desire to care for the patient. The difference is readily notable; you can’t hide it.

 

  • Knowledge is a big part of choosing the right provider! You need to be smart or at least display the ability to gain knowledge semi-quickly. Like I discussed above, being a lifelong learner is pivotal in this role. You won’t make it in any hospital or clinic if you don’t keep your mind sharp. Learning doesn’t stop after you take the cap and gown off.

 

  • A clean record is always good. Over the years, I’ve trained myself to look for red flags. I work with a dedicated team that assists me in noticing if a potential candidate is running from something, quits jobs abruptly without notice, or likes to overly embellish their expertise. Be honest with yourself and me.

Susan Marco

The end goal

My hope is someone will read this blog, maybe one of those students eyeing graduation, wondering where life will take them next. I hope you will consider Tri-County Health Care. I promise I’m not that hard to please. Choosing the right provider is important. I just want Tri-County to align with people who genuinely care about helping others.

Susan Marco-Provider Recruitment Specialist

As a former professor, Susan is a purveyor of lifelong learning. Five years ago, she joined the Tri-County family and has since recruited some of the finest physicians and advanced practice providers around. She is an avid reader, published author and enjoys spending time with family when she isn’t exploring TikTok.


Caring for children from the very start

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Establishing a primary care provider is beneficial for people of all ages. Providers develop relationships with their patients to aid preventative care and treatment. For many providers, their passion lies in caring for children from the very start.

Dr. Julie Meyer, Julie Meyer M.D., Tri-County Health Care, caring for patients, caring for children, obstetrics, pregnancy, pregnant, birth, delivery, doctor, Wadena

The importance of prenatal care

For Julie Meyer, M.D., caring for expecting mothers and their children was her passion and the reason for pursuing a career in medicine. She has been practicing family medicine and delivering babies for 20 years. Having an extensive background in obstetrics has allowed her to provide expert care for her patients throughout their entire pregnancy.

Dr. Meyer works with her patients as early as possible. That often means before they conceive. She discussed the importance of taking prenatal vitamins and having a conversation about things to avoid while attempting to get pregnant. “We want the baby to have the safest environment possible,” said Dr. Meyer.

That care continues after conception to make sure there are no complications during pregnancy. This care includes:

  • Watching for signs of gestational diabetes
  • Monitoring weight gain
  • Observing blood pressure to prevent preeclampsia or other metabolic problems

For Dr. Meyer, it’s important to develop a special bond with the mother. She takes pride in being a support system for the family as they embark on their pregnancy journey.

“One of my favorite parts of prenatal care is developing that special relationship and bond with the mother,” Dr. Meyer said. “Once the baby comes, there will be a lot of questions. I want them to be comfortable with me so they can call me and get their questions answered. No question is a stupid question when it comes to pregnancy or a newborn baby.”

At Tri-County Health Care, primary care providers plan to be there for their obstetric patients through every milestone. These include the planning stage, pregnancy, delivery, postnatal care, and beyond. When it’s time to deliver the baby, Dr. Meyer jumps into action. She puts a high value in being there for every moment. It’s very rare for her to miss a delivery.

The importance of well-child visits

One part of caring for newborns and children is monitoring their progress as they grow up. There are certain milestones providers are looking for to make sure proper development is occurring. The first year is detailed and frequent. There are 5 key milestones over the baby’s first 12 months.

“We want to make sure these babies are developing their muscles and coordination,” Dr. Meyer said. “We look to make sure they’re meeting their milestones like rolling over, sitting up, crawling and pulling to a stand along furniture. Then, ultimately walking, running, climbing and driving parents crazy because they’re so busy!”

Providers then monitor fine motor development. It involves making sure their coordination is working with their fingers so they can grasp food and feed themselves. Eating their food is followed by holding a pencil or crayon. Additionally, they focus on the child’s speech to make sure they’re starting to babble, make noises and ultimately begin talking.

Pre-teen and teen development milestones

The initial years of a child’s life involves several meetings with a provider to monitor growth. While appointments typically become less frequent as the child grows older, they are still essential. Part of ongoing well-child exams includes making sure the child is up to date on immunizations. It is also a good time to discuss with families if there are any other concerns.

These appointments also look for any developmental delay issues. It’s important to diagnose these problems early so those children can function better at school and more easily with adult life.

Dr. Meyer also monitors the child’s growth to determine if they are falling behind. That includes caring for children by checking their height and weight. It is a good indicator of any red flags like growth hormone deficiencies. Checking height and weight at these well-child exams can help prevent things like diabetes or pre-diabetes in their pre-teen and teenage years.

In addition to monitoring their progress, it’s exciting to develop relationships with these families. One thing Dr. Meyer enjoys is seeing children out in the community.

“It’s fun to watch them at sports activities and see them become leaders in the community,” she said. “It’s gratifying when I’m at the county fair or in the grocery store and have these kids come up and greet me.”

Primary Care at Tri-County Health Care

Dr. Meyer joined the team of primary care providers at Tri-County Health Care in January of 2020. She was named a Top-5 Finalist for the 2020 Family Physician of the Year by the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. To learn more about Dr. Meyer and the primary care team at Tri-County Health Care, view their videos at TCHC.org/primarycare.

Dr. Julie Meyer, Julie Meyer M.D., Tri-County Health Care, caring for patients, caring for children, obstetrics, pregnancy, pregnant, birth, delivery, doctor, WadenaAbout Dr. Meyer:

Julie Meyer, M.D. graduated from Perham High School and completed medical school at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Meyer has always been interested in biology and even strongly considered veterinary medicine because of her love for animals. She ultimately chose family medicine because she enjoys talking to her patients and developing a strong connection. This is important to providing high-quality patient care.

Dr. Meyer and her husband, Mark, have three sons and live on a hobby farm with 40 rabbits, 15 sheep, 3 cats, and 2 dogs. The farm helps fulfill her passion of caring for animals. She enjoys volunteering in 4-H and helping her youngest son compete at various rabbit shows around the state. Other interests include singing in the church choir, accompanying various groups on the piano and flute, playing volleyball, working in her flower gardens, and traveling to state parks.