Perform general practice administrative functions. The assistant can keep track of when each doctor needs to renew his or her state license, DEA certificate, ACLS certificate, as well as keep track of total hours of CME (e.g., know how many more CME hours each doctor needs this year for state licensing requirements). He/she could also assist in various human resource functions such as ensuring each doctor responds during the open-enrollment period for benefits each year.
In some practices it is appropriate for the assistant to create the physician work schedule for the next month, quarter, or year, and serve as the main point of contact for any schedule change the doctor’s need to make. However, for groups that use a complicated scheduling system, the doctors will often need to take an active role in its creation. TH
Dr. Nelson has been a practicing hospitalist since 1988 and is a co-founder and past-president of SHM. He is a principal in Nelson/Flores Associates, a national hospitalist practice management consulting firm. This column represents his views and is not intended to reflect an official position of SHM.