Laughter is the Best Medicine

OK, so it’s Monday again.  I thought readers might enjoy a little levity.  Many of you students will go on to work in doctors’ offices all over the country.  A doctor’s office, like any other office, has its share of politics, fun customers, mean customers, gossip, laughter and tears.  Here’s to the laughter!  Check out this great compendium of  “Funny Stories from the Doctor’s Office” for some insight into the kinds of stories you’ll one day be able to recount to newbies entering the field.

From Humble Beginnings

Every recent report on the economy tells the same story with regard to the employment outlook.  For many industries, the outlook remains bleak.  Yet, throughout the devastating recession we still endure, the Medical industry continues to show solid, unwavering growth.  The imminent retirement of the Baby Boomer generation pretty much guarantees that those in the medical field will continue to be in high demand.This is a likely reason why you’ve decided to pursue a career in medical billing and coding at the Allen School Online.  But do you ever allow yourself to dream a little bigger?  The basis of understanding you’ll gain through your training here and subsequent immersion into the offices of doctors, surgeons and hospitals could act as a springboard for an even more intensive career in medicine.  Now, it’s not for everyone to aspire to rise up through the ranks from billing specialist to nurse, to nurse practitioner to eventually a medical doctor.  Nonetheless, it is not outside the realm of possibility.  It is likely that some of our Allen School Online grads will feel compelled to use their training as a springboard into full on medical careers.  I know many of you are probably thinking, “well, that couldn’t be me” and “my grades were never strong enough to get into med school”.  To you I say, consider Naomi’s story.Naomi (that’s her in the pic above) is currently enrolled in med school and studying to become a doctor.  But, she didn’t start out with that as her career plan in high school or even in college.  Yet, at her blog, www.get-into-medicalschool.com she shares her story and tips on how through hard work, perseverance and unshakable belief in yourself, you too could achieve what may seem like an impossible dream.  Even as most of you may not be driven to become doctors, I still recommend checking out her blog and gaining some inspiration from her story and her drive to succeed.  It almost certainly mirrors your own!  And for those of you who may be interested to learn what’s involved in taking this bold step in the future, Naomi’s “how to take the MCAT” page is chock full of great info.

Forbes: “Telehealth Among Top Paying Work-from-Home Jobs”

Love studying medical billing and coding from home?  Then you’d probably love earning a high salary WORKING in medical billing and coding from home.  “Is that really an option” you may ask?  Well, Forbes magazine seems certain that it is.  In a recent article on the best paying work at home jobs, Forbes characterizes the field known as “telehealth” as among the highest paying, work from home career options.  Take it from this blogger who works from home in several of the other fields listed in the Forbes article (PR specialists and writers), earning a good wage while working from the comfort of home is where it’s at!  All the more reason to study hard online to earn your medical billing and coding certificate.

Interesting Intersection Between Medicine and Gaming

Raw Story has an article out today recounting the story of how an AIDS enzyme which had puzzled scientists for decades has been unraveled by computer gamers.  Trying to figure out the structure of certain proteins in the molecular makeup of pathogens is a difficult task.  Scientists cannot determine which pieces of the enzyme may be vulnerable to medical compounds until they understand the three dimensional shape of the enzyme itself.  Computers analyzing the two dimensional images of the proteins as viewed through a microscope were not up to the task.  But a group of video game mavens, using a specialized software tool, applied their well-honed (and likely Cheetos stained) gaming abilities to unlock the shape of the enzyme in the AIDS virus.  Click here to read the details of this stunning story.

Drug Resistant Bacteria and Food Production

This blog frequently covers MRSA and other drug resistant pathogens that have been increasingly threatening populations globally.  Today, we learned of the rise of a drug resistant strain of Salmonella as the news of the recall of millions of pounds of ground turkey made the rounds in the media.  We have pointed to this cause before and I think it is safe to assume again that the level of antibiotics used by agri-business to mask the effects of negligent animal husbandry practices likely contributes to the evolution of these “super germs”.

How Much Would I Earn in Miami?

Medical Coding Bell CurveOnce you have earned a certification in medical billing and coding, you have the ability to find a good job in many different parts of the country.  Some markets pay more than others.  Some markets have a high cost of living while others do not.   Knowing what you can expect to earn in this field (in any given zip code) can really help you decide where you want to go to ply your new trade.  To determine how much you could earn in any town in the USA, I recommend the salary wizard at www.salary.com where you enter in your job title and zip code where you’d like to work to find out what the earning potential is there.

We’re Number 3!

Yahoo! recently published a list of the top 5 fastest growing jobs in the medical field.  Medical Records and Health Information Technician took the number 3 place on the list!  With a very attractive average annual salary, medical billing and coding specialists can anticipate continued strength in the job market for people with their qualifications.  Click here to view the list and the entire article.

Resumè Samples

Getting ready to capture the return on your investment into online job training and education?  That means you’ll be taking your newly earned certification out to the market to land yourself a j-o-b.  The first step in that process is to line up some interviews.  And that means putting together a new resumè.  This is a task that a lot of people find daunting.  But, have no fear.  The best way to understand how to structure all the job history and qualifications information into a memorable resumè is to see some examples of other peoples’ resumès.  Here’s a great list of about 90 resumes from the folks at Monster.com, collected from people seeking many different kinds of positions.  Even if some of the samples are for jobs in other industries, it is still very instructive to see how people structure the information they include.  Have a look at some of these and remember, what you leave off a resumè is just as important as what you include.

Leading Edge of Medical Innovation

How lucky you are to be entering into such an exciting field?  The field of medicine has made significant advances in the last 100 years.  Quantum advances.  Advances that would have been scoffed at as flights of science fiction fancy by medical contemporaries in 1911.  Case in point, Mitch Hunter, a man whose face was dramatically disfigured in a car accident.  At age 30, he has successfully undergone a face transplant.  (No, not a face plant like this old blogger makes when trying to ride his 6 year old’s skateboard!)  I’m talking about an actual face transplant.  Only the seventh successful such surgery in the world.  Click here to read more about this fantastic medical advancement and be stoked to be training in a career field that holds such enormous potential for good.

Interviewer: “Any Questions?” You: “Uhhh…”

Acing the interview is pretty much the key to landing a job.  The rock-solid resume gets you in to the interview.  But the interview itself is the “make-or-break” step in the job hunting process.  If you’ve done enough of these, you know that they typically ask you alot of questions about your background, experience, skills etc.  Then at the end, they always ask, “Do you have any questions for us?”  Most people don’t know how to answer this and either say, “No” which indicates unpreparedness or worse, being intellectually incurious.  Or many respond, “When do I get vacation” or “how much does the job pay?”  Both these questions do more damage than good.  There are questions you may ask of an interviewer which demonstrate that you are interested in the job and have a good head on your shoulders.  Click here to read “The Six Must Ask Interview Questions” as listed by Monster.com’s Joe Turner.  He explains why these are the most important questions to ask and what they say about the person who asks them.