New Jobs Numbers – Mixed (But Good For Medical Field)

In April, the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs — the third straight month to see an average of over 200,000 new positions created, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  However, despite the growth in employment, there is real concern that the jobs being added to the economy are not the high-wage, “quality” jobs lost over the course of the brutal recession.That’s bad news if you’re a manufacturing factory worker or a homebuilder as those fields don’t show the resiliency reflected in the latest employment figures.  If you’re in the following career fields, professional and business services, health care and leisure and hospitality, the news is good.  Those fields were called out specifically by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as areas where job and wage growth shows continued strength.  Now’s a good time to be studying for a career in medical billing and coding.  Don’t you feel smart?

Don’t Stress!!!

A new report circulating on the internet lists the top 10 most stressful jobs.  You’ll be glad to learn that only one of them is in the medical field, and that is “emergency medical technician”.  Reattaching someone’s severed arm on the side of the road after a motorcycle accident?  Stressful.  Also stressful?  Advertising Account Executive, Architect, Stockbroker, Emergency Medical, and Real Estate Agent.On the other hand, more than half of the top 10 LEAST stressful jobs in the report were in the medical field.  These included audiologist, dietician, dental hygienist, chiropractor, speech pathologist and occupational therapist.  Flossing someone’s teeth while listening to soft rock in a clean white environment?  Not so stressful.  Medical billing and coding did not make the list of either most or least stressful jobs.  But its good to know many of you will end up working in the offices of low-stress industries.

Doing a Career U-Turn

If you’re considering ditching your old career in favor of a new one in an exciting field like medical billing and coding, you may be wondering if it is the right thing to do.  With the employment picture being difficult to say the least, it can seem like a daunting challenge and one that you might consider holding off on.  However, there is never a better time than the present to make a life change and change can be fraught with challenges in any environment.  At the Geek Mom blog, Julia Sherred discusses her thoughts on mid-course career corrections.  Read her post and then share your thoughts and feelings on this topic in the comments below.

The Evolution of Medical Science

The World's First X-ray Device

The medical industry evolves quickly and new advancements seem to occur almost weekly.  It is always instructive to look back 50 or a hundred years for real perspective on how far along the industry has come.  The work you will do upon enterring this field as a medical biller/coder will surely look very different 50 years from today.  We can only wonder what it may look like.  We know that electronic records keeping is a growing trend that will change the face of the medical office.  Dutch medical inventors H J Hoffmans and Lambertus Theodorus van Kleef couldn’t have imagined the modern MRI or CAT scanner when they developed the world’s first x-ray scanner in the late 1800s.  Read about their breakthrough in this fascinating article.

As If Busy Students Needed an Excuse

Happy to report I found this research which seems to promote the idea that moderate coffee consumption is actually good for you!  Yes, science finally catches up to what this blogging genius already knows.  Coffee RAWKS.  But seriously, the high anti-oxidant content of coffee seems to have a positive effect on brain plasticity, liver and heart functions and a host of other benefits.  Read all about the good news in this article from Eating Well magazine’s Dr. Kerri-Ann Jennings.

Spam King Released From Prison

Robert Soloway, King of Spam

Just when you thought it was safe to open your email box again…  You probably don’t know Robert Soloway, but it is a certainty that your email box has been the victim of his decade-long, spam spree.  This fellow made a fortune using techniques of questionable legality to flood your inbox with offers for Viagra, porn, Christian singles and counterfeit Prada bags.  In 2007, the law finally caught up to him and he served nearly 4 years for his transgressions.  As online students, you’re probably grateful that he’s been punished for wasting so much of your time cleaning out the spam.  He’s paid his debt to society now though and has sworn off his old, evil ways.  But just in case, a condition of his release from prison requires his emails to be monitored by law enforcement.  Gone are his Mercedes Benzes, Gucci shoes and all his ill-gotten gains.  He now works in a copy shop for $10/ hr.  Maybe Mr. Soloway, you’re interested in a more lucrative new career in Medical Billing and Coding?  You can study it online!

How You Look Affects Your Paycheck

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

For those of you getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce in your new career, consider the article here from the Business Insider courtesy of Yahoo!.   In this piece, we are shown the statistics illustrating that how you look has a material impact on how you’re treated and how much you earn in the market.  Cleanshaven men without any balding earn higher than their analogs who are losing hair or growing it on their faces.  Conservatively dressed women earn better than their more revealingly dressed counterparts.  Read the entire piece to learn how you can present yourself to earn the most on the job.

An Innovative Use for Medical Records

Science News reports of an innovative new way that researchers are using medical records for genetics research.  Obviously, patients’ medical records, in aggregate, contain a treasure trove of useful data to researchers seeking patterns that can be used in the study of genetics and disease.  However as you’re fully aware, privacy is of eminent concern when it comes to patient records.According to the Science News article, “Databases that link thousands of people’s DNA profiles to their medical histories are a powerful tool for researchers who want to use genetics to individualize the diagnosis and treatment of disease. But this promise of personalized medicine comes with concerns about patient privacy. Now scientists have come up with a way to alter personal medical information so it’s still meaningful for research, but meaningless to someone trying to ID an individual in a database.”To learn how they rendered anonymous the information contained in medical records read the entire article here courtesy of Wired Magazine.

Encore Careers

In an article by Chris Kyle for Yahoo! Education, medical assistant and medical manager are two of the five top “encore” careers.  That is, fields for people wishing to retrain and re-enter the workforce, perhaps after losing a job in an industry hard hit by the recession.  The relative safety and immunity from economic downturn enjoyed by the medical field played a large part in vaulting these two jobs to the top of this particular list.  Click here to read all the details!