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, 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.

Online Study Habits

Taking an online course doesn’t mean one must study any more or any less.  It just means one must study differently. Note-taking is still very much a critical success factor.  The beauty of the online system is that a student can listen to/watch the course material the first time without taking notes; allowing more attention to be paid.  Then, the student can replay the class a second time for the purposes of taking notes. Click here to read on how effective e-learning works and how to optimize the e-learning experience for maximum effect.

RIP Steve Jobs

More than perhaps any other person in the pantheon of technology leaders, Steve Jobs impact on our lives has been immeasurable.  Along with a handful of other luminaries – Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Larry Ellison – Jobs’ singular vision of technology accessible to the masses of non-geeks has truly transformed the ways we live, communicate, express ourselves, work and especially study.  How many of you are reading this on an iPad? An iPhone? An Airbook?  Today we remember one of the founding fathers of the modern era of computing.  He will be truly missed.

Interesting Info on Boosting Your Memory

The AOL/Huffington Post has been branching out into lots of interesting editorial directions since their recent merger.  One that hold particular interest for students is the Memory and Cognition section of the popular web news outlet.  I visited there for the first time today and read a half dozen excellent articles on memory boosting techniques.  One revealed some memory tools and practices that have been handed down since antiquity.  There were ones here and here that revealed the memory eroding effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol intake respectively.  Even one that extolls the memory enhancing benefits of Mexican food (yay tacos!).  And there were plenty more articles dealing with the impact of sleep deprivation on memory and lots of other useful memory and cognition related subjects.  Good reads all if your goal is to improve your aptitude and success in online studies at Allen School Online.

Browser Speed Test Results In

As online students, your web browser is your portal to studies.  It is also your means of communicating between your teachers and fellow students.  So if your browser is slow, your productivity suffers.  Now, we all know that over time, your browser will pick up add ons and other things that slow it down to speeds far below what it was capable of when first installed.  That is an issue of maintenance.  But the underlying speed of the browser, in its optimum maintained condition, is another story.  Assuming you take steps to regularly clear your browser cache and disable unused add ons, your browser should operate at or close to its originally configured speed.   Some browsers are just naturally faster than others. Well, LifeHacker recently tested the most popular browsers’ latest versions including Firefox 7, Chrome 14 and Internet Explorer 9 (among others).  The results are pretty interesting.  And since they’re all free to download, perhaps you might be interested in installing a faster browser if your’s is on the bottom of the list.  Read the entire test results here.

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.

Busy Online Student/Worker/Parent? You Need a Meal Library!

Regular readers of the Allen School Online Blog know that we have some blogging topics that we tend to return to frequently.  One of the regular subjects covered here is “ways to make life easier for the busy online student”.  Another favorite topic here at ASOB is “healthy eats” or in some cases (see posts on KFC’s Double Down sandwich) “unhealthy eats to avoid”.  Well today’s post rests at the intersection of these two favorite topics. Let me tell you about this fantastic idea I came across recently, courtesy of the Simple Dollar website.  In a recent post, the bloggers at Simple Dollar discussed a problem many of us share.  As busy students, parents, workers and spouses, we often have little time to prepare healthy, home cooked meals.  As a result, we often default to packaged, processed or prepared foods which are often not the healthiest options.  But there are only so many hours in the day right?  Well the solution to this challenging problem lies in what is referred to as a “Meal Library”. The idea is to develop a list of satisfying, healthy – and most importantly – easy to prepare, 30-minute meals that everyone in the household agrees are scrum-diddly-rumpcious!   The post which I highly recommend reading is available here and goes into a bit of detail on how to develop such a library and the benefits of building it.  Key benefits include saving on groceries, minimized impact on your time, healthier dietary habits and overall familial satisfaction.

BillGuard Protects From Unwanted Credit Card Charges

If you’re like me (and since you’re an online student, chances are that you are), online the better part of the day every day, you probably use the internet to manage your credit card accounts.   Ever come across a charge that you’re sure you didn’t incur?  Maybe it is some annoying fee charged by the bank.  Maybe it is something more sinister, like a fraudulent charge made to your account.  In either case, it can be difficult to determine.  You could spend hours navigating automated call centers or clicking around confusing websites.  Or, if you’d like to avoid the $300 the average American pays every year in bogus or otherwise unwanted credit charges, you could join BillGuard.  BillGuard monitors all your credit accounts for erroneous charges and cross checks suspect items against known scams and chatter from the Better Business Bureau and other online sites dedicated to tracking fraud.  If you’re online as much as I am, this service is great because it alerts you to suspicious transactions very early, before real damage can be done to your accounts.  Read more about how it works at

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.

Top 10 Most Hated Jobs – Not One In Healthcare!

So, CNBC recently published a report listing the top ten most hated jobs based on a survey they took of workers in many fields.  You’ll be happy to learn that not a single one of these odious employment opportunities was in the healthcare field.  The top 10 worst jobs are: 1.  Director, Information Technology 2.  Director, Sales and Marketing 3.  Product Manager 4.  Senior Web Developer 5.  Tech Specialist 6.  Electronics Technician 7.  Law Clerk 8.  Tech Support Analyst 9.  CNC Machinist 10.  Marketing Manager So, this blogger is happy for all you Allen School Online students who will NOT be entering a hated field.  Please feel sorry for me though.  I am a marketing director/manager, web developer and product manager for a living.  Maybe it is my cheerful natural disposition that keeps me from hating my job.