PA Week 2016: How this UNC Clinical Assistant Professor Stays Centered

We're kicking off National PA Week with Janelle Bludorn, the first PA in our "How I Work" series

Sep 30, 2016 - Guest Author


Janelle Bludorn is an Emergency Medicine PA. You can find her on Twitter @janellerblu.


Choose one word that best describes your work style:

Millennial. My work style is certainly that of my generation: innovation-seeking through technology utilization, multitasking, and collaboration.

What is your device of choice?

iPhone. I often refer to it as my peripheral brain.

Favorite apps & software?

The usual suspects: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat. I’m not really a big Facebook user, comparatively. In terms of medical apps/web-based platforms, my favorites are Doximity and UpToDate. As a yogi, the MindBody app is a great tool to ensure I never miss my favorite vinyasa class.

How does Doximity help you in your work as a clinician?

As one of the very first physician assistant members of the Doximity community, I have grown accustomed to using it as my go-to source for discovering which topics are currently abuzz among my colleagues and then joining the discussion with some of the best and brightest medical minds. The new CME feature further incentives continuing using the platform in this way. Doximity also helps me to connect and communicate with my colleagues across the country in a simple and secure way, whether for patient care, professional development, or even just networking.

What’s your secret to staying productive?

Staying busy. It’s an odd phenomenon, but the more things I have on my plate, the more productive I tend to be. I think that this stems from my clinical work in emergency medicine; the more hectic the department, the more “on your game” you’ve got to be.

What do you wish you knew when you were a student?

Now that I have transitioned my primary role to medical educator, there are a lot of things I wish I would have known as a student! I think that the thing that has struck me the most is how much of myself I invest in my students and their education. This is certainly something that I wish I would have realized about my professors and preceptors while still in my training.

Who is your mentor?

I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by so many strong women in my life, many of whom I consider to be mentors. Professionally, two immediately come to mind: surgical physician assistant Gina Grossi and emergency medicine physician Leslie Milne. Both of these successful women balance a persona I strive to emulate, characterized by fierce independence, genuine empathy, sound clinical judgement, and ability to transform the clinical environment to a learning environment.

You started in a community health setting and have since moved to an academic one. For PAs who are looking to transition practice settings, what tips or advice would you have for them?

I’ve always believed that the lateral mobility afforded to physician assistants due to our generalist training is one of the most unique aspects of our medical profession. That being said, a PA can’t simply jump from a specialty or practice setting without preparation. You’ve got to set goals and then set yourself up for success. Create ambitious long term goals and achievable short term goals to help you along the way. Invest in yourself in terms of meaningful clinical experiences and continuing medical education to give you the exposure and experience needed for a transition. Lastly, never underestimate how far a little confidence can take you.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Since I’m usually woken by my dog, Roscoe, I’ll give him a little love and affection, then spend some time with my husband before we caffeinate and head out the door to start our work days at the University of North Carolina.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

I know that the data says screentime before bedtime is a big no-no, but I can’t sleep unless I feel caught up on current events and happenings in the world of healthcare and medicine. Thus, my nightly rounds on Twitter and Doximity are usually what help me wind down before I turn in for the night.

How do you decompress?

A few years ago I discovered the power of mind-body techniques and meditation. Paired with my yoga practice, these tools have kept me grounded whether balancing life amidst busy urban emergency department shifts at Massachusetts General Hospital or making a career transition into medical education at UNC.

I can’t live without...

See answer to question #2.

What are you currently reading?

Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. It is an honest and eye-opening account of the degree to which our society has medicalized the end-of-life experience, creating an argument for clinicians, family, and friends to advocate for aging and dying with dignity.

Do you have a favorite song?

You know, I don’t have a single song that is my favorite. My musical preferences are quite diverse and ever-changing based on my mood. When I need to get work done, I turn on Brooklyn Duo; in times of pensiveness only Leonard Cohen will do; when I’m feeling determined or triumphant, I’ll opt for Beyonce.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A wise physician once told me: “If you’re not learning something new every day, you’re probably not doing it right.” I’ve been able to apply this advice seamlessly to nearly any facet of life: education, clinical practice, and both personal and professional relationships.


Janelle Bludorn is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and practices clinically with the UNC Department of Emergency Medicine. You can find her on Twitter @janellerblu.

Building a More Satisfying Career as a Physician-Writer. Can Recruiters Help?

Sep 30, 2016 - Guest Author


This article was originally posted on Doximity TalentFinder's blog. You may view the original post here.


The culture of medicine today has led to the erosion of career satisfaction among physicians. Dissatisfaction comes from the gamut of physicians, young and old, male and female, family practitioners to cardiologists. In fact, burnout is more common among physicians than other workers throughout the country, but is career satisfaction something a physician recruiter can help with? Absolutely.

In an earlier article, physician on-the-job unhappiness: how physician recruiters can help, we wrote that physician burnout stems from multiple interrelated causes: excessive workload; loss of autonomy; administrative burdens and consequent inefficiencies; difficulties integrating personal and professional life; and more. Salary is primary discussion about job satisfaction, too, but salary is the tip of the iceberg. Kevin Pho, MD, says career satisfaction isn’t even about being liked, or being respected. The key to satisfaction is the “v” word – being valued. Interestingly enough, Dr. Pho is the leading physician voice in social media today, blogging at KevinMD.

Physicians don’t live by medicine alone. They have interests, passions, and pastimes outside of medicine that are engaging and satisfying – things that differ from their daily grind. Many write, and many who don’t write often ask us and physician recruiters about writing. Specifically, blogging.

John Mandrola, MD, who blogs at Dr. John M, wrote an article Six Reasons Why (I) Doctors Blog. Among his reasons: to educate, to better mankind, to give a look behind the curtain, to achieve useful information, and to display our humanness. A cardiologist, Dr. John M says, “I like to write about the paradox of being a heart doctor: Here we are every day using skills and technology to save people from a disease that could be prevented with simple lifestyle changes. As a cyclist, I have learned that success depends on making choices. It’s the same for being healthy. (Of course, both cycling and health also depend a bit on luck.)”

So could blogging be an uncommon cure for physician burnout? Bryan Vartabedian, MD, thinks so. A pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital and one of healthcare’s influential voices on technology and medicine, Dr. Vartabedian’s blog – 33 charts – is “a sandbox for his evolving ideas.” He is passionate about communication and believes it’s a critical part of how the world works today. He writes, “On some level, writing and making media should be seen as part of what we do as citizens of the Information Age. Not only is it how we’re understood, it’s how we’ll help others understand. Doctor means teacher.”

Anton Chekov, who may have crafted the first career as a physician-writer back in the 19th century and is arguably one of the most famous physician-writers, once wrote, “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress.” On the subject of writing, he also wrote: "To advise is not to compel." So if physician candidates are asking you about writing, consider pointing them to a blog. A great place to start is KevinMD, a platform for a lot of physician writers. Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, writes a blog called Seattle Mama Doc worth reviewing. There’s also a nice round-up of 59 top physician blogs worth reading worth sharing with candidates, too. Dr. Vartabedian also wrote this article your physician candidates might find helpful: 7 Reasons Every Doctor Should Write. Doximity’s blog also hosts many physician-written pieces (if your physician is interested in writing a blog, they can reach out to ali@doximity.com).

If it seems a little out of the realm of a physician recruiter to talk about writing with your candidates, let us remind you of something recruiting guru Lou Adler tells recruiters frequently: “You’re managing their life!” – career satisfaction included.

How I Work: This PA Preceptor’s Secret to Staying Productive

In our second PA Week "How I Work" post, family medicine PA Jeffrey Manese describes how he stays efficient while mentoring students.

Sep 29, 2016 - Guest Author


Jeffrey Manese is a Family Medicine PA at Sutter Health Pacific Medical Foundation. He is based in San Francisco, CA.

Choose one word that best describes your work style:

I have a conversational style practice.

What is your device of choice?

iPad or iPhone.

Favorite apps & software?

Probably my iBooks and Pandora.

How does Doximity help you in your work as a clinician?

Doximity helps keeps me informed of new issues or topics that pertain to my type of practice.

What’s your secret to staying productive?

Keeping a positive attitude.

What do you wish you knew when you were a student?

Tricky question, probably how to navigate insurance related issue.

As someone who is heavily involved with precepting, how do you recommend students to find preceptors?

I ask students and mentors to interview each other, to look at their style of practice, population they work in or want to work in, past experiences, and expectations. I refer potential students to AAPA, CAPA, and SFBPA for potential mentors. An app like Doximity is another tool that can be used to help connect with clinicians for potential rotation sites.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Coffee ️:)

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

Usually watch Netflix or reading sci-fi novel.

How do you decompress?

Exercise.

I can’t live without...

My iPad and my headphones.

What are you currently reading?

Sci-fi books, but usually no particular author.

Do you have a favorite song?

No favorite song but love a good beat.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To find a job that you can enjoy and like, no matter what that job may be.


Jeffrey Manese is currently a Family Medicine PA at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco, CA, and an adjunct professor & clinical preceptor at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, CA. Manese completed his PA Training at Stanford University.

Apple Lists Doximity as a Top App for Healthcare Professionals

Sep 27, 2016 - Doximity Blog


We're proud to be featured as a top app for physicians and healthcare professionals by Apple, as reported by MobiHealthNews. Here are some of the clever ways physicians have used the Doximity app:

Staying up to date

"Doximity is an easy way to get credible medical news. It helps me stay up to date on the latest current events in medicine. As a physician, it is important to stay up to date on the latest news in health care in order to educate patients the best you can." Mary Ella Wood

Patient education

"I have had several experiences when I've quoted a study for a patient who has requested the specific data relevant to that study. It is so easy and quick to log on to Doximity, head to DocNews, find the study, and give the patient a reprint of the data. The recent study I quoted above comes to mind, as I've referenced the LEAP study to numerous parents, patients, teachers, health and school administrators. Running cases by physicians in the past has been very helpful, and the Doximity community makes that easier." Joshua Davidson, MD

HIPAA-secure texting

"I have been able to directly and securely send x-rays, wound images etc. to my cardiothoracic colleagues so that decisions can be made quickly and easily, avoiding unnecessary delay or travel. Almost on a daily basis, I use the messaging or fax features to transmit PHI to colleagues locally as well as across California and sometimes in other states. I like not having to worry about security and HIPAA-compliance. Every time an ECG gets faxed to Doximity, my life is infinitely easier than it was pre-Doximity. I have started carrying my Android device on call so that I can attach a date and signature to results immediately." Greg Kurio, MD

Free efax number

"Getting patients ready for the operating room, often involves documentation and investigation of primary care preoperative screening and lab results. As I work at a major medical center, we often must obtain results done remotely. The fax application of Doximity has been extremely useful for continuity, allowing documentation to be gathered in secure fashion, directly to me. This has expedited getting patients to the operating room in numerous instances." Genevieve Sweet, MD

Connecting with former classmates and mentors

"Prior to entering medical school in the Fall of 2013, I served as an Emergency Room scribe in a Northern Virginia Hospital. The physicians with whom I worked shaped my perception and desire to enter the medical field. While applying to medical school, I was offered a position in the charter class at the Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and jumped at the opportunity to shape the reputation and culture of a new school. I have worked extensively interviewing applicants for subsequent classes, attending local and national conferences, and creating promotional materials for prospective students and the public to view. Doximity allows me to unite all of these aspects of my life: the physicians that I scribed for, the students whom I admitted, and my current classmates, professors, and clerkship directors can all establish a profile on this site. I am forever grateful to Doximity for allowing me to both network and keep in touch with past mentors, all without leaving the comfort of my laptop." Venkat Subramanyam

Finding the right specialist for a referral

"When I finished my fellowship, I started practice in a large regional hospital system in a different county. I often get palliative medicine consult request for patients who would be better managed by a PM&R specialist, but I didn't know anyone at in the new hospital system - until I came across the name of one doctor on Doximity and added her as a colleague. The next time I needed a PM&R doc, I knew who to call. Since then, I have suggested her for several more patients and have shared her contact info with my palliative medicine colleagues." Ilana Newman, MD

Researching residency programs

"Choosing a location to pursue my Internal Medicine residency could have been incredibly daunting without the aid of the Doximity Residency Navigator. As a medical student from a state school in the South, I planned to use residency as an opportunity to study medicine in a different part of the country. With the help of Doximity I was able to view a ranked list of many medical schools I had never heard of or considered. The result is what I believe to be a perfect match that would not have been possible otherwise." Camille Robichaux, MD

Finding a job and comparing salaries

"I am in the process of searching for jobs and I did not have any ideas about what is the base salary in different parts of the country. Using Doximity, I was able to identify the areas of the countries that I want to live in and have the base salary that I am looking for. Although this information is available on the internet, it is very scattered, disorganized, and most of the time is misleading. Doximity definitely made my life easier in this regard." Aziz Nazha, MD

4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know Doximity Residency Navigator Could Do…

Sep 19, 2016 - Guest Author


This is article comes from fourth year medical student, Irene Lainiotis. You may view the original article on Medium.

Welcome to fourth year. I’ve heard some deem it a completely unnecessary year of medical school or the most expensive, year long vacation that we will ever take. Maybe that’s all true — after you manage to be the perfect balance of calm and persistent to make sure your letter writers submit on time, try to squeeze details of four years of work into ERAS boxes, interview, and rank your programs.

For the first three years of medical school, I, along with thousands of others, scoured online forums trying to track down the perfect Step 1 strategy, which books I needed to read for a NBME shelf exams and what hotels wouldn’t break the student budget for Step 2CS. But I needed something a little more reliable than just the word of hundreds of anonymous medical students. I was finally applying for residency! And there was no room for unnecessary panic attacks (though these definitely still found their way in), or reading through thousands of posted comments to find what I was looking for. I wanted something concise, accurate and easy to use — enter the Doximity Residency Navigator. While no tool is perfect, Residency Navigator provided me with a quick, transparent look into the various programs out there. Here are a few of my favorite features:

1. Location, Location, Location

Those real estate agents were onto something with this one! One of the easiest ways to start your search is deciding where you would like to be for the next 3, 4, 5… years of your life.
To get started, simply input your specialty and then search by either state or region.

2. It lets you get specific

If you have an idea of what type of clinical training experience you’re looking for, you need a tool that will let you get specific. Family medicine in a rural community? Emergency medicine in a large urban setting? Want to make sure there is a pediatric hospital? Consider it done!

Are you the future pediatric surgeon? Interventional Cardiologist? Advanced endoscopist? Residency Navigator allows you to search for programs based on your intended fellowship.

3. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet

In an ode to one of my favorite Zac Brown Band songs, “I’ve got everything I need and nothing that I don’t” — and it’s all on one page. Each program’s residency page gives you the residency search equivalent of vitals: the total number of spots filled, percentages for board pass rates and those who go on to subspecialties, and how involved the alumni are in research and clinical trials. The page will also give you a breakdown of which sites you’ll be working at, along with the program director’s contact information.
This one is for the aforementioned future pediatric surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and advanced endoscopists — if you’re set on fellowship, it will break down what percentage of alumni go into what fields.

The Navigator even tells you the top feeder medical schools! I loved this feature because it helped me assess where students with similar educations to me went and were successful in residency. Alumni leave comments and rank their experience as well — the ultimate replacement for scrolling through thousands of anonymous comments on forums to hear opinions.

But there’s one feature that makes this unlike any other tool…

4. Get connected

Medicine finally has a medium where physicians at all levels of training can connect with one another — all seamlessly linked to the residency search process.

The Navigator lets you connect directly with current residents and alumni. Some programs even have an updated “Current Residents” section with links to their personal Doximity profiles. This is the virtual version of the pre-interview dinner!

There you have it — my breakdown of one of my essential residency search tools. I hope you find this tool as helpful as I did, and if it wards off at least one panic attack, I think we can all agree it’s worth it. Good luck fellow fourth years!


Irene Lainiotis is currently a fourth year medical student at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, interested in Internal Medicine. She is originally from Massapequa Park, NY but completed her B.S degree from James Madison University, double majoring in Biology and Public Policy & Administration. Outside of medicine, Irene enjoys working
out, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends and puppy.