Our team at Wheel has the benefit of working with top companies in the industry and speaking with hundreds of candidates every month who are seeking telehealth opportunities.
We broke down what we find our employers want, and clinicians need, into six key factors that dictate what makes a great clinical telehealth job candidate.
The telehealth job market is growing more every day. And telemedicine employers nationwide are forecasting all-time high consumer adoption this cold and flu season. At Wheel, we host telemedicine jobs for a variety of specialties and care delivery models including family practice and urgent care, psychiatry and psychology, men's health, women's health, and pediatrics.
But the question we hear from physicians and nurses more often than any other is simple: How do I get started as a telehealth provider?
No part of medical education prepares providers for this tech-driven job market. Working with patients virtually is simply different than traditional clinical work. Residency programs or graduate coursework currently fail to prepare job candidates for the nuances of virtual medical practice.
Forward-thinking clinicians nationwide are seeking out the flexibility, additional revenue, and work-life balance a telemedicine job can provide. But, how can someone get the right job at the right time?
Attributes of Top Telehealth Candidates
The best candidates, those that get job offers in as little as one week, have these six attributes:
1. Focused and Accurate Medical CV
Starting with an obvious yet often overlooked factor, medical professionals often don't take the time to present themselves well on paper. Doctors often spend a dozen+ years building their education, experience, publishing, and other incredible achievements. It's a great thing to include your best accomplishments on a resume. However, this often leads to meandering three- to four-page clinical CVs listing accomplishments in chronological order, rather than highlighting the most important accomplishments and trimming some of the less impactful fat.
Remember, the average executive forms an opinion on a resume in about six seconds. How can you put your best foot forward, fast?
The second significant problem is providers who fail to update their resume with the current status of their board certifications and state licensure. Everything a medical professional has to manage can be overwhelming, but don't let your board certification and licensure lapse. If they are expired, indicate that on your CV to forgo any issues down the line
We see many quality candidates get to the goal line with interviews only to find during a background check they let a certification or license renewal go dormant.
2. Good "Webside" Manner
Even in the digital age, a personal touch and process-oriented skills still stand out. A majority of telemedicine jobs involve speaking "face-to-face" with patients over video conference software. Soft skills like clear communication, being able to read body language, and presenting yourself in a professional manner help set a great candidate apart.
Some of our Wheel telehealth employers deliver asynchronous telemedicine, that is, the clinician reviews the patient's assessment at a separate time without live interaction with the patient. Even these asynchronous jobs require a competence of webside manner in terms of technology literacy, clear professional communication, and transparent medical judgment.
Webside manner is something we work with our candidates on to ensure they are prepared to do their best in these non-clinical interviews. Read our article on ways to improve your webside manner for more tips on establishing your best virtual care presence.
3. Clean Quality Care Record
This applies to anyone seeking a new career path. Having an unblemished professional record makes for a smooth hiring process. Having a few hiccups in your past can make it a challenge. And worst of all, failing to disclose any past issues will ruin your chances as a candidate.
What exactly are companies looking for in your quality record? First, a history clear of any legal or regulatory enforcement whether it be malpractice, state medical board enforcement, or even federal issues with the DEA and HHS.
Second, employers are increasingly relying on big data to learn more about a candidate's prior work performance. Employers are using predictive analytics companies like Ribbon Health who compile quality scores, outcome measures, and treatment profiles from a variety of web-based sources.
4. Personal Accountability
One of the biggest challenges for telemedicine providers is that the flexibility and freedom of working from home also allows for easy distractions to get in the way of work. In a clinic, every minute is action-packed and focused. In telehealth, you may have downtime or work odd hours on your own schedule.
Telemedicine employers love offering providers the freedom to set their own schedule. But this trust can quickly be violated if the clinician isn't personally accountable. Employers love candidates who show up and do the work when the demand hits.
It's important to be honest with yourself about your availability. Everyone loves the idea of making more money and helping more patients during their free time. But if you already work 60 clinic hours, don't promise to work 20 hours a week. Start within your means. Set schedule blocks you know you can deliver on, then build your virtual practice experience from there.
5. Basic Telehealth Training
Almost no medical professional receives telehealth training in school or residency, aside from a handful of e-ICU training programs. So, what most providers need is basic experience. Most telehealth companies provide basic training to get first-time telemedicine clinicians comfortable with their software and virtual care in general.
Rest assured, prior training is not a prerequisite for most jobs. In fact, some employers think it's an advantage to train you on their operational process as your first telehealth experience.
Nothing is more valuable in telehealth than a personally accountable doctor or nurse with a great website manner, a clean quality care record, and licenses in two or more states. Great population health is a national and even global pursuit. Unfortunately, our current state licensing process holds providers back from utilizing their professional skills to benefit the greatest number of patients.
First, make sure you have a license in one of the big four population states: California, Florida, New York, and Texas. From there, it's beneficial to seek a license in one of the Federation of State Medical Boards Interstate Medical Licensure Compact states.
The more you can do in advance to secure licensing, the better position you will be in when it comes time to look for telehealth jobs. You can even work with medical license companies who will help secure a license for around $500 per state + state fees. For more information, read our guide to multi-state medical licensure for telemedicine.
Are you prepared to start your new job as a telehealth doctor or telemedicine nurse? Dust off your CV and join the Wheel telemedicine clinician network today.