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Adventures of a Floating Physician: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Posted on Thu, Aug 28, 2014
Adventures of a Floating Physician: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Things have been really busy at EmCare’s North division this year.  We have had several new [physician]  contracts, and an important part of my position as a Regional Float is to help open these contracts and provide much needed transitional staffing.  One of the personal challenges I face is being one of the first physicians through the doors of a new contract, and helping the staff and administration acclimate to the new ER group that will be helping to care for their community.

To many, the idea of having repeated “first days” at work would be intimidating, I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them, work next to and with them, and caring for patients in different communities.  While the patients’ chief complaints tend to be similar from hospital to hospital, it is the person that you are treating that is unique.  Discovering these regional differences among my patients is quite refreshing.

The Regional Float position is a unique one for EmCare.  It’s true that it is a demanding position because of what it entails, but the rewards are many.  Several of our long-time floats have decided to return to full-time positions at one institution, but the decision was made easier by the experiences they gained from floating through the facility they chose.  They were much more at ease with their decision because they knew the institution quite well before accepting the position.  Talk about a smooth transition! 

 I am not encouraging becoming a float for the sole purpose of searching for your next full-time post; I am encouraging floating because it is a unique experience that has the potential of showing you a side of Emergency Medicine that many do not see during their training or early careers.

Next for me, I have a new contract to open beginning soon.  This one is in eastern Ohio and I am looking forward to it.  First Days always brings the challenges of new names and faces, but, I embrace it.  With easy access to Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Cleveland, I’m seeing several baseball games in my near future!  Wish me luck at my new hospital!

dr-mcgann-resized-600.jpg Dr. McGann is a regular contributor for EmCare’s blog. He is a Board certified physician in Emergency Medicine.  He began working as a regional float physician for the North Division of EmCare almost 10 years ago, and still operates in that capacity today.  He is licensed in 12 states, with one more currently pending approval.  He is poised and ready to fill in where necessary to assure that EmCare-contracted shifts are always covered. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn!

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Every Family Has that One Member, and in this Family, It's Me

Posted on Wed, Aug 14, 2013
Every Family Has that One Member, and in this Family, It's Me

Emergency medicine is one branch of the health care family. And just like in any family, there’s a cast of characters: some docs love the stability of only working in one place with which they are very familiar.

Then there's me: open for adventure with a desire to see something new every day—which is why I chose the road less traveled (which is, ironically, full of travel): the role of a floating physician.

The float physician’s role is often misunderstood, even by our fellow emergency physicians who have traditional full-time roles in E.D.s.  And, while it’s true that what we do does not fall into the traditional E.M. blanket, it is a MUST in modern day Emergency Department staffing.

Nearly a decade ago when I began floating, most health care professionals were only familiar with the occasional locums physicians—doctors sent by an outside agency to fill staffing needs for a few weeks to a few months. I began doing this as a kind of "internal staffing solver" for EmCare and that’s how my role as a “floating physician” was born.

Floats (as we are so lovingly called) solve staffing problems on a more emergent, or, short-term basis, covering staffing needs that "spring up," as is typical in real life.

Hospital schedules are made well in advance, but then life happens — doctors get ill, retire, or relocate—and floats are there to fill that void.

Because there’s no way to anticipate when these events will spring up, travelling is a major component of this position. As I float, I get to see all different walks of life in many different states and municipalities.  Medicine standards-of-care may be the same nationally, but, seeing and practicing so far and wide exposes you to experiences that you are less likely to have in one locale.

This job isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy the excitement of travelling across the country in the name of health care, it can be quite rewarding—for me, it’s like a working vacation.

We’re all physicians—our job is to save lives. But we’re also people who want to enjoy our own lives. Some of us want to work in one location and take the occasional extended vacation, while some us prefer to mix things up and travel more frequently while we practice medicine. Being a floating physician solves the stable doc’s issue by providing the relief necessary when some time off is needed and for those free spirits like me, it provides and endless supply of adventure. Cheers to us all!

dr-mcgann-resized-600.jpgDr. McGann is a regular contributor for EmCare’s blog. He is a Board certified physician in Emergency Medicine.  He began working as a regional float physician for the North Division of EmCare almost 10 years ago, and still operates in that capacity today.  He is licensed in 12 states, with one more currently pending approval.  He is poised and ready to fill in where necessary to assure that EmCare-contracted shifts are always covered. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn!

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Adventures of a Floating Physician: Hello, from the Ohio Valley!

Posted on Mon, Jun 10, 2013
Adventures of a Floating Physician: Hello, from the Ohio Valley!

Find out where EmCare's Float Physician is practicing in the latest installment of "Adventures of a Floating Physician."

Greetings from The Ohio River Valley!  Currently, I am writing this posting from the banks of the Great Ohio River, just north of the small town of Toronto, Ohio.  Why here?  Well, it's a beautiful area, friendly people, very quiet and watching the activity on the river is interesting. It's a great way to unwind after a long shift.

I just left a trip for work on the shore of New Jersey, at a hospital I have been covering for years.  Since Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on this, and many other communities like this southern New Jersey area, I have been watching the rebuilding process take shape.  Although it will take years to "complete," I have seen steady progress in the restoration of rebuilding homes and businesses.  What wasn't affected by this storm, however, was the sense of community these residents feel, and their determination to get their community and beaches back to where they once were.

Working the shifts I covered in Manahawkin, NJ, there was no difference in the treatments or diagnoses in comparison to my other sites. What was different, however, was hearing the stories of these resilient folks, many of whom still are homeless and fighting to survive. 

Many of us have long forgotten Hurricane Sandy. But, I was given a humble reminder that so many who were affected are still struggling to make it day by day, even though the TV outletshave stopped posting footage of this area for the nation to see.

I dedicate this posting to the many countless thousands along the Eastern seaboard in New Jersey and New York whose lives were disrupted by this massive storm, but whose resilience is reflective of the American spirit.  Helping to continue to deliver emergency medical care to these folks is gratifying and humbling.

Dr. McGann is a regular contributor for EmCare’s blog. He is a Board certified physician in Emergency Medicine.  He began working as a regional float physician for the North Division of EmCare almost 10 years ago, and still operates in that capacity today.  He is licensed in 12 states, with one more currently pending approval.  He is poised and ready to fill in where necessary to assure that EmCare-contracted shifts are always covered. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn!

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