Top 5 Skills Physicians Need in a Post-Pandemic Landscape

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The pandemic disrupted every aspect of healthcare, and it promises to reshape the future of physicians and advanced practice clinicians (APCs) for years to come. In this new reality, what skills do providers need to adapt and be successful? How can they achieve both job satisfaction and personal fulfillment, all while avoiding burnout?

To answer these questions, we talked with Dr. Ankur Rana, Executive Medical Director of Primary Care for Swedish Medical Group in Seattle, Washington. Swedish Medical Group’s Primary Care department employs 200-plus Primary Care physicians at more than 30 clinics across the Puget Sound area.

The son of a surgeon and a nurse/midwife, Dr. Rana is a family physician by training and has his Master’s degree in medical management from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He is also an Executive Medical Director for Swedish Family Medicine Residencies, speaks five languages and says he approaches his position with a servant leadership style.

Provider Solutions & Development’s Sheila Sampatacos originally recruited Dr. Rana as Swedish’s regional medical director, and when the executive medical director position opened up, she encouraged him to apply.

“I just knew Dr. Rana would be amazing in this role,” Sheila says. “He has such a heart for providers, and I knew he would be really effective in this position.”

Dr. Rana says he is grateful for Sheila’s career guidance.

“I wanted to be more impactful in my leadership role, and I felt blessed to make the move from regional to executive medical director,” he says. “Sheila was instrumental throughout the process. She understood how passionate I am about helping physicians succeed and feel supported, and she really advocated for me.”

Dr. Rana says in his new role, he strategizes daily about how both health systems and providers alike need to adapt and transform. PS&D asked Dr. Rana to share what he considers to be the top 5 skills that will help physicians and APCs thrive in today’s rapidly evolving environment.

Dr. Ankur Rana’s Insights for Physicians Navigating New Post-Pandemic World

1. An open mind, competence and comfort around technology and digital health.

Technology, and digital health in general, clearly is a disruptor that has come to the forefront because of COVID. Adoption of these technologies has been incredibly high the last two years. Going forward, the most high-functioning, visionary organizations will look at scaling their digital capabilities, whether it is telemedicine, e-consults, e-visits, or remote patient-monitoring. We are going to see health systems using app-based navigators to identify what the patient is seeking care for and leading the patient to the right front door, whether that is digital or in person.

Now, the key for the physician will be a mindset-shift from thinking medicine can only be practiced face-to-face. One of the biggest roadblocks is when a physician says, “In my specialty, I cannot see a patient virtually! I must see them in person.” But when COVID came, that option was not there. The brick-and-mortar was closed, and everyone had to adopt virtual methods. Doctors realized they can provide care via telemedicine, and they also started to creatively think about that.

The most successful physicians in this changing healthcare climate will be the ones who, instead of saying, “No, I can’t do that,” will say, “What can I do?” They will have an open-minded approach. That is what we have been asking our physicians at Swedish: How can you adapt your practice? Think about visit types within your scope where you can pivot and meet your patients where they need you. An open-minded approach to adopt a culture of YES. And if you have patients who remain skeptical, how can you help them adapt to the technology? Becoming efficient at using the electronic medical records (EMR) is another key. As you join an organization, invest time in learning what the EMR can do for you and how to best utilize it.

To read the rest of Dr. Rana’s insights on how providers can thrive in today’s healthcare environment, check out the full article. Want to discuss your career options with an expert Recruitment Advisor? We have those on deck at Provider Solutions & Development. We offer holistic, personalized guidance to help you find the right fit, at every step in your career. Start the conversation today.


About Provider Solutions & Development
Provider Solutions & Development is a community of experts founded within Providence, a purpose-driven, 51-hospital health system, over 20 years ago out of a clear need to change recruitment. Today we support dozens of hospital systems and serve physicians and advanced practice clinicians with heart, from residency to retirement, so they can do the same for their patients. With exclusive access to hundreds of positions across the nation, Provider Solutions & Development offers holistic, personal career guidance and placement that puts physicians and advanced practice clinician’s needs first.

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