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Life as a Brand New Liaison

Life as a Brand New Liaison

Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies’ Partners – Guest Blog SeriesMallory Wilkins, Physician Liaison, Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Gadsden Alabama.

When I first heard about the Physician Liaison position I could barely spell, “liaison,” much less did I really know what one did. God, however, has perfect timing in all things and I guess that He knew I needed a change in my life and placed an opportunity in my lap.
The opportunity, of course, was to become the next Physician Liaison for Gadsden Regional Medical Center (GRMC) in Gadsden, Al. It would take several weeks (months, etc?) before the puzzle pieces started to fall into place; but when they did, they rapidly snapped together.

Eyes Opened

Working only for a family business growing up and owning my own business later in life (none of which had anything to do with healthcare) I never understood just how competitive this industry was.
I never knew that physicians had loyalties. I never knew what a struggle it was for a hospital to get reimbursed for a hip replacement if the surgeon didn’t document enough medical necessity prior to the case.

I was unaware of the impact that the Affordable Healthcare Act was going to have on my childhood pediatrician. When you asked me what I thought about physicians and hospital environments six months ago it would have been that most physicians were rich and that they only cared about how much money they made. Six months, 253 physician encounters, and a computer conversion later I have learned a lot of lessons which have formed several professional goals.
As with anything in life, I want to be the best in every aspect. I want to be a good mother, a loving spouse, a trusting friend, and a responsible coworker. When I walk through the halls of GRMC, I want our physicians to know that I am an advocate for them. I intent to positively gain trust and establish lasting relationships with physicians so that we can mutually benefit and build both of our businesses.

Lessons Learned

I want physicians to see me as a resource and as someone who keeps them productive and connected to the hospital. I want them to consider me as dependable whether it be moving a chair into a new office suite or picking up a new surgeon to ride shot gun through the community referral base.
As time goes on, I hope to continue gaining their trust and their business. I would have to say the best lesson I have learned so far though would be that physicians are people. People like you and me. Sometimes they want to vent, sometimes they want to teach, sometimes they are sensitive, and sometimes they aren’t in the mood to talk at all.
I know that I am nowhere near as good at my job as I want to be but as a great teacher once told me, “It never gets any easier; you just get better!” I am looking forward to the rest of the journey.