Sunday, January 23, 2005

Health care workers needed

A rather poorly written article in the New York Times discusses the shortage of medical clerical workers in the New York region:
the New York region is confronting an acute shortage of physician assistants and clerical workers at the entry level in medicine, according to government labor statistics and industry executives.
Although many see the demand as positive, they also see a downside. The situation may provide ample opportunity for jobs, some experts say, but medical assistant and record-keeping work may lead to few, if any, chances for advancement because of rigorous training and licensing requirements.

Maritza Rodriguez of Manhattan, a 42-year-old divorced mother of two, had worked at clerical jobs in offices and in retail customer service before completing a 10-week course in medical billing and record keeping in October. She said she immediately found jobs with two doctors, splitting her workweek between Brooklyn and Manhattan. "There is so much demand," said Ms. Rodriguez, who said she rarely logged more than 40 hours a week total and expected to make more than $50,000 this year, also receiving health care benefits.
This isn't the greatest of articles; it combines discussion of 2 distantly related fields- physician assistants and medical clerical workers. And I fail to see how a career in which someone can earn $50,000 a year after a 10-week course offers "..few, if any, chances for advancement.." I think the New York Times dropped the ball with this article; I don't think the reporter fully understood what she was writing about.

8 comments:

jb said...

No kiddin'. It's hard to believe that anyone remotely acquainted with health care in this country would discuss PAs in the same sense as clerical workers. I thought that your blog must have misquoted the Times, so I went back to the original article, and the author truly is clueless. It makes one wonder if they are as knowledgable about foreign policy, economics, politics, science, and everything else they write about as they are about healthcare. PAs are front line professional caregivers, and in no way clerical. They have at least 6 years of post high school training; the other positions discussed typically are entered after at most some community college courses.

But it's the New York Times, so maybe I'm wrong.

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