Are you an acupuncturist who is tired of struggling to make ends meet in your private practice? Do you work more than 40-hours per week and feel as if you have no life? Have you ever considered working as an acupuncturist in a hospital setting? If so, READ BELOW!
Discover the inside information you need to know to get hired by a hospital as a licensed acupuncturist.
My name is Scott Whitfield and I have been employed by a major San Francisco Bay Area hospital as an acupuncturist since 2007. I am passionate about advancing the status of our acupuncture profession. I believe that one great way to achieve this is to help more acupuncturists get employed by hospitals. I think that educating acupuncturists, medical doctors, and hospital administrators and staff is an essential and exciting task in achieving this goal.
We are currently experiencing new territory in the way that health care is delivered America. There is a lot of uncertainty about the changes that may occur as a result of the Affordable Healthcare Act (colloquially known as “Obamacare”) and its repercussions. The demand for safe, effective and cost-effective medical modalities is on the rise and I would argue that professional acupuncture is not only one of those modality but an excellent one as well. Consumers have already submitted their vote of confidence using their pocketbooks. To me, this is a sign that the general population is beginning to embrace acupuncture as a viable alternative to more invasive therapies.
From my current viewpoint, hospital positions for acupuncturists are still rare, so there is always room for expansion. The competition for posted new positions is fierce. I very much hope to see a growing trend toward more hospitals starting acupuncture clinics where none existed before. The hospital I work for has made it a company policy to offer in-house acupuncture service in some markets. Other hospital systems find themselves in a position which they must logically compete by making similar offerings.
I want to help more acupuncturists get hired into hospital positions. I know I can help them strategize their productivity and longevity in these positions. Additionally, I want to help acupuncturists forge their way into hospitals that don’t currently have acupuncture programs. Furthermore, I would like to help those responsible for hiring acupuncturists into the hospital setting with the facts and unique experience they could use to help create sustainable acupuncture practices in underserved markets.
Life is Looking Up
My life has changed completely since getting hired as a hospital acupuncturist. One of the not-insignificant results was that the overhead costs of practicing acupuncture have vanished for me. Another is that when I leave work in the evening, I leave my work at work since there is no need to take it home with me. I work no more than 40 hours per week and enjoy lots of free time to spend time with my family and pursue my hobbies and personal interests.
I earn a very respectable income and I enjoy a generous compensation package. I feel so comfortably far away from lay-offs and downsizing that I don’t lose sleep over it. I enjoy a great deal of autonomy in my job and am given an opportunity to practice acupuncture the best way I can. My acupuncture practice is stable, sustainable and rewarding. I know that I will receive a paycheck every two weeks, regardless of how many patients get seen.
I enjoy a great deal of respect from patients and co-workers alike in my position at the hospital. I am glad that I have an opportunity to touch so many lives in my work. Other acupuncture departments within our company have sought me out to learn what it is I do to achieve such good service ratings. My employers consider good service a must in the delivery of medical care and request feedback on the service they provide to patients. At the time of this writing, my single-practitioner department was the highest-ranked of 13 acupuncture departments in my region. Recently, for seven of eight quarters I was top in the region in service rankings. Other acupuncture departments came close and also do well in their own right.
When I was hired by the hospital I now work for, many of my acupuncture colleagues started asking me for advice on how they could get hired into a hospital as an acupuncturist. I have thought about this a great deal and have consistently shared my best insights with my clients. They used these strategies and learnings and subsequently got hired by hospitals. I’d like to think that in at least some way, your success is my success too. When you are ready to go after a hospital position, the free information offered on this blog can help. I will do my best to impart some real pearls of wisdom here which you will be able to use in the pursuit of your goals.
Below are a few testimonials from clients who have benefited from my expertise:
Words are limiting when it comes to me expressing my gratitude to Scott Whitfield, and his knowledge on what it takes to get hired as an acupuncturist by a large HMO organization. As an acupuncturist practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area, the competition is steep, and with the advice and guidance from Scott, I was able to land a job as an acupuncturist at [a major Bay Area HMO]. Knowing that he had the inside scoop of what it takes to get a job of this magnitude, I called on him for some advice on how to go about getting into a major organization such as [the HMO I now work for]. Using what he had done himself as a template for a job I was striving for, I was able to interview effectively, and present myself in a way that shined above the other applicants to ultimately get a job offer. Beyond Scott’s wealth of information when it comes to integrating as an acupuncturist into the mainstream HMOs, his willingness and ability to share what he knows is truly invaluable. I am so grateful that I took Scott’s advice, and that he was willing to share it with me. - Ramesh K., L.Ac.
Scott understands what the acupuncturist’s role is in the constantly evolving integrative medicine arena, and specifically in HMOs. He can provide very valuable insight for Acupuncturists seeking to navigate a seemingly foreign landscape. He is also incredibly generous in his willingness to share his experience and time to help colleagues advance their careers. A few years out of acupuncture school, I was offered a position at a large HMO and was thrilled to start work there. However, I was unfortunately not able to take the position because of being pregnant (and not being able to get a necessary vaccine required for health workers in direct contact with the public). A few years later, there was an opening in the same department – I applied and was contacted for another interview. I was very excited but very nervous, and feeling at a disadvantage. I had been on an extended maternity leave for a few years, working only limited hours in a home-based practice, and worried that I had lost my competitive edge. The field seemed to have gotten even more competitive in those few years and it was difficult to just pick up where I left off. I contacted Scott and he reminded me of my strengths, and helped me to understand how I would best fit into the HMO. With Scott’s help, I was able to prepare appropriately for the interview, relax enough to present my best self, and ultimately land the position. I am so glad that I sought out Scott’s insight. For acupuncturists who are seriously looking to work with HMOs, I can’t stress strongly enough how valuable Scott’s guidance would be. - Lara M., L.Ac.
When I applied to a large Bay area HMO, there were 60 acupuncture applicants. Previously in our Doctorate Program, I learned that Scott Whitfield was successfully doing acupuncture in this system. He shared his unique protocol, techniques, evaluation, treatments, and research to our class. I was very impressed with his organization, skill, thought, and efficiency with his treatments and integration of acupuncture into this Western Medical System. The treatments seemed very comprehensive and he seemed like he was having a good time treating many patients. Scott was the 1st person I thought of when I considered getting this position. Actually, I called Scott before I even know there was going to be a position available to get some advice on how to “get in.” I just wanted to do what he was doing. Scott Whitfield’s advice was invaluable to me. As someone working in the system, he was able to advise me on the inside scoop, what they were looking for in a staff acupuncturist, and how to present myself. I eventually worked in the system for 5 months covering someone’s maternity leave, and I loved the whole experience. The Western structure of having Medical Assistants, comprehensive computer access to patient’s care, as well as communication to MDs was top-notch. As an acupuncturist in the Western system, I felt very supported and accepted and had so much freedom to do great acupuncture. Thank you Scott. -Lisa Y., OTR/L, CHT, L.Ac., DAOM
I’m truly grateful for your thoughtful guidance and unique insight for acupuncturists passionate about obtaining a position in a hospital setting. Your recommendations to improve my resume and cover letter were spot on! Your awareness of the mistakes acupuncturist’s tend to make exceeded my expectations. I appreciate your time and outstanding preparations before meeting. I’m sure I will make use of your invaluable assistance again when I’m invited for an interview in the near future. – Jennifer H., L.Ac.
Potential Benefits to Licensed Acupuncturists:
- Understand what it means to get hired and stay employed at a hospital as an acupuncturist
- Receive personalized approaches to maximize your job-seeking efforts
- Learn where to locate job postings for hospitals that employ acupuncturists
- Vicariously learn from the mistakes that I and others have made along the way
- Learn how to prepare for interviews and create a lasting impression
- Find out what hospitals are looking for in an acupuncture provider
- Discover the things that could prevent you from being hired by a hospital
- Learn how to stand out in a crowd of hundreds of applicants and gain an edge
- Receive succinct and relevant information delivered to you the fastest ways possible
- Discover which clinical, business and marketing skills are needed on the job
- Why you may or may not wish to pursue a career as a hospital-employed acupuncturist
- How to assess clinical results and set up your patients for maximum success
- Achieve increased confidence in yourself and master the interview process
Potential Benefits to Medical Doctors and Hospital Administrators in charge of hiring:
- Learn about acupuncture services that other hospitals already have in place
- Mitigate medical and legal risk
- Conduct a study of the state-of-the-art in acupuncture hospital practices
- Create a business model that shows a net savings to your hospital by implementing acupuncture service
- Know what federal, state and local regulations apply to the practice of acupuncture
- Learn what best practices have already been created by hospital acupuncture departments
- Discover the quality and skills required for successful acupuncture providers in the hospital setting
- Receive comprehensive, start-to-finish practice startup strategies
- Learn how to speak to your colleagues regarding the practice of acupuncture
Potential Benefits to Students of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
- Learn the prerequisites to working for a hospital as an acupuncturist
- Know how much education you will need as an entry-level acupuncturist in a hospital
- Understand the hospital model of acupuncture practice well enough to know confidently whether it is something right for you, or not
- Learn how to optimize your studies to create more opportunities in the hospital setting
- Receive reading suggestions and other valuable resources
So, what shall we create together?
If you are interested in speaking with me regarding my experience within a large hospital organization I am happy to help. If you want to take your career to a new level and position yourself for an acupuncture hospital job, I can help with that too. I have found that some clients need more time and help than others. I want to provide you with a custom-tailored solution. It’s critical that you get excellent value for the hard-earned money you spend on consulting services. In order to provide you with the very best service, please fill out the contact form below and I will be in touch with you via e-mail to discover your individual needs and provide you with a proposal of how I can help and what it will cost.
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I very much look forward to working with you and I wish you the very best of luck in your endeavors.
Dr. Scott Whitfield L.Ac., D.A.O.M.