Meet Ann B.
Location of Locum Assignment(s)
Briefly describe your pre-medical and/or pre-locum work experience
I worked for many years both as a nurse and then as a PA in the emergency room, ICU, CCU, and office settings. My office experience included oncology and infertility work. In addition, I also worked as a paramedic and volunteer EMT for our local fire company. For 10 years, I was on a Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT) for the federal government (under FEMA at the time). Before retiring from this position, I was in the NYS Guard (NYSG), 244th medical unit, holding the rank of Captain. I am licensed as both a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant, and nationally credentialed as both.
What drew you to locum tenens work?
I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the constraints placed on health care providers by insurance companies (e.g. 15 minutes for a well-person checkup, 7 minutes for a well-pregnancy visit, increasing meaningless documentation to satisfy federal mandates, and I could go on). Secondly, in 2015, after multiple changes of employer turnovers due to big conglomerates eating up the smaller medical facilities, the last one I worked for decided to make the group an “all physician group.” Since I’m not a physician, I was looking for a job. Thirdly, locums work would give me the chance to travel, as well as provide care where needed.
After making the decision to take the leap, I looked at several locum tenens groups. At the time, my niece was working for WMS. We had a long conversation and then I spoke with Mary Ellen Doty (WMS Founder) and knew Wilderness was where I wanted to be! As an NP herself, she had full knowledge of my frustrations and was a big help in making the transition to locums work. I have also found the staff at Wilderness to always have my back; for instance, when getting stuck in airports or no connections are available due to the weather.
What have you enjoyed most about your locum tenens experiences?
Working with some of God’s most special people as they care for those who would otherwise have no care. I still keep in touch with many of them. The fact that people are people no matter where they are has been reinforced. They have the same hopes and dreams for the most part and want a good life for their children.
What surprised you the most about your locum tenens experiences?
I think the uniqueness of school-based clinics was one surprise. It did have its pluses and minuses, but when the tally was done, it was more positive because of the culture.
How has your experience been with WMS?
I am so glad I decided on working with WMS. For me, I feel that they know who I am, and in turn, I feel comfortable that if I run into an issue they will be there for me.
What stands out to you about the communities and cultures you have interacted with as a locum tenens provider?
I try to research where I am going and what I might expect. Most of the communities are pretty close and sometimes, understandably, not too trusting. However, if one takes the time to listen and appreciate their culture and where they are coming from, they genuinely appreciate the interactions offered and the care provided.
What advice do you have for prospective locum tenens providers?
Know something about the people you are about to care for before you get there. Research the area, climate, amenities (or lack thereof). Find out what the dress code should be at the physical place you will be rendering care. Learn about the internet, phone service availability, AND reliability, along with what the living arrangements will be like while you are on assignment.
What’s the most interesting thing that you learned while on assignment?
I learned about CPT1A deficiency, for which Alaskan Native newborns are tested. It is a genetic disorder that may affect Native children, which can cause seizures and can be fatal. Generally, they outgrow it as they are able to store glucose better as adults. On a personal note, I learned to make an Ulu while in Diomede! Even I was impressed with the outcome.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
It has been my good fortune to work with the best locums group out there! In addition, I have been able to meet some of the dearest people on earth. There have been those that have opened their hearts and homes to me, which has humbled me and made me feel blessed. Locums work has truly been a blessing.