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Up in the Air: Life as a Traveling Consultant

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:00 AM

Meet Your Team

Written by: C. Jolynn Cook

C. Jolynn Cook
Former Senior Consultant

I am happy to call the scenic town of Worthville, Pa., my home — it’s where I can unwind in nature after being on the road or in the air. I find myself doing this often because as a BSM consultant, a good amount of my job involves travel. On average, I visit practices across the nation two or three times a month. In most cases, I’m going to different locations to help my industry colleagues resolve the daily operational challenges they face in their practices.

While being away from home is not always easy, my willingness to travel so often speaks to how much I enjoy building relationships with physicians and those who work for them. I love that my job gives me the opportunity to share my practice expertise in a way that helps others. In fact, working and living in rural Pennsylvania has taught me that when it comes to practices — large or small, remote or urban — physicians and administrators often face the same dilemmas.

Common issues I run into among practices are recruiting and retaining quality team members. I have found the best solution to these dilemmas is to invest in folks with great attitudes while providing a solid internal education and training program. Providing such resources not only teaches team members how to be super employees; it shows them that they are a valued part of the organization, and as a result, they are more likely to stay long term.

My expertise in these (and other) areas is a direct result of my 20 years working as a practice administrator for a multi-subspecialty physician practice. As you can imagine, during that time I gained fundamental knowledge of practice operations. Now, my role as a BSM consultant mimics what I did as a practice administrator — collaborating with physicians and practice leaders to find methods that will continually improve practice operations while simultaneously supporting (and encouraging!) staff to develop their individual skill sets.

While most of my consulting work is done independently, I sometimes rely on my fellow BSM consultants to resolve an unusual or challenging practice need. As a lifelong learner, I love collaborating with — and learning from — my colleagues. Working with such a knowledgeable group, along with knowing that I am helping others, is what I love most about my job. At the end of the day, it makes all the traveling well worthwhile. In fact, I’m already preparing for my next work trip — I’m off to an ophthalmic industry meeting in Chicago!

That’s right, I’m heading to the Windy City, where I will meet up with my fellow BSM consultants and colleagues to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2018 meeting. I find attending such meetings extremely valuable as they provide me additional knowledge — through informative presentations and conversations with industry leaders — that I can then apply to my job. Not only will I be an attendee at AAO, but I will be presenting, too. I’m looking forward to sharing “Tips for Successful OD Integration” with my BSM colleague Elizabeth Holloway. In addition, I will be available 2-4 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Academy Resource Center (Booth 508) to meet with physicians and administrators on topics of their choosing. I hope to see you there!

COMING SOON: Next week’s post will reveal BSM’s entire AAO presentation lineup. Be sure to check it out.  

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