Work-life Balance Also Requires Med Mal-Risk Balance

stressed-out employee Was your New Year’s Resolution to achieve a better work-life balance? In this fast-paced, unrelenting work world of ours, it seems that we are all striving for work-life balance –yet very few of us have figured it out. I just read a great article about a pediatric practice in Mission Viejo, CA where all of the employees are part-time and job-share.

This case-study article shared several interesting and insightful tid-bits:

1. The practice saves money on benefits, but offers slightly higher-than-usual salaries to its employees, in order to retain them.

2. Because the employees are not just part-timers, but job-sharers, they are more invested in their positions, because there is a higher level of accountability.

3. Several people in the article observed that job-share relationships work best when the two individuals are similar in work personalities and working style. In other words, it’s not good to have an “opposites attract” attitude here.

4. Job-sharing tends to work best in smaller numbers. The higher the number of individuals job-sharing, the higher the possibility for errors. So, job-sharing should not be taken lightly. Individuals not only need to be committed to their jobs, but to working with another individual.

5. The article stated that while the Labor Department doesn’t have a policy on job-sharing, individual states might. So, physicians should always check with a lawyer when setting up this kind of relationship. We like this kind of conservative advice.

And, if you would like to consider doing a job-share, you may also want to consider the following:

1. Make sure that you have the appropriate amount of med mal insurance coverage for yourself and the practice. Generally, if you are working 20 hours or less per week, you may qualify for part-time med mal coverage –which can save you a lot of money. If you feel that you may qualify for this, discuss it with your insurance agent. (As always, med mal insurance companies and policies can vary.) And, while the lure of saving money is powerful, it is never a good idea to try and go for a part-time policy unless you are truly working part-time hours. Med mal insurance companies have been known to audit their part-time clients. If it is found that a physician is working more than the allowed hours, coverage can be withdrawn and claims can go uncovered.

2. If you agree to a part-time position, make sure that the practice has a clear plan for after-hours coverage, again to ensure that you and your patients are covered from a med mal risk standpoint.

See the article for other suggestions on how this practice has allowed its employees achieve a better work-life balance.

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