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Interview Assessment #1

Name: David Moon

Topic: Neurology

Name of Person Interviewed: Ms. Abir Uzma

Profession: Clinical Office Manager

Location and Business Name: North Dallas Neurology

4112 W 15th St #100b,
Plano, TX 75093

Date of Interview: October 16, 2017

Time: 4:30 PM

(Question List and Notes on Following Pages)

As I had the opportunity to conduct my first interview on Monday, I was slightly

disarrayed in my senses, as I had not gotten enough sleep the night before and taken three tests
on the same day. I began to worry as I arrived near the clinic and my nerves caused me a bit of
stress. However, I managed to gather myself and confidently walk into Dr. Khans office five
minutes early. Although I did not get to interview Dr. Khan, I was still able to introduce myself,
hopefully allowing me to open opportunities in the near future. Although the clinic had not
completely closed yet when I entered, Ms. Uzma still seemed willing to talk with me and
momentarily halt her office duties - a gesture I sincerely appreciated. The advice of Ms. Uzma,
the clinical office manager of North Dallas Neurology, provided me many pieces of valuable
information that I will hopefully be able to carry throughout my study of Neurology this year.

Due to the fact that I would not be interviewing a Neurology practitioner, I had to slightly
alter my approach to my interview questions. I believe it is still very significant to understand
what goes on behind the scenes in a clinic, as the doctor is not the only one working in the
clinic. To a profession to which I had little to none exposure previous to my interview with Ms.
Uzma, I found it extremely helpful to be able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the
business components of the clinic. Thus, heading into the interview, my main objectives were to
make a good first impression and hopefully be able to eventually secure an interview with Dr.
Khan, learn more about the business aspects of a healthcare clinic, and seek advice for how to be
complete tasks efficiently and in an organized manner.

What I learned about Ms. Uzma was completely different than what I expected to learn
of her going into the interview. Ms. Uzma described to me how she had been a cardiac
technician for 8 years in New York, which caught me completely off guard. Instead of taking the
normal route to becoming an office manager, Ms. Uzma had no background in business
management and stated that all the skills she had learned to effectively run a clinic came from
her experience. I immediately became interested in her career as a cardiac technician and
further learned that she had worked ground level in a hospital in a catheterization lab. This
opened up infinite avenues of discussion for the interview, and I soon learned that Ms. Uzma
had earned her medical degree in Pakistan, her home country. Ms. Uzma delineated the much
more rigorous schooling students had to undergo in Pakistan, compared to the schooling in
America. The reason Ms. Uzma was successfully able to transition into her career as a clinical
office manager could be attributed to the fact that she had dealt with many emergencies and was
thus ready to manage a multitude of tasks simultaneously. I was very impressed that Ms. Uzma
had been able to transition from the medical field to the business field so seamlessly.

An extremely significant piece of advice I learned from Ms. Uzma was to always
prioritize. She encouraged me to always sort things out in my mind, step-by-step, and then
tackle my duties. Because Ms. Uzma often has a lot of tasks to complete in the office, such as
copying documents or receiving payments, she has a lot of expertise in organization. I believe I
can directly apply this piece of advice into my assignments in school; for example, by choosing to
study for a test first instead of working on a completion-grade worksheet. Ms. Uzma also
demonstrated to me how to prioritize properly right in front of me, as when a patient came to
leave, she momentarily excused herself from the interview and thereon proceeded to attend to
the patient. Although Ms. Uzma may have been speaking with me, the patient was clearly more
important than my interview.

Ms. Uzma also shared with me the importance of communication with her own staff and
patients. I was curious as to how exactly Ms. Uzma communicated the patient schedule with Dr.
Khan. What I learned was that text messaging could be extremely useful and efficient in
situations where a message had to be delivered promptly. However, Ms. Uzma revealed to me
that she would often talk to Dr. Khan in person if the matter was more grave, which illuminated
to me the integrality of confidentiality. Ms. Uzma also showed me the color-coding system used
to clearly outline the patient schedule for the day (green = still have to see, grey = did not show
up, red = already attended to) - seeing this system enable me to understand the emphasis placed
on clear communication in a clinic. In dealing with patients, I also questioned Ms. Uzma on the
complaints she receives from various patients. Ms. Uzma stated that she made sure to listen to
all patients equally, with care and patience, as that is one of her primary duties as an office
manager. Ms. Uzma stressed that she always puts the patients first, and I hope that I will also be
able to replicate the same degree of respect

Even though Ms. Uzma has never taken any background courses in the field of
Neurology, she was still able to offer me useful advice within the field. I learned from Ms. Uzma
that in emergency scenarios, patients may be sent directly to speak over the phone with a doctor.
This piece of information was new to me as I previously believed that direct communication over
the phone with a doctor was close to impossible. However, as aforementioned, caring for the
patients is one of the most components of running a proper clinic. Ms. Uzma informed of the
length it usually takes for Dr. Khan to attend to his patients, and my previous knowledge of the
extensive diagnosis process for patients was confirmed - new patients usually take one hours,
while old patients take around 25 minutes. Ms. Uzma also seemed to be very familiar with Dr.
Khans typical workday schedule, as she has been working with Dr. Khan for seven months now.
For example, Dr. Khan will typically do hospital monitoring in the morning and then return to
the clinic to see patients. During this time, Ms. Uzma usually scans medications and bills,
verifies insurance claims, and fulfills other particular office duties. Ms. Uzma sometimes even
communicated with medical technicians at times, which surprised me, as these technicians may
sometimes visit the clinic to deliver electroencephalograms or scannings. Thus, I now know that
even though the Neurologist may not be in the office, there are still many processes taking place
in the absence of the provider. As I pursue my topic of study, I also look forward to being able to
visit different healthcare facilities and complete observation hours.

All in all, my visit to Ms. Uzma, the clinical office manager, was very thorough and
informative, and I now possess a far greater base of knowledge of the functionings of a clinic
from a business standpoint. Ms. Uzma was very welcoming to me and allowed me to feel
comfortable right away, which ultimately helped me succeed with my very first interview. By
also receiving numerous pieces of unexpected information from Ms. Uzma, I gained a more
complete view of the medical field. I will directly apply the extremely useful advice given to me
by Ms. Uzma as I dig deeper into my study of the field of Neurology and hopefully later reach out
to Dr. Khan for a direct interview.

(Question List and Notes on Page 4).

Question and Notes

-very impressed by resume

-busy w/ two patients throughout interview (had to momentarily interrupt)
-very friendly and helpful
-introduced myself to Dr. Khan and other staff member

1) How do you keep track of office resources in an efficacious manner?

a. Prioritize - some more important than others
b. Always take duties step-by-step
c. Organization is always key
2) What path of education did you take to become a clinical office manager?
a. Was initially a cardiac technician in a cath lab in NY (8 years)
b. Learned from experience in the medical field (worked in the emergency
c. Received degree in Pakistan
i. America: objective education, less essay writing
ii. Pakistan: subjective education, more essay writing
iii. Pakistan education system is much more rigorous
3) How do you effectively collaborate with Dr. Khan in the clinic?
a. Sometimes use text messaging (convenient)
i. Texts Dr. Khan when patients are ready
b. Talk in person if serious
c. Color-coded schedule to ensure clear communication
4) Is there any advice you could offer me on organization and preparation?
a. Always have a set plan
b. Avoid mix-ups as best you can
c. Think before acting
5) How extensive is your knowledge in the field of Neurology?
a. Knows how long Dr. Khan usually sees patients for
i. New patients: 1 hour
ii. Old patients: 25 minutes
b. Communicates with medical technicians (EEGs and scannings)
c. Sometimes sends patients directly to doctor to talk over the phone (if urgent)
d. Knows basic symptoms of whether a patient should be referred to an ER or the
6) What is your typical workday like?
a. Always very busy (she seemed a bit tired)
b. Has many office duties
i. Faxing, emails, insurance claims, medications, payments, etc.
c. Only office manager employed, so she manages everything
d. Career as a cardiac technician indirectly helped prepare her
7) How do you handle patient complaints/issues?
a. Always demonstrates respect and care
b. Patient usually has a purpose in calling
c. Patients come first
d. Helps refer patients to other clinics/health facilities
8) Do you have any advice for me as I hope to eventually continue my journey through medicine
in college?
a. Always look for new opportunities
b. Dont overwork yourself
i. She knows: she works monday through friday
c. Again: prioritize as best you can
d. Dont remain in a bubble