Meet the Team: Lucidity Direct Medical Director Jay Blankenship
Lucidity Direct | Sep 28, 2018 | 4 minute read
We recently spoke with our Medical Director, Jay Blankenship MD, MBA, about his role at Lucidity Direct and his experience working as a locum tenens physician. Jay is a board-certified emergency physician and fellowship trained in emergency medical services. He has extensive experience in multiple practice settings including employed practices, direct independent contractor work, and locum tenens.
Q: Jay, tell us about your role at Lucidity Direct. What are you involved with day-to-day for the company?
A: My primary job at Lucidity is to ensure that we are providing a platform that enables physicians to create their ideal work experience. I spend a lot of my time interacting with physicians who are interested in the platform. These conversations often focus on the benefits of direct communication with medical practices, how to effectively evaluate job opportunities, understanding compensation rates and negotiation, and answering all other questions that might come up. I also provide feedback from physicians to our amazing technology team to ensure that we are providing maximum value to our users.
Q: Currently you are doing a lot of work as a locum tenens provider. What prompted you to start locum tenens work?
A: For me, locums provides complete control of my schedule and the ultimate flexibility in work volume. Some months I may work 130 hours while others months I may work 70. This flexibility, along with predictable hours, gives me ample time to travel and pursue other interests and hobbies outside of the the clinical practice of medicine.
Q: What are the advantages of doing locum tenens assignments?
A: Locum tenens assignments allow you to have schedule control and flexibility. It also offers a chance for you to work in multiple practice environments. One particular advantage is the ability to focus more on practicing medicine and caring for patients and less on hospital bureaucracy. Plus, there are definite benefits to having 1099 income.
Q: From a provider perspective, what do you see as the key advantages of working with Lucidity Direct?
A: Lucidity Direct is a technology that truly empowers physicians to create their ideal practice setting. By enabling direct communication between with practices and physicians, hospitals can avoid the agency middleman and the high markups they charge. It also helps avoid the frustrating lack of transparency often encountered when dealing with locum tenens agencies.
Where else can a physician easily select practice settings using accurate information, negotiate pay rates, and select shift dates and times based on personal schedule all with transparency and efficiency?
Q: If you met a physician who was interested in locum tenens work, what advice would you give them?
A: First you need decide what you are want for your work and your life. Are you looking to pick up extra shifts or switch to locums full time? How far are you willing to travel? Do you want to work days or nights? What type of hospitals/clinics do you enjoy working in? High volume vs low volume, urban vs rural, etc? Locums gives you the opportunity to decide all of that!
I recommend a physician create a list of all the information you would want to know about a potential job and get those answers before you agree to be “presented.” Traditional locums recruiters are not incentivized to provide you with a lot of information about a practice until you commit to using that particular agency.
This is where Lucidity is so different. All of this information is available to the physician from the beginning!
Also, on the surface, certain issues about locums can seem daunting such as health and disability insurance, accounting, should you create an LLC, malpractice insurance, etc. Overall, these are really minor issues that are easily dealt with and there are many resources that give great advice on these topics.
Q: Any last thoughts?
A: Locum tenens can provide incredible career satisfaction if you approach it correctly. Look for a company that cares about you, and gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work.
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