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New Patient Scheduling Difficulties in a Sports Medicine Practice


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Hi All, 

 

I am orthopedic sports medicine and shoulder PA working at a practice in the Chicagoland area. I have been with this practice for over two years and my patient load has picked up but most of my patients are follow up visits. My physician does give me a lot of autonomy and I do have my own schedule. I have found that it is difficult to market my name in order to get more new patients added to my schedule. Obviously, part of the problem is that I am not a physician and some patients want to have an appointment with the physician first. I don't expect to see a ton of patients but I would like at least one new patient an hour if possible.

 

I was wondering if anyone in a similar situation had any advice on how to increase the amount of new patients that I see? I have talked to the schedulers about putting add-ons on my schedule as much as possible. This has helped slightly but they are usually same day appointments. Is there anything else that may be beneficial? Any comments are greatly appreciated!

 

M. Castelli, PA-C

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Quite the opposite was true when I was in ortho a few years ago.

 

I was the only way into the surgeon's practice  - patients saw me and I assessed - yep, torn cuff - yep, surgery a possibility. Here - let the surgeon meet you.

 

Voila - I saw probably 10 new patients a day. He loved it that way. I took a way better history and identified complications like DM and RA, etc.

 

He saw them in follow up if not surgical and I couldn't get them back to functional without surgery or there was something weird. 

 

Did tons of injections and all the pre-ops. I saw most of the post ops - freebies

 

That is how most of the PAs in a 20+ ortho doc practice worked. 

 

So, sounds like you need to talk to the doc, the scheduler, and the practice manager to see how things are, how things could be and who wants what.

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I'm dealing with the exact same issues, OP. Only see new patients when my doc is not around. The practice model is not set up well for a PA. I don't have my own schedule either so of course its my doc and I in clinic each day but he wants to see everyone at this point since he is right out of fellow. A lot of this is due to clinic volume being so low and being a very new practice. 

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