We will be periodically interviewing individuals at Observation Baltimore to see what makes them tick. To kick this off, we spoke with Karen Hernandez, our Senior Medical Recruiter. Read on to find out what she thinks about Baltimore and how she gets in touch with all of those doctors!
What is your favorite part about Baltimore?
The food and Ocean City. I love being near the water. We have really great restaurants and food offerings. I think we have put ourselves on the map in comparison with other cities.
Are there any things you would change about Baltimore?
Yes, I would change the opportunities for homeownership for lower income people.
You speak with a lot of doctors on a regular basis. How do you network with them?
When I first started at Observation Baltimore, doctors were not using computers like they are today. I would create a project invite and fax it to the offices with the specialty I was looking for. Doctors do not have a lot of time so when creating the invites I would think like a doctor. What information would they need? I would include the most important information such as the date, time, and honorarium.
Building rapport with them is really important to build and maintain the partnership. I know how busy doctors are so the first thing I would say to the doctor is “are you busy?” If they said yes, I would ask them to call me back because then I would know they were not busy and I had their full attention.
Why do you enjoy recruiting individuals in the healthcare industry?
I have learned a great deal about different health topics and the pronunciation of various conditions and treatments. I also really enjoy talking to the doctors and they enjoy speaking with me because of how I talk to them. While doctors are important, they are still just people and that is how I talk to them. They really appreciate me talking to them as if they are simply just another person.
What do you find to be most difficult when recruiting medical professionals?
I am always trying to add new and young doctors to my network. The younger doctors are a bit more hesitant because they are not familiar with market research. Another difficult aspect of recruiting medical professionals is the doctor’s schedules. Trying to align the doctor’s schedules with the time slots available for the study can be quite the difficult task, but we always get it done.
What is your daily mantra?
Purpose. While it is not a mantra per say, it is my word for the year. I want to have purpose in everything I do. I will start and end my day with a purpose. I think people have more motivation to do things when they have a purpose.