Now that I have an office location secured, on to the next step: hiring my own staff. I’ve never done it before but went into the process thinking it would be straightforward and easy. The reality was much different. All I have to say is that it is a good thing that I am a decent Spanish speaker. Nobody would mistake me for a local by any means, but I was able to conduct interviews without looking like an idiot the last few days. Whenever I had trouble, I would say something in English and often the interviewee would know what I meant, and the communication problem was solved.
That helped significantly, and the forward momentum felt really good.
I asked Tamara if she would want to work at the office, at least at first, to help it get off the ground and she told me no. She wants me to use the extra money we got from the sale of our house and just hire everyone so that she never has to feel like she isn’t pulling her weight at the office and with her dad. She said she did not want to be caught between working for and supporting me and what we’re actually here to do: lift some of the burden off her mother. Which, in a way, I am doing also—I certainly hope to be able to contribute to the household financially once everything is up and running and I get some patients.
I have a receptionist now who has worked in offices before, appeared to have a pleasant phone manner and can type rather quickly. She also seemed to understand a decent amount about the billing process here, which is good because I have been reading and studying about it at night and it hurts my head. Of course, I never really had to deal with that in the U.S. except as a patient; we had a rather large billing department that handled the mountains of paperwork that the American healthcare system requires. I’ve been assured that the process is actually easier here once you understand it, but I don’t and so it was a relief to find someone who not only does but is willing to show me as we go. Thank goodness for Constanza.
I had reached out to another surgeon when I got here; he works at an area hospital. He set up a meeting between me and a dentist that he knew, and I asked her if she’d like to come into the practice as well. She is still mulling it over, which I can understand. She hasn’t been very happy at her current place of employment, which the surgeon knew and was the reason he recommended her in the first place. I am hoping that one of these days, something will happen at her office and she’ll realize she doesn’t have to put up with it anymore. Then she’ll call me and tell me she’s in.