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February 7, 2011

Physician profile: Dr. Obinna Egbo

Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Practice group leader for IPC at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Honored as a Hospitalist of the Year in 2009.

Med school: College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Nigeria
Residency: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
In practice since: 2005

Married with five children, and living in Phoenix. Hobbies include soccer and watching all sports on TV, reading and travelling.

What’s your advice for residents who are beginning their job search?
Before beginning a job search, take the time to assess the type of medical practice that will suit you. Think about the potential long-term consequences of your choice, and decide if you will thrive as a hospitalist, outpatient clinician or in a traditional practice that combines both. Regardless of what type of practice that you choose, a basic understanding of the business aspect of medicine will be invaluable - so, make sure that you have it.

Start looking early. And, once an offer is received, take the time to really understand the job description. Don’t make a hasty decision about the practice or location until you have thoroughly vetted the opportunity.

What surprised you about your first post-residency job or job search?
The workload and the work hours were the same, and in some cases, even more than when I was a resident. I was disappointed to find that bureaucracy and payors might stand in the way of appropriate patient care delivery.

What do you wish they had taught in med school but didn’t?
I think medical schools need to spend more time on proper billing practices and how to deal with the needs of insurance companies. I believe that profitability is the result of good patient care and not just the numbers and encounters. I also wish that there had been a focused emphasis on hospital medicine.

Anything particularly unique about your job search? Any anecdotes about how you went about it?
Quite honestly, I prayed quite a bit about it. I wanted to be with an organization that had a good emphasis on all aspects of physician growth.

Any other advice?
I believe in teamwork, my partners and I work together as a team and look out for one another. It helps make for a very good balance between hard work and family life. And, I strongly believe that lifestyle balance is crucial to being a successful physician.

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