This week, we’re featuring a physical therapist and Non-Clinical 101 graduate who now works as VP of Client Services. She started out as a recruiter during the pandemic, and she has grown so much at Medical Search International. We are so excited to share her story!
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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?
Nina Luskin, PT, DPT
VP of Client Services, Nursing and Allied Health
What additional roles do you currently have?
Digital Health Fellow at Doximity
Where are you located?
Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
I worked at an outpatient orthopedic private practice for four years.
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
I worked in outpatient orthopedics. I got my certificate in lymphedema management and then took a job as a lead of a transitional care unit. There, I managed a team of 20 providers, performed all administrative duties, assisted with discharge planning, and treated a small caseload of geriatric patients.
What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?
I enjoyed learning new things and making a difference in patients’ lives.
I did not enjoy the lack of work-life integration as I got married and had kids.
What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?
I became a superuser and credentialed trainer for my hospital’s EPIC EMR implementation.
When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?
When my hospital transitioned to using the EPIC EMR, I was fascinated by the health tech industry.
I became a superuser and credentialed trainer, which led me to travel to different states to assist various rehab departments in their implementation of EPIC.
The pandemic fast-tracked my move to the non-clinical PT world. I was 30 weeks pregnant with my second child, and I suddenly lost childcare options, and my unit closed at work.
I quickly found myself in the staffing world, assisting various healthcare organizations all over the US to find and secure healthcare staff.
What are you doing these days?
I began working at Medical Search International, a healthcare staffing company, to fill the gaps in staffing during the pandemic and advocating for healthcare workers along the way. Medical Search offers clients and candidates services that promote excellence in healthcare by redefining the recruitment process.
I started as a recruiter and am now a VP of Client Services. During the last 2.5 years, I helped implement new technologies and streamlined the full-cycle recruiting process.
I am also a Doximity Digital Health Fellow for a second year, where I assist in research projects, brainstorming sessions, feature development, and social media campaigns to help shape the future of healthcare. Doximity is on a mission to connect healthcare professionals and make their lives more productive. The fellowship was a nice introduction to the health tech space.
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
How long have you been in your current role?
Two and a half years.
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?
I took the Non-Clinical 101 course.
How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?
Through networking and connections.
What are some of the things you did to stand out, take initiative, and advance in your career?
I leveraged my healthcare background to find the pain points within organizations and providers.
Working with both sides as a recruiter, and now client representative, I am able to use my PT critical-thinking skills to find quality providers and advocate for them, while meeting the business needs of my company and clients.
I also took time to relearn the technologies being used, and I took various LinkedIn Learning courses and trainings offered at my company.
I also used my technology implementation background and played a key role in implementing our applicant tracking software (ATS), customer relationship management (CRM) software, and payroll systems.
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
My family and friends have been very supportive, as they understand why I left my clinical role, and they know I am making a difference in other areas.
My loved ones also know how passionate I am about health tech. They see my drive to help providers find jobs they are truly passionate about, which ultimately improves the healthcare system as a whole.
What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you? What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?
I work a hybrid schedule at Medical Search International, from 9am-5pm M-F. I spend 2-3 hours a month on Doximity.
I have always been a person who needs to keep busy. I’ve realized I like to have various types of projects on my plate, so the companies I am a part of help fill my bucket. I also take my kids to dance and gymnastics classes, while planning vacations and making sure they have everything they need.
I am very lucky to have a husband and parents that support my endeavors and are able to help with watching my children. Needless to say, I don’t sleep much, but I am working on that too!
What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?
It is rewarding to be in a healthcare-adjacent role, knowing that I am still doing my part to help transform the healthcare system as a whole.
As a mom, I feel like I am more present by multitasking during the day and enjoying the benefit of working from home a few days a week.
How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?
I feel very confident in speaking with physicians and healthcare professionals because I speak their language. I understand where they are coming from and the concerns they have.
From a more logistical standpoint, I have a true understanding of the work they do, the departments they work in and the ins-and-outs of the healthcare environments. I also use my skills in critical-thinking and rapport-building every day.
Roughly speaking, how are the hours and pay compared to patient care?
When I first started out in this role, I initially took a pay cut, however with my commissions and additional responsibilities, I do make more now than I did as a physical therapist. The hours are roughly the same, but distributed differently. I feel like my efforts now directly translate to my pay.
I also work from home twice a week.
What type of person do you think would do well in your role?
Someone who is outgoing, outspoken, and not afraid of rejection.
Not every provider will want the jobs that you are offering and not every idea will be the chosen one in the fellowship.
It’s important to have thick skin, and move on easily. It’s important to keep looking for the next goal to achieve while figuring out how to brand yourself and highlight the value you have to offer.
Do you work remotely or onsite?
I work remotely two days a week and on-site three days a week.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?
At Medical Search International, most healthcare providers start out in a recruiter role, as this is the natural transition from patient care.
I also recommend that clinicians interested in digital health explore the Doximity Digital Health Fellowship when it welcomes new cohorts.
Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?
I dabbled in a few areas. I took the Non-Clinical 101 course, LinkedIn Learning, and coding courses from Code Academy.
What is a typical career path for someone in your role?
Most people begin as recruiters and then transition to client reps, and account managers.
What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?
I hope to continue my work in healthcare staffing by taking on new clients and special projects. I hope to continue transforming healthcare by improving health tech, while leveraging my healthcare and leadership experience.
Do you have any special words of wisdom for the readers?
Be your authentic self. Find the jobs, fellowships, freelancing opportunities that bring you joy.
What would you like to change most in your profession, and why? How would you propose doing so?
I would love to see more healthcare providers enter the space to make a bigger and more impactful change on the system.
Medical Search and Doximity are leading the way! I cannot wait for you all to see what an interdisciplinary team can come up with. Working as a team has produced new recruitment practices at Medical Search International, and extremely useful health tech features at Doximity.
What career advice would you give yourself that you wish you had during school?
I wish someone told me that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing; that I should follow my own passions even if they stray me away from the goals I set for myself very early on. I wish I knew that just because a job served me well in the past or even the present that I do not have to do it forever.
As a young new grad, I listened to the advice, but was not able to really relate to it until I had kids and was forced to make changes in my career path. Now, as a seasoned clinician, business professional, and mother, I truly appreciate and understand this advice.
What would you teach to today’s graduate students in your profession, if you had the opportunity?
I used to ask teenagers what they want to be when they grow up. Now, I ask them what kind of life do they want to live?
Are they the type of person who enjoys working from home? Are they someone who runs into the fire to save lives?
I then ask them to evaluate and immerse themselves in a career before deciding on WHAT they want to be.
It took me a long time to realize life is not about WHAT you want to be, but rather WHO you want to be. Even though I am not currently in patient care, I still use the principles I learned in PT school and in clinical care jobs to shape WHO I am today.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Make sure that you aren’t afraid to set goals for yourself and change those goals as your life changes. You don’t have to remain in a career that no longer serves your current goals and dreams.
You are never too old, or too young, to make those decisions for yourself. Make sure you are enjoying your life and your job. Life is truly too short to waste time on things that do not bring you joy, or do not allow you to be the best version of yourself.