ehines....I applaud your initiative in writing this letter, and I sincerely do sympathize in regards to all CPC-As who are unable to find work or even an externship. The problem is multifaceted, however the AAPC did market the idea of Project Extern....with the hope that facilities and practices would take advantage of 'free' employees. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and let me tell you why. I did consider becoming a Project Externship site. I work for a 150+ bed community hospital, with an affiliated physican practice, but the human resources logistics involved in having non-employed volunteers present to work in the very sensitive medical information area was more than I was willing to undertake. Not only that, but with the advent of electronic medical records, I have very few entry-level positions or work available. That was my choice, and my facility's choice--not the AAPC's fault. Although heartfelt, your letter is misguided. To my knowledge, the AAPC is not obligated to find any of its members any job, opportunity or externship. Does the AMA place physicians in jobs? The American Nurses Association? How about the State Bar...do they place attorneys in legal practices? I'm curious, because I don't believe any association is going to recommend just any unknown member for a job or any other professional opportunity as a courtesy. Finding a job is YOUR job. And typically externships are part of a college education. If your college or career school could not find you an externship, that's not the AAPC's fault. That's your fault, for not questioning your school about placement rates. I'm tired of the finger pointing that's going on, and very discouraged at the level of unprofessionalism shown by some of these angry posts. Play the blame game somewhere else, please, but leave this board for those of us who are hoping to learn, network and brainstorm.
Did you check with AHIMA to see if they find opportunities for coders? I'm not aware that they do. I certainly hope this isn't an AHIMA attack on AAPC. Both credentials have merit; it would be unprofessional of any of us to discredit the other.
Pam Brooks, MHA, CPC, PCS, COC
Dover, NH 03820
If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney