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Browse the program schedule for the 2018 Career Essentials Conference. 

View the 2018 Career Essentials Conference brochure.

Saturday, January 13 

6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

  • Reception: Enjoy socializing with your fellow attendees, their significant others, and their families. Delicious food, beverages, and a variety of games and activities will be available for all ages.

Sunday, January 14

7:30 a.m.-7:45 a.m.

  • Welcome and Overview 

7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.-10:00 am.

10:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m

  • Break 

10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • General Questions and Answers 

Monday, January 15 

7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m.

8:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m.

9:45 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

  • Break 

10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Program Descriptions

Career Essentials Conference: Foundation for Your Future
Days: Sunday and Monday 
Dates: January 14, and January 15
Times: January 14, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., and January 15, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
CME: 8.5
Program Director: Carlayne E. Jackson, MD, FAAN, San Antonio, TX
Program Description: Get the essential information and advice you weren't taught in residency to help you lay the foundation for a successful career in neurology. From communication and negotiation strategies to business basics, practice tips and resources, and even advice and strategies for personal well being and life-work balance, Career Essentials has what you need to succeed!
Recommended Audience: Practitioner, Trainee, General Neurologist, Fellow, Academician, Specialist Neurologist, Resident, Advanced Practice Provider
Core Competencies: Patient Care, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, Medical Knowledge, Practice-based Learning and Improvement, Systems-based Practice

Business Basics, Negotiating, and Succeeding, Part I
Day: Sunday
Date: January 14
Time: 7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Program Directors:  Brad C. Klein, MD, MBA, FAAN, Willow Grove, PA, and David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX
Program Description:  There is often a lack of education and training in basic business principles critical for financial success. Participants will learn how to negotiate contracts with potential employers in private and academic medical centers. This course will provide an overview and foundation of basic financial tools, application of sound business strategies to the challenges facing neurologists, and help determine the best way to maintain and grow income in current and future financial models. Specific topics include building a successful business model and addressing functions such as billing, insurance management, regulatory, health IT, and other economic issues.  
Learning Objective: Participants should acquire skill sets in contract negotiations, including unmasking potential opportunities through leveraging benchmark data. Participants should understand how to structure a rudimentary business plan, including required expenses and overhead, and the steps to execute.  

Effective Communication, Part I: Optimizing Communication with Your Patients
Day: Sunday
Date: January 14
Time:  8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Program Directors:  Allison L. Weathers, MD, FAAN, Beachwood, OH, and Veronica E. Santini, MD, Palo Alto, CA
Program Description:  Effective communication with patients is a key skill, however, one that is not often formally taught during postgraduate medical education. Effective communication has been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy as well as provider job satisfaction and engagement, while reducing burnout and malpractice claims. Patients retain more critical information and in turn have improved outcomes when communication with providers is optimal. This course will cover communication techniques for all aspects of a patient encounter, including how to best handle difficult patient conversations.
Learning Objective: Participants should be able to describe the benefits of relationship-centered communication, learn strategies to navigate difficult conversations more comfortably, and integrate relationship-centered communication skills into a clinical practice setting.

Acupuncture: Show and Tell
Day: Sunday
Date: January 14
Time: 10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Program Director:  Jennifer Bickel, MD, FAAN, Kansas City, MO
Program Description: Acupuncture is becoming a more common treatment pursued by neurological patients for various pain complaints. Most neurologists have had little exposure to acupuncture regarding risks, benefits, and how to educate patients on what to expect. Rather than conduct an evidence-based review, this course is designed to aid the practitioner in addressing patients' frequently asked questions regarding acupuncture. Attendees will be able to examine acupuncture needles and a sign-up will be made available for those who wish to receive a relaxing acupuncture treatment after the morning lectures conclude.
Learning Objective:   Participants should be able to answer their patients' most commonly asked questions about acupuncture.  

Overview of MACRA and MIPS
Day: Sunday
Date: January 14
Time: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Program Directors:  Lyell K. Jones, MD, FAAN, Rochester, MN, and David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX
Program Description:  As neurologists begin Year 2 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), there remains much uncertainty about MACRA's impact on care, costs, and increased administrative burden. MACRA has two pathways: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (AAPM) pathway. The AAPM pathway is reserved for those participating in risk-bearing Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) tracks. Especially in the early years of the program, this will leave the majority of neurologists in the MIPS pathway, which was designed to eliminate redundancy in reporting with legacy programs, i.e. PQRS, MU. This session will provide an overview of the MACRA regulation and a detailed overview of MIPS and provide specific steps neurologists must take to avoid a negative payment adjustment.
Learning Objective: Participants should have a working knowledge of MIPS, including its individual components, scoring within the program, and reporting requirements. Participants should be able to articulate a plan of action to successfully implement MIPS within their practice.


Business Basics, Negotiating, and Succeeding, Part II
Day: Monday
Date: January 14
Time:  7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m.
Program Directors:  Brad C. Klein, MD, MBA, FAAN, Willow Grove, PA, and David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX
Program Description:  There is often a lack of education and training in basic business principles critical for financial success. Participants will learn how to negotiate contracts with potential employers in private and academic medical centers. This course will provide an overview and foundation of basic financial tools, application of sound business strategies to the challenges facing neurologists, and help determine the best way to maintain and grow income in current and future financial models. Specific topics include building a successful business model and addressing functions such as billing, insurance management, regulatory, health IT, and other economic issues.  
Learning Objective: Participants should acquire skill sets in contract negotiations, including unmasking potential opportunities through leveraging benchmark data. Participants should understand how to structure a rudimentary business plan, including required expenses and overhead, and the steps to execute.  

Teleneurology: What You Need to Know
Day: Monday
Date: January 15
Time: 8:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Program Directors:  Eric Anderson, MD, PhD, Gulfport, FL, and David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX
Program Description: Teleneurology is an in-demand and growing practice that improves access to specialty care and provides value to patients and health systems at an affordable cost. Understanding the regulatory environment, legal issues, technological basics, and business models is essential to incorporate a teleneurology service line into practice. The practice of teleneurology is rapidly evolving while much of the regulatory and legal aspects lag behind. Physicians and patients alike are embracing remote care as a cost-effective alternative to traditional clinical visits, particularly in areas where specialist care is limited or absent.
Learning Objective: Participants should understand how teleneurology can improve access to specialist care, and how the changing regulatory and legal environment, current technology, reimbursement issues, and business considerations are essential to the implementation of a teleneurology service line into practice.

Relaxation Tools: See One. Do One. Teach One.
Day: Monday
Date: January 15
Time: 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Program Director:   Jennifer Bickel, MD, FAAN, Kansas City, MO
Program Description: Self-regulation skills are beneficial for physicians and patients alike, though access to training from mental health providers is limited by time and resources. Attendees will learn and have the opportunity to practice easy-to-implement relaxation exercises that may be taught to patients during a neurology clinic visit. Resources for additional training will also be shared. 
Learning Objective: Participants should learn to perform and teach introductions to self-regulation exercises. 

Effective Communication, Part II: Optimizing Communication with Everyone Else
Day: Monday
Date: January 15
Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Program Directors:  Allison L. Weathers, MD, FAAN, Beachwood, OH, and David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX
Program Description: While the ability to communicate with patients is a critical skill for any physician, it is equally important that physicians communicate well with colleagues, employees, supervisors, and practice administrators. The ability to effectively and respectfully communicate with others, including the ability to have collaborative and courageous conversations, has significant benefits outside the work environment as well.  This course will use role-playing scenarios with real-life examples to teach key communication concepts and help participants further hone their skills. 
Learning Objective: Participants should be able to describe effective communication strategies and integrate effective communication skills into interactions with colleagues, employees, supervisors, and practice administrators.

Personal Financial Planning: Perspectives from Private Practice and Academic Neurologists, a Panel Discussion
Day: Monday
Date: January 15
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Program Directors:  Eric Anderson, MD, PhD, Gulfport, FL; David A. Evans, MBA, Dallas, TX; Brad C. Klein, MD, MBA, FAAN, Willow Grove, PA; Allison L. Weathers, MD, FAAN, Beachwood, OH
Program Description: Practicing neurologists from various practice settings will discuss their personal experience in the handling of, and planning of, personal finances. Topics will include management and repayment strategies of student loans and long-term financial planning decision-making.  The panel will cover how to navigate and secure competitive banking/finance rates (e.g., business and personal loans and home mortgages), and discuss maximizing employer-sponsored benefits (e.g., 401K or Health Savings Account matching). The panel may address commonly asked questions, such as: What are commonplace employer-provided benefits? Are there additional investment vehicles to consider, and how do they vary based on employer? What other insurance coverage should be considered, e.g., disability and/or long-term care insurance?
Learning Objective:  Participants should learn how to compare strategies to address student loan payment and better understand opportunities to increase personal wealth through employer-sponsored benefits and financial products designed for physicians.

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