Noble Profession of EMR Employment

I recently came across this really interesting Wall Street Journal blog post. In it a recent college graduate gives a nice rendition of the challenge of changing from student to employee. Turns out, this newly minted graduate has found work at the popular healthcare IT software company: Epic.

Of course, the fact that Epic is hiring a recent college graduate should come as no surprise to anyone in the EMR and healthcare IT field. Epic has long been a haven for new graduates since their hiring practices seem to favor training new blood as opposed to hiring experienced EMR practitioners.

However, reading the above post made me think back to when I first got hired for a job working with an electronic medical record. This part of the blog post really hit home (emphasis mine):

Starting Aug 1, I will be calling Madison home. As a project manager for Epic Systems, I will be working with hospitals from start to finish on implementing health care information technology. This position is a wonderful opportunity to work in a young, fast-paced environment with a high level of independence, not to mention a fair amount of travel (which is perfect for an adventurous 21-year-old). Best of all, the ability to help improve patient care, create better processes and in general aid hospital systems is just the kind of feel-good work I was looking for at the beginning of my job search. Preparing to work every day on a beautiful and themed campus that is sure to leave any architecture buff or Indiana Jones fan speechless, I couldn’t be any more excited to begin this next chapter.

While I’m sure we could have a fascinating conversation about some of the points this girl makes about working at Epic, the part in bold took me back to when I had a similar vision.

I remember all too well telling so many people that I was going to have the opportunity working with an EMR to transform the way someone’s healthcare would be provided. I mean, I had the chance to be able to possibly even save people’s lives.

Turns out that I haven’t thought too much about this perspective in the last 5 years. Sure, I guess it’s always in the back of the mind. The focus on patients has always been paramount for me. I believe I truly have made the patient experience and patient care better in the work I’ve done.

Maybe time has just jaded me to too many things and the romance is gone. Certainly I still could be helping to save lives. I guess sometimes the minutiae of what we call work gets in the way of remembering the bigger picture of what’s possible. Maybe that’s why Epic is smart to hire so many recent college grads.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • In the segment of the industry I work in now, EMR/EHR has seemed a burden and does not provide as obvious benefits as it does in a more traditional practitioner setting. Furthermore, the government forcing some of these things down our throats “their way” has been, at times, less than fun.

    The *only* rationale for EMR/EHR that I have ever been able to make (which I wrote down and have pinned on my desk on a sticky note) is “it is good if it is good for the patient”. At the end of the day, we’re all patients (even doctors and health insurers). So maybe it’s more like (the somewhat plainly obvious) “it is good it if it’s good for us”. Honestly, I don’t think I could do the job I do if I didn’t think or hope it was actually a good thing.

    Ah, a chicken-and-egg problem. Who came first, the patient, the doctor, or the health insurance company? 😉

  • Jon,
    Thanks for sharing your story. To be completely honest, your description is why I prefer to work in the ambulatory EHR space as opposed to the hospital EHR space. You can effect change and see the benefits of your work much easier.

    I like the focus you have on the patient. More in healthcare need that focus.

  • I came across the blog after researching Epic. Epic found my resume on a university website and sent me a “hey, your great apply to our company!” e-mail. After I submitted my resume, they prompted me to take this on line survey that seemed more a psychological test … asking personal questions about how I respond to stress, how I feel about myself. The trouble with this test is that you have to choose 3 out of 4 choices, so any one of the choices could be a stretch. After completing the survey, I received a “no thanks.” I am a pretty healthy individual with very very few issues. After reading this blog, I am beginning to wonder if the fact I received my first graduate degree (from an Ivy League) was over 10 years ago, thus making me too old to fit their young blood ranks. Hmmmm ?

  • Lemia,
    Wouldn’t be a surprise to me. Epic definitely seems to favor the young recent college graduates that they can indoctrinate with their Epic principles and that don’t know better when they’re worked to the bone. Ok, maybe a partial exaggeration, or maybe not.

    Plenty more good Epic reading: It’s worth noting that not getting the job might be a blessing in your life. Depends on what kind of job you want to have I guess.

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