Guest blog from MLS Independent Medical Examination Department Supervisor, Sheena Penrice.

Interested in a career with an independent review organization (IRO)? Below I’ve shared about how I started in the industry, and offered some insight into how you can, too. But no matter what kind of career you’re looking for, I have one piece of advice that has fueled my experiences – never stop learning.

How I Got My Start

I began my career at MLS Group of Companies eight years ago as a recent college graduate. Having previously worked in home care and physical therapy offices, I was interested in helping those who needed medical care. I saw this job as an opportunity to learn about the backend of providing that care. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret... I knew absolutely nothing about independent medical examinations (IME) and very little about IROs. So when I accepted an IME operations support position, I knew I was in for a challenge. I came in eager to learn every single detail about the medical review industry that would prepare me for success at MLS.

After working in operations support, I moved on to IME disability scheduling coordinator, where I worked on disability cases and scheduled appointments with clients. I then opened myself up to a wider range of clients with the scheduling coordinator position. When the department supervisor opportunity became available, my gut told me to give it a shot. The upward trajectory of my career led to successfully landing the position, and it’s where I stand today.

Where I Am Today

As the IME department supervisor, I have to be dynamic at responding to my staff’s questions and concerns, as well as conduct training on our new systems. Every day brings something new to my plate. I always tell my department to expect the unexpected and you’ll be able to maneuver anything. My own background at MLS has helped me greatly because I understand what is required of those I oversee and how they fit into the IME process. Remembering the struggles I had in those positions and what assistance I wanted from a supervisor is the best way I can help my team grow.

I built my career by continuously developing my skills and taking learning opportunities as they came. One way that I keep my skills fresh is by scheduling a case each month to review current processes and explore new ones. I believe that no matter your seniority, one should never stop learning. I have always been determined to grow my knowledge and push myself out of my comfort zone. I am where I am today because I wasn’t afraid to explore a completely foreign career. So if something sparks your interest, don’t shy away from it.

The Potential of What’s Next

I hope it’s obvious by now that I’m very passionate about what I do. Working in the medical review industry has opened my eyes to so many things. It’s such a huge business, and IROs are only going to continue to grow. There’s a lot of potential to change the healthcare industry and improve patient care.

As for my next challenge? I would like to expand my experience outside of IMEs and master other sectors within independent medical review. There’s still so much potential for learning and career growth at MLS. Wherever my career path leads, I know new knowledge and experiences will follow.

Regardless of where you are in your own career or what industry, I hope that you find my personal experience helpful. If you would like to learn more about MLS's medical peer review services and how we can assist with your independent medical examination and peer review needs, submit a contact form and we will reach out to you!

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. You can connect with Sheena Penrice here. 

Learning the Independent Medical Review Industry From The Bottom Up