Physician anesthesiologist at Stanford at Associated Anesthesiologists Medical Group
Richard Novak, MD is a Stanford physician board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine.Dr. Novak is an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University, the Medical Director at Waverley Surgery Center in Palo Alto, California, and a member of the Associated Anesthesiologists Medical Group in Palo Alto, California.



Are you unhappy with your current anesthesia job? Are you considering finding a new job, relocating, changing your case mix, payer mix, or increasing your income? Are you a resident or fellow or a nurse anesthetist looking for your first job?

Every week thousands of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are looking for new employment. Individuals are seeking a new geographic location, a higher income, or more autonomy. Clients (healthcare systems/employers) are seeking candidates (physician anesthesiologists or CRNAs) for locum tenens help, part time help, or as fulltime employees.

The best job opportunities are usually spread via word of mouth. For example, alumni of your training program will seek out fellow graduates of the same program. You interview with their group, and ideally you’re offered a job. But what if you aren’t hearing about any job opportunities which interest you?

Internet websites post job advertisements for anesthesia professionals. Many of the advertised jobs are salaried positions, at a modest pay range, in locations which may or may not be popular. At the current time you will find thousands of job openings for full time, part time, and locum tenens anesthesiologists on Internet listings.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists website http://careers.asahq.org/jobs posts job openings, many of them for academic positions.

Current healthcare staffing websites listing anesthesia positions include Gasworks.com, Indeed.com, or Glassdoor.com.

Finding a promising job listing on these sites is only the beginning, to be followed by a complex process of applying to the listing company and/or the listing client healthcare system, and waiting to see if you are hired.

An innovative new medical staffing company named BlocHealth has entered the business of matching anesthesia candidates with client hospitals/healthcare systems. BlocHealth shows promise to be a game changer for physicians or nurse anesthetists looking to relocate, or physicians or nurse anesthetists looking for their first job. When you click on Blochealth.com you aren’t greeted with random listings of multiple job offerings—you’ll be matched with jobs based on your preferences.

The definition of a “bloc” is a combination of parties or groups sharing a common purpose. BlocHealth’s proposes to redefine the healthcare staffing industry by enabling providers to find staffing opportunities that uniquely match their talent, experience, and lifestyle. BlocHealth aims to do this without the complicated fees and back and forth processes of preexisting staffing companies.

BlocHealth aims to work with candidates to get you the highest rates possible, all the while keeping in mind the client/healthcare system’s bottom line. BlocHealth is “candidate-centric,” which means physician anesthesiologists and CRNAs have more control over the process and the pay rate they will accept. BlocHealth’s goal is to make the process of finding a position much more efficient, whether you are looking for locum tenens, part time, or permanent positions anywhere in the United States.

The BlocHealth website (www.blochealth.com) promises innovation in healthcare staffing via three specific strategies:

  1. Cost savings. BlocHealth’s profit is an industry-low percentage of the transaction amount. Existing staffing companies often charge a 30% profit off the top. This decreased cost to employers/clients promises significant cost savings to employers, and encourages them to list with BlocHealth.
  2. Transparency is a BlocHealth core value. Candidates will be kept in the loop with all details of the job search from start to finish.
  3. The BlocHealth process is unique. The website does not initially present a listing of anesthesia job offerings. Instead, each candidate physician anesthesiologist or CRNA fills out a brief form which primarily asks where you want to work, what dollar amount per hour you want to be paid, and then asks you to upload your curriculum vitae. A BlocHealth representative will then contact you via email or phone to discuss further specifics.

With BlocHealth:

  1. You, the candidate, have the control. You can search for opportunities by specialty, case types, availability, and pay rate.
  2. You, the candidate, set the pay rate you want. There are no recruiters pressuring you to lower your rate to inflate an agency’s profit margin.
  3. It’s a quicker process. There is less dealing with recruiters, and more finding the positions you want.
  4. You’ll have access to easy-to-view hospital profiles.
  5. You’ll have access to extremely detailed job descriptions.
  6. You can directly message hospitals with interest.
  7. You can be matched to high quality jobs. Candidates will be notified when their profile matches 90%+ with a job. Case types, location, shifts, dates, etc. will be taken into consideration when matching.
  8. Candidates can see what clients have checked out their profile pages.

BlocHealth is different from the preexisting companies. Older companies:

  1. Offered the candidate little control of the process. Recruiters at agencies presented which opportunities they believed the candidate should consider.
  2. Controlled too much of the price negotiation. Recruiters were motivated to convince candidates to take less money so they and their company can earn more money.
  3. Require too many steps, instead of the shorter smoother BlocHealth process, before successfully matching a candidate with a new job opportunity.

I recommend you check out BlocHealth—it’s a new way of doing business.

Uber presented a new model which had significant price and access advantages over taxis. BlocHealth aims to similarly slash the market share of other Internet healthcare staffing companies, and help find you a new job in the process.


Published in September 2017:  The second edition of THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN, Dr. Novak’s debut novel, a medical-legal mystery which blends the science and practice of anesthesiology with unforgettable characters, a page-turning plot, and the legacy of Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.


In this debut thriller, tragedies strike an anesthesiologist as he tries to start a new life with his son.

Dr. Nico Antone, an anesthesiologist at Stanford University, is married to Alexandra, a high-powered real estate agent obsessed with money. Their son, Johnny, an 11th-grader with immense potential, struggles to get the grades he’ll need to attend an Ivy League college. After a screaming match with Alexandra, Nico moves himself and Johnny from Palo Alto, California, to his frozen childhood home of Hibbing, Minnesota. The move should help Johnny improve his grades and thus seem more attractive to universities, but Nico loves the freedom from his wife, too. Hibbing also happens to be the hometown of music icon Bob Dylan. Joining the hospital staff, Nico runs afoul of a grouchy nurse anesthetist calling himself Bobby Dylan, who plays Dylan songs twice a week in a bar called Heaven’s Door. As Nico and Johnny settle in, their lives turn around; they even start dating the gorgeous mother/daughter pair of Lena and Echo Johnson. However, when Johnny accidentally impregnates Echo, the lives of the Hibbing transplants start to implode. In true page-turner fashion, first-time novelist Novak gets started by killing soulless Alexandra, which accelerates the downfall of his underdog protagonist now accused of murder. Dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the insults hurled between Nico and his wife are as hilarious as they are hurtful: “Are you my husband, Nico? Or my dependent?” The author’s medical expertise proves central to the plot, and there are a few grisly moments, as when “dark blood percolated” from a patient’s nostrils “like coffee grounds.” Bob Dylan details add quirkiness to what might otherwise be a chilly revenge tale; we’re told, for instance, that Dylan taught “every singer with a less-than-perfect voice…how to sneer and twist off syllables.” Courtroom scenes toward the end crackle with energy, though one scene involving a snowmobile ties up a certain plot thread too neatly. By the end, Nico has rolled with a great many punches.

Nuanced characterization and crafty details help this debut soar.

Click on the image below to reach the Amazon link to The Doctor and Mr. Dylan: