There’s an African proverb we love at Vanguard, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In other words, we can’t expect to be great on our own—we’re all in this together. This is why we operate as one team and do not let our fellow team members fail.
When you join Vanguard, you become a member of our tribe. Plastic surgeon Dr. Jim Banich shares, “What’s special about Vanguard is the ‘tribee-ness’ of this place.” What he’s describing is a strong culture marked by our core values of humility, integrity, excellence, and grit. He’s also describing the unifying power of community that makes Vanguard Skin Specialists a great place to work.
Medical Providers Follow Their Calling
It’s never just a “job” to our medical providers – it’s a calling – and when you pursue a mission greater than yourself, your patients and your team notice.
When asked how Vanguard has attracted talented providers, Mohs surgeon Dr. Vinh Chung states, “I believe everyone wants a higher calling in life. We live out our mission at Vanguard, and that has attracted a different breed of doctors and medical providers.”
In an era when physicians are losing autonomy in the practice of medicine, Vanguard Skin Specialists is a physician led practice that gives freedom and resources to deliver medical care the way it is meant to be delivered. Dermatologist Dr. Michael Leslie shares, “We often say that a doctor is the captain of his/her ship. With that autonomy, however, comes the responsibility to lead well. Being a ‘ship captain’ means steering the ship and its crew in all conditions, good or bad. Beyond delivering exceptional patient care, it also means being a role model for the team.”
Nurse practitioner Emily Reynolds says, “I love the provider team at Vanguard. There is a mutual respect among the team for each other’s training and experience. We share advice and we trust each other. I feel at home here.”
A Launching Pad for Future Medical Providers
At Vanguard, we offer a two-year Pre-Health program for high achieving college students who want to become future medical providers. They begin as medical scribes and train to become key members of Vanguard’s clinical support team. Pre-Health candidates gain valuable clinical experience and mentoring from Vanguard’s medical providers. At the end of 2 to 3 years, they head off to medical, PA, or nursing school.
The Pre-Health members consistently talk about how hard they work, because after all, “grit” is one of Vanguard’s core values. But with hard work, they accomplish more than they had ever expected. A former team member, who is now a PA in the community and a referring provider, shared about her time at Vanguard. She said that she had initially planned to become an aesthetician but after working at Vanguard, the job gave her “the courage and belief in myself that I can do something more in education and that I can be an excellent provider in the medical field.”
While it’s sad to bid farewell to talented individuals, one of our greatest rewards is to see gifted individuals become caring medical providers. What has been even more rewarding is to see former Pre-Health candidates return to this community to take care of patients.
A Fulfilling Long-Term Career
“Because our culture is so important to us, our goal is to promote from within when possible,” says Leisle Chung, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Vanguard. She continues, “Humility is one of our core values, and I’m grateful for our management team that wants to serve others.”
Jessie talks about how she began as a Medical Assistant and members of the physician team and management team took time to coach her throughout her Vanguard tenure. Today, Jessie is the Clinical Manager, overseeing clinical operations and investing time in coaching others. “We mentor a lot of staff members on their journey,” shares Jessie, “that makes a big impact on the people who apply to work here.”
Beth began at Vanguard as a part-time member of the billing team. She had dedicated a career to raising her children, and as they got older, she sought a part-time job where she could still be home when needed. What she did not expect to find was a career. When her sons left home for college, Beth was ready to step up, and today, she manages Vanguard’s billing team. Beth now encourages women who want to go back to work, “Don’t be afraid to try. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t get the job? You keep looking and you will find a place to call home.”
Reaching Your Potential
We go out of our way to take care of our tribe, so that members can have fulfilling long-term careers and find meaning in their lives. Professor and author Shawn Anchor wrote, “Happiness is the joy you feel moving towards your potential.” Vanguard’s desire is to see every tribe member reach his/her full potential. Employees have access to a continuing education fund, and even those leaving to attend PA or medical school receive reimbursement for school application and interview expenses.
Beyond investing in professional development, we believe in helping people reach their potential in all areas of life. From paying for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to sending couples on marriage retreats to supporting international service trips, we want our people to find fulfillment in all areas of their life.
“We believe there’s joy in generosity,” shares Leisle Chung. To that end, the Vanguard team volunteers in the community. You may have seen them donning t-shirts that say, “Making a Difference. It’s What We Do.” Just this past year, the team delivered school supplies, ran charity races, served in a homeless shelter, organized clothing and toy drives, funded and turned on a new water pipeline system in Rwanda, and supported humanitarian projects globally. Vanguard is also getting ready to send another service team to Haiti. All this not only helps others, but Leisle explains, “We are the ones who gain so much more, by learning how to love others more deeply.”
Patient Care Coordinator Kalyn adds, “It is a really special feeling watching the people around you care so much about people who are complete strangers to them. … We really do have an amazing team that cares.”
Getting a Job at Vanguard
When Surgery Coordinator Adeline learned about Vanguard she said, “I knew I was going to work here.” Why? “The values and goals connected with me. [Vanguard] cares for patients and employees.” In the interview process, “I met people that loved their job, loved taking care of their patients like I do.”
Hannah who handles Vanguard’s recruiting says, “Vanguard is a family. We’re all-for-one and one-for-all.” Thus, Hannah takes great care in the screening process.
From the doctors to the MAs to the front desk, Vanguard is filled with people who are humble and care about others. Beyond delivering exceptional patient care, Vanguard’s strength is choosing incredible team members.
When applying to join Vanguard’s tribe, Hannah’s advice to applicants is to put extra thought into the cover letter on why they believe they would fit in at Vanguard. She also encourages people to be honest and to be themselves in the interview process.
At Vanguard, we recognize that candidates are also interviewing us. Thus, we encourage applicants to understand Vanguard’s history, culture, and values to see if it’s the right fit. We spend a lot of time together at work and outside of work. Whether it’s staying late to take care of a patient, volunteering together, or making our annual music video, it’s being with people you enjoy that makes all the difference.
We are growing, and we are always looking for new, outstanding people to join the Vanguard tribe. Learn more.
Dermatology in Colorado Springs, Canon City, Pueblo, and Woodland Park.
If you would like to be seen by a top-tier dermatologist or plastic surgeon, contact us at Vanguard Skin Specialists today by calling (719) 355-1585 or request an appointment online. We look forward to partnering with you for a lifetime of health and wellness.