David Craven Five Years Ago
I was selling exotic luxury automobiles. I also worked at KPBS for many years and broadcast television, in video production. I’m the kind of person who likes new  challenges. I always ask, “What’s the next challenge?” When I was deciding what to do next it came down to helping people. I became refocused after thinking about the whole revolution of health information data in electronic form. Another factor was that we have an aging population, more and more people needing medical care,
and the fact that health care costs are rising. All of it sounded fascinating to me. I wanted to study and move into a career that was manageable for me to accomplish in a relatively short period of time. There were a lot of moving parts that came together and interestingly enough at one place, SDSU.

I finished my bundled program, Administrative Medical Specialist with Medical Billing and Coding + Medical Terminology. I was eligible for Workforce Partnership scholarship money for tuition. I went to the East County Career Center, where they were fast tracking people who wanted training. Everything happened so fast. It turned out that I had veteran status and that helped as well. It all happened within four weeks – from the time I decided I wanted to change careers to signing the paper to begin the course. When talking to a program coordinator she advised me to consider the administrative medical specialist path, since it was a broader and more comprehensive program. When I decided on that direction, I also decided to enroll in online training primarily because you can move at your own pace. The program was extremely well designed and very comprehensive. The course also included a voucher for certification and I took that exam a week ago and I got the result  yesterday. I scored extremely well. The exam was challenging – it was 200 questions. I think the combination of courses and the study guide helped. I’m actually studying right now for the Certified Coding Associate exam, which is a separate certification.

In Five Years
I want to be in coding management or another form of information management. There are a fair amount of employers who support professional development training. In fact, the direction that I’m going in actually requires continuing education units. It’s a requirement to maintain your certification. So one way or the other, I will continue to do a lot of study and keep currently approved. Ultimately, I would like to be in a hospital environment. Whether or not that’s manageable at this stage, I don’t know. It may be more logical to try to start at a small medical office. I don’t have a black-and-white answer to where I will be, but I do have