Looking Beyond the Salary

The Ultimate EM Physician Interview Guide

Preparing for your first job interview can be an exciting, but also nerve racking time. While most put a lot of thought into how to answer the interview questions, an equal amount of thought should also be placed into which questions to ask. While compensation is important, looking beyond the dollar signs is imperative in order to fully understand what the job actually entails.

The interview is also a good chance to not only get a feel for the director, but the group and department as well. Preparing a list of questions for the interview will also help to show your interest in the position and/or group.

While you might have already thought to ask some of the questions below, there may be a few to add to your list!

About the Group

  • What are the duties of the group? (i.e. CQI, QH, Committees, Lectures, Marketing)
  • Is there a non-compete/non-interference clause?
  • Who pays for malpractice insurance and tail?
  • What billing company is used?
  • Who is the settlement authority?
  • Are there partnership or ownership options available? (i.e. buy-in)
  • How is the structure of the organization defined?
  • What specific programs/resources are in place? (i.e. ApolloMD NOW, Quality Corner, etc.)

About the Job

  • How are shift times structured? (i.e. 8hr vs. 12hr)
  • How many shifts per month? Which locations? (If interviewing with health system)
  • What are the differences between independent contractor and employee status?
  • Can you provide a sample contract for this position?
  • How are the compensation model and bonus structure calculated?

About the Team

  • Where did everyone complete their residency/training?
  • Are all physicians on the team board certified or board eligible?
  • What is the practice size?
  • Does anyone hold other positions within the hospital? (i.e. leadership positions, board members, etc.)

About the Department/Hospital

  • What is the annual patient volume?
  • How many ED beds? How many hospital beds?
  • Is there a fast track?
  • What is the admission rate? Who writes admission orders?
  • What documentation system is used?
  • Does the group cover more than one of the hospital’s service lines?
  • What is the ratio of patients, pediatric vs. adults?
  • Is there back-up call?
  • Are there in-house codes required? What about procedures required?

People you May Want to Meet

  • Group Regional and Divisional President
  • Nurse Manager for Department
  • Hospital Administration
  • Vice President of Medical Affairs/Emergency Services
  • Spouses of Group Members/Team Members

These questions are just a starting point for creating a list of your own. Make sure the questions you ask give you a better understanding of who you are working for, how the hospital operates and any administrative and operational expectations.

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